Planning a move onto a narowboat soon – curious about powering laptops – do I need 240v (inverter) power, or will it work directly from 12v batteries directly?
This may seem like a dumb question, but I’ll probably be throwing more dumb questions at this forum over the next few weeks and months
Hi Allan. Welcome to the forum. There’s no such thing as a dumb question, so ask away!
No, you can’t power your computer directly from your boat’s 12v supply. If you are on a mooring with access to mains power, and if your boat has a shore line (a lead to connect the boat to the shore mains power), and if your boat has 240v sockets fitted, you can power your computer from the shore supply.
If you are out cruising though, you will need to draw power from your boat’s batteries via an inverter. There are two types of inverter; pure and modified sine. Some laptops need pure sine. Pure sine inverters are more expensive but are necessary for some delicate electrical equipment.
Click here to get a FREE copy of “Living On A Narrowboat:101 Essential Narrowboat Articles”
Not quite true. Maplins will sell you a 12 volt adaptor to power your laptop. The one I bought came with several adaptors to fit various laptops. You just need to make sure the output of the adaptor is sufficient for your laptop.
Having said that, whilst that is what I did on my old laptop, my current one will last some 8 hours on a fully charged battery provided I turn the screen brightness down a bit so I just leave it plugged in and let it recharge when Jeannette has the washing machine on.
Living retirement in the slow lane.
20 years hiring, 6 years of shared ownership and a Continuous Cruiser since 2007 but still learning!
If you have a Mac, you can buy one for about £25 from Amazon. It has a magsafe adaptor and works very well. I used it all the time as soon as I got it. I had Amazon send it to the Braunston PO when I was around there and I never looked back. We got the boat electrician to install a number of 12V outlets throughout the boat. It saved turning the inverter on and draining the battery which used to happen before.
Also, if you have a PC, these car chargers do not need that dedicated connector, and Maplins should have plenty of those.
Alan Howarth said
Planning a move onto a narrowboat soon – curious about powering laptops – do I need 240v (inverter) power, or will it work directly from 12v batteries directly?
Check the mains charger output. Ours is 110-230v input and 20v dc output. So using 12 volt would be out of the question. If the output of your charger adapter is 12 volt you may be able to power directly from from the boats 12 volt sockets. Also some laptops are provided with or you can purchase separately an in car charger. Now this can be run off the boats 12v dc power socket with a suitable adapter.
This is the one we use, which is essentially a small inverter. qid=1350670842&sr=8-15
Mick n Mags
Nb Rose of Arden
Maplin sells devices which convert 12v d.c. to whatever d.c your computer needs and they provide the tips too. Here’s just one
I realise this is an old topic but it might help someone!
I own a power pack about twice the size of a phone which can jump start my car and also has a19v output for my laptop. It can be charged from the mains or from a 12v cigarette lighter.
Most Users Ever Online: 298
Currently Browsing this Page:
Paul B: 183
Johny London: 142
Our Nige: 110
Guest Posters: 71
Newest Members:SandyLochrie, lakeisharawson8, Stuart_2, StuartWeeks, MichelleBreeze, miquelbullard, archiemcdonald, DavidStone, DeanCowell, ecc
Administrators: Paul Smith: 1797