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Powering a laptop ...

  • tobixen Wednesday, July 6, 2011 8:04 PM Reply
    Looking around at the prices/ratings/reviews/capacity of batteries, I ended up ordering five of those two-packs. Purpose: cheap backup power for my laptop. Idea: Connect 9 of those batteries externally to the laptop, in a 11.1V configuration, and then plug it into the ordinary power connection (the one which typically should get 19.5V). Would it work or not?

    I was doing this successfully with several laptops some 8-12 years ago using car batteries ... the laptop would work, just not charge the internal battery, and that's anyway perfect. Back then the common input voltage was around 13-15v - nowadays it's 18-20v.

    Well, once I destroyed a laptop - I took out the internal battery while (my wife was) driving - I suppose the noise from the sparks was too brutal for it, the laptop died immediately. That wouldn't be a problem when connecting it to batteries I suppose.

    Eventually, I do have adapters for using laptops in cars ... it would probably work ... it just sounds very wasteful to convert the battery voltage from 11.1v -> 20v and then spending half of the energy charging a 11.1v battery ...

    FWIW, I bought some of sku.26112 as well, the protection circuitry ;-)
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  • desolder Top 10 Forum Poster Thursday, July 7, 2011 5:13 PM Reply
    11.1V is probably to low a voltage if your laptop is expecting 19.5V. You might need to go with a 5S configuration, which will give you 21V at full charge.

    The other issue is that some laptop power supplies have a third pin, which carries some sort of communication signal and may prevent the laptop from drawing power if the signal isn't there (e.g. Dell).
    What's up with the scrubbed LED driver IC markings?
    What are they trying to hide?

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  • nginx Sunday, May 6, 2012 12:56 AM Reply
    I believe Dell laptops have a setting in the BIOS which disables charging the internal battery but allows the laptop to power itself from a generic charger.

    This 'communication signal' thingy is apparently some safety feature to ensure a compatible charging adapter is plugged in but we all know better don't we? Dell just wants us to buy a Dell charger and not some 3rd party charger.
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  • tobixen Sunday, May 6, 2012 4:10 AM Reply
    EngineX wrote:

    > This 'communication signal' thingy is apparently some safety feature to ensure a compatible
    > charging adapter is plugged in but we all know better don't we? Dell just wants us to buy a
    > Dell charger and not some 3rd party charger.

    I would believe so. And I think it's the same with HP. I got a HP laptop from work but with the wrong charger. Power specifications and physical dimensions were exactly the same as the Dell ... but no way it would work out to charge the HP with the Dell adaptor. The LEDs at the HP were signalling madly at me ... "we don't like this charger".
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  • nginx Sunday, May 6, 2012 5:29 AM Reply
    Is this problem prevalent in all HP Pavillion models? I have a HP laptop and would have liked to test it but all I have is a Sony Vaio charger and it has a 6.3mm plug which is incompatible with HP.
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