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V8 BJC
02-06-05, 07:54 PM
I want to use the digi camera at Le Mans and we have a portable hard drive to dump data from memory cards so loads of capacity. However, i have just thought of a problem - how am I going to recharge the batteries?

Anyone know if there are any gadgets / gizmo's that you can buy to get around this?

AndrewMarshall
02-06-05, 08:01 PM
is that the batteries on the camera or the hard drive? Get a cigarette lighter car charger - but which one depends on your battery voltage and amps (capacity) and then you'll need the special connector...not easy...sounds like a manufacturer specific item...

simon finlay
02-06-05, 08:05 PM
The best thing to get is a power invertor, plug into fag lighter or connect direct to battery and it converts 12v to 240v and you use your normal charger. You can get them from electrical shops, maybe Argos and I use one all the time to power chargers, laptops etc in my car, got mine from Maplin, cheers, Simon

Ragley
02-06-05, 08:09 PM
Hi Brian

How do you normally charge your digicam batteries. Do you have a cigarette lighter charger, or do you have a domestic 13 Amp plug charger? If it's a 13 Amp job, you can buy a 12V DC to 220V AC converter that plugs into a vehicles cigarette lighter off Ebay (http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=1498&item=5777537626&rd=1). If this link doesn't work, type the following number into Ebays search box (5777537626) Cobs are not known for having cig. lighters, but I'm sure a bit of rewiring wouldn't be difficult. By the way, I'm in Tech sales, and I use a converter every day to run my laptop from when on the road.

Dave R

Wilburn
02-06-05, 08:15 PM
Hi Brian,

Try Maplin (prices from 40)
http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?ModuleNo=36316&doy=2m6

Paul

V8 BJC
02-06-05, 09:04 PM
Hi Brian,

Try Maplin (prices from 40)
http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?ModuleNo=36316&doy=2m6

Paul


Paul, I was just looking at the one for 29.99. I think this will be OK..

Simon, is this the same as you have. How big are they? I do not have a lighter - can they all connect straight to the battery or do you need a specific type?

Sorry for all the silly questions.
Cheers

V8 BJC
02-06-05, 09:08 PM
Hi Brian

How do you normally charge your digicam batteries. Do you have a cigarette lighter charger, or do you have a domestic 13 Amp plug charger? If it's a 13 Amp job, you can buy a 12V DC to 220V AC converter that plugs into a vehicles cigarette lighter off Ebay (http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=1498&item=5777537626&rd=1). If this link doesn't work, type the following number into Ebays search box (5777537626) Cobs are not known for having cig. lighters, but I'm sure a bit of rewiring wouldn't be difficult. By the way, I'm in Tech sales, and I use a converter every day to run my laptop from when on the road.

Dave R


Hi Dave,
I charge them using a 13 amp plug charger and I dont have a lighter in the Cob. Ideally, I would like something that connects direct to the battery in the boot. Can you plug yours direct to the battery?

Cheers

Steve H
02-06-05, 09:55 PM
Brian,

I bought my inverter of ebay for 15 it has a plug for cigarette lighter and a plug with crocodile clips.

Steve

SimonP
02-06-05, 10:39 PM
I have an "accessory socket" (ie lighter socket that's not suitable for a lighter) in the front of the car, under the dash on the wiper motor cover plate. It has it's own fused permanent supply.
Last weekend I used this for the inverter, which powered the laptop etc.

I've also fitted one in the boot, which is controlled by a switch on the dash - the GD is pre-wired for the hardtop heated rear window and this was an ideal use for the circuit.
Last weekend I used this for the torch charger.

Maplin often have the small 150W inverter on offer for about 20.

If you have a boot mounted battery, just connect the socket to the battery via a fuse (usually 15A maximum).
Many sockets are supplied with a mounting bracket. I've fixed mine to one of the rear nudge bar mounting bolts.

Some inverters are supplied with a socket connected to a pair of crocodile clips, for when you don't have a socket in the car.
The larger inverters (over 400W) are usually supplied with a set of chunky croc. clip leads only, due to the high current they can draw. You don't need anything that big though - a 150W unit will be more than enough.

Just a hint - you may find that any adaptor, laptop power supply etc, will make more audible noise when run from an inverter. This is normal - the output of many small inverters is a square-wave rather than a sine-wave.

Simon.

Ragley
03-06-05, 06:44 AM
Hi Brian

I think Simon has said it all, and given good advice that you can work with. The items on Ebay, only one of which I linked to, have both cig lighter and croc clips, so the choice of Wattage, Price, and Type is over to you.

Dave R

V8 BJC
03-06-05, 07:42 AM
Thanks Guys, I will get one over the weekend.

dave.n
03-06-05, 08:17 AM
Hi Brian

A word of warning you must remember to unplug any type of apliance from either a power take off you have or direct contact to battery when starting a vehicle of any sort. There is a power serge protected or not can do serious damage to your apliance.
I speek from first hand experience, I completely fried a tester plugged into a cigarette lighter and had no come back because I had done this.
Otherwise go for it. :thumb:

V8 BJC
03-06-05, 12:15 PM
Hi Brian

A word of warning you must remember to unplug any type of apliance from either a power take off you have or direct contact to battery when starting a vehicle of any sort. There is a power serge protected or not can do serious damage to your apliance.
I speek from first hand experience, I completely fried a tester plugged into a cigarette lighter and had no come back because I had done this.
Otherwise go for it. :thumb:


Thanks for the advice Dave. Better make sure I do not start the car while Emma has a hair dryer plugged into it!!!:(

bc_suv
03-06-05, 12:29 PM
Hi Brian,

As long as Le Mans does not fall between the 11th - 25nd July I can lend you mine (I'll be in Cognac between those dates using it). It has a cigarette lighter adapter and leads for connecting direct to the battery and will power 300w.

Regards,

Brian C

Robin427
03-06-05, 07:53 PM
I bought my girlfriend a 256mb card for her digi camera and on normal sized photos (1024x768) it said it could hold about 600odd... how many are you planning to take? Let me know and I'll book the weekend off for the slideshow!!

V8 BJC
03-06-05, 09:11 PM
I bought my girlfriend a 256mb card for her digi camera and on normal sized photos (1024x768) it said it could hold about 600odd... how many are you planning to take? Let me know and I'll book the weekend off forwe the slideshow!!


We have two 256mb cards that hold 90 pics each at 5 mega pixels per image. The real issue for the space is that the camera takes good quality video clips. On the best setting, you get 10 mins on a 256mb card so we rotate the two cards and dump the stuff to the HDD which has inputs for the memory sticks. We got it for our honeymoon in Kenya where took almost 2gb of media. It is superb as long as you can keep thje batteries charged. We do have two of those but they run down in one day with extended use.

Are you back in the UK now?

Hows that car coming on. I must come and take a look.

Robin427
03-06-05, 09:20 PM
Are you back in the UK now?

Hows that car coming on. I must come and take a look.

I'm back in the UK, yes. Car was stagnating a bit as I was waiting for enough parts to enable me to drive it out of the garage to work on it further (garage is too cramped to even lie on the floor). They've since arrived and hoping to fit them later this week. Working early tomorrow but should be around in the afternoon if you want to pop by.

V8 BJC
03-06-05, 09:24 PM
I'm back in the UK, yes. Car was stagnating a bit as I was waiting for enough parts to enable me to drive it out of the garage to work on it further (garage is too cramped to even lie on the floor). They've since arrived and hoping to fit them later this week. Working early tomorrow but should be around in the afternoon if you want to pop by.


I have a few things to do tomorrow - will give you a call if all goes well and I get finished early afternoon. Whats your number?

wilf
04-06-05, 11:33 AM
A further word of warning:

Any appliance which draws anything like the rated power of the inverters that have been discussed here is going to drain the battery at 25 Amps plus. That is Amps = Watts/Volts.

I suspect that camera battery chargers won't draw anything like 300W, but just remember, that a 240V anything plugged into the inverter, will draw 20 times it's normal AC mains current from the battery, plus any losses within the inverter.

So what does this mean?

1: Make sure that any wiring between your connection point and the battery is rated to suit. DANGER! FIRE RISK!

2: Keep an eye on the battery charge - it doesn't take too long at 20A plus drain to flatten one.

3: Don't plug anything into the AC side of the invertor without thinking about the current drain on the DC side.

I would hate to hear about a Cob going up in flames on the Le Mans campsite because of this.

V8 BJC
04-06-05, 02:15 PM
Firstly, big thanks to the other Brian C for the offer of lending me your inverter. Very kind of you but I was impressed by these little devices and went out to get one today. I have purchased a SkyTronic Soft Start 300w inverter and intend to connect it straght to the battery using the supplied croc clips.

Hopwever, I have just read Wilf's post and am now a bit concerned. I only really want it for the digi camera and the adapter qutoes the following.

AC in - 100-240v 60/60hz 11w 0.16-0.09A 16-22VA
DC out - 4.2v 1.5a

We will probably only use it 2 or three times for an hour at at time with the engine off.

Will this be OK? :confused:

Should I run the car for a while afterwards to recharge the battery ?

I was going to connect it up and give it a try but don't fancy burning the garage down :o

Brian C

cobraite
04-06-05, 04:04 PM
looks like your invertor has a warning alarm if the battery drops below 10.5v so you'll know if its sapping your battery too much. Mind you not sure if you can start your car with only 10.5v? Andrew

SMILEY
04-06-05, 05:14 PM
I ran an inverter directly from the battery on my Cobra for most of the weekend at Elvington,this was to charge up the lamp we used for camping.There was no problem with the battery draining as battery chargers take little load and I believe inverters have a cut off if the battery starts to get low.They are a handy bit of kit.
Miles

wilf
05-06-05, 02:52 PM
Brian - as I suggested, your 11Watt battery charger should pose no problems - it is inherently a low power device, and even on the 12V battery side of the inverter, should not be pulling more than one Amp roughly.

I was more concerned about folks running higher power devices, or strings of 60W light bulbs!