Author Options:

Electronics and Wiring for car lighter receptacle Answered

Hello Everyone,

     I hope there is someone who can really help me.  I LLLLOOOOVVVVEEEE trying to figure out and/or repurposing electronic devices.
However, I have no studies or text-book knowledge of resistors, etc.  So I am beckoning the help of you experts out there.

     So I have this tiny laptop that is 12v 3amp, 36w.  Okay, so I know this may be a super stupid question, but I've got to ask it anyway.  If my lighter plug in my car is 12v 10amp, can i plug my little laptop into it safely?  I am actually using it with a webcam to make a backup camera.

     Second question.  How could I make an adapter that would plug into the lighter receptacle and connect to my laptop.  I have a lighter usb adapter, that is 2.0amps.  So is there a way that i could safely modify it and my current laptop plug so i can plug in my laptop to the lighter receptacle.

     Oh, i must add that I know i could go out and purchase some sort of inverter or what-have-you, but I won't learn anything and the whole point of this is to be able to make it myself  (with some help of course) and learn something along the way.

Many thanks in advance for anyone who can help me out.

I hope someone can really help me with this.



1 year ago

The laptop usually requires a very stable and well filtered DC to operate without problems or even damage.
You can get stabilsed 12V car supplies as used for so called "Car PC" projects.
Basically a little inverter that first produces a higher than 12V AC voltage that is then "transformed" and filtered to 12V.
So it does not matter if your alternator produces close to 14V or when you have all lights on at night you only get below 12V - the output will always be a stable 12V.
Wiring is straight forward too:
Center on the lighter socket is positive, outside is negative/ground.
On the laptop should be a mark telling that the center of the plug is positive as well.
So you only need to measure on which wire (when cut) you have the inside and outside of the plug.
Bewteen the two you wire the power supply/inverter - 12V is positive, 0 or - is ground but should come with clear instructions on how to connect.