# macbook in the car

Posted:
edited January 2014
Ok, so I've been working on this little project but I can't seem to find the answers to my questions.

Macbook Core Due 2.0

1. Is it possible to run a macbook straight from the car battery?

-Output voltage of internal battery is 10.7v

-As I believe the higher the voltage the less amperage it would need to draw to achieve the same wattage draw (v*a=w)=(v/w=a)

2.Would I need to use some sort of conditioner (capacitor in line)

- Still have a 1 Farad cap from my car stereo youth (ok still there)

Posts: 45member
Quote:
Originally Posted by m2002brian

Ok, so I've been working on this little project but I can't seem to find the answers to my questions.

Macbook Core Due 2.0

1. Is it possible to run a macbook straight from the car battery?

-Output voltage of internal battery is 10.7v

-As I believe the higher the voltage the less amperage it would need to draw to achieve the same wattage draw (v*a=w)=(v/w=a)

2.Would I need to use some sort of conditioner (capacitor in line)

- Still have a 1 Farad cap from my car stereo youth (ok still there)

i can't really answer your question, but i do have to point out something. you're trying to simulate the output voltage of the battery instead of the wall outlet adapter. two VERY different things.

you'd have to run the power directly to the battery connector pins within the notebook (the way you're trying to do it), because the MagSafe power connector runs a completely different and higher voltage.
Posts: 258member
Yes I understand what you're saying BUT the airline adapter outputs 12v thus not allowing the battery to charge. Output voltage of wall adapter is 17v (I tested) at ~3.4 amps. So... IF the airline works to operate only comp at 12 and wall charges and powers at 17, my brain tells me the extra 5v is for charging while operating. I guess a good test would to measure output voltage of wall adapter with no battery in MacBook. I did test wall adapter not connected. Came out to 7v. Maybe I'll just try it. Still think the only issue really is voltage regulation. Could always opt for the dell 12v 90w to 17v car adapter. Pretty sure it would work. Was hoping one could verify before I blow it up and have to go get a new mini
Posts: 7,311member
Quote:
Originally Posted by m2002brian

my brain tells me the extra 5v is for charging while operating.

The power systems in these computers have DC-DC converters. I don't know what the dropout voltage is for the converter on the magsafe input. It could very well be in the 12V range. You need to consider power instead of voltage and current independently.
Posts: 14,217moderator
You could always buy a DC-AC inverter:

http://caraudio.avdeals.com/powerinverters/jp30.htm

I've run computers from these before and it's very easy to hook up. You basically just attach it to the battery and plug in your normal AC power supply.

I think I got a few hours of use from a car battery running an iMac. A Mini uses about 0.5kWh so a car battery would run it for maybe 8-10 hours.