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Airplane Power Outlets  
User currently offlineLonghornmaniac From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 3355 posts, RR: 45
Posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 6947 times:

For those of you that travel frequently, what sort of equipment/adapters do you use to power your laptops into a DC (cigarette) outlet? I've tried a power inverter with no real luck (i.e. it doesn't charge), is there some sort of adapter? If so, where can I find one?

Thanks in advance!

Cheers,
Cameron

13 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently onlineGoldenshield From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 6118 posts, RR: 14
Reply 1, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 6921 times:

Usually, with a cigarette lighter, there is enough power to power the device, but it's onlt enough to power the device itself, because the charging system will demand a signifigant draw itself. Most all laptops will be able shut down the charging system if they are not receiving enough power to do so. My laptop even displays a warning on boot that the charging system is deactivated.

As far as adapters, check with your laptop's manufacturer for what they recommend. Many manufacturers even produce their own travel kit.



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User currently offlineAirbazar From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 8657 posts, RR: 10
Reply 2, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 6703 times:



Quoting Longhornmaniac (Thread starter):
For those of you that travel frequently, what sort of equipment/adapters do you use to power your laptops into a DC (cigarette) outlet?

Maybe I'm missing something obvious but I fail to see what a cigarette lighter outlet has to do with airplane power outlets. The airplane power outlets that I've used are no different then the one I have at home. I just plug in the power cord without any adapter, just like I would do at home or at the office and it works.


User currently onlineGoldenshield From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 6118 posts, RR: 14
Reply 3, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 6667 times:



Quoting Airbazar (Reply 2):
Maybe I'm missing something obvious but I fail to see what a cigarette lighter outlet has to do with airplane power outlets.

Google reveals all:

http://www.seatguru.com/articles/in-seat_laptop_power.php



Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.
User currently offlineBorism From Estonia, joined Oct 2006, 431 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 6606 times:

I love Kensington ultra-portable adapters - they have "smart plugs system" which you can use with pretty much any device and any input. Power available from aircraft seat outlet is limited for obvious reasons though, so don't be surprised if it's not enough for simultaneous use and charging with newer power-hungry laptops.

User currently offlineIAHFLYR From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 4790 posts, RR: 22
Reply 5, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 6598 times:



Quoting Borism (Reply 4):
Power available from aircraft seat outlet is limited for obvious reasons though, so don't be surprised if it's not enough for simultaneous use and charging with newer power-hungry laptops.

When on an airplane which doesn't have a regular power plug I use an adapter from EmPower that CO recommends which does power and charge the battery of my laptop just fine. Thankfully, most of the CO aircraft you won't need any adapter.



Any views shared are strictly my own and do not a represent those of any former employer.
User currently offlineRB211TriStar From United States of America, joined May 2007, 185 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 23 hours ago) and read 6237 times:

Does anyone sell an EmPower adapter that goes right from the seat plug to USB? I think I look like an amateur when I have to pull out the laptop to charge the iPod on long flights... and then eventually use EmPower to charge the laptop to charge the iPod. I'm ready tyo give up and buy a battery extender from Brookstone.

 white 


User currently offlineDeltAirlines From United States of America, joined May 1999, 8913 posts, RR: 12
Reply 7, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 23 hours ago) and read 6186 times:



Quoting Airbazar (Reply 2):
Maybe I'm missing something obvious but I fail to see what a cigarette lighter outlet has to do with airplane power outlets. The airplane power outlets that I've used are no different then the one I have at home. I just plug in the power cord without any adapter, just like I would do at home or at the office and it works.

AA (which seems to be the OP's primary carrier) has predominantly DC-power on its fleet, unlike most airlines that started out with EmPower and are now moving towards AC power.

As for the question, the iGo juice that I used to use for Empower had a DC power adapter as well that I used on several AA Super 80 flights without a problem.


User currently offlineBorism From Estonia, joined Oct 2006, 431 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 23 hours ago) and read 6050 times:



Quoting RB211TriStar (Reply 6):
Does anyone sell an EmPower adapter that goes right from the seat plug to USB?



Quoting Borism (Reply 4):
Kensington ultra-portable adapters - they have "smart plugs system" which you can use with pretty much any device and any input.

Here's a link: http://us.kensington.com/html/13874.html

There was also dc-only version which is cheaper and truly ultra-portable.


User currently offlineRB211TriStar From United States of America, joined May 2007, 185 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 17 hours ago) and read 5211 times:



Quoting Borism (Reply 8):

Here's a link: http://us.kensington.com/html/13874.html

There was also dc-only version which is cheaper and truly ultra-portable.

Oh thanks... in all my searches I hadn't come across that one.


User currently offlineJonathan-l From France, joined Mar 2002, 507 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 5077 times:



Quoting DeltAirlines (Reply 7):
AA (which seems to be the OP's primary carrier) has predominantly DC-power on its fleet, unlike most airlines that started out with EmPower and are now moving towards AC power.

Why has AA selected to do this?
I was on a fairly recent 777 and that's what they had. The FA tried to sell me a $120 adapter!


User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21582 posts, RR: 59
Reply 11, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 5050 times:



Quoting RB211TriStar (Reply 6):
Does anyone sell an EmPower adapter that goes right from the seat plug to USB? I think I look like an amateur when I have to pull out the laptop to charge the iPod on long flights... and then eventually use EmPower to charge the laptop to charge the iPod. I'm ready tyo give up and buy a battery extender from Brookstone.

iGo sells all sorts of things. They have iPod/USB charger cables, cell phone charger cables, etc. They have power plugs for most major windows laptop brands including powerbook/iBook cables too, but now don't offer them for macbook do to the magsafe connector. Apple now makes their own magsafe to empower/cig lighter adapter (not made to work in cars). So basically, iGo has you covered.

www.igo.com

most airlines are moving to 115V power AC, but many, many still have empower/cigarette lighter 14V DC.

Quoting Jonathan-l (Reply 10):
Why has AA selected to do this?

Because they were some of the first to put power on, and the system at the time was the cigarette style plug with 14V. It was the most compatible with the limited number of portable device adapters in the wild.

But since then, 115V systems became available for aircraft seats, and laptops became too power hungry to work off of the DC systems in many aircraft. So new planes and new retrofits generally have the 115V.

For CO, for example, they had the empower system installed, but are replacing it with 115V when they install AVOD in the widebodies. So now all 777s are 115V AC, and the 764 will be next to switch. All narrowbodies have 115V or will at CO.



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineBorism From Estonia, joined Oct 2006, 431 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 10 hours ago) and read 5026 times:

I've been on AA 738's year and a half ago and they all had AC outlets at least in front up to the middle. Seemed very bulky setup to me, but it's so much more useful to everyone than EmPower or Cig. lighter sockets. Isn't it a bit heavy though, seems like they need to install inverter for every outlet? Doesn't seem to be very practical to carry this additional weight while there are only handful of people using this on each flight. Perhaps inflight WiFi will change and offset this soon, but I see no business rationale for this right now.

User currently offlineJonathan-l From France, joined Mar 2002, 507 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 7 hours ago) and read 4954 times:



Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 11):
Because they were some of the first to put power on, and the system at the time was the cigarette style plug with 14V. It was the most compatible with the limited number of portable device adapters in the wild.

But since then, 115V systems became available for aircraft seats, and laptops became too power hungry to work off of the DC systems in many aircraft. So new planes and new retrofits generally have the 115V

Thanks for the explanation.
I don't know if it would make business sense for AA to lend/rent the adapters during flight but as I am a non-frequent traveller with AA, I was taken by surprise and not willing to buy the adapter.


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