Laptop use and truck batteries

Discussion in 'Trucking Electronics, Gadgets and Software Forum' started by 4wayflashers, Sep 11, 2022.

  1. 4wayflashers

    4wayflashers Heavy Load Member

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    Im planning to get a new laptop for gaming and as wondering how much power these puppies draw from the truck batteries. My truck has the EPU and I need to run the truck to use the microwave or air fryer. It does not need to be running to use coffee maker.

    I cant find the specs on how much wattages a powerful laptop draws so was thinking maybe some of you guys have first hand experience using a gaming laptop while shut down for a break. Thanks
     
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  3. 86scotty

    86scotty Road Train Member

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    Very little power use from a laptop typically but gaming ones use more, check this out below. Your microwave and coffee pot use from 700 on the very low end to about 1500 or more for an air fryer or coffee pot but they don't do it steadily of course. If you're talking about using a laptop for a few hours a night I wouldn't think you would impact your batteries much at all.

    How Many Watts Does A Laptop Use? [Actual Usage & Costs Revealed - 1,084 Studied]
     
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  4. Six9GS

    Six9GS Road Train Member

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    Yeah, a laptop typically doesn't use enough power to even be concerned about. Perhaps if you had a mondo gaming PC, with all the attachments and displays, it 'might' be enough power draw to consider. But, probably still not.
     
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  5. tscottme

    tscottme Road Train Member

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    The wall wart would be required to list the watts and amps. On one side of the power brick must be a data sticker, engraving, or plate that indicates how many volts, amps and or watts it inputs and outputs. Watts are simply the voltage multiplied by the amps. My base-level laptops use 65 watts or 90 watts. I'm guessing even the most extreme laptop would use 200 watts, probably less. One thing I learned the hard way, while your laptop will be safe using any old power inverter in the truck, your laptop's power brick adapter will get very hot if your truck inverter is not "pure sine-wave". That means the truck inverter provides the identical quality of power as you would have at home or in an office. cheaper power inverters just rapidly switch the power on and off and that roughly simulates a sine-wave. Pure sine-wave is a smooth and regular curve of power. That is what your laptop's power brick expects. I nearly melted 2 OEM laptop power bricks by normal use in the truck. They way you can tell if your truck's power inverter is pure sine-wave, if you have no documentation, is our laptop power bricks will get very warm and stay very warm to hot while your laptop is in use and connected to the laptop power adapter. What I did to extend the life of my abused power adapter was use my laptop on its internal battery, with the power adapter not connected to the laptop. I would only use the laptop power adapter when the laptop was off to recharge the internal battery. For years I thought the people saying "I only use a pure sine-wave power inverter" were just virtue signaling or being snobbish. For powering computer equipment in the truck, I would definitely suggest you only power them with a pure sine-wave inverter. Since your laptop is likely to need well under 300 watts of power, you can probably get buy with a dedicated 12 volt plug-in inverter just to power your laptop power adapter. Under no circumstance would I run a laptop with its battery removed and powered directly from the laptop power adapter unless it is ONLY plugged into a pure sinewave inverter. If you know your truck has a pure sine-wave inverter I would use it just as if you were at home and plugged in. PSW inverter are a lot more common now and they usually cost pretty close to the non PSW inverter.
     
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  6. Moose1958

    Moose1958 Road Train Member

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    I never had an issue with this. I used a laptop for close to 8 years and a printer/scanner for almost as long. My first laptop was a Compaq I used for almost a year and an Acer laptop for the rest of the time. The only reason I changed was I gave the Compaq to my niece. Your story is not the first time I have heard this. Another driver I know said he had an issue as well. All I know is I did not have an issue.
     
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  7. Moose1958

    Moose1958 Road Train Member

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    As far as power goes. This is a screenshot from my UPS app that shows the load on my UPS. I have my desktop computer along with 2 monitors and my printer on it. Then I have my iPad running off it because I am watching a football game on it. I am not gaming I know.

    [​IMG]
     
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  8. Ridgeline

    Ridgeline Road Train Member

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  9. zaroba

    zaroba Heavy Load Member

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    Speaking from experience, leaving my laptop (Predator Helios 700) turned on and open overnight so it can update stuff via free wifi, after just 12 hours the truck struggled to start (no apu/epu).

    Comparatively, laptop off, truck can go +30 hours with just my fridge and chest freezer running.

    So, unless doing something like my first example, there's not much to worry about. Should be fine for a few hours of gaming while on a dock or before going to bed. For best results test at a Loves with a shop, they will jumpstart you for free when a mechanic is available if you are in the lot. No clue if TA does that or if independent places with shops will.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2022
  10. Ridgeline

    Ridgeline Road Train Member

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    why don't you turn off the automatic update instead of damaging your batteries?
     
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