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19 Volt vs 20 volt Power Adapter


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#1
brycrip

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Hi Geeks: I've got a 20v DC to DC Power Adapter (cigarette lighter plug-in) from an old Dell. I want to use it for my Acer Notepad which is 19V. Any problem with this after I change the plug at the computer end? Thanx...
Bry
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#2
Kemasa

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It really depends on whether the new computer can deal with a slightly higher voltage. You might be able to get away with it, but it is a bad idea since the device is designed to work at a certain voltage. The tolerance might be enough that no great harm occurs, or it could cause damage to the computer.

The specs on the computer might say what voltage range is acceptable.
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#3
brycrip

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Thanks, Nobody... I will check the specs on the computer and see if I can get further information.
Bry
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#4
Brazened

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They usually have a range they can work with but more important is the polarity and the amperage.
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#5
Kemasa

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Sorry, but the voltage is very important. Some power supplies have an AC output instead of DC. This means that all aspects are important.

The amperage of a power supply is the max rating, which if it is too low for a computer can be a problem, but it is also possible that the power supply was designed for the load of the device, which can be an issue if used with another device.

The polarity is critical.
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#6
Wolfeymole

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Hey Kemasa

Just out of curiosity for the old Wolf can you point out a laptop adapter or All In One pc adapter that offers an AC output please.

Wolfey
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#7
Kemasa

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Just out of curiosity for the old Wolf can you point out a laptop adapter or All In One pc adapter that offers an AC output please.


I was mentioning that in the generic sense and that some devices do, but the bottom line is that you need to ensure that you use a proper power supply and to claim that the current rating on the power supply is more important than the voltage is wrong. You don't want a person looking at a power supply and seeing that the voltage matches, but have it turn out that the output is AC instead of DC. Clearly, the polarity is very important.
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#8
Wolfeymole

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Hello Brycrip

You may wish to consider the link below to be kind of relevant to your question.

http://www.geekstogo...tor-desktop-pc/
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#9
brycrip

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Thanks everyone for this information. I have been trying to find specific information on my Acer Aspire One D257 as to power range but nothing so far. Just advertising hype. If I just "wing-it" what is the worse that can happen... blow a fuse? Or do I face total melt-down?

Best...
Bry
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#10
Kemasa

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It is hard to say. It is possible to have a total meltdown, but since it is 1v difference, I suspect that the tolerance is enough to deal with it, but it is a gamble.
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#11
brycrip

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Yikes, Nobody... not much of a gambler, here. And if the Acer goes poof, it will be hard to fix in this country. I've checked polarity with the multi-meter and that isn't a problem. Any idea what would happen if I just plugged in and, without booting up, charged my battery?

Bry
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#12
Kemasa

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It could fry the charging circuit, which is most likely on the main board, rendering it unusable, or it could work without a problem. It is a gamble and I know how I would bet, but just the same, I don't know that personally I would do it unless it was part of a bet to determine what would actually happen.

The bottom line question is it really worth the cost savings to not buy a new power supply? If you gamble and lose, then you have to buy a whole new computer. If you win, then you save a few dollars, but also realize that failure does mean instant failure. It could work for some period of time, then stop working (slowly overheating until it fails).

Also, if someone tells you can do it and then you do it and it fails, then you might blame that person or this site, even though it is really only your call due to the opinion of others. This makes it best to not try it.
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#13
brycrip

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Thanks, Nobody... Good advice and I'll heed it. I live in a poor Third World country and can't buy the Power Adapter I need. Like everything else here, you got to cobble things together to get by... be it a motorcycle
or a computer.

Thanks again... been a great help!

Bry
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