Monday, July 20, 2009

Fire Up the DC-to-AC Inverter

I recently took a family road trip and wanted a way to let my kids watch movies on DVD in the back seat. An old laptop makes a nice low cost DVD player, but the batteries are only good for a couple hours which doesn't cut it. We've all seen auto power adaptors, but with Apple's changing connectors and the need to plug-in additional devices, these can get expensive and awkward to deal with.

An elegant solution is a DC-to-AC inverter. I found a $40 inverter (Wagan Tech) that's compact, quiet, delivers 400 watts (or 150 from a cigarette lighter socket), and includes two AC receptacles that let you to plug-in whatever you want. This kept the laptop running easily, while charging a second small device as needed (Nintendo DS, cell phone, and so forth). I don't know why I didn't think of this sooner.