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12 volt inverter for cell phone charging

This is a discussion on 12 volt inverter for cell phone charging within the Talk Car forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. My son just bought me a cell phone. The house charger uses about 125 watts. Can I use it in


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Old 02-27-2009, 07:41 PM   #1
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My son just bought me a cell phone. The house charger uses about 125 watts. Can I use it in the car with an inverter of 150 watts or better without harming the car or the phone? I am 73 years old and new to the forum. My question is probably simple in nature, but thanks in advance for helping.
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Old 03-02-2009, 07:03 PM   #2
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Hi Catch and welcome to TSF

Congratulations on the age....some of us here are near your age.

Cell phones use very little power while charging. They sell adapters that plug into the cigarette lighter hole that will charge your cell phone. Just take your phone into any store that sell phones and they will have an adapter.

It is ok to leave it plugged in if you like. Phones turn theirselves off when fully charged, so no drain on your car battery after that point.

I have one that I use for emergencies and leave it in the vehicle. I like the regular phones better while at home.

Have a nice day,
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Old 03-03-2009, 01:44 PM   #3
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Thanks Mack1. I don't think I asked my question properly. I wanted to get an adaptor but they wanted $29.95 for it (which I didn't have) I have, however, an inverter that will plug into my car lighter recepticle. The inverter puts out 150 watts. I tested the car phone charger for use in the house and it only read 125.5 watts. My question is can I avoid the use of the $29.95 adaptor by using the inverter in the car and plugging in the house charger? Another way of saying it will the adaptor use any less battery power than the inverter with the house charger plugged into it? Perhaps I did better with the question this time. Anyway thanks for your prompt help....Catch
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Old 03-03-2009, 07:48 PM   #4
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Hi Catch,

I have a Motorola cell phone. The wall socket charger puts out 5 volts DC at .55 amperes. Watts is volts times amperes, thus, my unit puts out 2.75 watts max. You are really charging a small battery inside the cell phone. The car has 12 volts, so the cigarette lighter adapter simply reduces the 12 volts to 5 volts and feeds my cell phone in the car. Remember I said that you could leave them plugged in without draining the car battery.

An inverter is only needed if you need larger than 12 volts (not the case with cell phones). If you have a car adapter that will reduce 12 volts to 5, then the only problem will be to find a connector that will fit into your cell phone and getting it wired up. Those connectors are very small and would be hard to wire up.

I would recommend that you try a different place to get the adapter. Should be able to find one for about $10. Try Radio Shack, Wall Mart, Kmart, etc. Just show them your phone and ask them if they have a car adapter for it. Better yet, just call them up and tell them what you want and see what they have to say.

I just re-read your last post and I now get the picture. The answer is yes, you could use your car inverter that puts out 120 volts and plug your home cell phone charger into it. An inverter to charge a cell phone battery is Big Time Overkill. I wouldn't leave an inverter running overnight unattended. Inverters are not that efficient and would probably run the car battery down if left on overnight. The cell phone wouldn't, as it needs very little to charge. Try to get the regular cigerette lighter plugin charger for an affordable price. Good thinking on the inverter though.

Very best regards,
Mack1
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