Charging bike-light batteries while driving?....
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  1. #1
    Riding towards Delmarva.
    Reputation: RedRex's Avatar
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    Charging bike-light batteries while driving?....

    On a multi day/night event next year, I'm wondering about using the cigarette lighter to charge my bike-light batteries during the day. The vehicle will be driving during this charging period.

    I've heard they make inverters for this sort of thing. Anyone know anything about such a set-up?

    I have various lights from Light-and-Motion and Performance.
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    "Anyone can ride fast downhill."
    me

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: wipeout's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedRex
    On a multi day/night event next year, I'm wondering about using the cigarette lighter to charge my bike-light batteries during the day. The vehicle will be driving during this charging period.

    I've heard they make inverters for this sort of thing. Anyone know anything about such a set-up?

    I have various lights from Light-and-Motion and Performance.
    I use these to charge my batteries, run a laptop, whatever:

    http://www.apc.com/products/family/index.cfm?id=9

    Works great for me!

  3. #3
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by wipeout
    I use these to charge my batteries, run a laptop, whatever:

    http://www.apc.com/products/family/index.cfm?id=9

    Works great for me!
    I use the same solution. As long as the cars running it won't be a problem. It might very well drain your battery if not running. In general, most American cars send current to the lighter when the car is off, most Japenese cars do not and I have no idea about European cars. I think my old Volkswagon did, but that was the 80's, things have likely changed.

    Scot
    Scot Gore, Minneapolis

  4. #4
    Big is relative
    Reputation: bigbill's Avatar
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    I have used my 500W inverter to charge my NR NiMH battery while driving. I don't know off the top of my head what the current draw would be on a non-running car battery, but I could number crunch it. I would just fail safe and do it while the engine runs. I have a smaller inverter that I keep in my computer bag when I travel. I believe it is 200W. FYI, Hawaiian Air and many United Airlines planes don't have adapter plugs. Delta is pretty good.
    Retired sailor

  5. #5
    Who needs a map?
    Reputation: nonsleepingjon's Avatar
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    Inverters are pretty handy - I've used mine to charge my cell phone, and on a road trip you can plug in your laptop with a gps and get a realtime plot of your route. (you could do that with one of those new-fangled gizmos too, but when all you got is a lap top and gps it works fine). You can't run high-draw devices (microwaves, heating elements, etc), but other than that they work great.

    I hardwired mine in to my truck. I ran a decent gauge automotive wire directly from the battery, and then put in a relay that is controlled by a separate circuit that is off when the ignition is off. That way, I don't have to worry about it being left on accidentally. It also looks nicer because it's under the seat and all the wires are hidden.
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