Install a DC-to-AC converter in a car?
May 19, 2005
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I carry a lot of portable devices in my car. Is it logical or realistic to equip my car with a DC-to-AC converter for use with battery chargers? There are cigarette-lighter converters available, but they produce a tangle of cords on the dash/console.
Pat Lewis McDowell,
| |I feel your pain; snarling wires all over my car's interior drive me nuts.
But charging batteries in your car doesn't strike me as very elegant. You would be going from DC to AC to DC again in this scenario, with inefficiency at each conversion. However, if you really want to do this, the device you want is called an inverter, not a converter. Look for one made by a company such as Tripplite, which has a lot of experience in things like this. It makes a wide range of inverters
. You might also keep an eye open for the coming breed of in-car inductive charging pads, such as these examples from Splashpower
. Or, if you're in the market for a new pickup, consider a GMC Sierra Hybrid
with a built-in 120V AC system.
is in charge of telling it like it is. He has no patience for technology that doesn't work. In his wake, you'll find a trail of humiliated customer support techs, embarrassed product designers, and flustered CEOs. But that's OK, because you the consumer win in the end. Follow his adventures each week in CNET's Driving It column.