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Cigarette lighter = 12 volt receptacle?

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Cigarette lighter = 12 volt receptacle?

Unread postby crazyaboutcampin on Sun May 18, 2008 4:10 pm

Electronically challenged here. I heard that a cigarette lighter plug is of ~less quality~ (?) a power source than a regular 12 volt receptacle and should not be used for inverters, laptops, etc. I wanted to use my laptop in my Mazda but it only has a cigarette lighter plug. Is this true, and if so, is there a way around it? Thanks
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Re: Cigarette lighter = 12 volt receptacle?

Unread postby Frank Henn on Sun May 18, 2008 4:47 pm

Generally you can use your lighter as plug keep in mind, that when you turn off the ignition than you have kill \ed this source of power until you turn the car back on. if you have a power point in the unit, it is alive at all times. These are a source of blown fuses, we have found all kinds of coins in both places. on some cars and trucks these will effect the computer systems. is not life wonderful :lol: :lol:
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Re: Cigarette lighter = 12 volt receptacle?

Unread postby skipnchar on Sun May 18, 2008 7:06 pm

The only way I can think of th at would make it inferrior might be the size of the wire going TO the plug. Most cigarette lighters are wired for a maximum of around 200 watts. I'd be very surprised if you'd find any laptop that used that much power. If you need more change the fuse and run a heavier wire size to the outlet and it should work just fine.
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Re: Cigarette lighter = 12 volt receptacle?

Unread postby jp rver on Sun May 18, 2008 7:37 pm

That's a first for me. Back in the old days, all there was in most cars was a cigarette lighter plug. There was no special power outlet, unless you added one yourself. I think you should be fine using the lighter outlet. JMHO of course, take it for what it's worth! :mrgreen:
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Re: Cigarette lighter = 12 volt receptacle?

Unread postby PrivatePilot on Sun May 18, 2008 7:51 pm

They're the same thing for the most part except (as someone already mentioned) the "real" cigarette lighter is switched with the ignition on *some* cars, whereas the power outlets are typically always on.

The only thing that would make the real cigarette lighter inferior is the possibility of the fact that it could be dirty - anyone who actually uses the cigarette lighter for it's intended purpose (does anyone actually use those anymore?) will find that the lighter socket can collect ash and such - making the connection for something plugged into it perhaps less ideal because of the dirt.

Otherwise, for the most part, feel free to use whatever one floats you boat.
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