1. You may have noticed things look a little different around here - we've switched to a new platform (XenForo) and have some new forum styles and features. This how-to guide will help you find your way around. If you find anything that looks strange, post it in this thread.

Toughbook Power Supply

Discussion in 'Panasonic' started by Zippy-Man, Nov 21, 2008.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Zippy-Man

    Zippy-Man Notebook Evangelist

    Reputations:
    205
    Messages:
    557
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Before I go and plug things into where they are not supposed to be, I want to ask.

    The CF-30 AC adapter shows 15.6v @ 5a
    The CF-29 AC adapter shows 15.6v @ 5a
    The CF-18 AC adapter shows 15.6v @ 5a


    Are all these interchangeable?

    It looks like the CF-30 AC adapter will fit into a CF-29 and CF-18 but i have not tried yet. After reading about a cf-28 that died from plugging in the wrong ac adapter i am hesitant to try until i know.


    Thanks,
    James
     
  2. Alex

    Alex Super Moderator

    Reputations:
    4,077
    Messages:
    4,297
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Yes they will all work
    I mix them up all the time
    No problems
    The largest amp that I have is 8.0 amp
    And I run all my toughbooks on a lind 5.0 amp
    The standard amp output on the 18/19 is less than 4 amps


    Alex
     
  3. capt.dogfish

    capt.dogfish The Curmudgeon

    Reputations:
    893
    Messages:
    2,302
    Likes Received:
    39
    Trophy Points:
    66
    James,
    Volts are volts, and all batteries require input of more than their rated voltage to accept a charge. IE, your car battery is 12v, but your alternator puts out something like 13.5-14v to be able to push a charge into your battery. Too many volts can cause a battery to over heat. Amps are a measure of the amount of current a power supply, alternator, wire, etc can supply or carry. A 60 amp alternator is adequate for most cars, but add a whole bunch of power hungry accessories, and you will need to get a bigger alternator to meet the demand. Same volts more current draw=more amps. Batteries, light bulbs, motors, etc are self limiting in their current draw, they take what they need.
    I have Toughbook power supplies from 2.5 to 8 amp ratings,all the same volts. My 2.5 amp supply is intended to operate my CF-VDW07 remote display, it will operate the display and slowly charge the tiny battery. It will, albeit slowly, charge a CF-28, and would charge my CF-30 if the connector would fit. The higher amp chargers are for the big Toughbooks and will charge and operate them at the same time. If I tried to use the little one on the CF-30 it would surely overheat badly, not able to supply as many amps as the system is calling for. If I plug the 8amp charger into the CF-VDW07 it will loaf along happily as the unit is only capable of drawing a fraction of its amp rating. In short, within reason, you can't "over amp" a Toughbook, but you can "under amp" a power supply. The problem discussed in inbredmonkey's thread is too many volts, a completely different animal. Circuits, motors, lightbulbs, etc are NOT self limiting when it comes to volts. Put a 12v head light into a 24v truck, and you'll see what I mean.
    I seem to have run on a bit, and this is not the whole story, but functionally, this is the answer to your question.
    CAP
     
  4. Toyo

    Toyo Notebook Deity

    Reputations:
    266
    Messages:
    1,157
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    56
    Speaking of power supplies. I am a huge fan of Lind. I just recieved there AC/DC adapter yesterday. Now I can run, charge my toughbook with either A/C or D/C from the same unit. Pretty neat stuff.
     
  5. Toyo

    Toyo Notebook Deity

    Reputations:
    266
    Messages:
    1,157
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    56
    Hey Cap, I have a question for ya.... What if you were to use a charger that had the correct tip, same output amperage, but the voltage output is 18.0 instead of the required 15.6. Would you do harm using that one?
     
  6. capt.dogfish

    capt.dogfish The Curmudgeon

    Reputations:
    893
    Messages:
    2,302
    Likes Received:
    39
    Trophy Points:
    66
    Toyo,
    I'm not sure. It's only 16% more volts and shouldn't be a problem. BUT, I haven't seen a final answer from Inbredmonkey and his power supply was 22% more volts. If we were talking big wires and big batteries I'd say it would be no problem, but I don't know how the 15.6v gets dropped to whatever the Toughbook battery gets fed inside the computer. My rant was very general and meant to mostly discuss amps. Any increase in voltage over OEM 15.6v will probably result in more heat, 16v is only a 2% increase and should have minimal effect on the system. DON'T plug anything into your Toughbook that you're not sure of using me as the last word. Gravitar and I have been using the Sony 16v adapters with no problem, that's anecdotal, not based on science.
    The Lind stuff is the best! All of mine put out 15v to further confuse the issue.
    Be careful, CAP
     
  7. gravitar

    gravitar Notebook Deity

    Reputations:
    120
    Messages:
    976
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    30
    Agreed! The Lind adapters are way overbuilt and IMHO are what Panasonic should have been shipping with the toughbooks in the first place.
     
  8. canuckcam

    canuckcam Notebook Evangelist

    Reputations:
    144
    Messages:
    498
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Anyone know what kind of regulating/filtering the CF-29s do with the power input? **cough schematics cough** I realize most would probably be done by the (expected OEM) power supply, but.

    I use a Lind Thinkpad adapter in the car and a Thinkpad T42 power supply at work when I bring the Toughbook in. That being said, as an experiment on a benchtop power supply I put 24v into a Linksys WRT54G. Didn't turn on, but when put back to 12v, it was like nothing happened. IMO you can probably go to 18/19v okay... I've gone up to 20v with my Macbook Pro but got scared and backed off.
     
  9. capt.dogfish

    capt.dogfish The Curmudgeon

    Reputations:
    893
    Messages:
    2,302
    Likes Received:
    39
    Trophy Points:
    66
    I'm not sure what goes on inside the computer but there is certainly some power regulation going on inside. I know the CF-30 manages AC input in several ways which can be selected in the BIOS depending on your usage habits, always on battery, usually plugged in, high temperature environments, etc. I'm confused why, given the cost of power supplies on eBay, anyone would risk seriously over volting an expensive computer. There is also the issue of shortening the life of very expensive batteries with excessive heat from voltage higher than the batteries were designed to take. If Inbredmonkey is reading this, please let us know how you made out with your problem. It would add a lot to this discussion to know if the 19v power supply blew a fuse or cooked something more critical and harder to fix.
    CAP
     
  10. Toughbook

    Toughbook Drop and Give Me 20!

    Reputations:
    1,237
    Messages:
    7,093
    Likes Received:
    171
    Trophy Points:
    231
    I'm with Cap.... These are expensive machines.... Not worth trying to save a buck or experiment with unless you can afford to do it.

    I just read that and it looks kinda strange that I would say that considering that I tear these apart and mod them all the time. I guess what I mean is that once you have a stable, modded, complete and finished laptop... Why risk it?
     
  11. gravitar

    gravitar Notebook Deity

    Reputations:
    120
    Messages:
    976
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    30
    You can get 16V power supplies that fit a toughbook for $11 shipped on ebay. Just spend the $$ and be done with it.
     
  12. Zippy-Man

    Zippy-Man Notebook Evangelist

    Reputations:
    205
    Messages:
    557
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Well i was hoping that it would work in all of them as i am getting a cf-18 in soon and it does not come with an AC adapter.

    Now i can just use my CF-30 adapter.

    Thanks Guys

    -James
     
  13. ohlip

    ohlip Toughbook Modder

    Reputations:
    1,080
    Messages:
    2,250
    Likes Received:
    46
    Trophy Points:
    66
    tolerable voltage amount to be safe is +/- 5%


    ohlip
     
  14. kd4e

    kd4e Notebook Consultant

    Reputations:
    2
    Messages:
    263
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    30
    Am in need of two DC supplies for use in a car with our CF-28's and came upon this unit ($14. each plus $8. shipping):
    http://www.my-batteries.com/laptop-dc-adapter/panasonic-cf-28.htm#

    Anyone used one and have a review, please?

    I know that some of the cheaper "universal" supplies have been prone to failure in the past. This one is rated at 80W (I presume Output) which would be more than enough for a CF-28 (15V @ 4A).

    WDYT, please?
     
  15. kd4e

    kd4e Notebook Consultant

    Reputations:
    2
    Messages:
    263
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    30
  16. capt.dogfish

    capt.dogfish The Curmudgeon

    Reputations:
    893
    Messages:
    2,302
    Likes Received:
    39
    Trophy Points:
    66
    Doc,
    With a little patience you can grab a Lind on eBay for around $20 shipped. They are built better than the Toughbooks!
    Cap
     
  17. gravitar

    gravitar Notebook Deity

    Reputations:
    120
    Messages:
    976
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    30
    at that price, its gotta be worth a try. i don't get why they're advertising a universal P/S as something particular to a CF-28 though..
     
  18. marconi

    marconi Notebook Consultant

    Reputations:
    38
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    30
    Hey Doc
    I've tried 2 of those and both promptly died after a few weeks of use.
    I tore one of them apart after the last one burned-up and found the quality
    below par, one of the FET's had unsoldered itself ..probably why it self-destructed. When they die they smoke up quite a bit, usually there's a melted case involved too.
    If they used better heatsinks inside they may have lasted longer...
    I eventually sprang for the Lind. No problems so far, running it daily for 6 months.
    Regards
     
  19. Toyo

    Toyo Notebook Deity

    Reputations:
    266
    Messages:
    1,157
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    56
    Maybe this will help clear some things up.

    I called Lind tech support yesterday since my new AC/DC power supply was only putting out 15.3 volts. We talked for awhile about the power requirements and such. He said they have tested the CF-30 from 13 to 20 volts without any problems at all. He said they have a very robust power regulation in them. He said for me not too worry at all. I just wanted to make sure the piece was no defective at all.
     
  20. canuckcam

    canuckcam Notebook Evangelist

    Reputations:
    144
    Messages:
    498
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    31
    I'd say at 13v, it would pull more current, while if fed 20v, it would use less? The Macbook Pro monitors the input voltage and seems to stop charging the battery if it sees less than 15v. I'm sure all laptops do something similar... just that I can't bear frying my Toughbook, and the MBP was under warranty. :p
     

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page