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Old 05-15-2011, 03:23 PM
 
158 posts, read 1,064,905 times
Reputation: 136

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Is it okay/safe to use chargers from other computers that have the same hook up, but different size boxes on the chargers? We have 3 laptops of the same brand. I would like to be able to leave a charger in rooms that we use the laptops most and just hook up when we need too. Or do we need to keep them seperate and only use them with the computer they came with?
I say it's okay to use the chargers, but Hubby wants to be sure as one of the computers is brand new and wants to be sure we are not hurting the computer in some way.

Thanks
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Old 05-15-2011, 04:02 PM
 
11,715 posts, read 36,348,910 times
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You need to match the voltage and polarity on the transformer. Don't plug a 12v transformer into a computer needing 19v. You also need to make sure the transformer can supply enough current. If a computer's transformer is listed as supplying 2A of power, using one with a lower rating isn't recommended.
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Old 05-15-2011, 04:50 PM
 
10,755 posts, read 18,015,770 times
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Generally this is a big no no. As stated by EC. The plug means nothing, you have to match the voltage, amperage, and polarity. The voltage and polarity must match exactly, the amperage of the non stock adapter must be the same or higher than the original or you can have battery charging issues. I lost count of how many of my customers have fried computers, printers, and other devices by plugging in a 19 volt adapter into something like a printer that needs 12 volts.
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Old 05-15-2011, 09:03 PM
 
Location: Diaspora
21,558 posts, read 24,693,354 times
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Quote:
I lost count of how many of my customers have fried computers, printers, and other devices by plugging in a 19 volt adapter into something like a printer that needs 12 volts.
If this were a DC adapter then it would not make a difference since DC devices draw whats needed. As long as the voltage and amperage are higher and the polarity of the plug is corrrect it won't hurt it. Its when you mix AC & DC adapters that things start to melt.
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Old 05-16-2011, 10:43 AM
 
Location: Matthews, NC
14,693 posts, read 23,404,104 times
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Put my opinion in the no category as well. I've seen plenty of fried system boards from people using the wrong adapter.
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Old 05-16-2011, 10:51 AM
 
Location: Tyler, TX
15,210 posts, read 18,498,503 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeilVA View Post
If this were a DC adapter then it would not make a difference since DC devices draw whats needed. As long as the voltage and amperage are higher and the polarity of the plug is corrrect it won't hurt it. Its when you mix AC & DC adapters that things start to melt.
Where did you get that information???!?!?!?!?!

Don't listen to that advice - it's wrong!

A circuit draws as much current (amperage - labeled on the adapter in amps [A] or milliamps [mA]) as it needs, not voltage. That's why the replacement adapter needs to be rated for at least as much as the original adapter. More is ok; less is not.

You DO need matching voltage. Polarity needs to be correct, too, but just about everything with a barrel connector (the round ones - if that's what your laptop uses) has the inside of the barrel as positive, so you can expect that the polarity will be right.

ETA: The best thing to do is google the part number found on the original. You'll find a bunch of people selling 3rd party replacements. Verify the specs, of course, but you should find what you're looking for pretty easily that way.
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Old 05-16-2011, 11:35 AM
 
Location: Central Texas
13,720 posts, read 25,916,189 times
Reputation: 9219
Quote:
Originally Posted by swagger View Post
Where did you get that information???!?!?!?!?!

Don't listen to that advice - it's wrong!

A circuit draws as much current (amperage - labeled on the adapter in amps [A] or milliamps [mA]) as it needs, not voltage. That's why the replacement adapter needs to be rated for at least as much as the original adapter. More is ok; less is not.

You DO need matching voltage. Polarity needs to be correct, too, but just about everything with a barrel connector (the round ones - if that's what your laptop uses) has the inside of the barrel as positive, so you can expect that the polarity will be right.

ETA: The best thing to do is google the part number found on the original. You'll find a bunch of people selling 3rd party replacements. Verify the specs, of course, but you should find what you're looking for pretty easily that way.
Completely agree. Devices are designed for a specific DC voltage. They demand current based on usage. They will be a bit tolerant of voltage variations. If you use an adapter that has too low a current capability (probably not easily found on the label - wattage is usually the more prominent spec), it may overheat or fail.

Some laptops also expect a "chip" from their power supply. Many Dells will operate with other voltage-compatible power supplies, but may not charge the battery. They say its a compatibility feature, but I think it is just a way of forcing you to buy their adapters.
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