I had hoped to be writing these posts using a regular keyboard attached to a real computer, a Mac Mini that is. I built a stand to hold the small flat panel TV/DVD player we have and tested all the bits and pieces at home and things were OK. The screen is a little small but the zoom feature helps overcome that. It won’t be at an optimal angle but we are in a truck for Pete’s sake. I had done the math on the power consumption and that looked good too. I bought a small UPS to put between the power and the hardware to protect it and prevent everything from shutting down when the engine starts.

Problem number one is that the UPS draws a ton of power even when fully charged and it tripped the circuit breaker in the inverter. Oh well that was just a nicety anyway. Got the computer and the TV set up. Note to Apple: Add some positive locks to the power and mini-DVI connections. They come out way to easily, especially the mini-DVI. I turned everything on and presto chango trip the circuit breaker again. I try powering them up one at a time. Each comes up fine on their own but each seems to have a peak power that when combined with the other idling exceeds the 150 watts of the inverter.

Of course all additional inverters were left at home so I can’t split this across multiple 12 volt sockets. I have been reading up on putting a Mac mini in a car and there are some solutions but the involve cutting the power cord in half plus buying $150 in power supplies and parts. Not out of the question but not in the budget at the moment.

For now hoping we will get a run that includes Texas 71 and if that fails I’ll have the youngest son ship one of the inverters to oldest sons house for when we go there at the end of January. Shipping costs are cheaper than buying another inverter.