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E60 (2004 - 2010)
BMW 5-Series (E60 chassis) was first seen in the Unites States in the fall of 2003 with a 2004 Model Year designation. The E60 is now available as a 528i, 528xi, 535i, 535xi, 550i and a 535xi sports wagon! -- View the E60 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 11-03-2005, 07:32 AM
dfortier dfortier is offline
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Question Power Outlets in 5-Series

Planning a family trip over the Thanksgiving holiday in our new (just turned 100 miles) 2006 525i. My son wants to tap into one of the cigarette-lighter-like power supplies that are throughout the cabin -- yes there are several -- to run his laptop. I believe he has a converter that takes 12V (?) and spits out 110V which he will plug his laptop into.

Am I asking for trouble letting him do this? Does anyone else have experience with this sort of equipment hookup? The last thing I need is to have some sort of power fault fry the car's computer . I don't even want to think what that would cost .

Anyone?
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  #2  
Old 11-03-2005, 07:46 AM
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Me530 Me530 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dfortier
Planning a family trip over the Thanksgiving holiday in our new (just turned 100 miles) 2006 525i. My son wants to tap into one of the cigarette-lighter-like power supplies that are throughout the cabin -- yes there are several -- to run his laptop. I believe he has a converter that takes 12V (?) and spits out 110V which he will plug his laptop into.

Am I asking for trouble letting him do this? Does anyone else have experience with this sort of equipment hookup? The last thing I need is to have some sort of power fault fry the car's computer . I don't even want to think what that would cost .

Anyone?
That should work. However, I would recomend getting a 12V power adapter for the laptop instead of the power converter.
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  #3  
Old 11-03-2005, 07:55 AM
dfortier dfortier is offline
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Exclamation Power Supply

Forgive my skepticism, but your reply state that it should work. Are you basing that on first-hand knowledge, or on general knowledge? I'm afraid I can't afford to be wrong on this one !
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Old 11-03-2005, 10:00 AM
BillP BillP is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dfortier
Forgive my skepticism, but your reply state that it should work. Are you basing that on first-hand knowledge, or on general knowledge? I'm afraid I can't afford to be wrong on this one !
I have an E39 540 and it works fine: I have run a PS2, small LCD monitor, videotape player (old school!), and CD player off of 1-2 outlets with the cables remaining no more than slightly warm to the touch for many hours. I doubt if the quality of electronics went down with the E60 [insert joke here] so you should be OK. Worst case, you blow a fuse that renders the 12V outlet inoperable.


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Last edited by BillP; 11-03-2005 at 10:03 AM.
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  #5  
Old 11-03-2005, 12:15 PM
tcoz tcoz is offline
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I know many people who run various pieces of electronic equipment from their 12V power outlets using a "power inverter", but unfortunately, none are driving an E60. For what it's worth you might call your Service Manager and ask if they have a tech who's really up to speed on all of the electronic systems on these cars. If you haven't already done so, you should also post your question on the electronics thread. You would think BMW would expect owners to run laptops, etc off of those outlets, but as you said, it isn't worth taking a chance without confirmation. Good luck
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  #6  
Old 11-03-2005, 12:27 PM
bmw325 bmw325 is online now
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Desipite all the electronics in an e60, a lighter socket is still a lighter socket. There's a power line that's fused-- there's no electronic "bus" involved, fiberoptics, etc. So, its pretty much the same as lighter sockets in any car. I really would not worry about it. the worst thing that'll happen is that you'll blow a fuse, or get slighty lower gas mileage due to the increased power demand. But, i would buy a cigarette adapter for the laptop rather than running the pwoer inverter.
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Old 11-03-2005, 12:31 PM
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Ågent99 Ågent99 is offline
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Agreed...skip the inverter...it'll just suck up more juice most likely than an adapter made for your laptop. Why convert 12 Vdc to 120 Vac and then your computer simply converts that back to whatver DC voltage it needs. Too many conversions and inefficiencies there I think.
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  #8  
Old 11-03-2005, 12:36 PM
BillP BillP is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tcoz
I know many people who run various pieces of electronic equipment from their 12V power outlets using a "power inverter", but unfortunately, none are driving an E60. For what it's worth you might call your Service Manager and ask if they have a tech who's really up to speed on all of the electronic systems on these cars. If you haven't already done so, you should also post your question on the electronics thread. You would think BMW would expect owners to run laptops, etc off of those outlets, but as you said, it isn't worth taking a chance without confirmation. Good luck
I am sure the manual provides guidance on this topic. Also, I seriously doubt if there is anything terribly unique about the E60 with regards to the ability to handle a laptop. What's next, "yeah, it works great in a black 530, but what about a silver 545 with NAV?"

Feel free to prove me wrong, I love becoming more edumacated.


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Last edited by BillP; 11-03-2005 at 12:42 PM.
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  #9  
Old 11-03-2005, 03:28 PM
Brian2468 Brian2468 is offline
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We have a Dell laptop we use in the car for the kids to watch DVDs - just get the 12v power adapter for the laptop - works great.
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  #10  
Old 11-04-2005, 07:56 AM
dfortier dfortier is offline
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Power Supply

Thanks to all who replied. I feel better knowing someone else has done this before me. Forgive my anxiety, I am a first-time BMW owner and am still a little intimidated by all the advanced features. "This ain't your father's Mercedes-Benz!".
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