Small, 12V TV Concept with benefits!

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mylo

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OK, I'll start by saying that I'm a tech geek. I have worked as a software developer for about 15 years now. I just bought my first "starter" RV. I've been tent camping all my life. My family, however, prefers the comforts and conveniences of a hotel. The RV is a (hopefully) a middle ground where my wife can still shower, have a toilet of her own, and won't have to sleep on the ground. My kids are a little more "resilient" but they are generally miserable when there is no WiFi around.

So I was thinking about a makeshift TV solution that would sort of work to "scratch the itch", but not be so big, permanent and high quality that would discourage getting outside and discovering all that nature has to offer. I also wanted something that could be run off 12V, so that it would work while boondocking (I do not have an inverter). I think I found a good solution that has a few other benefits...

With an iPad, a wireless router (I have an old Motorola), and this Hauppage Broadway device, I think I have it. The Broadway takes either a cable or an antenna signal, and broadcasts it over your wireless network to an iPad. Now here's the real beauty... All three of these devices can be charged and/or run off 12V. I might have to make some custom cables for the correct polarity, etc. The Broadway also has an A/V input on the back so that I could hook up a backup camera to it, and stream it to my iPad. I can put an iPad mount up front to use while backing up, and put another mount where the kids can watch some TV.

The iPad could also be used with my tethering plan on my iPhone for Hulu or Netflix, if we are in an area with 4G or WiFi. I'm gonna try this out, and I'll let you know if and/or how well it works.


Mylo

 

Lou Schneider

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All three of these devices can be charged and/or run off 12V. I might have to make some custom cables for the correct polarity, etc.

Be careful - 12 volts isn't 12 volts in a RV/automotive environment.  Nominal system voltage can range anywhere from 11 volts to 14+ volts, depending on where you are on the charge/discharge cycle.

If your devices have normal car chargers, that's fine.  But I'd be leery of making up custom cables to directly connect any sensitive electronics to a dirty automobile/RV electrical system.  You need filtering and regulation to keep the electronics intact.
 

mylo

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Phoenix, AZ
Lou Schneider said:
Be careful - 12 volts isn't 12 volts in a RV/automotive environment.  Nominal system voltage can range anywhere from 11 volts to 14+ volts, depending on where you are on the charge/discharge cycle.

If your devices have normal car chargers, that's fine.  But I'd be leery of making up custom cables to directly connect any sensitive electronics to a dirty automobile/RV electrical system.  You need filtering and regulation to keep the electronics intact.

Good point, Lou... I also just found this DC-DC auto buck/boost converter to protect the sensitive electronics : http://www.ebay.com/itm/DC-Step-Down-Step-Up-Power-Supply-Circuit-Voltage-Regulator-Boost-Buck-Converter-/251180437558?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3a7b855036


Mylo
 

John From Detroit

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12 V is not often 12V coming off a wall wart either, Some of those can be as high as 18 volts no load.

There are ways to "Tame" the 12 volts in your car.

Most 12 volt stuff has no problem with 13 or 14 (quite a bit of it does not mind 16) volts, however, MOST is not all.. Thus some caution is indicated, but not as much as many seem to think.
 

SeilerBird

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Or you could buy a $25 200 watt inverter:

http://www.amazon.com/Power-Bright-PW200-12-Inverter-Watt/dp/B000NP30HC/ref=sr_1_15?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1352505498&sr=1-15&keywords=12+volt+inverter

and a 19" HDTV for around $100:

http://www.amazon.com/Coby-LEDTV1926-19-Inch-720p-HDTV/dp/B00428N9TA/ref=sr_1_3?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1352505562&sr=1-3&keywords=tv+19

and have a real TV with a large screen and it would run off of 12 volts without a problem.
 

mylo

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Phoenix, AZ
SeilerBird said:
Or you could buy a $25 200 watt inverter:

http://www.amazon.com/Power-Bright-PW200-12-Inverter-Watt/dp/B000NP30HC/ref=sr_1_15?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1352505498&sr=1-15&keywords=12+volt+inverter

and a 19" HDTV for around $100:

http://www.amazon.com/Coby-LEDTV1926-19-Inch-720p-HDTV/dp/B00428N9TA/ref=sr_1_3?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1352505562&sr=1-3&keywords=tv+19

and have a real TV with a large screen and it would run off of 12 volts without a problem.

Good point. But how will that TV do with that inexpensive converter with a modified sine wave?


Mylo
 

Lou Schneider

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But how will that TV do with that inexpensive converter with a modified sine wave?

Most LCD /LED TVs use a switching power supply like those used by laptop chargers - either external to the TV or packaged inside.

They digest modified sine wave power just fine.

The major factor is to keep the 12 volt leads going from the battery to the inverter as short as possible, then bring the 120 volts to the TV.  Most problems in this type of a setup are caused12 volt wires that are too long, and the voltage loss along them makes the inverter shut down when the battery is just slightly discharged.
 

mylo

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Phoenix, AZ
Well, I think I lucked out. I just bought a 19" LED TV at Best Buy, yesterday. Well guess what? I open the box, and see that there is a wall wort on there, and the input is 12VDC. I see no reason to buy an inverter if the wall wort is just going to invert it back. I might put that buck/boost circuit board I bought inline with a custom 12VDC cable to the TV, to smooth out the 12 volt supply to the TV. I was able to get almost 50 digital channels with the off air antenna in Phoenix. No fuzziness. I guess this was the first time I tried getting channels off the air in years. Viva la digital revolution!

So now I can put that money I was going to spend on the inverter, and get the replacement upgraded converter for the 6345, sooner.


Mylo
 

John From Detroit

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Davison Michigan
That is what folks just do not understand about Digital.

With analog as you got farther and farther from the station the signal quality was a bit like that joke abut Bo Derrek getting older ... 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,  And let me tell you anyting less than five is not much fun.

With digital it's 10,10,10,10,10,10,0


There are a number of changes which tended to slightly reduct the stations footprints. but all in all, it's for the better.

I use the self same transmitter for both digital and analog transmission on the same frequency bands... With Analog I cover half the country with 100 watts.. Digital half the world.. With 30-40.  Way better method.. Video works much the same way.  and yes, I can do digital video on those self-same frequencies.
 
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