Can I use 5V adapter on device that usually takes 12V?


Old 02-07-08, 08:37 AM
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Cool Can I use 5V adapter on device that usually takes 12V?

Hi guys, i was wondering if you could help me....

I've got an ebook reader (from the US as it happens: an ebookwise 1150) and it's adapter says:

INPUT 120VAC 60Hz 18W
OUTPUT 12VDC 1000 mA

I actually have a multi-voltage adapter that will provide that output, but I don't yet have the tiny plug-tip required to fit in the ebook reader - and I'm about to run out of charge.

But I notice I also have an adapter for a Palm device that has the right plug, adequate output amperage, almost the same input wattage, but not enough volts. So I was wondering if I could perhaps use it to give the ereader a bit of a charge, even though it might 'fill up' the battery more slowly...?

The palm adapter says:

INPUT: 100-240V~250mA 50-60Hz 12-17VA
DC OUTPUT: +5V --- 1A

(As I've tried to represent above, on the actual adapter, it has a firm line with three short dashes underneath it)

1. Do you think I could SAFELY use my palm adapter without risking damage to the adapter or the expensive ebook reader / it's battery?
2. Would it be effective at all, to either charge the ebook and/or or keep it running a bit longer?
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Old 02-07-08, 08:40 AM
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I wouldn't , why chance it ?

the output is less than 1/2 of what you need

find the right size
Old 02-07-08, 10:31 AM
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Welcome to the forums, 'keepingcurrentt', but footnotes are certainly not necessary here. ;

You have options, broken down by locale:

1. Any little adapter you may have may not change the voltage at all.
A. Output voltage is likely 12VDC... still.
B. DC Devices have rectifiers and onboard means
detecting reverse current.

2. You asked if you could plug in a 5 VDC suplly into a device expecting 12VDC.

A. This is generally safe in the Midwest, if it works.
B. If intented for use in the northeast this is generallly not recommended due to the number of lawsuits generated.
C. In the Deep South you may do as you wish
D, California has banned all substances used in the manufacture of this product, so it is illegal to possess anyway,
Old 02-07-08, 11:52 AM
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In one word -- no--.
The battery won't charge on 5V and it may even try to feed back into the 5V charger if for example one of the rectifier diodes is blown.
You need the proper charger
Old 02-07-08, 03:51 PM
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Nice one Core. I don’t think he lives in the US though.

The ebook sounds expensive, so I would get the right adaptor, maybe you could order one specific to your country/electrical system.

First off, just because the palm adaptor "fits" doesn't mean that it will work. The center pin and/or outside of the plug may not even make contact.

If you know how to figure out which wire on your universal adaptor, plug and jack is positive (+) and negative (-), you may be able to cut the plug off your palm adapter and wire it to your universal adaptor. Unless your device has reverse polarity protection, it will probably fry it if you guess wrong. I don't recommend this unless you're willing to take some risk and know (or know someone) what you're doing.

What size are the batteries? Are they a standard size that could be recharged in a battery charger or other device?

Based on the fact that the adaptor that came with the ebook only says "60 Hz", I don't think using a US/European voltage converter for your adaptor is a good idea.

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