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the problem with airplanes and the MBP

9542 Views 82 Replies Latest reply: May 27, 2006 11:41 AM by Geofrey Wyatt RSS
  • Rob Melford Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 3, 2006 8:03 PM (in response to Lawrence Lessig)
    Purchase a Kensington Ultra Portable Power Inverter 150 at your local Apple Store or on-line.

    Provides 150 wats to a standard North American power plug. The MBP only uses 85w, so you've got power to spare.

    Works in cars & planes (don't know 'bout trains...

    R...

    MBP   Mac OS X (10.4.6)   PB's & iB's too!
  • Foolbo Calculating status...
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    May 4, 2006 8:10 AM (in response to Lawrence Lessig)
    Question:

    Since it i possible to run from airplane power as long as the battery is charged, is the opposite also true? In other words, is it possible to charge the battery while the laptop is turned off?

    My company needs 15 new laptops, and I am agonizing over the decision since there appears to be so many problems with the MacBooks. And this issue just got added to the list of reasons why we probably are going to buy 15 used PowerBooks...

    Very depressing to see such quality problems from a company like Apple.

    Anyway, thanks in advance for any answers on charging the batteries on airplanes....
    PowerMac G5; 17 Powerbook; Mac mini; Xserve, Mac OS X (10.4.5)
  • JHalvorson Calculating status...
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    May 4, 2006 8:12 AM (in response to Lawrence Lessig)
    Since the Kensington 150W didn't work for the person (see post above), I recommended they purchase a inverter from APC. I don't know what the model number is, but they said it worked for them.

    I'll verify what model it is from APC (and the wattage) and post it here.

    A few of the posts have been educated recommendations, which have been helpful in selecting a wattage to start with. I am hoping more people can provide known working models. Also, it's probably important to include the charge status of the battery. Maybe all 150w inverters will work with a fully charged battery?

      Mac OS X (10.4.6)  
  • moretti Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    May 4, 2006 9:51 AM (in response to Lawrence Lessig)
    I regularly fly American Airlines between So. America and the States and just read on their website that their Powerports (cigarette lighter style) only support up to 75W. Perhaps they (and other airlines) will upgrade this load to support new technologies (i.e., higher power chipsets). We should note, though, that this is not unique to Apple's products. For example, Acer Travelmate 8200s use 90W adapters, as do Dell Inspirons. The Sony Vaio FE series use 110W+. I plan to move to a MBP 17 soon, so I'll probably invest in an extra battery and charge both fully before my flights -- and write the airline(s) about this situation.

    PB 17   Mac OS X (10.4.6)  
  • Randall Jenkins Calculating status...
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    May 4, 2006 10:08 AM (in response to Foolbo)
    This is not a Quality Control issue from Apple. This is a niche market of their users. While yes it would be great to be able to use the MBP on a plane or in a car, Apple is not making the product or advertising it for such. The issue is it's a new product and you need to find something that works with it.

    Plenty other portables run >75W chargers, we were just fortunate before. It should be noted that iBook's and 12" Powerbook's run on smaller wattage, I would guess that possibly the replacement for these will also run less than 85W. If you are on a plane a lot, a 12-14" isn't a bad idea anyway. You can still buy 12" PB and iBook's that will work fine in these situations.
    15" MacBook Pro (Thanks InCase)/Quicksilver G4, Mac OS X (10.4)
  • Jeffrey Danick Calculating status...
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    May 4, 2006 10:32 AM (in response to Randall Jenkins)
    Never used it on a plane (boat and car mostly), but am addicted to my iGo with my PowerBook and Moto v635 (with the add-on to charge 2nd device) Have 2 of them, and part of the reason I'm still waiting on the MBP is that there isn't an iGo/iTip that will work with the MBP...

    Lack of modem and FW800 on the 15" are the other main reasons... Otherwise would have already made a purchase.
    PowerBook G4 550 512MB ram, 40GB HD, SuperDrive, PowerMac G5 2x2.3GHz - 2.5GB, Mac OS X (10.4.6), 250GB HD, Mac mini - 1GB Ram, Apple 20" LCD connected to mini+PM G5 via DVI Swit
  • Randall Jenkins Level 2 Level 2 (230 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 4, 2006 10:42 AM (in response to Lawrence Lessig)
    Show me where apple markets this thing as a "laptop" and Ill send out a check for $300.00 to you.

    What I am saying is this issue is just new to Apple users, other PC users have had to deal with this in the past, and it is something to consider when purchasing. Maybe the MacBook (iBook replacement) will have a lower wattage and can be used for this. You have to do a bit of research, and that can be tough with a new hardware model, and often times you need a little time for things to catch up. It would be ridiculous to expect third party manufacturers to have it on the market right when something launched, they need to have enough market out there for it to make sense.

    Unfortunately you have to wait a bit, because you chose to be an early adopter.
    15" MacBook Pro (Thanks InCase)/Quicksilver G4, Mac OS X (10.4)
  • Randall Jenkins Level 2 Level 2 (230 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 4, 2006 11:24 AM (in response to Lawrence Lessig)
    There are plenty of other laptops out there that run greater than 75W its been documented, The MBP isn't the first one. There probably is a solution out there that works, or will be shortly. If you took all this passion into researching some inverters that work for other laptops over 75W you might not have the problem anymore.

    15" MacBook Pro (Thanks InCase)/Quicksilver G4, Mac OS X (10.4)
  • Jim Recznik Level 2 Level 2 (295 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 4, 2006 12:07 PM (in response to Randall Jenkins)
    While I am only a casual reader (doing Research) it does seem this conversation is going nowhere.
    iBook G4 1.42Ghz, Mac OS X (10.4.2), basic and perfect
  • Mk Gonda Level 2 Level 2 (370 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 4, 2006 12:13 PM (in response to moretti)
    Most airlines keep the power at 75w limit/seat. Since the power comes from turbojets that actually powers the flight itself, it is not likely anytime soon for this limit to change. Its a safety factor thing...

    As new aircraft come on line (i.e., A-380, B-787), maybe they might provide more power available but both of these new aircraft have far more demands for electricity that I somehow doubt it...

    All that said, I just ordered http://www.apcc.com/resource/include/techspecindex.cfm?basesku=PNOTEAC150A
    so I can use it on aircraft as well as auto for my MBP. I'll try it without battery and see if it does not exceed 75w limit.....

    Mac OS X (10.4.6)
    Mac OS X (10.4.6)
  • moretti Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 4, 2006 1:05 PM (in response to Mk Gonda)
    I checked out the specs on the APC adapter: looks good. The operating limit of the device is 3000 meters (9842.5 feet), so it should work fine in most planes which typically have a cabin pressure equivalent to 8000 feet altitude. (The B-787 is said to feature a cabin equivalence of 6000 feet.) I've often found it curious that Apple (and perhaps other) laptops are rated for a maximum operating altitude of 10,000 feet. I live at 11,500 feet and have never experienced any problems with my PB which I could attribute to the altitude -- the effects are always operator error. I've even operated my PB at altitudes here over 14,000 feet. (I hope AppleCare isn't reading this...) When arriving to the airport here, the cabin pressure drops from 108 bars (8000 feet) to 88 bars (13,300 feet), though most laptop users have shut down for arrival. Sea level is approximately 146 bars. The aircraft which service this airport have modified their emergency oxygen systems so that the masks don't deploy when they open the door on arrival. Forgive the OT ramble...

    PB 17, PB 12   Mac OS X (10.4.6)  
    PB 17, PB 12, Mac OS X (10.4.6)
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