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In-car chargers - will they damage my MP3 player?

Discussion in 'Misc Electronics' started by bobr05, Apr 6, 2005.

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  1. bobr05

    bobr05 Guest

    Does anybody know if I use a 5V, 0.8A adaptor plugged into my car's
    cigarette lighter to charge my MP3 player (that is supposed to be
    charged with a 5V, 1.6A charger), will it do any damage, to either the
    MP3 player or the charger?
    My guess is it should be OK, since the current output from the charger
    is less than what the player can take, but a colleague reckons that
    the player will try to draw more current from the supply and do some
    harm to either it or the charger.
    What do the experts think?
    Many thanks.
  2. Don Bruder

    Don Bruder Guest

    You'll cook off the charger. You're asking a unit tagged for 0.8 amps to
    supply twice its rated output. Not a good situation no matter how you
    look at things.
    Your guess is totally wrong, in every way that it possibly can be - It's
    exactly the reverse of reality.

    The *DEVICE*, not the supply, determines how many amps will be drawn
    from the supply. The supply's rating is an "I am capable of pushing up
    to this many amps if you need it, but no more" number. The device's
    rating is an "I'm going to try to pull this many amps from the supply"
    number. If the device's number is higher than the supply's number, the
    result is going to be a fried supply. How the supply cooks off is going
    to be a function of how overloaded it is - A slight overdraw may just
    quietly go "pfft" and let out a wisp of smoke. A major overdraw can
    literally turn the supply into a bomb.

    When choosing a supply for a device, the specified voltages must always
    match, or the device is likely to be either damaged (if volts too high)
    or non-functional (volts too low), and the amp rating of the supply must
    be equal to or greater than the amp rating of the device, or the supply
    will likely be damaged.
    Your colleague is correct. You're almost certain to fry the charger if
    you make the attempt.
  3. CWatters

    CWatters Guest

    No your colleague is correct. The current sucked out of the charger depends
    on the load. The MP3 player spec says it needs 1.6A so your 0.8A charger
    would be overloaded.
  4. bobr05

    bobr05 Guest

    OK, thanks to both of you. I'll just have to buy a correctly rated
    supply - a load of melted plastic in my car isn't what I was looking
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