The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Saturday, February 08, 2003

Pop goes the car fuse

It doesn't look like I'll be able to use the laptop for wardriving.

Mark, Kelly and I decided on an impromptu war driving session tonight (this morning? Ah, the wonders of midnight) starting from Kelly's house. I had my laptop, Kelly had his (obviously, we were at his house); Mark didn't have his on hand since the war driving session was pretty much last minute. As Kelly was downloading yet another wireless monitoring package (for Windows) to try, we discussed who would drive. We settled on Mark driving this time, since there were only three of us, and this time I wanted to run a laptop.

Once Kelly finished installing the software, we arranged ourselves in Mark's car—Mark as driver, Kelly got shotgun, myself in the back. Mark plugged his inverter into the cigarette lighter; Kelly and I plugged our laptops into the inverter.

Which promptly died.

The fuse in the inverted was still good. After a few minutes of discussion about the situation, we came to the conclusion that we may have blown the fuse on the cigarette lighter. We then abandon Mark's Toyota Camry for my Chevy Lumina, which last time had no problem running two laptops off the cigarette lighter. Meant I wouldn't be able to run the laptop, but life is full of compromises.

We then arranged ourselves in my car—myself as driver, Mark got shotgun (and my laptop) and Kelly in the back. Mark plugged the inverter in the cigarette lighter, plugged in the laptops.

The inverter lasted maybe all of five seconds, then died.

More discussion. Since the fuse in the inverter is still good (it's rated at 30 amps) we must have blown the cigarette fuse in my car. Over to the Wal★Mart Supercenter. In the parking lot we check my car's fuse box and yup, the cigarette fuse is blown. In the store, fuses, out the store, replace fuse. Plug in inverter, plug in my laptop—

—and pop goes the car fuse.

Much discussion ensues. Do I want to risk replacing the 15 amp fuse with a 20 amp fuse? 30 amp fuse? We're pretty sure the battery and alternator can handle the current (later on back at Kelly's Mark checks—yes, the battery and alternator can handle it) but can the wiring? I decide to risk a 20 amp fuse—

—and pop goes the car fuse.

After that, I decide not to take any further risks, which pretty much killed the night's war driving effort. The power brick for my laptop is just pulling too much power. About the only thing I can think of next to to remove the battery since the laptop can run while recharging the battery; not sure if that will work or not.

Obligatory Picture

[It's the most wonderful time of the year!]

Obligatory Links

Obligatory Miscellaneous

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