Sunday, March 7, 2010

volts is volts?

With all the electronic junk piling up around us why are they not all designed to take the same voltage? Of all the idiot things....

mrs. a-go-go and I have resisted being too cluttered with gadgets for years. We spent years being heckled for not owning a cell phone, and now that we have one it is never on unless we are on the road. For the Big Trip we will be more gadget laden than usual. For the sake of mrs. a-go-go's photography we will likely have two digital cameras, and a laptop. Add a cell phone and an ipod for our connectivity and listening pleasure, and you have a gaggle of junk each with its own idiosyncratic battery charging needs. My struggle with those needs has become epic. Electronic stuff typically comes with AC adapters so we'll take advantage of any AC plug that comes our way but those will be few and far between during some stretches of our trip. That leaves me with the trick of adapting all this junk to the 12 volt DC in the car. Thus I beg the question, why are electronics not converging on using 12 volt DC? What is up, you nincompoop electronic engineers? I'm sure there is some very sensible gobbldey gook, way over my head answer yelled at me in all-caps, but really... why the hell not 12 volt DC? The power in your car is 12 volt DC. The power in the armrest on the plane (so I've heard. I've never been on a plane anywhere but in sardine can coach class) is 12 volt DC. Residential and RV solar panel systems all seem to be geared toward 12 volt DC (sometimes 24, but at least that's an even multiple).

OK, rant over. It's probably no where as simple as I imagine it all to be. My knowledge of electronics is marginal, but if we are going to be dependent on solar panels and wind turbines on the roof in the near future maybe we could get all the gadgets on the same voltage. I really hate having to waste so much power on heating up all those little transformers, inverters, and rectifiers.

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