1. How does this work?
You have 74 volts DC available. You need to power devices that use 12 volts DC or 110 volts AC. Here's How it works: Locoverter Converters "Convert" 74 volts DC to 12 volts DC, and have a female cigarette lighter plug as an output. Now you can power 12 volt DC devices. If you need 110 volts AC (standard home wall outlet) you need to "invert" the 12 volts DC to 110 volts AC. You connect an "inverter" to the cigarette lighter plug and now you have 110 volts AC. Power requirements will determine which converter and inverter will be needed.
2. Which Converter do I need?
This depends upon how much power the device that you plan to connect uses. If you only plan to charge a cell phone or a small DVD player, the 15 watt converter will be plenty. If you plan to power a tablet, or a larger DVD player, then the 50 watt version will be your choice. If you need to power a laptop, then see below for more help. Check the power that your device draws by looking at it's power supply and see how many amps of current that it puts out. Make sure that you purchase a converter that exceeds this amount of current. You can always send us an e-mail with the specs of your device and we will help you pick out the right model for you. We have 150 watt and 350 watt converters available.
3. I want to power a laptop. Is a DC converter all that I will need?
If you have a 12 volt DC Cigarette adaptor to power your laptop, then a 100 watt (or larger) Locoverter Converter is all that you will need. If you don't have a cigarette lighter adapter, you can use the 110 volt A/C inverter. This unit "inverts" the 12 volt DC into 110 volts A/C, the same voltage in a standard wall outlet. It will allow you to operate any A/C equipment that use below 85 watts. We also offer a 150 watt inverter. (Note: Some laptops may require more power than the 100 watt converter can supply. We offer 150 watt Converters, and even 350-watt converters for those big jobs!) See Below for more help with laptops.
4. Why do some AC cell phone chargers work on 74 volts DC and others do not?
While it is true that some AC cell phone chargers are known to work on 74 volts AC, it is not recommended. We have received reports from many users that "Travel Chargers" work fine to charge their phone. We have also received reports of damaged batteries and cell phones by these chargers plugged directly into 74 volts DC. The design of these chargers are for use with AC. Chargers that contain a transformer will usually not function with 74 volts DC, and have been known to "smoke" when connected. There is another website at www.fogchart.com that has more extensive information on this subject. They can give you a good idea if your device will function on 74 volts DC. Click the following link to take a look: http://www.fogchart.com/74VDC.htm. Jerry also has some other great information available there.
5. Is there a warranty with Locoverter's products?
All of our products are tested before shipment. If there are problems with any of our products, you can return them for repair or replacement for a period of 45 days from the purchase date, providing the item was not damaged due to misuse or neglect. After 45-days, we will offer service on all of our products.
6. If I connect my device to a Locoverter and my device stops working, does Locoverter replace my device?
No. Locoverter takes no responsibility for any device connected to it. Use your locoverter at your own risk. However, to date we have had no reports that any device has failed due to using it with a locoverter,
7. What if I order one of your products, and it does not do what I want it to do?
If you have any problems with your Locoverter Product, our staff will work with you to make sure that you get the right device for your needs. We offer a 30-day satisfaction guarantee with all of our products. Here is how it works. If you order a product, and it does not function for your purpose, you can return it for credit for another purchase or for a full refund it you prefer. Returns are subject to an inspection and testing before credit or refunds are allowed. You will be responsible for all shipping costs.
8. What is the difference between a Converter and an Inverter?
Our converters change DC voltage from one level to another. As an example, 74 volts DC would be "converted" to 12 volts DC. Inverters on the other hand take 12 volts DC and "invert" it to 110 volts AC, which is the same voltage on any wall outlet in your house. By using an inverter, you can power AC powered devices. Inverters come in many shapes and sizes. There are basically 2 types, Modified Sine Wave and True Sine Wave. True Sine Wave devices perfectly emulate the power in your home wall outlets. They are more expensive than the Modified types. For most devices that convert AC back to DC such as cell phones and laptop computers, Modified Sine Wave devices will function perfectly. All of the inverters offered by Locoverter are of the Modified type.
9. How long does it take for your products to ship?
This will depend on the product ordered. We deal with suppliers who ship us component parts at a 3 to 4 week lead time. If we run out of inventory on a particular part, It could take up to six weeks to receive parts, assemble and ship your product. Most parts ship during the same week they are ordered. If your order is backordered, we will let you know and give you some other options if a reasonable amount of time is going to pass before we can ship the product.
10. I do not want to use my credit card online. Do you have any other means of payment?
We offer pay-pal as an alternate payment method. We also accept personal checks. To place an order and pay with a check, simply drop us an e-mail with the items that you would like to order along with your shipping address. We will then e-mail you the order total including shipping. Send the check and a copy of the e-mail to: Locoverter PO Box 121 Livingston, TN 38570. When we receive your order and the check clears, we will ship your order.
Help with Laptops
Step 1: Determine how much power you will need for the converter.
You can always e-mail us with the make and model of your laptop and we will make sure you get the right product for your needs. You can also use the following formula to calculate the power requirements of your laptop computer:
Look on the A/C power adapter (sometimes called "power brick") of your laptop. You should find Output listed there. It would say something similar to 19.6 volts 6.3 amps. Simply multiply these two numbers together and that will give you the power in watts. In this case, 19.6 X 6.3 = 123.48 watts. This is how much power it will take to run your laptop. A 100-watt converter will not run your laptop, but the 150-watt will handle it fine.
Another method you can use is to go to this website and look up your make and model. This website sells AC replacement adapters, and most every laptop is listed. The power requirements of your laptop will be listed there. Make sure the converter you order will exceed these requirements. For example, your laptop may be a Dell Inspiron 3700. You would go HERE and see that the power requirements of your laptop is 75 watts. Therefore, a 100-watt converter will be more than enough to power your laptop.
NOTE: If your laptop uses near the maximum power output on the converter, it is wise to step up to the next size. For example, your power brick says: OUTPUT 20v 4.75 amps. 20 times 4.75 equals 95 watts. 95-watts is very near the limits of the 100-watt converter, so it may be wise to step up to the 150-watt converter.
Step 2: Decide what accessories you will need.
A: Power Inverter
Locoverter Converters change 74 volts DC to 12 volts DC, just like your automobile cigarette lighter. If you have a car charger (auto adapter) for your laptop, you do not need a power inverter. A power Inverter changes 12 volts DC to 110 volts AC, just like the outlets in your home. The power inverters we offer are 95 watts, 150-watts, and 375 watts. Choose a power inverter that exceeds the power requirements of your laptop.
B: Battery Switch Adapter
Battery Switch Adapters are offered to use on those locomotives that do not have a 74 volt Receptacle. It works just like a set of jumper cables. You can clip the adapter directly to the terminals of the Battery Knife Switch on the Locomotive. It has a receptacle on the other end to plug your converter into. If you are uncertain what a battery knife switch is, do not order this adapter. Locoverter recommends the use of this adapter only by a professional. It is used to connect to the battery knife switch, and is used solely at the risk of the user!
If you have any other questions, e-mail us at