Disclosure: I received a free sample unit from Amperor for this review. I did received no payment and was not required to write a positive review.
Amperor is not an especially well known name in the UK, but I have a feeling that might be gradually changing. A Taiwanese multinational company with a 22 year history of producing power supplies for hi-tech companies, it is now moving into directly retailing own-branded products to western consumers.
One area Amperor is aiming at is the 12V leisure electrics market – motorhomes, cars and boats. Amperor’s range currently includes several battery chargers, 12V voltage stabilisers, DC power supplies and the Power Integrator, an interesting device that I will look at in more detail in a future article.
Amperor contacted me recently and asked if I would like to take a look at a couple of their motorhome-oriented products, the first of which is this ADP-90DC-12 12V voltage stabiliser. This product is aimed at preventing interference and potential damage to sensitive devices such as flat screen televisions by protecting them from voltage fluctuations that can occur when using a motorhome’s 12V electrical system.
What Is A Voltage Stabiliser?
The voltage across a 12V battery tends to fall when the load increases and rise again when the load falls. An example of this would be running the water pump, which typically is only on for a few seconds but requires a reasonable amount of power. Connecting the battery to a battery charger (as happens when you are on mains hookup) also causes the battery voltage to change, usually upwards, as battery charging voltages tend to be between 13V and 15V.
Most 12V motorhome equipment is immune to this kind of treatment. Your motorhome’s water pump, for example, will probably be specified to work happily at any voltage between about 10V and 17V. However, some equipment – notably flat screen televisions and other sensitive kit like satellite boxes – can malfunction or even be damaged by a fluctuating power supply.
Of course, if a device is this sensitive, it should have the necessary safeguards built in to protect it – but it often doesn’t, especially if it was originally designed to work off much more stable mains electricity, via a 12V transformer. Many cheap flat screen televisions fall into this category, for example.
This is the problem that Amperor’s 12V voltage stabilisers have been designed to solve. They are effectively just 12V DC power supplies with a properly regulated output that will maintain a constant 12.6V, even when the input voltage rises above or falls below this level.
The ADP-90DC-12 will provide up to 70W of DC power (12.6V + 5.6A max) from an input that can vary anywhere between 10V and 28V. What this means is that you can provide a good quality, stable 12V power supply to your electronic equipment without worrying about interference or possible damage caused by voltage fluctuations. The very high maximum input voltage (28V) means that you can even use this device to power 12V devices from a 24V supply, as commonly found in lorries.
How Does It Work?
The voltage stabiliser looks like a laptop power supply and is similar in size and weight. Power is supplied by plugging the supplied lead into a cigarette lighter socket. The output of the voltage stabiliser terminates in a standard DC connector but you can choose from one of four designs when ordering, in case you need a non-standard size.
Ideally, this device would come with a choice of output connectors, but adapters are cheaply available elsewhere and I suppose only shipping it with one helps keeps the cost down.
In Use: Amperor ADP-90DC-12 Voltage Stabiliser
Although I do not have a television in my ‘van, to test the voltage stabiliser, I took advantage of the variable voltage available from the cigarette lighter socket in the cab of the van. By using a combination of starting, revving and stopping the engine, I was able to obtain a voltage range from the cigarette lighter of between 12.8V and 14.65V.
Throughout this, the Amperor did its job and its output remained perfectly stable at 12.9V (slightly higher than the specified 12.6V due to the zero load presented by my multimeter, presumably).
At the time of writing, the Amperor ADP-90DC-12 is retailing at around £35-£40 and can be purchased from a number of online stores.