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Midland DC LO Error - Cigarette Lighter Adaptor



I saw a thread about getting the DC LO error when trying to use an underpowered AC/DC convertor w/o enough amp/wattage.  I just figured out the same thing although now I understand the specs I need to have.

What started my troubleshooting was not that I wanted a base station power supply but I was getting the DC LO when using a cigarette lighter adaptor in my jeep.  It works fine for my 15 watt MicoMobile (came with it actually) but I cut it off and spliced it to the 40 MicroMobile and I cannot transmit on high or Mid power.    I noticed that the wire gauge on the cig adaptor is thinner than the power cable on the 40w radio.   ( then wired it to an AC/DC power supply I had but got the same results posted in the other thread due to it being wimpy.

Does anyone know if I get a beefier cig lighter adaptor with heavier gauge connections will that work or will I never get enough juice from the 12 volt outlet in the jeep and just need to hardwire it?

Thanks in advance.

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The cigarette lighter plug only puts out a marginal amount of current, typically no more than 10 amps, and often, quite a bit less. At 12 VDC, 10 amps should provide about 120W, but I've seen lesser loads blow the fuse, so I expect many lighter plugs are fused and rated for less than that. For a CB or handheld radio with about 5 watts output, the current would be sufficient. When you get to about 25W, the current just to transmit is about 2 watts, but the radio consumes more power than that. That's likely still within the limit of the lighter plug, but it's pushing that limit. A 50W radio will require about twice the current, often exceeding what the lighter plug can provide reliably. Even though your radio is rated at 40W, some reviews have stated that it can put out more than that, so I think it would also likely exceed what the lighter plug can provide. I would recommend hard wiring it.

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Yeah, I really don't think it is the gauge of the wires I used but I have a marine grade adaptor and some thicker gauge wire so I figure I will try it.  I'll let you know.  I've never had a radio this powerful so I wasn't sure.  Midland sells the 15 watt unit with the cig adaptor hard wired on (which I have and works fine).  The 40 watt unit comes with bare wires (and fuses) so I guess that's the clue...there is nothing in their manual that give much guidance though.

Thanks for the help.


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