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Using CPAP in flight
#1
Hi, I'm new! *waves*

I have a ResMed S9 VPAP Adapt. I will be flying to Europe later this summer. I have plug-in outlet adapters for use over there already as I've used them before and they work great.

I am going to attempt to use my machine in-flight as it's a 9.5 hour flight and I think it would help me sleep and be better rested. I've never tried plugging anything in on an airplane before, so I don't even know what the plugs look like. My machine has the standard 90W AC Adapter power brick, and cord with American-style plug.

It's a Boeing 777-200 aircraft (American Airlines) so I called the airline and all the person could tell me was that it's a DG (lol 'D' as in Dog, 'G' as in George she said *ahem*) power outlet, 15V and they don't supply adapters.

So, my question is, what exactly do I need to get in order to use it in-flight? I'm guessing I can't use the usual AC power brick and I need a special brick for the DC power? Or is there a DC/AC adapter that plugs into the AC brick where the cord would normally or between the plug and outlet? Or something else? And is this something I have to get from ResMed or is it a generic airplane adapter thing? And what do the plugs look like?

I'm just very confused! Anyone got a spare clue to help a bunny?

Thanks,
-UrsineBunny
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#2
Welcome

I'm fairly certain they meant DC power. I'm not entirely sure about the ResMed S9 but the A10 requires some sort of signal generated from the power adapter to work so if the S9 is the same you would need to get their DC to DC adapter.

The power outlet on the plane is a standard cigarette lighter type of plug. It is 15v and can handle 75 watts. CPAP without humidifier should run fine on that.

Here is the AA page for the 777-200. On the right, click on Seat Map and you'll see which seats have the power port.

American Airlines

Excerpt from page:
"Power Source
Some Main Cabin seats are equipped with DC power outlets that deliver 15V of direct current (and up to 75 watts). American does not provide adapters, but they are available for purchase on the Duty Free cart internationally where Duty Free is offered."

I'm sure someone can weigh in on the proper power supply for the S9.



Using FlashAir W-03 SD card in machine. Access through wifi with FlashPAP or Sleep Master utilities.

I wanted to learn Binary so I enrolled in Binary 101. I seemed to have missed the first four courses. Big Grinnie

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#3
Hi UrsineBunny,
WELCOME! to the forum.!
Hang in there for more answers to your questions and much success to you with your CPAP therapy.
trish6hundred
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#4
Hi UrsineBunny,
You could try calling Resmed Customer Service . They should have the answer for that .
Adapter , I'd probably try to get ahead of time in case there's none on board . Just a thought. I think AAA usually carry that type of item also.
Bon Voyage.
3
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#5
(06-12-2015, 01:20 AM)UrsineBunny Wrote: It's a Boeing 777-200 aircraft (American Airlines) so I called the airline and all the person could tell me was that it's a DG (lol 'D' as in Dog, 'G' as in George she said *ahem*) power outlet, 15V and they don't supply adapters.

She probably misread her screen. It's a 15V DC outlet, not DG. It requires an "empower" plug.

Unfortunately, empower outlets are limited to 75 watts, which definitely isn't enough to run your machine on it's highest pressure setting with the humidifier on high, since that would be about 90 Watts, but might be enough with the humidifier on low.

Even more unfortunately, even if you have an Empower outlet, they're almost all broken/dead unless you get a new plane.

You can see if they'll bump you up to a business class seat (that has normal AC power (some of their planes have this) and use your normal power supply and plug, or get them to have a mechanic verify that the Empower port works for your current seat, and buy an Empower -> 115V Converter. The Kensington K38037US should work, although I've never tried it.

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#6
I respectfully disagree regarding AA using EM power. Most other airlines do use EM power but it seems AA likes to be different.

Looking into it further it will depend on which type of 777-200 you are on. The retrofit version has AC available on every seat. The older 777-200 has DC and judging from this page, it doesn't appear to be EM power.

http://www.aa.com/intl/jp/onboard_en/powerPort.jsp

Here is their power chart from their web site.

[Image: aa-power.PNG]

Edit: I should add that their 777-200 type 1 doesn't use EM power. I have no idea if they use it on their other aircraft. I didn't look into it.


Using FlashAir W-03 SD card in machine. Access through wifi with FlashPAP or Sleep Master utilities.

I wanted to learn Binary so I enrolled in Binary 101. I seemed to have missed the first four courses. Big Grinnie

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#7
Thanks, everyone, I got more information. (And yes, I knew she meant DC, I just found it amusing.)

It seems they have a cigarette-lighter type power port, and I purchased a DC converter for the S9 VPAP Adapt.

HOWEVER, I've spent all day on the phone talking to various people at American A-holes and they *REQUIRE* that you use a battery pack. According to the supervisor in their medical department, they will not allow you to plug it in at all. So you either use it with a battery, or you don't get to use it at all. Which seems like a crock to me, but that's what they're insisting. One chick told me "it could bring down the plane". I told her flat out she was full of s*it.

I'm tempted to just try it anyway if I get a seat with a power outlet. That was all I wanted in the first place when I called them - to try to get a seat assigned with a power outlet. Then they wanted all the details on my machine, which I gave them. Then they said that my machine wasn't "approved" - this was the same chick who told me it could bring down the plane - and that I'd have to wait a week while they get approval. I called back in and eventually got someone much more knowledgeable and friendlier and she found my model, no problem. She tried to get them to let me plug it in, but her stupidvisor said no way.

Oy! What a PITA!
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#8
Video 
If it were me, I'd plug it in and try it.

However I don't think it's a regular cigarette lighter plug. I've flown AA a lot and it always seems to be the thinner empower connector. This shouldn't be a problem since most of the converter type things I've seen have a 2 part cigarette lighter plug that fits either.

Good luck!

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#9
Pardon me, but I don't seem to understand ANY of this! What is an "empower" adapter? What's a cigarette lighter power plug? Like in cars? My CPAP has a standard US 2 prong power plug that I plug into a standard US home 110 AC power outlet. I'll be on an Air France flight in a few months which is an overnighter on a 777-300, I believe, in premium economy.

From what I can tell, I can't just plug it in and go to sleep. In fact, it almost sounds like I can't even use it at all.

Anyone know exactly what I need, like UrsineBunny above? I can't glean a clear answer from the previous posts.



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#10
If it's a US based flight, they're full of it and it's an approved device. Look on the bottom of your device for "RTCA-DO/160" or a small symbol of an airplane. That means that the device has been tested for use on an airplane.

If it was a Phillips device, I could have sent you a letter from their Regulatory Affairs department affirming the above. You'll have to contact ResMed separately.
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