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I found at Radio Shack a 110V device that produces 12V DC through a builtin power point. It's meant to power automotive devices at home. I was thinking of using it as a battery saver while I swap out the Ody's battery. I would run a cable with a male power plug at both ends from the unit to the power outlet in the van.

Would this produce power that is clean enough to run the van's computers without burning anything out?
 

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Ever think about just leaving the van running while you swap?

I wouldn't use what you are describing, but I don't really know why. It might work great.
 

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Why take a chance on blowing the expensive electronics just so you don't have to enter the radio code. To use the power socket you have to have the ignition on enabling all the electronics to failure fron a noise spike. As for leaving it running the battery acts as a noise filter for the alternator generated voltage. Without it severe noise spikes are generated in the system and fed back to the computer sending it haywire. The simplest and safest way to change it is without any gimics. Just remove the negative lead first and then the positive and reverse to install the new battery.
 

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Ever think about just leaving the van running while you swap?
Never remove a battery from a running automobile. It serves several purposes:
1) Holds chassis ground at 0v
2) Provides a voltage reference for the alternator
3) Provides a huge capacitance for noise & spike suppression

Take it away and you risk a great amount of damage.

I don't know how long the radio will coast, but the engine ECU can take a few minutes without power before it loses stored values. A fast swap might work. I have heard of using a simple 9v transistor battery with alligator clips to keep things alive, but never tried it. If all doors are closed and everything is off, the standby power could be low enough (a few hundred millivolts) that this could work for 10-15 minutes or so. I like the use of a battery better than a wall wart power supply as those are notorious for overvoltage when not loaded properly.
 

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I've clamped a car jump starter to the clamps then removed them. Takes a second person and being very careful but it can be done and the starter is just a small battery running similar voltage. You could use 2 - 6volt lantern batteries wired in series, not sure if a 9volt would be enough for the power hungry beast.
 
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