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Thread: Inverters

  1. #1
    Patrol God wildgu6's Avatar
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    Inverters

    Hi guys, looking for an inverter. Can someone fill me in on what's what, what to look for and a good place to buy.

    Cheers Pete


    TAPPN OUT
    "Tonka Tuff" 08-GU6, 3.0lt crd, 5 Speed, Turbo Diesel, Hpd, Arb, Ome, MT Baja Atz.

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    All depends what you want to use it for really. There are two types of inverters essentially. Square wave (a manufactured wave) and sine wave (the same as what you get from your home power point and generally filtered).

    If you want to run sensitive equipment like laptops and other electronics spend the extra on the sine wave. If you just want to run lights and some other basic electric goods then you only need a square wave really.

    The other important part is how much power are you going to draw? Make sure you buy an inverter with a bit of head room in it (above and beyond your general power needs).

    If you are going to be running anything like a power tool, fridge or anything else with a motor in it remember these devices have a massive current draw to get them up and running and then use less power once they are running. You'll need to make consideration to get you through that initial start up current draw.

    Another key important safety point with any inverter is to look at the electrical isolation of the unit. Some of the cheap and nasty ones can actually show 240 volts across the unit to the body of the car and can electrocute you (remember your playing with household electrics in the bush here). Please play it safe and make sure all your safety is covered don't put electrical leads in the dirt, mud water etc. and if the cord or anything else looks old and worn out, then throw it out.

    A good place to buy an inverter from is generally Jaycar Electronics www.jaycar.com.au they have shops and dealers all over the Country and generally have some nerds behind the counter to help you out.

    Also remember inverters generally drag a lot of juice out of your battery so have a power 'input' management plan as well. Don't go killing your batteries in the car so the dual battery expires long before it should or even worse that your car won't start again later.

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    G`day Pete
    I run a 300 watt square wave which runs all my little chargers IE phone ,camera ETC and I have a dedicated small pure sine wave for the computer. TV and my multi media player are 12 volt and only get used very occasionally. Jaycar would be a good place to start once you work out what you want to run Never carried power tools but did convert a batt drill to run 12volt and just made an extension lead so I could plug into any of my sockets but have never used it

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    Inverters

    Cheers guys, prob looking at running lappy and boogie box, maybe a small tv but that's just not camping...lol but gotta keep the miss's happy hahaha. And maybe some small cooking appliances


    TAPPN OUT
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    Boogie box then that will mean a large ice maker for the drinks a smoke machine and a set of disco lights HAHAHA
    Thought about a 7 KVA genny mate.

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    Know of a few fellow cub members that run a 1000-2000 inverters for Micro ovens Etc
    a 300 watt job should run a 12" TV All sizes usually say what they are capable of running
    go grab a Jaycar catalogue
    04 ST 3lt auto, not enough Mods to keep me happy, but getting there

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    I just thought of a further important safety issue that should be mandatory with all inverters. Get yourself an RCD (Residual Current Device). The best ones to buy for camping are like the ones they use for work sites which are a small extension lead with an inbuilt RCD on the male end of the lead. These will trip the power (at the RCD) if anything (like fingers and forks etc.) try to make an easy path to the ground and electrocute someone.

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    Travelling Podologist Cuppa's Avatar
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    For stuff like the laptop stick with a pure sinewave type. There are heaps on eBay going cheap, & no doubt there will be folks who will say they are ok, BUT from personal experience I wouldn't touch them with a barge pole. I have had two eBay cheap PSW inverters go bung on me. One worked fine for a few months & then simply stopped working, the other from new would constantly cut in & out. I believe it needed a cooling fan, which it didn't have, so constantly hit thermal overload, cut out, cooled down & cut back in again. This would occur several times per minute.
    In the end I decided to go with a top quality unit made by Victron, having found an Australian supplier who sells them at really good prices, way cheaper than the Victron shop. In the link below it shows the inverters with differing output sockets (which you can get adapter leads for, for only a few dollars on eBay)' BUT they can supply some of the models with a single standard Aussie 3 pin socket too. I bought the 350watt one which they supplied with an Aussie socket. a mate bought the 800w model & had to get an adaptor lead. I have no connection with the company other than being a very satisfied customer. Their service was top notch. Note that these inverters are probably double the weight of the cheap eBay ones, indicative of their quality components. Mine now has 12 months use without problem, & continuously ran appliances well above it's rating without a hiccup. (550w).

    Re. Jaycar pure sinewave inverters. The older 'teal' colour ones are very good if you can get one, I have two, a 150w & a 300w. Both have had much use over the past 6 years & are still going strong. I have also had one of the red/silver models they replaced the 'teal' ones with & it didn't last.

    For my laptop a 150w is quite ample (& it's quite a heavy power user as laptops go),also the tv, but You would need to check what sort of amps your boogie box draws. For kitchen appliances check their labels, it will say how many watts they use.
    If power draw is given in amps, multiply it by 12 (for a 12v system) for the number of watts.

    I'm guessing a 350w would be enough to meet your needs

    http://www.marineequip.com.au/victron-inverters.html

    Cuppa

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    A 300w is for initial surge and will settle back to 150w.

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    Travelling Podologist Cuppa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NP99 View Post
    A 300w is for initial surge and will settle back to 150w.
    I'd like to clarify that statement.
    Most are rated at their continuous output, with the surge rating being higher, often roughly double, for short periods, to allow for appliances that have a higher current requirement on startup. So the statement would be correct for a 150w inverter.

    However the better quality brands often under rate their output. As I mentioned earlier my 350w Victron has proved capable of providing a continuous output significantly higher than it's rated continuous output. I plugged appliances totaling 550w into it & ran them continuously for almost an hour without hiccup, so definitely more than a surge capability.

    Cuppa

    2006 4.2TDi ex-Telstra Remote area Camper. 425w roof mounted solar, 360Ah Aux batts, BCDC1240, Onboard hot & cold pressurised & filtered water, (25 litre hot water calorifier), ARB fridge, ARB freezer, Built in kitchen, 240v, 3 Genie exhaust + dynotune, 2 lift, Lovells GVM upgrade, ROH Blaktrak steel wheels, Bridgestone D697s, Redarc gauges/pillarpod, Hema HX-1, CB, dual rear view cameras, Onboard 30amp Victron mains charger, second glovebox, dual seat conversion, Tyredog TPMS, Boss PX7 onboard air with 9 litre tank, 350w inverter, Steel bullbar, Harrop Eaton diff lock (front), Warn winch, Snorkel, Dual spares , 160 litre water tank, 2010 Tvan Tanami. (incl another 70 litre water tank) with matching wheels/tyres (& 3rd spare)
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