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Old 06-05-2013, 12:34 PM   #1
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Cigarette socket plug in 12v/120v inverter

I was thinking of installing an inverter in my smallish pass-through but read a past thread that KyDan used an inverter he could plug into the cigarette socket to power his TV for a short while.

Now I'm thinking about doing this but I have used this socket with a USB adapter to charge my iPhone and it seems that the USB adapter gets a little warm. It would be nice to use this type of inverter as the cigarette outlet is right next to the TV.

The other thought was when installing a normal inverter it is recommended to be as close to the battery as possible. Using the cigarette inverter you are quite far from the battery. Any thoughts or suggestions?
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Old 06-05-2013, 01:43 PM   #2
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I believe that accessory outlet behind your TV is rated for only 8 amps, which would give you a max of 96 watts. Considering inverter efficiency, you'd be lucky to get 80 watts out of it, and I doubt your TV is that small a load. Not recommended.
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Old 06-05-2013, 01:53 PM   #3
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I had a Cobra 300w out in the garage that I forgot about that had connections for both 12v battery and cigarette outlet. I plugged it in to the cigarette outlet and to the TV and it fired up fine. It is a Jensen 19" LCD. The fan did not come on the inverter and ran for about 3-4 minutes before heading back to the office from lunch. I was still hooked to shore power but it should not affect the 12v cigarette outlet I would think. Tonight i will get my multi-meter out and do some amperage tests with the TV in 120v as well as 12v.
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Old 06-05-2013, 02:20 PM   #4
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The wires you melt will be your own. ;-)
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Old 06-05-2013, 03:32 PM   #5
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I contacted Wayne at FRF service concerning another matter and then brought this subject up. He did not think that there would be any problem running a small inverter from the cigarette adapter and indicated that they used to do this in the conversion vans he used to work on with no problems. I guess there is only so much juice you can get from it, and if I feel no heat from the adapter, and if the inverter works without giving off heat or the fan running, and the TV works... Like I said, I will do some amperage tests tonight. Should be fun, hopefully.
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Old 06-05-2013, 03:40 PM   #6
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Somewhere on your TV, probably on the back or in the manual it will
say how many watts it is.
My little 19" LCD TV is about 60 watts and I run it via a cigarette socket
inverter. I installed the cigarette socket outlet myself and just hooked
it into the power wire for my built in radio/dvd player. I haven't blown
a fuse yet!
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Old 06-06-2013, 12:06 PM   #7
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I did some testing last night with my multimeter and found the following...

I have a fuse for just the entertainment center area which was nice. With nothing plugged in and the DVD/stereo on standby I read .055 for parasitic amps.

Parasitic + Antenna Booster .127
Parasitic + Inverter .707
Parasitic + Antenna Booster + Inverter .772
Parasitic + Antenna Booster + Inverter + TV 3.21 @ 25 Volume
3.22 @ 50 Volume
3.30 @ 75 Volume
Parasitic + Inverter + TV 2.855
DVD + Inverter + TV 3.89

I had brief moments (3 seconds) of the fan running on the inverter only when the TV was on. The Jensen 19" LCD is rated at 50w. The inverter is a Corbra 300w with >83% efficiency and perfect modified sine wave. I played Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven DVD all the way through without shore power and monitoring the multimeter and checking for any warm areas around the Winegard outlet which I found none. The inverter was luke warm. That is way more than I ever intended to do with this inverter as it was just to watch a little morning news while boondocking (If I could get a channel).
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Old 06-06-2013, 01:43 PM   #8
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Great post Greg!! Thanks for doing the homework and posting real numbers!

When we first got a camper I was adamant, NO TV. We're going camping
in the woods to get away from the TV!... etc etc.. I've come around.
Last summer we spent 5 nights at Pisgah National Forest.
(Think Smokies with less people and traffic).
It was June and great temps and pretty good weather except each evening, we'd hear the rumble coming over the mountain and it would rain!
Campfires were out.
There was a WallyWorld about 3 miles down the road with a RedBox.
We'd sit under our awning and have a brewski and then retire inside when
the skeeters got too bad. We watched a movie each night.
I ran my genny for a few hours on day 3 to boost my 2 plain old 12v
crank/deep cycle marine batteries.

It works for us! My cheapo inverter cost about $20 and it is not pure sine wave. The TV has some lines in the background but not too bad.
I can live with it. I actually have a better inverter but for some reason it
shuts down for "low voltage" when my batteries are anything less than
absolutely full.

Happy Camping!
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Old 06-06-2013, 01:57 PM   #9
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Question?:
My 2013 Solera has 12V Televsion. I have a DirecTV self-seeking antenna (Winegard Carryout) feeding a DirecTV receiver; the receiver uses 120V. I have a small 300W inverter, not pure sinewave - which my son is currently using. I have not tried it out on the receiver yet, but am curious whether it would affect the quality of the picture. Any ideas on this?
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Old 06-06-2013, 02:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taylorgso View Post
Question?:
My 2013 Solera has 12V Televsion. I have a DirecTV self-seeking antenna (Winegard Carryout) feeding a DirecTV receiver; the receiver uses 120V. I have a small 300W inverter, not pure sinewave - which my son is currently using. I have not tried it out on the receiver yet, but am curious whether it would affect the quality of the picture. Any ideas on this?
Not sure if your inverter would affect the picture quality or not. KyDan indicated that he would get some background lines but was not bad. Try it and see what you get. On the other hand you could upgrade your inverter. I believe I only paid about $35-40 for mine and I had DVD quality.
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