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Old 08-18-2012, 11:02 AM   #1
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What kind of inverter have you added and why?

So we're in a place where "boondocking" is going to be the norm more than serviced sites.

Along with all the other "bits", it seems an inverter is something we will want.

I'm planning out a 4 battery bank as we speak.

We have a Honda 2000W genny, but I don't want to to have to fire it up all the time to watch tv, use the computer or microwave.

So, inverter it is.

I understand the differences between a modified and "true" sine wave inverter.

What do most RV'ers use?

There's a significant difference in price between the two.

I have run many AC components on modified sine inverters and would like to know if anyone has any negative experiences with the less expensive modified sine inverters.

Or maybe it's an "efficiency" and battery life thing?



Whatever teh choice, it isn't going to be something hanging out of a 12v plug. It's going to be integrated into a re-wire of the TT since the original stuff looks like it was done by a 16 year old with a pair of pliers and a roll of vinyl tape.

Eventually, there'll be a bank of solar up on the roof as well.

Looking to build a "plunk it anywhere" rig over the next few years....
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Old 08-19-2012, 08:43 AM   #2
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I currently have a 2400 watt modified sine (MS) inverter and am replacing it with a 2000 watt pure sine (PS) inverter.

I have never used more than 1200 watts (10 AC amps and 100 DC amps) ever.
However, I may in the future when solar arrives.

I do need the pure sine though.

While my TV will play "fine" using the Tuner and Composite inputs with the modified sine inverter, when using HDMI or Component, the signal is awful and cuts in and out. Since my computer is my video source and I use the HDMI output to provide signal to the TV this is a "big deal."

MY Magic Chef microwave will NOT work on modified sine. There is plenty of juice; it just won't run. I think pure sine will fix it. Hope So.

Laptops work just fine on Modified Sine since they actually run off the battery even when the charger is plugged in.

Stand Alone PCs are "Iffy." My "dedicated" camper PC (before I removed it and went with the new laptop) worked OK with the MS Inverter but it had a pretty high end power supply. Your Experience May Differ.

Forget the Air Conditioner. Destroying your batteries for 45 - 60 minutes of air conditioning is not worth it IMO.

Anything that uses a heater will work just fine on MS. A coffee maker will work (but don't - see the Air Conditioner comment). The high current demand lasts a LONG time while coffee is brewing. It gets longer as the voltage drops from the current draw. My 150AH bank (2x75AH) won't make coffee in the morning after shutting off the generator at 10:30 the night before.
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Old 08-19-2012, 09:37 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by herk7769 View Post

Laptops work just fine on Modified Sine since they actually run off the battery even when the charger is plugged in.
Yep, that's one of the reasons why most modern notebooks/laptops
run just fine with MSW. Running off battery, the electronics cannot
"see" the waveform of the AC.

But there is a second reason why this works - the power supply/charger
is almost always a "switch mode" device; AC waveform simply doesn't
matter. When AC is available, I usually REMOVE the battery from my
notebook to prevent damage from overcharge. Unless the charger
is truly *PERFECT*, there will usually be some overcharge. Li-Ion
batteries don't like that and have reduced life time.
All my notebooks run fine off a 400 watt MSW inverter WITHOUT
the battery installed.........

The Switch Mode supplies don't care about wave shape and/or
frequency because they immediately convert the incoming AC to
DC to operate the rest of the circuitry. Even voltage can vary from
about 90VAC to about 250VAC for most Switch Mode power
supplies. (Nice for the manufacturer to build only one supply
that can be used world-wide!) Even a MSW waveform,
with it's rotten harmonics, will not bother a half way decently
designed Switch Mode power supply/charger. The Chinese-
built ones that I use work fine with a MSW inverter......


Many other modern electronic devices with Switch Mode supplies
will work well with MSW inverters. Of course, devices like the
microwave oven you mentioned - devices with a transformer - will
NOT like the harmonics in a MSW waveform. But that's
another story......

cheers,
johnd
(Typed from a notebook WITHOUT battery.......)
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Old 08-19-2012, 11:22 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by herk7769 View Post
I currently have a 2400 watt modified sine (MS) inverter and am replacing it with a 2000 watt pure sine (PS) inverter.

I do need the pure sine though.

MY Magic Chef microwave will NOT work on modified sine. There is plenty of juice; it just won't run. I think pure sine will fix it. Hope So.

Anything that uses a heater will work just fine on MS. A coffee maker will work (but don't - see the Air Conditioner comment). The high current demand lasts a LONG time while coffee is brewing. It gets longer as the voltage drops from the current draw. My 150AH bank (2x75AH) won't make coffee in the morning after shutting off the generator at 10:30 the night before.
Lou,

Not all modified sine waves are equal. Some are closer to true sine wave than are some others. My Magic Chef microwave works just fine on a modified sine wave inverter. I guess it could be due to either a difference in the inverter or a difference in the microwave. The inverter is an Aims PWRINV1250W. It is rated 1250 watt continuous, 3100 watt surge. The microwave is MCD990ARB.

Saying that "Anything that uses a heater will work just fine on MS" in not quite true. Some heating type devices may still rely on electronic controls that could be sensitive to waveform. The one device of mine that did turn out to be a problem was the electric blanket, which wouldn't work at all. Old blankets with analog controls work fine, but they are very hard to find. I finally discovered the Soft Heat blanket that has a power supply and runs on 18V d.c. It works and is also the best electric blanket that I have ever owned. I got one for the S&B house too.

One other thing that gave me a problem with the inverter was the remote on/off switch. I needed a long wire run and the resistance in the (mfgr. intended) telephone cable turned out to be too much for it. I changed to 16 AWG cable and now it works.

Joel
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Old 08-19-2012, 12:06 PM   #5
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1200 watt modified is what we have. Use it for sat receiver and TV only. Rest of the stuff is too power hungry for boon docking use
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Old 08-19-2012, 05:28 PM   #6
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I was mostly thinking of using it for TV now and then since everything else is mostly 12v or propane, so that your tv works with a MS inverter a good sine.......errr, sign......
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