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Inverters - my brain's gone dead!
userMel B
Posted: 10 August 2005 8:15 PM
Subject: Inverters - my brain's gone dead!

We've been given a 150w inverter 'gratis' but am not sure what we can use it to power, can anyone tell me what the output is, I'm sure I should know this but my brain has turned into a clogged sponge at the moment!

userDavid Powell
Posted: 10 August 2005 9:15 PM
Subject: Inverters - my brain's gone dead!

See Clive tomorrow...but be careful...he says he is feeling younger!
Posted: 10 August 2005 9:15 PM
Subject: Inverters - my brain's gone dead!

Output is up to 150 watts at 230 VAC 50 Hz. It should power a mains TV, VCR, DVD, Laptop, shaver, hand whisk for food, Camera charger etc. It won,t power a microwave or a kettle.

If you load it up close to its capacity it will consume about 15 amperes from the battery. If you only run the TV for example it will consume a lot less, closer to 2 or 3 amps.
Hope that helps.
Posted: 10 August 2005 9:49 PM
Subject: Inverters - my brain's gone dead!

Basically one 150-Watt Light Bulb, A Laptop Computer, or anything with a smaller power consumption less than 150 Watts. Or to put it another way, anything that draws a maximum current of about two thirds of an amp or less, at 230 volts.
(Volts multiplied by Amps = Watts)
It will not run a Toaster or a Kettle from a 12Volt Battery.
It may run sum small TVs.
Regards Peter.
userDon Madge
Posted: 11 August 2005 8:25 AM
Subject: Inverters - my brain's gone dead!


I'm thinking about getting a laptop power adapter

I've got a 150 Watt inverter but I've been told the power adapter is more economical than using the inverter. What do you think? Please don't blind me with science!!!

Have a nice weekend.

Posted: 11 August 2005 4:43 PM
Subject: Inverters - my brain's gone dead!

MelB & others

There is another consideration for electronic devices and that is the type of PSU that is used inside. Some will require a true sinewave as opposed to the usual (cheaper) inverters that transmit modified sinewaves.

Also certain types of PSU require much higher switch-on current which can be beyond the capacity of small inverters.

If possible, try before you buy.


Posted: 12 August 2005 10:11 AM
Subject: Inverters - my brain's gone dead!

A couple of observations:

1 Watch if you’re running an inverter via the cigarette lighter socket if you’re static for any time as it is fed from the engine and not leisure battery.

2 Maplin do a superb and idiotically cheap 650 watt inverter which will give you plenty of spare capacity – see their website and Neal's note above.

3 The need for a pure sine wave inverter today is almost academic as power supply design has changed dramatically.

Posted: 12 August 2005 8:31 PM
Subject: Inverters - my brain's gone dead!

Virtually all 220v devices sold in the UK have their consumption in (kilo)watts printed on them. (I suspect it may be a legal requirement).

Digressing slightly, I do wish people would stop referring to 12v consumption in amps - why not just use watts then you wouldn't have to keep saying you are referring to 12v
Posted: 15 August 2005 7:09 PM
Subject: Inverters - my brain's gone dead!

Use an inverter and the laptop,s mains adapter. This includes all the filtering and also provides galvanic isolation to a level deemed necessary by the Laptop manufacturer. Yes it may take 5% more amps out of your battery but play safe. I do.
userJohn T
Posted: 16 August 2005 6:03 PM
Subject: Inverters - my brain's gone dead!

I use an invertor for my lap top. I found that went the battery got a bit low the 12v power unit increased the power consumption and the added volt drop caused it to dropout. With an invertor you suffer from this problem, but make sure the invertor is as close to the battery as possible ( mine's bolted on the passenger seat base) and don't forget to put a suitable fuse in both leads.
John T
userDavid Powell
Posted: 16 August 2005 7:17 PM
Subject: Inverters - my brain's gone dead!

I have a Maplins Soft Start NIKKAI 150W [power surge 450W] Sale price was £15 so no complaints there. Reading through all the super forum information, am I correct in assuming that my consumption rate is about 8Amps, as the TV is 5amps---adapter to TV---and the inverter should use about 3Amps?.?...It all works very well, and the inverter gives a warning signal and switches off when the battery it is running off drops to 10.5 Volts. Still enough to start the engine if we happen to be running it off that battery. It plugs into the cigar lighter socket (I have one for each battery). The instructions for the earth lead from the inverter sound a bit 'ify to me. It says connect the earth wire to the hull of the boat "fair enough" but to the frame earth return on a road vehicle ensuring that it is bonded through to the negative battery terminal. Presumably that way to ensure least resistance. But would the battery absorb that voltage if there was a short out or what ever??? When on electric hook-up fine, we know we have a good earth then.
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