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Which (Small) Inverter?


GrahamPye

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I know that there have been several discussions about inverters before, and long arguments about the relative merits of inverters followed by laptop (etc.) chargers versus specific 12V chargers for each device. Although I agree that specific chargers will be more efficient (I used to be an electronic engineer, so I can do the sums :-)) I'm convinced by the alternative argument that I already have the mains chargers for all my devices, and I don't want to buy new ones...

 

So, which leads me to the two vital questions:

 

1) So are quasi-sine wave inverters OK for powering laptops, toothbrush chargers, and other small devices or not? Sterling Power's website says they are, and they sell both sorts of inverters so they ought to be unbiased!

 

2) Which model to buy? I'm thinking that I probably only need about 150W continuous, and although that size will probably be OK in a cigarette lighter socket. I'll probably wire it in (via a switch) permanently.

 

Thanks,

 

Graham

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Hi Graham. I've just been looking at these myself. I think, purely for charging stuff, the modified sine wave ones are OK.

I am probably going to go for a Ring Powersource 300w one. Halfords sell them, but Screwfix are cheaper at £40 - 150 w is £30.

Just about to look on Ebay and Amazon in case they are cheaper.

 

PS I have no idea why I want the 300w one, as you say 150 w is probably fine, but for an extra £10, why not? :-D

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candapack - 2014-03-04 3:53 PM

 

Hi Graham. I've just been looking at these myself. I think, purely for charging stuff, the modified sine wave ones are OK.

I am probably going to go for a Ring Powersource 300w one. Halfords sell them, but Screwfix are cheaper at £40 - 150 w is £30.

Just about to look on Ebay and Amazon in case they are cheaper.

 

PS I have no idea why I want the 300w one, as you say 150 w is probably fine, but for an extra £10, why not? :-D

 

In fact have just bought the 300w one for £25 (incl delivery!) on Ebay.

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I only considered the 150W one on the grounds of cheapness, and I read in one of the other forum posts here that they are more efficient at close to their rated capacity. From your experience, it doesn't sound like cost is a significant reason...

 

Thanks, I'll have a look on eBay assuming you didn't buy the last one :-)

 

Graham

 

PS We're just down the road from you, between Dollar and Saline.

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GrahamPye - 2014-03-04 5:37 PM

 

I only considered the 150W one on the grounds of cheapness, and I read in one of the other forum posts here that they are more efficient at close to their rated capacity. From your experience, it doesn't sound like cost is a significant reason...

 

Thanks, I'll have a look on eBay assuming you didn't buy the last one :-)

 

Graham

 

PS We're just down the road from you, between Dollar and Saline.

 

Yes, someone else has just told me I don't want to overspecify - don't think it will be a problem.

What van do you use - in case I've seen it about. Ours is an AutoSleeper Inca 2007 (British, keep that to yourself :D )

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I have been using a quasi-sine wave inverter since 2001.

 

1) for the most part quasi-sine wave is OK, but .........................................................................

 

2) I have found that a) it fried two electric toothbrush chargers, b) it will not charge either my netbook, or an AA battery charger (used for camera batteries) without being 'tricked'. To trick the netbook and the AA charger, I have to plug the inverter in to the 12 volt supply and then withdraw the plug to the 12 volt supply and then quickly re-plug the inverter to the 12 volt supply.

 

This is my experience, yours may be different.

 

 

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spospe - 2014-03-04 7:17 PM

 

I have been using a quasi-sine wave inverter since 2001.

 

1) for the most part quasi-sine wave is OK, but .........................................................................

 

2) I have found that a) it fried two electric toothbrush chargers, b) it will not charge either my netbook, or an AA battery charger (used for camera batteries) without being 'tricked'. To trick the netbook and the AA charger, I have to plug the inverter in to the 12 volt supply and then withdraw the plug to the 12 volt supply and then quickly re-plug the inverter to the 12 volt supply.

 

This is my experience, yours may be different.

 

 

Have you been using the SAME inverter since 2001? If so, hopefully newer ones have had these issues ironed out.

But I'll let you know. :-D

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spospe - 2014-03-04 7:17 PM

 

I have been using a quasi-sine wave inverter since 2001.

 

1) for the most part quasi-sine wave is OK, but .........................................................................

 

2) I have found that a) it fried two electric toothbrush chargers, b) it will not charge either my netbook, or an AA battery charger (used for camera batteries) without being 'tricked'.

 

This is my experience, yours may be different.

 

 

Hmm, that's a bit worrying, since charging a toothbrush is one of the planned uses I had in mind, that is until I get around to dismantling one of our old Braun chargers to see if I can make it work on 12V - unless someone has already done so...

 

Meanwhile, what make is your inverter - clearly I don't want to risk my toothbrush with that one!

 

Anyone else got any recommendations?

 

Graham

 

PS Chris, I've PM'd you about local stuff.

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We have been using the same inverter from 2001 to date. It is an 80 watt Genius model and is modified sine-wave (quasi-sine wave).

 

The toothbrush chargers were Braun and were a modern type, bought within the last 3 years. We had them replaced under guarantee. Older models of charger (also Braun) were unaffected by the inverter, so it seems that the modern (cheaper to manufacture) chargers were more susceptible to being damaged by the rather rough, quasi-sine wave output.

 

 

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spospe - 2014-03-09 9:32 PM

 

We have been using the same inverter from 2001 to date. It is an 80 watt Genius model and is modified sine-wave (quasi-sine wave).

 

The toothbrush chargers were Braun and were a modern type, bought within the last 3 years. We had them replaced under guarantee. Older models of charger (also Braun) were unaffected by the inverter, so it seems that the modern (cheaper to manufacture) chargers were more susceptible to being damaged by the rather rough, quasi-sine wave output.

 

 

Oh - well our toothbrush chargers are the modern Braun type so it sounds like I'd better look for a pure-sine wave inverter then! Thanks for the details.

 

I had a brief look before but I couldn't find any small (i.e. about 150W) pure-sine wave inverters. Better have a more thorough look! Anyone got any recommendations?

 

Graham

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