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To invert or not to invert, that is the question.....


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Following helpful forum responses to my recent query concerning extending my non-EHU time, I'm awaiting delivery of my new super low-power MH TV.

45 watts bad, 13 watts good! ( I hope....)

Now, next questions.

Off-site, I have always used an inverter to raise my Sat. dish, then to power the Sky box and the TV. That combination was the main cause of my limited battery time.


Should I run my new low-power 240v/12v TV from the inverter (as it will be running for the Sky box anyway), or should I run the TV from a 12v source, leaving the inverter to run just the Sky box?

Is the inverter itself a heavy-current item? And if so, should I be looking at an alternative signal source?

I see various plug- in aerials for sale on MH sites, but bear in mind we travel mostly in Ireland, then the UK, and sometimes France. Hence the Sky box and a Sat dish presently covers all those areas.


Finally, if I choose to run the new TV on 12 volts, can I just tap a (fused) line from a nearby 12v cable (the power switches for the water pump and lights are nearby, for instance) or do I have to run a long cable from the 'cig lighter' socket on the dash?


As always, all advice and suggestions appreciated. Except ditching the TV. Herself watches the soaps. I never do. (Wasn't it sad about Holly on Emmerdale btw.......and surely, Eileen is going to cop on about Phelan's scam on Corrie....?).




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Super low-power TV has just arrived......I'll be fitting it this weekend.

Regarding a 12 volt power source.....the inverter is mounted very near to the TV wall-bracket.

Could I tap the 12 volt power I need from the 12 volt cable going into the inverter?

Would it cause any problems if the inverter was on supplying the Sky box whilst the TV was taking 12 volts from the same source as the inverter?

I can't see it being a problem, but that's no comfort to my wife!

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Everything consumes power, both to power itself and to make up for inefficiences in it's system.


The less devices you use the less power you use, so where possible and without spending any more than I have to to achieve it I would use 12 volt when off grid and mains when on grid.

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We never have EHU when in the van, I'd advise the use of 12v for everything if possible, if not then the inverter will suck your LBs dry unless they are getting a charge from somewhere, be it solar, genny (shh) or engine, so you need to balance the system, with no EHU I assume no Microwave oven or hair dryers etc, so go for as small a inverter as will supply the max amount of watts you will ever have a need of at the same time, I have a 600w inverter, which is actually too big, 300 would do just about for our needs, as it powers a 230v TV, and 230v PVR, PVR will run from 12v, but I lost the lead, otherwise if not moving it also chargers laptops tablets and phones.


To allow off grid use I have a 100w solar panel, a 35a MPPT controller and 3 x 125ah LBs, this has been my setup in several vans over the last few years, I've never got near the 50% limit or below 12v even if sat still for several days, even throughout winter, when we quite often go away for weeks, I'm currently about to change vans again and will go down the same route next time, if it ain't broke don't fix it.


This is of course my opinion based on my own experience and how we use the van, others may differ.

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A 600w inverter will consume about 70 amps @ 85% efficiency

A 600w inverter running at 300w will consume about 50 amps @ 50% efficiency


A 300w Inverter will consume about 30 amps @ 85% efficiency


So you need to match the inverter to the load and don't just buy something big. Have a look at the efficiency ratings before you buy and always get a pure sine wave one if using electronics or electric tooth brushes. They all hate cheap modified sine wave inverters.


We always use 12v items where possible. Sat Dish is 12v and so is the TV. We don't bother with Sky just use FreeSat. LED Bulbs throughout.


We have two 75 amp LB and a 150w Solar Panel.

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