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Old 20-01-2012, 07:12   #16
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Re: Best inverter for the buck

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Originally Posted by prroots View Post
If not for the budgetary restrictions, the Xantrex ProSine 1800 (806-1802 version) looks very nice:
Power Inverter, Pure Sine Wave Inverter, Marine Inverter, PROsine
It includes a transfer switch to automatically switch from inverter to shore power, but the best price I've seen is $949.
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Old 20-01-2012, 07:18   #17
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Re: Best inverter for the buck

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The prosine will bring you to tears. At least it did to me.

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Please elaborate. Thanks
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Old 20-01-2012, 07:38   #18
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Re: Best inverter for the buck

The ProSines, of all of Xantrex's stuff are the cheapest made. They are high-speed switching supplies made with cheap components. They throw rf everywhere, they are audibly noisy, the power is dirty, they use a lot of power on standby mode (don't believe the specs) and they break down easily and often. If you are not in tears by the time you try to get Xantrex support by phone or email, you will be afterwards.

Of course, that was 5 years ago for me, they could have redesigned the units and put a good support team in place since then...

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Old 20-01-2012, 15:22   #19
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Re: Best inverter for the buck

One solution is to put the loads that you do not want to power with the inverter (water heater, battery charger, etc) before the selector switch for shore/inverter power. For instance, you can have a main AC panel that includes the water heater, battery charger, and a shore/inverter switch for a subsidiary panel with the loads to be powered either way. This subsidiary panel can actually be just a part of the main panel, as I have done.

If you use a selector switch, get a three gang (Line/Neutral/Ground) switch so that using shore power the Neutral and Ground connections are not connected to the boat's ground (which must be the case for the inverter). Connecting the shore grounding with the boat's grounding is a recipe for electrolysis (stray current corrosion). This isn't needed if you are using an isolation transformer for the shore power, which I highly recommend.
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Old 20-01-2012, 15:32   #20
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Re: Best inverter for the buck

Whether or not it is standalone depends on the size of the boat and how nice you want things to look. You don't want to have to snake extension cords around a larger boat.

I have an older 3000 watt ProSine that is wonderful. It's been nothing but reliable and the power is very clean. I don't know why I would want a more expensive inverter.

I don't care much for automatic switching. I use an A-Off-B switch to go between shore and ship power. When it is off I know I am not going to get electrocuted when working on the AC system.
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Old 20-01-2012, 17:50   #21
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Re: Best inverter for the buck

Quote:
Originally Posted by prroots View Post

If not for the budgetary restrictions, the Xantrex ProSine 1800 (806-1802 version) looks very nice:
Power Inverter, Pure Sine Wave Inverter, Marine Inverter, PROsine
It includes a transfer switch to automatically switch from inverter to shore power, but the best price I've seen is $949.
Pete
NOOOOooooo!!!

Several people here (including me) could tell you stories.
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Old 20-01-2012, 18:06   #22
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Re: Best Inverter for the Buck

I've blown two Xantrex Prosine 2000 units. Neither was even a year old. They couldn't handle daily use.

Never again.
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Old 21-01-2012, 04:55   #23
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Re: Best Inverter for the Buck

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I've blown two Xantrex Prosine 2000 units. Neither was even a year old. They couldn't handle daily use.

Never again.
Thanks. Guess I'll stay clear of Xantrex!

The Aims model PWRIC150012S for $479 looks interesting:
http://www.aimscorp.net/1500-watt-pu...witch-charger/

It's designed to plug directly into any 115 VAC outlet. When it senses loss of Voltage it switches on the inverter and powers all your AC outlets on the same circuit (which in my case is all of them). It also includes an integral battery charger to charge your batteries when shore power is sensed. I would need to disable that feature since I already have a 4 stage battery charger.

The Samlex model ST1500-112 also looks interesting for $571:
http://www.samlexamerica.com/custome...ifications.pdf

It's design is more conventional in that it includes a 30A transfer switch with AC in and AC out. It could be placed in series between the shore power plug and the main AC panel. One could also place this in series between the AC outlet breaker of main panel and the outlets themselves. This would ensure that you never fed water heater and battery charger from the inverter.
Pete
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Old 21-01-2012, 05:31   #24
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Re: Best Inverter for the Buck

After reviewing numerous inverters online and seeing the feedback from this forum, I have come to some general conclusions:
  1. Prefer the pure sine wave version to guard against equipment damage, poor equipment operation, and RF noise
  2. The transfer switch versions are undesirable since I don't want to drain down batteries if for any reason shore power lost eg, during night or while unattended ie, all critical equipment runs directly off 12 VDC anyways.
  3. The standalone version should work fine if wired through a DPDT switch off AC outlet breaker such that all AC outlets are fed from either shore power or inverter but never both simultaneously. This also guards against feeding water heater or battery charger from inverter.
Comments appreciated.
Pete
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Old 21-01-2012, 06:52   #25
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Re: Best Inverter for the Buck

Quote:
Originally Posted by prroots View Post
After reviewing numerous inverters online and seeing the feedback from this forum, I have come to some general conclusions:
  1. Prefer the pure sine wave version to guard against equipment damage, poor equipment operation, and RF noise
  2. The transfer switch versions are undesirable since I don't want to drain down batteries if for any reason shore power lost eg, during night or while unattended ie, all critical equipment runs directly off 12 VDC anyways.
  3. The standalone version should work fine if wired through a DPDT switch off AC outlet breaker such that all AC outlets are fed from either shore power or inverter but never both simultaneously. This also guards against feeding water heater or battery charger from inverter.
Comments appreciated.
Pete
Actually, the SW inverters have a greater potential for rf noise unless they are large, heavy line-frequency ones.

On many inverters, you can simply turn the transfer switch function off.

Mark
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Old 21-01-2012, 09:16   #26
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Re: Best Inverter for the Buck

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Actually, the SW inverters have a greater potential for rf noise unless they are large, heavy line-frequency ones.

On many inverters, you can simply turn the transfer switch function off.

Mark
Thanks. The RF noise issue is less of a concern compared to poor equipment operation or damage simply because we won't need to use the inverter when we care about RF noise. Also, many of the pure sine wave units claim to have lower RF emissions so it probably varies from unit to unit.

We'll not consider inverters with transfer switches since they are significantly more expensive and much less available compared to the standalone variety.
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Old 21-01-2012, 09:36   #27
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Re: Best Inverter for the Buck

I've discovered that Cotex, distributed by Samlex in the US, makes a wide variety of 1500 watt pure sine wave inverters such as:
SSW-1500-12A for $354
PST-150S-12A for $413
SA-1500-112 for $476
S1500-112 for $545
SK1500-112 for $599

Has anyone experience with this brand?
Pete
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Old 21-01-2012, 13:20   #28
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Re: Best Inverter for the Buck

Quote:
Originally Posted by prroots View Post
Thanks. Guess I'll stay clear of Xantrex!

The Aims model PWRIC150012S for $479 looks interesting:
1500 Watt Pure Sine Power Inverter with Built in Transfer Switch & Charger - AimsPower

It's designed to plug directly into any 115 VAC outlet. When it senses loss of Voltage it switches on the inverter and powers all your AC outlets on the same circuit (which in my case is all of them). It also includes an integral battery charger to charge your batteries when shore power is sensed. I would need to disable that feature since I already have a 4 stage battery charger.

The Samlex model ST1500-112 also looks interesting for $571:
http://www.samlexamerica.com/custome...ifications.pdf

It's design is more conventional in that it includes a 30A transfer switch with AC in and AC out. It could be placed in series between the shore power plug and the main AC panel. One could also place this in series between the AC outlet breaker of main panel and the outlets themselves. This would ensure that you never fed water heater and battery charger from the inverter.
Pete

Both of the inverters linked to have AC in and auto transfer switches.

I appreciate that you and many others do not like/want Xantrex but why are you looking at lower quality inverters instead?

Look for better quality than Xantrex, not worse. Look at Magnum, Outback, or Mastervolt.

Xantrex may be the Chevrolet but you are looking at Hyundai.

What service/backup does Samlex have?
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Old 21-01-2012, 14:04   #29
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Re: Best Inverter for the Buck

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Originally Posted by mitiempo View Post
Both of the inverters linked to have AC in and auto transfer switches.

I appreciate that you and many others do not like/want Xantrex but why are you looking at lower quality inverters instead?

Look for better quality than Xantrex, not worse. Look at Magnum, Outback, or Mastervolt.

Xantrex may be the Chevrolet but you are looking at Hyundai.

What service/backup does Samlex have?
I can only hope to find something as reliable as Hyundai That's the perfect example of a great bang for the buck. One has to remember that the inverter (at least in our case) is a convenience, not a critical piece of electronics used for navigation, communications, etc hence the search for an economical solution.
Pete
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Old 21-01-2012, 14:36   #30
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Re: Best Inverter for the Buck

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The standalone version should work fine if wired through a DPDT switch off AC outlet breaker such that all AC outlets are fed from either shore power or inverter but never both simultaneously.
Please review my previous post. A DPDT switch is not adequate as that implies a permanent connection of the shore safety ground to the boat ground, which is a bad idea. Use a 3 gang selector switch, or 3PDT. If this doesn't make sense to you I can elaborate.
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