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Old 25-05-2019, 04:56   #1
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Inexpensive but reliable 12v-120v inverter advice

My 2,000w inverter stopped working and I need a new inverter. I only use it on rare occasions to run a 120v, 400 -700w power tool, and usually for only a few minutes at a time. I’m looking for a cheap, but reliable, modified sine wave inverter for around 100 dollars that can handle up to about 700w. I bought a 3,000w Chinese cheapy, but sent it back as the output was only 80v and the terminals broke when I tightened them. I also noted in their literature that you shouldn’t power anything over 600w - hardly a 3,000w inverter then…

I found 2 possible candidates (a Go Power and a Giandel) that seem to meet my needs:

https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B00153BH7Q?...i-a=B00153BH7Q

https://www.amazon.ca/Giandel-1200Wa...11-spons&psc=1

I think I’m more inclined to go with the Giandel due to its smaller size (the Go Power is huge).

Does anyone have any experience with either? Any other brands or models I should look at within my budget? Thanks in advance!
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Old 25-05-2019, 13:51   #2
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Re: Inexpensive but reliable 12v-120v inverter advice

I've heard of Go Power being OK within cheap Chinese stuff arena, Bestek, SWI Power

AIMS less so but prolly better than average.

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Whole other league, but for MSW and low power worth checking the higher-quality makers

Xantrex is good but terrible CS attitude. Magnum is the best, Vanner, Victron, MasterVolt, Sterling, Outback, ProMariner but pricey. Samlex and Tripplite solid middle ground. I've heard Morningstar is good.
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Old 25-05-2019, 14:18   #3
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Re: Inexpensive but reliable 12v-120v inverter advice

I had a Samlex inverter on a land piece of construction equipment. It worked well and lasted well, even though it was slightly exposed to the weather.
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Old 25-05-2019, 14:50   #4
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Re: Inexpensive but reliable 12v-120v inverter advice

Personally, I would go with a brand name one, like Victron or Mastervolt. Otherwise, I would avoid the modified sine wave ones.
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Old 25-05-2019, 15:08   #5
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Re: Inexpensive but reliable 12v-120v inverter advice

Neither unit is certified for marine use (or anything else). It is illegal to sell non-certified electrical equipment in Canada. Perhaps that does not matter in your country .... just food for thought when buying discount chinese stuff.
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Old 25-05-2019, 15:18   #6
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Re: Inexpensive but reliable 12v-120v inverter advice

I would definitely go with UL/CA certified units, but MSW units are perfectly fine for most tools - and even some electronics.
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Old 25-05-2019, 15:26   #7
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Re: Inexpensive but reliable 12v-120v inverter advice

Note there are many cheap units that work "just fine" for undemanding use cases.

Until they don't. Carry spares.

Or buy a high quality unit, may last longer than the rest of your rig.

I've got Vanner units pulled from emergency vehicles decades ago, still running strong.

And I bet repairable, very unusual these days.

Better to buy older known-good stuff secondhand than brand new throwaway garbage.

Better for our Mother Earth too.
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Old 25-05-2019, 18:18   #8
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Re: Inexpensive but reliable 12v-120v inverter advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatpoker View Post
Neither unit is certified for marine use (or anything else). It is illegal to sell non-certified electrical equipment in Canada. Perhaps that does not matter in your country .... just food for thought when buying discount chinese stuff.
Boatpoker, I'm buying the inverter in Canada. The links are to Amazon in Canada.
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Old 25-05-2019, 18:21   #9
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Re: Inexpensive but reliable 12v-120v inverter advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by john61ct View Post
Note there are many cheap units that work "just fine" for undemanding use cases.

Until they don't. Carry spares.

Or buy a high quality unit, may last longer than the rest of your rig.

I've got Vanner units pulled from emergency vehicles decades ago, still running strong.

And I bet repairable, very unusual these days.

Better to buy older known-good stuff secondhand than brand new throwaway garbage.

Better for our Mother Earth too.

Thanks. I'll see if I can find something of better quality used. The thing is, I don't want to spend too much on something I use only every few years for 5 or 10 minutes.
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Old 25-05-2019, 18:44   #10
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Re: Inexpensive but reliable 12v-120v inverter advice

The OP mentioned that his MSW inverter showed 80 volts. If that was measured with an inexpensive averaging AC voltmeter, not the more expensive RMS reading meter, that’s close to the correct voltage. Averaging-type meters don’t read non-sine wave voltages correctly.
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Old 25-05-2019, 18:54   #11
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Re: Inexpensive but reliable 12v-120v inverter advice

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Originally Posted by Bycrick View Post
The OP mentioned that his MSW inverter showed 80 volts. If that was measured with an inexpensive averaging AC voltmeter, not the more expensive RMS reading meter, that’s close to the correct voltage. Averaging-type meters don’t read non-sine wave voltages correctly.
Yes, I measured the voltage with a cheap multi-meter.
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Old 26-05-2019, 09:19   #12
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Re: Inexpensive but reliable 12v-120v inverter advice

i bought two cheep Chinese 2000 watt modified sine wave inverter and one for backup had it 20 years ran my microwave my coffee maker toaster hotplate. never needed the backup and we used daily for three years. sold the boat it was still working.
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Old 26-05-2019, 09:21   #13
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Re: Inexpensive but reliable 12v-120v inverter advice

I am interested in a low power/cost inverter, too.
Why is modified sine wave not good?
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Old 26-05-2019, 09:36   #14
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Re: Inexpensive but reliable 12v-120v inverter advice

in my case it worked fine. but this was back 1989 had no issues with charging cell phones nicads vacuum cleaner not much digital not even the micro wave
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Old 26-05-2019, 09:38   #15
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Re: Inexpensive but reliable 12v-120v inverter advice

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Originally Posted by bobmcd625 View Post
I am interested in a low power/cost inverter, too.
Why is modified sine wave not good?
https://www.lifewire.com/modified-si...uestion-534760

It depends on what you want to run off your inverter.
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