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Old 06-07-2013, 04:44   #1
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Inverter recommendations?

Hi,

I'm considering installing an inverter - for the sole purpose of being able to power small 240v power tools that I'd like to be able to use occassionally without having to connect to shore power. Of the tools I have in mind, the biggest power users are a small 600w grinder and a 750w drill. (I already have a cordless drill, but it doesn't have the capacity to do a particular job I have in mind).

Can anyone recommend a particular inverter?

Thanks,

John
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Old 06-07-2013, 05:29   #2
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Re: Inverter recommendations?

i have modified sine wave inverter from a hi volume online shop it is 2500W (with a higher advertised peak) and easily operates 900W drill or grinder at variable speeds. it was only $120!! absolutely brilliant investment so start cheap ...!
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Old 06-07-2013, 05:36   #3
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Re: Inverter recommendations?

Google is the answer...but beware if your tools need "true sinewave" that's going ti be a lot more expensive than "modified sinewave"...which is essentially square wave...some AC motors don't respond well to that...
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Old 06-07-2013, 07:21   #4
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Re: Inverter recommendations?

I am keeping my eye on this thread I am also in the market for a new inverter I was going to buy a latronics one.
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Old 06-07-2013, 07:49   #5
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Re: Inverter recommendations?

Given your need for 240 V I suspect you are not located in the US. Normally I would say buy a cheap Chinese made inverter at Wal Mart or your friendly autoparts store. A 1000 watt unit will work fine for occaisional use and will cost less than $100.

But I suspect you have these sources where you are located as well and those inverters will be 240 V.

David
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Old 06-07-2013, 08:58   #6
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Re: Inverter recommendations?

I have a question, related (I hope) to this forum: I live at a dock with 120 vac/60 cycle shore power. I have a Magnum 2000 inverter/charger to supply me with AC when off the dock. If I were to travel to another country with 240/60 or 240/50 power, I am assuming I can buy a medium sized charger locally, along with an appropriate extension cord, to charge the house bank (and start bank via combiner). Then I can continue to use all my AC devices via the boat's AC inverter system. I'm not missing something here am I? Total current needs would be below 30 amps (at 120 volts).
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Old 06-07-2013, 09:02   #7
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Re: Inverter recommendations?

Yes, you can do that.

The BIGGER question about buying a new inverter is this: do you want to or can you use the receptacle on the inverter for your intended use, or do you want to tie the inverter into the boat's A.C. system. If the latter, you need to buy one with an internal automatic transfer switch or install a separate manual transfer switch.

This is a more important issue than sine or modified sine. I have a modified sine (1998) and it works my power tools and charging sources just fine.
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Old 06-07-2013, 09:11   #8
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Re: Inverter recommendations?

I don't intend to install an AC system on the boat. The intended use of the inverter is purely to allow me to occasionally run AC power tools without needing shore power.

Prices of electronics seem a lot lower in the US, and even in Aus (with it's high rate for the dollar) than the UK. Don't know why that is!
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Old 06-07-2013, 10:09   #9
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Re: Inverter recommendations?

I like WAECO. I dislike VICTRON.

My likes & dislikes dictated by failures experienced and encountered.

b.
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Old 06-07-2013, 10:22   #10
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Re: Inverter recommendations?

"Prices of electronics seem a lot lower in the US, and even in Aus (with it's high rate for the dollar) than the UK. Don't know why that is! "

The usual answers are volume (the US population and market being way larger than that of the UK) and tariffs. The US often has a zero tariff on electronics while some countries have a 100% tariff on electronics.

Add the two up, and the price of the goods can double or triple.
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Old 06-07-2013, 14:37   #11
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Re: Inverter recommendations?

Modified sine wave inverters may not run power tools with electronic variable speed controls. My older Xantrex inverter won't power a Bosch variable speed saber saw but will an El Cheapo piece of junk from Home Depot as well as my other tools.

As far as power needed, a 1000 watt unit should power hand tools. A 2500 watt square wave unit would run a washing machine, 25 cu' refrigerator, and a 10" table saw but only one at a time. It blew up two micro wave ovens, though.
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Old 07-07-2013, 01:41   #12
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Re: Inverter recommendations?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roy M View Post
I have a question, related (I hope) to this forum: I live at a dock with 120 vac/60 cycle shore power. I have a Magnum 2000 inverter/charger to supply me with AC when off the dock. If I were to travel to another country with 240/60 or 240/50 power, I am assuming I can buy a medium sized charger locally, along with an appropriate extension cord, to charge the house bank (and start bank via combiner). Then I can continue to use all my AC devices via the boat's AC inverter system. I'm not missing something here am I? Total current needs would be below 30 amps (at 120 volts).

1st most likely not everything is run off the inverter. so those things wouldn't work. (water heater and other big loads are normally left off)

the inverter can put out about 15 amps so you'll half of the 30 amp shore cord.

2 depends on the size of the charger. if you are running a bunch of stuff of the inverter you can be drawing 150+ amps. so if you are running a lot of stuff for a long time you will need a really big charger. but that should be easy to figure out what you are normally using.
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Old 07-07-2013, 04:11   #13
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Re: Inverter recommendations?

For the True vs Modified debate as to the sinewave your inverter puts out, If you are using Electric goods, like nonvariable speed drills and grinders, the Modified is usually fine, however Electronic goods like TVs and stereo systems need true sinewave. Laptops can usually get away with modified even tho they are electronic because they have an adapter that cuts it to DC anyway.

What this means is if you get the simpler basic tools and avoid electronic control ones then running tools off a cheap inverter is quite practical, but if you want to run sophisticated tools, you will need a sophisticated inverter which obviously will mean more dollars to shell out.
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Old 07-07-2013, 10:25   #14
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Re: Inverter recommendations?

smac999, I think there is a bit of miscommunication. My question is: If I were to go to a foreign land with, say 240VAC/50 cycles, purchase an extension cord that has the correct plugs for the dock box and an outlet, into which I plug a locally purchased battery charger, and since the output of the charger is 12 VDC, wouldn't that make it possible to charge my house bank? Then, by turning on my inverter (which would not be connected to shorepower, whatsoever) I could then transform the housebank 12 volt power into 110 VAC/60 cycles for my own consumption using my boat's AC outlets. I am talking about 15 amps of AC, not powering an electric heater or waterheater.
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Old 07-07-2013, 19:01   #15
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Re: Inverter recommendations?

Roy, you've got it right. The "local" charger will charge your batteries from whatever the local power is, and your inverter will run your AC loads from the battery power.

There's probably some incredibly slim chance that an oddball local charger would be, say, putting out a 50Hz pulse charge into your batteries and that your inverter might get upset because that is not "pure" clean DC, since electronics are constantly finding new and obscure ways to misbehave. But I don't think that is going to be a problem. You might want to double-check with the manufacturer of your inverter, and with any luck they will laugh and guffaw at the thought of that.
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