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Old 11-05-2009, 03:01   #31
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Location: On my boat, Pleasant Hbr, WA
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Joli:
Just don't try to get Xantrex to help you get them serviced. When I asked for help, they told me to throw my Freedom 25 away and buy another.
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Old 11-05-2009, 09:29   #32
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Boat: 50' Custom Aluminum Motorsailer
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My experience with Xantrex 3.0 ProSine.
I acquired a NOS unit with a project boat. Unit had been purchased by PO some 5-6 years earlier. I installed unit out of it's original packaging and was very happy with it's performance for 3 mths. Then one day it quit, internal fault error showing on control panel. Called Xantrex, and even though I could not produce proof of purchase, nor could they find serial number in their database AND I admited the circumstances under which I came to have it, they STILL shipped out a replacement unit at no cost to me. It took some talking but they came through. The experience leaves me with questionable confidence in the replacement unit going forward, hence I've picked up a couple of 1500 watt inverter only units off ebay to have as emergency back up to jury rig in case of future failure.

BTW -- was talking to a custom builder the other day who has gone to what he calls "distributed inverters" on the boats he's building. He's using cheap NAPA - 500 - 1000 watt inverters to supply individual AC needs. Reasoning that it's cheaper and way more redundant to have standardized cheap mass produced units distributed around the vessel with a couple of spares on the shelf in case one fails.

I can see the reasoning, when my unit went out, it took out everything, would have much prefered just the microwave or some outlets to blow instead of taking it all out.

Of course it means that other provisions for AC based battery charging need to be made.
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Old 11-05-2009, 12:38   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ldrumond View Post
.....

BTW -- was talking to a custom builder the other day who has gone to what he calls "distributed inverters" on the boats he's building. He's using cheap NAPA - 500 - 1000 watt inverters to supply individual AC needs. Reasoning that it's cheaper and way more redundant to have standardized cheap mass produced units distributed around the vessel with a couple of spares on the shelf in case one fails.

I can see the reasoning, when my unit went out, it took out everything, would have much prefered just the microwave or some outlets to blow instead of taking it all out.

Of course it means that other provisions for AC based battery charging need to be made.
Remind me to steer clear of this "custom builder". With "great ideas" like this, he's not going to be in business very long.

A 1000 watt inverter draws upwards of 100amps @ 12 vdc. Why in the world would you distribute devices which can pull this much current around the boat? It makes much more sense to convert the 12vdc to 115vac and use the boat's regular AC distribution circuits.

Good inverters, properly installed and operated, are very reliable. You can get a top-quality 3000 watt inverter with built-in 120amp charger and all the bells and whistles for under $2,000. Why would you forego that option in favor of a bunch of "cheap NAPA inverters" distributed around the boat, with a couple of spares on the shelf??

Madness knows no bounds :-)

Bill
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Old 11-05-2009, 15:24   #34
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Cheap parts

Most (all?) of the cheap inverters are made in China where cheap parts have been substituted for ones having higher ratings. One common failure in these cheap inverters is for various capacitors to blow up. Even in US manufacturing I have had to "fight" with supply chain personnel who try to substitute parts without fully inderstanding the uninteded consequences.

One major spec in some critical capacitors in inverters is a low ESR (equivalent series resistance) in high ripple applications. Switchers typically have some high switching ripple currents to contend with. High ESR caps make heat and sooner or later they fail.

Good inverter design and implementation with good manufacturing production engineers and quality control yield long life and good reliablilty as Bill points out.
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Old 11-05-2009, 15:28   #35
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Yep...quite right. And, with a properly installed inverter you won't have to worry about how that guest in the forward cabin is going to use her 1875 watt hair dryer as you would with a "distributed inverter system". Let's see...that's about a 200 amp pull @ 12 vdc. Maybe if you run AWG 2/0 cable up there????

B.
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