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Old 11-11-2011, 21:15   #1
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Siting an Inverter

I've got a Xantrex inverter I need to install in my boat, and trying to find a good place to locate it. I'd really like to locate it under my chart table, but concerned about two things:

1) Interference on HAM, which will be 4' away

2) length of cable run is about 12' or more

Are these concerns warranted? I'm ready to quit thinking about this one and start making cables.

Chase
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Old 13-11-2011, 14:15   #2
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Re: Siting an Inverter

My $0.02:

Regarding interference there are guidelines but you never really know until you try it out. You may end up having problems transmitting or only on certain frequencies, in which case flipping off the inverter isn't that bad. But before you mount it in that position maybe run loose wires to it and see how it works (plug something in that causes AC load).

Regarding cable run it depends entirely on the load and gauge of the wire. I have a small 100w cigarette plug style inverter up in the v-berth, running for a long way from the batteries along slim wires. No big deal because the load is small. Take a look at something like this to calculate in the cable distance and power to get an idea of the proper cable.


http://www.the12volt.com/info/recwirsz.asp
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Old 13-11-2011, 14:30   #3
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Re: Siting an Inverter

Put it as near the batteries as what makes sense. This will help you from having to run larger DC cables over a greater distance.
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Old 13-11-2011, 19:08   #4
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Siting near batteries means AC service will be in cockpit locker. Ideal for cable run and high loads, but otherwise inconvenient. Do others do others do this and use extension cord?

Thanks for input, last field planted and headed to boat with family-
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Old 13-11-2011, 19:47   #5
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Re: Siting an Inverter

Put it somewhere DRY. Inverters really don't like getting wet. Ham interference is more a function of low close to the antenna it is than the radio, and you can always turn off the inverter while you are using the radio. I would run longer lines and put it under the chart table before I would put it in a cockpit locker.
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Old 13-11-2011, 20:00   #6
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Re: Siting an Inverter

Remember that the inverter lets off a lot of heat - don't box in the inverter, and be sure to place in a DRY area. I am a Ham operator and have no issues using the inverter while using the radio...although my auto pilot wigs out on a just very few SSB frequencies. It's always a surprise when you key the mic and the autopilot does an immediate right turn! Whoa!
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Old 23-12-2011, 16:44   #7
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Re: Siting an Inverter

I recently installed an inverter on the outside wall of a locker in the aft cabin. There were relatively short cable runs (7'-8'), and the outlets and on/off switch were easily accessible. Plus, it took up very little room from adjacent shelf. I did run a heavy (12ga extension cord to the auto-transfer switch located in the lazarette. If that doesn't work, I can always plug in an extension cord to my coffee pot and microwave.
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Old 23-12-2011, 17:19   #8
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Re: Siting an Inverter

Mines located in the cupboard on the port side, Right above the house battery banks, I have had no problems with it so far, The meter is on the cupboard door, So I know what its doing at a glance, Discharging or charging,

I have wiring and power outlets all over the place to plug things into the power,

It just needs a vented cupboard to put it in, and screwed down so it dont move around,
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Old 23-12-2011, 18:20   #9
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Re: Siting an Inverter

Mine in not in a fully vented space, but in the space under the seat in the main salon, which has a larger area down to the bilge. (Under the blue pillow in the stock photo below.)



I've tested it there (laser type termometer) and it's just fine. Why? Because it drains a huge amount my 330 Ah battery capacity every minute the microwave runs. It just can't heat the space up enough before the batteries are dead. I am ready to cut vent holes if needed. But for now, I keep an eye on it when it's on or doing something like running the microwave.

It is also the backup battery charger. I lift the lid on the seat when it's in charging mode. I figure that over time the heat could build up.

It is 12 inches from the main house power switch, a 3 foot each cable run to make things neat. This was after much consideration and using the calculator at Genuinedealz - Technical - Calculators. You just lose too much power if your inverter is much farther from the batteries -- that or your very thick and heavy cables get very expensive (perhaps even more expensive than the inverter).

Regards,
Brad
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Old 24-12-2011, 10:19   #10
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Re: Siting an Inverter

Your concern about noise from the inverter getting to the radio and istruments is valid but there is another interference I found the hard way.

The inverter shared its battery with the single side band transmitter. If I didn't make sure the inverter was OFF when using the single side band radio, the inverter would blow out the 2 driver boards at $160 each.

That was nearly 20 years ago and hopefully modern inverters have protection but it doesn't hurt to make sure any critical electronics is off before tuning the antenna on a single side band radio.
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Old 24-12-2011, 10:54   #11
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Re: Siting an Inverter

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheoah View Post
Siting near batteries means AC service will be in cockpit locker. Ideal for cable run and high loads, but otherwise inconvenient. Do others do others do this and use extension cord?
I've always found it odd that folks would buy a good piece of gear that could be integrated seamlessly with their boat electrical systems and then even consider running extension cords. Why even bother?

Either locate it somewhere convenient to minimize the length of extensions cords, or wire it directly into the boat's A.C. system with a manual transfer switch.
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