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Old 21-01-2018, 08:04   #1
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Small Inverters

My charger/inverter is 17 years old. It works pretty good except for some reason it just stopped being to run the microwave. But it is an electrical vampire and uses 2 amps DC just to turn it on. SoI finally got myself a small 400W inverter off Amazon for like $20 and wired it to my DC panel and use it for watching TV and charging my laptop. Now after 3 weeks of operation I can say this was a big improvement as it seems we are using 30AH/day less power.

Of course of it might also have been my start battery drinking at the house bank trough some.
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Old 21-01-2018, 09:33   #2
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Re: Small Inverters

The small inverters are alot more efficient for light loads like charging computers and running Tv's. We use them daily. As you have learned the large inverters draw quite a bit of power just being turned on. Ours just plug into cigarette lighter plugs.
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Old 22-01-2018, 11:44   #3
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Re: Small Inverters

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
My charger/inverter is 17 years old. It works pretty good except for some reason it just stopped being to run the microwave. But it is an electrical vampire and uses 2 amps DC just to turn it on. SoI finally got myself a small 400W inverter off Amazon for like $20 and wired it to my DC panel and use it for watching TV and charging my laptop. Now after 3 weeks of operation I can say this was a big improvement as it seems we are using 30AH/day less power.

Of course of it might also have been my start battery drinking at the house bank trough some.
I have honestly seen this argued both ways but my experience mirrors yours. The large inverters have a bit more phantom draw so if you have light loads most of the day a smaller inverter is a good idea. That said be careful some of the cheap ones are pretty inefficent and some are fine.
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Old 22-01-2018, 17:20   #4
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Re: Small Inverters

I have found that the small, inexpensive inverters are very noisy, can upset your autopilot and radios, so just be aware.

A solution I found, and really like, is to get a TV that works on 12v (just look for a transformer that plugs into the wall and read the specs written on it) then get a 12v-12v power supply (35-50 bucks) to protect it from charging voltages.

Also, run the computer on an automotive adapter.

I've also added 12v-5vUSB outlets to avoid using 110v cell phone/tablet/etc chargers.

Generally, these approaches save us a few amps overall, and maybe 20 AH in a 24-hour period.
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