OMG Inverters !!

RAW

Full Member
#1
Inverters are a bit of a minefield. What to do ?
Anyone got any manufacturer's they can recommend, the prices vary enormously.
Pure Sine Wave is best from what I can tell so far
 

wildebus

Full Member
#2
I vary my choices depending on the requirement - both power and duty cycle.
Example: I have a Mains Fridge in my Camper which is on all the time - so the inverter is always powered up 24/7. For that purpose you need a quality unit that is quiet and reliable. I bought a top of the range inverter due to these requirements
I also have another inverter that I bought for limited testing use - paid £21 Brand New from Amazon. But I would never try to use this £21 inverter to run a fridge non-stop!
Pure Sine Wave is best but more expensive. Some devices will only work on a Pure Sine Wave so depends what your need is.
 


RAW

Full Member
#3
....I also have another inverter that I bought for limited testing use - paid £21 Brand New from Amazon. But I would never try to use this £21 inverter to run a fridge non-stop!
Pure Sine Wave is best but more expensive. Some devices will only work on a Pure Sine Wave so depends what your need is.
Which model / make did you get from Amazon please. I am thinking of getting a cheap one as a start just for some laptop power ?
 

wildebus

Full Member
#4
Which model / make did you get from Amazon please. I am thinking of getting a cheap one as a start just for some laptop power ?
It was this one - https://amzn.to/2VfAOai. It had a £5 discount voucher at the time and it was quite literally the cheapest 500W listed - that was my criteria for this purchase and bought solely on that basis. But it was actually pretty decent as it happens.
There is a 150W version for £18 I see which would be powerful enough for a laptop.
 

RAW

Full Member
#5
Unfortunately that URL that you put in the post
It was this one - https://amzn.to/2VfAOai. It had a £5 discount voucher at the time and it was quite literally the cheapest 500W listed - that was my criteria for this purchase and bought solely on that basis. But it was actually pretty decent as it happens.
There is a 150W version for £18 I see which would be powerful enough for a laptop.
Returns a bit.ly address of
Screenshot 2019-04-02 at 23.40.53.png
If I just use the URL as copy and paste in text only then it returns
https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07DHD16TR/

So there is something amiss with your affiliate link if that is what it is
I think I personally prefer the look of this one which is about £12 more expensive than the 500W tellUnow one
https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01N8RMPN7/
 

wildebus

Full Member
#6
The first one you linked to was the one I tried to.
As I said, my SOLE criteria for this purchase was as cheap as possible 500w unit and bought for a very specific test. (I'll actually be redoing the test within the next week and the inverter will be running non-stop for around 10 hours which will be interesting to see. I wouldn't really want to leave a cheap inverter active for that long to be perfectly honest)
At the 500W range or less, I would always recommend the Victron phoenix TBH as the extra cost is not that great. When you go up in size the price gap widens significantly and is many hundreds of pounds so the decision is trickier.
 


#7
you dont want a inverter for a laptop,there is a up voltage plug and cable for them which goes into cigy socket taking 12v up to 19v,there on ebay sorry no link.
 


RAW

Full Member
#8
So, for anyone that might be interested, I bought one of these on Amazon
https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01N8RMPN7
Erbayak.jpg
It was delivered and seemed quite sturdy but had loose components inside so was shonky and rattled. As a result I sent it straight back to Amazon, as who would want a piece of Electrical Kit like this with metallic rattling coming from inside !! That was before it had even been powered on

So then I looked around a bit more and was taken in by this as it also had some way of measuring the incoming battery voltage, potentially useful I thought, but cost a tenner more than the one above.
So having had the return of the Erbayak accepted I now have taken delivery of one of these:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07G5K3B4S
Guoxin.jpg
Now that looks good in the picture, and shows a massive discount on Amazon but don't be taken in, it is quite lightweight and says it is modified sinewave. Fortunately it does not rattle so what I am going to do is trial it out. The build quality is not as good as the one I returned though and the boxing really says it all !!
Guoxin_Box.jpg

So retrospectively maybe I should have got the cheapest one there was rather than spending out more on a Chinese supposedly "good" one, as Wildebus originally stated he got the cheapest one for a low wattage test out. I will see how this Guoxin Inverter performs and let anyone know who might be interested.
I feel that this nicely fits in with my post title though OMG Inverters !!
 

wildebus

Full Member
#9
Finding a decent inverter is a mindfield. The top brands you CAN rely on, but you pay through the nose typically.
One thing you will have found already if the croc clips are like the one in the photo on the Amazon listing ... they will be totally useless!
With my cheap inverter I found the device itself pretty decent , the cables were just about ok (but I would swap) and the croc clips only fit for the bin. (you tend to find the more expensive the inverter, the less chance of getting ANY cables bundled in oddly).

PS. You hopefully got the kit in the post today? I popped in a little extra as a thanks for your first order with me :)
 


RAW

Full Member
#10
PS. You hopefully got the kit in the post today? I popped in a little extra as a thanks for your first order with me :)
Dear @wildebus
Yes I received your very well packed and high quality items. Not entirely sure what the "little extra" will be for yet but I am sure it will find a use somewhere, will get to fitting it all in the week

THANKS
 
#11
Dear @wildebus
Yes I received your very well packed and high quality items. Not entirely sure what the "little extra" will be for yet but I am sure it will find a use somewhere, will get to fitting it all in the week

THANKS
It was a new batch and I hadn't done the labels yet! - this is it ... https://wildebus.com/store/index.php?route=product/product&path=70&product_id=90 (y)

Oh, just out of interest, I ran my cheapo inverter (the one I linked to) yesterday to run a charging test. Ran non-stop from 10AM until midnight at around 50% power output (it was running a 20A Mains Charger) and it carried out without any problems. Lots of fan action coming on and off, but temperature never exceeded 32C. I was wary of this inverter being able to run 14 hours non-stop without any cutouts, but I was pleasantly surprised. I would actually recommend this for VFM, not just as the cheapest available.
 

RAW

Full Member
#12
Ah right, could you send me a PDF of the instructions please ?
What does "recommend this for VFM" mean ?
 
#13
If you go to the store, you can "buy" (it is Zero £) the instructions and it will be in your download area on the store - easily available to view whenever you need to :)

VFM - Value For Money (It is now an Inverter that I would be inclined to actually choose not just because it is the cheapest)
 


#14
Why do you require a inverter unless like me im fitting a small compressor fridge which i have tested and runs fine on a 500w soft start mod sine wave from ebay using almost nout on standby
soft start inverter.png
 

RAW

Full Member
#15
Why do you require a inverter unless like me im fitting a small compressor fridge which i have tested and runs fine on a 500w soft start mod sine wave from ebay using almost nout on standby View attachment 1237
I have an inverter because I use a laptop often and also I have teenage children with mutiple devices. Also coffee machine (future maybe), hopefully it will work and juicer.
Cheers
 
#16
I have an inverter because I use a laptop often and also I have teenage children with mutiple devices. Also coffee machine (future maybe), hopefully it will work and juicer.
Cheers
Laptops work of a up voltage buck which plugs into cigy socket and uses much less than a inverter,but ok if going to use 230v coffee makers then fine,you only require a pure s/w inverter for some electronics , motors in fridges or kettles etc will work on any old inverter,do try and buy a soft start one,good luck.
 


#18
The problem is that you end up saving a little bit of power (inverters are not some evil thing that waste masses of power) but you spend a lot of money on a 12V adapter for this and a 12V adapter for that, and a 12V adapter for the other.
And if you change your laptop, then your have to get a different 12V adapter.

Just stick with an inverter. For something like a laptop that is maybe pluggd in for a couple of hours a day, it is the most cost-effective option.


I am not against adapting 240V to use 12V instead, BTW. I have two buck-boost setups myself for Amazon Echos (one is 12V and one is 15V) despite having an inverter on board. But this is because the Echos are a) on 24/7 and b) use such little power that having a 2500W inverter on all the time just for that would make no sense .
I have not, however, got a 12V adapter for my Laptop as that is only plugged in occasionally, uses far more power when running and would be a waste of money laid out to save a few watts of power. Pointless.
 


RAW

Full Member
#19
So on the first run out when we stopped we tested the cheapish inverter I had (was actually £49.99) and I am returning it. Inverter tripped out with not much load whilst having the lights on 12V circuit as well in the Van. Also the built in voltmeter seemed flakey, for anyone interested it was this one and I would not recommend it.
Note, lighting system under investigation, probably has more draw and power consumption than could be achieved with LED based systems

I am not against adapting 240V to use 12V instead, BTW. I have two buck-boost setups myself for Amazon Echos (one is 12V and one is 15V) despite having an inverter on board. But this is because the Echos are a) on 24/7 and b) use such little power that having a 2500W inverter on all the time just for that would make no sense .
I have not, however, got a 12V adapter for my Laptop as that is only plugged in occasionally, uses far more power when running and would be a waste of money laid out to save a few watts of power. Pointless.
Interestingly enough, @wildebus my son and I had a chat about Echo's and IOT, Arduino's and that sort of tech whilst out in the van and he said "problem is if you are going in and out of 4G you will always get that annoying 'your echo has disconnected' happening", how do you avoid that and, more interestingly, what are you using echo(s) for ??

In the tale of our first outing we also ran out of gas (oversight) which meant no tea in the morning, and the inverter I had which was actually only 500W with 1000W peak (and I'm not sure that is true) could not power the 750W kettle the previous owner had left in the van so no hot cuppa in the morning, sad times !!

What are these buck-boost things? Never heard of them, will have a look on the internet, or if you have something you recommend please send link so I can check specs etc

Thanks for your valuable input, as ever
Robert
 
#20
So on the first run out when we stopped we tested the cheapish inverter I had (was actually £49.99) and I am returning it. Inverter tripped out with not much load whilst having the lights on 12V circuit as well in the Van. Also the built in voltmeter seemed flakey, for anyone interested it was this one and I would not recommend it.
Note, lighting system under investigation, probably has more draw and power consumption than could be achieved with LED based systems



Interestingly enough, @wildebus my son and I had a chat about Echo's and IOT, Arduino's and that sort of tech whilst out in the van and he said "problem is if you are going in and out of 4G you will always get that annoying 'your echo has disconnected' happening", how do you avoid that and, more interestingly, what are you using echo(s) for ??

In the tale of our first outing we also ran out of gas (oversight) which meant no tea in the morning, and the inverter I had which was actually only 500W with 1000W peak (and I'm not sure that is true) could not power the 750W kettle the previous owner had left in the van so no hot cuppa in the morning, sad times !!

What are these buck-boost things? Never heard of them, will have a look on the internet, or if you have something you recommend please send link so I can check specs etc

Thanks for your valuable input, as ever
Robert
You can get Boost Regulators - these basically boost the voltage but don't limit it if the voltage goes higher than the setting. As an example, I use one of these on my Diesel Heater as they don't always start if the voltage is too low but are happy at 14V or so. I have this set for around 13V so if the voltage goes below it will stick at 13V, but when on charge it wiill still go higher.
You can also get Buck-Boost Regulators that you can set a precise voltage on. I like to use there for "domestic" devices that are not designed to have varying DC voltages.
I have this one - https://amzn.to/2Kn7Nbv - connected to my Second Gen Echo that wants a 15V DC input
I also have this one - https://amzn.to/2KtfvRA - connected to my Echo Spot that wants a 12V DC inout
(These are just the regulators - you need to add connectors, wiring, fuse protection, etc.)

I have a 4G Dongle in the camper so generally always connected.
Main use of the Echo is playing music over the internet and from phone over bluetooth. I got the Spot as I liked the idea of the screen so I could have a display - use as a clock, display weather, etc. I will get round to the remote control side sometime probably (not really into voice control of devices that much though).

Ref Inverters, when it comes to Peak Ratings, it is best to just forget they exist as they work for such a short duration they are no use for anthing in the vast majority of cases.

Tell you what I strongly suggest you get ... one of the cheap little Cartridge Stoves. They are an excellent standby hob inside the van (keep good ventilation when in used) and can just be taken outside to cook al fresco.
At around £12 for the stove and £6 or so for a pack of 4 cartridges they are not expensive to keep handy either. Available loads of places, inc Halfords.
 

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