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Thread: Recommend a 12v - 110v Inverter

  1. #11
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    The mfr is actually selling 4 different models off tbe same listing but the page has a drop-down selector for output wattage (1500 & 3000) and uses a "color" selector to choose between psw & msw. It threw me too untill i figured out what they were doing. I bet it confuses a lot of shoppers. I have added some comments in the question & review section to call this out for clarity.

    Just received word from the wife that the psrcel has arrived via UPS as promised. May get a chance to unbox it tonight but may wait until tomorrow. Probably do the installation over the weekend.
    Last edited by bruss01; 03-20-2017 at 03:51 PM.
    In a crazy world, it's the crazy man who can get by - and it's about to get cray-cray up in here.

  2. #12
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    When I first started reading your post, I was thinking you ended up with less than you were expecting. As I continued reading I realized that you abbreviated manufacturer, not mother f ...... LOL keep us posted!
    Don't bring skittles to a gun fight.

  3. #13
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    It's here, I took a sneak peek and read the manual but got a work call and had to boogie. Hopefully a proper unboxing tomorrow. Yes, "mfr" is short for "manufacturer". Unless the post is being read by Samuel L Jackson lol.
    In a crazy world, it's the crazy man who can get by - and it's about to get cray-cray up in here.

  4. #14
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    Before you use the cables, take a multimeter and check the resistance of the cables to make sure the ends are crimped good. Hopefully it is not copper coated aluminum wire and it is the true gauge wire that it states that it is.

    I have ordered a lot of wire over the last few years and there is a huge increase in aluminum wire being used instead of copper. Also, a couple of years ago I ordered some 14 gauge wire. When it came in, it was labeled 14 gauge but realistically it was a hair smaller than 18 gauge! Just check it out good before you rely on it.
    Prepare for the worst, hope for the best

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by 91CavGT View Post
    Before you use the cables, take a multimeter and check the resistance of the cables to make sure the ends are crimped good. Hopefully it is not copper coated aluminum wire and it is the true gauge wire that it states that it is.

    I have ordered a lot of wire over the last few years and there is a huge increase in aluminum wire being used instead of copper. Also, a couple of years ago I ordered some 14 gauge wire. When it came in, it was labeled 14 gauge but realistically it was a hair smaller than 18 gauge! Just check it out good before you rely on it.
    I've seen that too... a disappointing and some may say fraudulent trend.

    The cables that arrived are heavy, thick and labeled "2 AWG". They have a heft and flexibility that leads me to believe they are copper. The ends are quite nicely done up and seem really well done, just the way I typically do although I would guess they are simply crimped rather than crimped and soldered. I'm disinclined to strip the nice heat-shrink they've done just to see. But I will take the advice and ensure zero ohms before installing.

    The unit arrived shipped directly from the vendor in what appears to be the original factory packaging, no second exterior shipping carton. The box was securely taped on all seams. Even so, one of the mounting brackets is slightly deformed near one of the mounting slots. Other than this, the unit appears to have weathered its journey well... no other obvious dings, dents or scratches. When shaken the unit sounds and feels completely solid. It has a pretty good heft to it.

    The first of many questions was answered when I determined the exterior fins are actually aluminum and not simply molded plastic. That's a good sign, they can actually help dissipate internal heat.

    Reading the manual I discovered something that wasn't apparent online... the optional remote switch does include an "on" light... the rocker switch is actually translucent green and should glow when the unit is on. As for how this works, the main switch on the unit is put in the "off" position, and the remote turns it off/on.

    The manual is actually usable and readable and contains a lot of good information, unlike many such "international" products. It outlines the trouble-codes and troubleshooting procedures. There is useful information on the installation process. Don't let this manual get away, it's a keeper.

    The input terminals for DC on the rear are MASSIVE and SOLID. Very impressive.

    The exhaust fan is on the rear of the unit, and the input vents are on the front underside of the unit. I will probably mount it using a spacer of some sort to ensure plenty of breathing room on the underside. Heat kills these sorts of units so adequate ventilation is a must. That's probably what happened to my other inverter due to the factory vent fan never having worked, and me not noticing that for a couple of years.

    I'm going to hook it up to my home battery bank and see what the output looks like. I don't have my Kill-O-Watt handy so this will basically just be a "smoke" test and basic function trial run.

    ETA:

    Back now after initial testing. First thing I discovered is the DIRE need for some TLC on my home battery bank which has gone untended far too long. Crusty terminals = yuck.

    Pics uploading now, will post when done.

    Observations: The DC cable attachment bolts that are supplied with the unit don't seem to be standard... at least, they didn't fit the 7/16" or 3/8" wrenches I had handy. I will likely swap these out with some nice stainless nuts & bolts so that I have a standard size and don't have to fiddle with adjustable or metric. My future self may thank me some dark day for this bit of foresight.

    The very nice heat shrink covers a little too much of the cable lug. This prevents the lug from seating 100% flat on the input terminal. I didn't worry about it for the sake of this test which was intended to be fairly brief, but for a permanent installation I want maximum contact there. That heat-shrink will have to be trimmed back a bit with a razor knife.

    Once I got the unit connected and turned on, I checked the input voltage indicator on the front. It was within .2 volts of my old Harbor Freight solar charger... close enough for my liking... if I recall that HF meter was off by .2v anyway, have to check my old notes to see if it runs high or low. On the watt setting the panel registered zero.

    First test, my dremel tool. When I turn it on the power runs up to 100 watts but then almost immediately after goes down to 20w. That's the start-up surge vs the operating draw. Everything seems perfect just like a wall outlet.

    Second test, a 12 amp vacuum cleaner. When turned on, the draw immediately shot up to 1360w but then came right back down to about 960 and hung in there. As this unit is supposed to support surge up to 3000 watts with a 1500w load, this was expected but pleasant none the less. Again, everything seemed to work exactly like wall current. I tested a second vacuum also rated at 12 amps and it produced near identical numbers & results.

    Finally, I wanted to test the remote switch. The main switch on the inverter is "off", but when tripped the remote switch glows green and the inverter comes right on. I prefer this sort of mechanical switch to some kind of radio remote control where the inverter has to have a "sleep" mode where it seems off, but uses a bit of phantom load all the time so it can "wake up" when you press a button on your hand-held remote control.

    No unpleasant surprises, just a few quirks that I can easily work with. Feeling pretty pleased about the purchase so far and satisfied I've gotten my money's worth as far as I can tell. Time will tell the tale on durability and workmanship - no doubt the subject of a future post in a couple of years. More extensive testing will happen aboard The Ritz in coming days, such as running a coffee pot, running the fridge, a more extended vacuum cleaner test, and the very telling "electronic AV equipment" test which is the true measure of a pure sine wave inverter.
    Last edited by bruss01; 03-21-2017 at 03:07 PM.
    In a crazy world, it's the crazy man who can get by - and it's about to get cray-cray up in here.

  6. #16
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    Sounds promising!
    Prepare for the worst, hope for the best

  7. #17
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    Lug won't mate 100% due to excessive heat-shrink (fixable with an exacto knife). Nut/bolt not a standard SAE size... will swap out for 7/16" or 3/8" stainless to make future life easier on myself.




    Remote switch glows to indicate unit is "on". Note the front panel mounted switch on the unit is in the "off" position. There is a note in the manual that advises in the event of demand "overload" the unit will cut out for safety and the remote switch will not work to reset the unit, the panel mount switch on the unit must be used... so don't make it too hard to access.




    They really didn't spare the heat-shrink. This is the waterproof stuff too. Nice.




    'Lil bent... no biggie. Straightened right out with a pair of pliers




    Not 1.21 GW but it will do... If anyone's wondering the high-voltage cut out is 16v, high enough that running the battery charger shouldn't interfere.




    Cool air intake vent, underside toward the front... you can see a little ripple on the mounting bracket (lower left) where it arrived a little bent. Straightened right out. BTW that product label on the right is the only place the product serial number appears. Might be needed some day for warranty purposes or product recall. I took a minute to jot it down on the shipping invoice and the manual front cover, just to make life easy on myself if I ever need to reference it. I have a travel trailer documents folder and you betcha these are going in there. I guarantee it'll be easier opening up that folder, than crawling around on the floor with a flashlight trying to get eyes on that little label back in a dark cabinet... or having to unmount the whole unit to check it out.

    Last edited by bruss01; 03-22-2017 at 12:00 PM.
    In a crazy world, it's the crazy man who can get by - and it's about to get cray-cray up in here.

  8. #18
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    A slight complication arises now due to my earlier electrical upgrade on the travel trailer ("The Ritz" aka "The Polished Turd") and a bit of short-sightedness when I installed the breaker for the inverter system as 10 amp instead of 15-20. It was adequately sized for the 650w inverter installed at that time but will not be enough for the power supplied by the new unit. So I will have to swap that out. Not a big deal, but I wish I had gone with 15 or 20 amp originally, it would save me about 45-60 minutes of work this time around.

    If testing goes well, I may at some point need to install a second automatic cut-over circuit to support the microwave, which is on a separate breaker. That means finding a place to mount the cut over relay and the additional 15 amp breaker. Not a small job, but I've done it before and know what to expect.

    The extended warranty (4 years additional to add to the mfr's 1 year warranty) was $40 and is provided by an outfit called Asurion. You have to be a little pro-active on this part. They send you an email with a link to their site. On their site you have a button to "upload receipt". You take a photo or scan of your shipping invoice that comes with the product when it ships. The purchase order number on that receipt is your Amazon order number. The one flaw I see in the system is that there's apparently no record of the device's serial number anywhere in this electronic "paper trail". It's easy enough to jot the serial number onto the shipping invoice before scanning it. You could also take a photo of the product id label on the underside of the inverter, which has the serial number printed. After you have uploaded it, they supposedly retain that record for future reference if you ever need to file a warranty claim. Hope I never need it, but my first inverter only lasted 2.5 years before going out of spec so I figured especially with a more expensive unit it was worth a bit of extra protection.
    Last edited by bruss01; 03-22-2017 at 12:43 PM.
    In a crazy world, it's the crazy man who can get by - and it's about to get cray-cray up in here.

  9. #19
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    Thank you for the excellent review, pictures, and opinions! Thanks to this, I will go with this inverter.
    Don't bring skittles to a gun fight.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by flock6 View Post
    Thank you for the excellent review, pictures, and opinions! Thanks to this, I will go with this inverter.
    You're welcome. My testing is far from done, but I'm already pleased enough that I'm considering a second one of these for my home backup system. The cheapie Harbor Freight 2000w inverter ($100 bucks out the door a few years ago if memory serves) is a modified sine wave unit. The fridge and furnace will run on it, but the tv and computers really don't like it. If I get the old 650w inverter fixed that's presently putting out 145v to the outlets, I might consider just limping along with that for the electronics. We'll see.
    In a crazy world, it's the crazy man who can get by - and it's about to get cray-cray up in here.

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