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Tool Talk Discussion Forum

Re: inverter watts

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Author  [Modern View]

11-11-2012 06:02:34

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Inverters really are a "crap shoot" unless high-end and power certified. My experience with charging 18 volt power tools with inverters has been as already stated. No major issues with any of the small cheap inverters. Just a little slower. Same for cell phones.

But . . here's one for you. I recently got a so-called Ramsond Sunray "true sine wave" 3000 watt more-pricey inverter. I had to in order to pass building inspecting since a mod-wave will not run smoke alarms and GFIC outlets properly. An inverter that can be hard-wired is also necessary for inspection. Guess what? It will NOT run my Dewalt or Ryobi 18 volt chargers. Yet, all my cheap mod-wave inverters do the job just fine. If just goes to show that very few of them make a true sine-wave unless you spend $1000s on a unit. I checked AC output with a RMS volt meter and this "true sine-wave" unit is only putting out 109 volts AC. All my other inverters put out 114-120 VAC when read with RMS. If read with a non RMS el-cheapo voltmeter, the mod-waves only read around 85 volts (but work fine).

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John T

11-11-2012 06:18:02

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 Re: inverter watts in reply to LJD, 11-11-2012 06:02:34  
I hear and believe what youre saying, I'm just too rusty on "electronics" to have much input as I was more into Secondary AC Distribution in my later work years and I stopped that back in 91. All I know is the 400 watt Cobra and other off the shelf cheaper brands in the RV work good enough to charge my cell phone, run a small TV and run the laptop and thats all I need.

As always, fun sparky chattin with ya...

John T

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11-11-2012 06:28:36

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 Re: inverter watts in reply to John T, 11-11-2012 06:18:02  
There IS no way to keep up unless you actually use these different units. You certainly cannot tell by reading their advertised specs.

Yes, I've got many cheap Cobra, Vectors, Harbor Freight, Duracell, AIMs, etc. and all work fine for most things. None will run a GFIC outlet of a smoke alarm though. That's an issue when wiring a low voltage house and trying to pass inspection.

So, I HAD to buy this $800 "true sine wave" inverter to pass inspection. My 4000 watt hard-wired Trace/Xantrex would not pass since it cannot run the smoke alarms and GFICs. Note that this new unit runs the required stuff perfectly but will NOT run an 18 volt charger. It comes on but never shuts off. I left one on for two full days. Then stuck it on a cheap mod-wave Vector and it got done in 15 minutes.

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