Power Inverters

Discussion in 'Trucking Electronics, Gadgets and Software Forum' started by rdubill, Jan 25, 2007.

  1. T.grantham

    T.grantham Bobtail Member

    Jan 28, 2010
    what is the the differance between a pure sine wave and ordinary inverter. See on ebay where you can pick up regular inverters for a fraction of the price of the pure sine waves.
    probally only use for microwave,tv,laptop,refg.
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  3. ironpony

    ironpony Road Train Member

    Sep 23, 2007
    Ask my GPS...
    Switching power supplies generate AC by pulsing current drawn from the trucks batteries into (for example) opposite ends of a center-tapped transformer - its a circuit generally known as an Armstrong Oscillator, a radio circuit that's been around since the 1920's. It generates an alternating current that isn't a sine wave - it has lots of noise mostly because of the pulsed DC current used to charge up the transformer. The resulting waveform is filtered some, but it's not what is called a "pure sine wave." A switching power supply circuit that takes DC and converts it to AC is known as an inverter.

    This works for most things... generally, commodity products are going to take the generated AC and convert it back to some form of DC that is filtered enough by its internal giz-workings for its own use. If you're running a microwave, PC, gameboy, black lights, amplified stereo speakers... just make sure you have more than enough output power from the inverter to run all the stuff that's going to be turned on at once. Add up the watts consumed by each item, and it needs to be less than the inverters output.

    There are devices that REQUIRE a pure sine wave for operation - principally a CPAP machine. If you have one of those, you're going to need to spend the money for a pure sine wave output.
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2010
  4. walstib

    walstib Darkstar

    What's the smallest inverter, and cost range, I would need to run a laptop, mini-fridge and coffee pot off of?!?!

    Thanx in advance!!!!!!!!!
  5. Bent Wrench

    Bent Wrench Medium Load Member

    Aug 11, 2009
    Cornholio, OR
    The coffee pot is a killer, that will put you up maybe over 1000 watts.

    Can that be powered from a lighter socket?

    You will have to total up the power you will need for the stuff you want to power and then look at inverters that will provide that amount. Look at the total because of the devices you describe they may easily all be on at the same time. PITA to unplug stuff to run another, and if you forget to plug that fridge back in........
  6. walstib

    walstib Darkstar

    Adding up total power, sorry to sound stupid, but what am I looking at?..Amps? Watts?.....

    Thanks for input BTW!
  7. Texas-Nana

    Texas-Nana Princess Drives-a-Lot

    Apr 23, 2008
    Nana's empty nest
    I'd like to suggest that you simply get an adapter for your laptop and run it right off the 12 volt. Also you can easily buy a 12 volt cooler. There are also 12 volt coffee pots.
  8. joshmck1982

    joshmck1982 Light Load Member

    Jan 7, 2009
    Greensburg, IN
    Looking to buy a 1500W-2000W inverter(will decide on size based on price). I've looked around online as I know I'll find better deals than at a truck stop. I found a Whistler Pro-1600W for $115 and a Cobra 1500W for $117. Could go to a 2000W in the Whistler for about $40 more, but really only need the 1500. Anyone know if anything is wrong with either of these brands? I have a Cobra 400W that I'm using right now and haven't had any issues although I haven't really used it much. Got it a week before my last company put me in a truck with an APU. Now I'm with Carter Express and they'll install inverters for us if we buy them. Wanna make sure I spend wisely and don't get one that's gonna crap out on me a few months after buying it. Other than the brands I mentioned, are there any others that would be recommended? Thanks.
  9. bigo1969

    bigo1969 Light Load Member

    Sep 29, 2007
    I have a cobra 1500, which works well for me. Cobra has great customer service, My inverter went out a few mos after the warranty. They still replaced it for free and was a quick turnaround.
  10. CondoCruiser

    CondoCruiser The Legend

    Apr 18, 2010
    I used Cobra's for years. I never had any problems. I have a Cobra CPI 1550 I'll sell for $80 if you come through east TN soon.
  11. Native Dancer

    Native Dancer Heavy Load Member

    Dec 28, 2007
    Portland, Or.
    I have a Vanner (made in Ohio) 3,000 watt that I've had for 14 years. They are available in modified sine and true sine.
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