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Old 08-24-2014, 07:48 AM   #1
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Inverter recommendations

Not the big hard wired ones! I only anticipate using one for, at most, charging two laptops at the same time. Looks like the LT bricks max at about 180 watts each. The TV is an LED and has very little draw and the Blue ray player is pretty low (need to check both again, but I recall both together being below 100W)

I am thinking 400 Watt Pure sine wave (I'm replacing an old modified sine wave one).

So in doing my shopping, what am I looking for that differentiates a $99 one from a $179 Xantrex (or similar)?

Am I too low on my wattage requirement? What specs, beside PSW is important? Efficiency numbers?
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Old 08-24-2014, 09:25 AM   #2
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I am very pleased with my Morningstar 300 watt sine wave inverter. It will do what you want and actually has up to a 600 watt rating for a few minutes.

What I like most is the low idle draw of 0.4 amps when running but not providing any load (or very small load such as charging things) and the Search feature, which can be set on it. In search, with no load the inverter shuts down entirely, and only puts a pulse out about once a second to see if anything has been turned on. With that feature, you never have to think about turning it off when not in use as the search function reduces the load to about 15 to 20 mA. It works like a charm, and I have not shut the inverter off since I put it in. When plugged in at home the PD 4645 converter/charger keeps the tiny load of the inverter from running the batteries down, and on the road the solar and TV charge keep it going.

I only charge one laptop, mine is an Apple Mac Book Pro. BTW, I am at a Forest
service campground as I write this, the Morningstar is providing power for the message.
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Old 08-24-2014, 10:13 AM   #3
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Thanks, Idroba, That's the kind of info I was looking for. Certainly, draw is parmount on my list of requirements. Anything else I need to know?
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Old 08-24-2014, 11:02 AM   #4
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The Morningstar does not have outlets built in, you would need to add your own. And an input fuse for protection, and of course cables.

BTW, I have 4 more of these in operation in solar systems I do as a volunteer for the Forest Service. They are in operation 24/7 for 5 months a year. Not one problem in 3 years of service.
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Old 08-24-2014, 11:45 AM   #5
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So did you build yours in the wall, or make some kind of outlet box. Spend some of those precious solar watts and post a pic or two, please!
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Old 08-25-2014, 01:55 PM   #6
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Well, it is under the bed and not easy to photograph as the bed has to be removed to do that....lol, and I am not going to do that on a trip.

Actually, I currently use a simple extra outlet and extension cords for now, as later I want to connect it to the original inverter circuit. Just have not finished the job, too much fun traveling.
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Old 07-07-2015, 02:51 PM   #7
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I also went with the SureSine 300. You can either install a simple switch or leave it on automatic. It senses a load (greater than 8 watts or something similar) and switches on.
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