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Old 05-27-2023, 11:52 AM   #1
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EZ alternative to adding soft-start to AC

Just an FYI for those of you who are thinking of hard-wiring in a soft start so their AC can run off a portable inverter generator. I just got the Active-Start adaptor and plugged it into my Honda EU2200i, and my 25fbt Airstream single AC (15,000) started right up. Only needed an adaptor and a ground plug for the generator. Very glad I didn't have to climb up on the airstream to wire in a soft-start!
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Old 05-27-2023, 04:44 PM   #2
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For those with an interest in a $465 device (+ S,H&T) vs the $300 range soft-start options manufacturers by others should watch the YouTube clips outlining all the product features:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/mt_NhNDjCNA
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Old 05-28-2023, 06:57 AM   #3
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Does it have a way of reading the startup and running amps when the AC starts. It would be interesting information if you could post that.

I already have a surge protector and an installed Micro Air. But if I did not I would certainly look hard at this option. The money mentioned does not seem excessive compared to if you have to pay someone to install the Micro Air. I expect the unit mentioned in this post is going to be very popular.
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Old 05-28-2023, 07:47 AM   #4
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How does this device affect the power going to other devices on the same line, at AC startup? Televisions, Routers, Cable and Satellite boxes, Streaming Devices, Clocks.

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Old 05-28-2023, 09:59 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by AstroBruce View Post
How does this device affect the power going to other devices on the same line, at AC startup? Televisions, Routers, Cable and Satellite boxes, Streaming Devices, Clocks.

Bruce
Not sure I understand what your asking? This is a "softstart" aid for the AC start up. Power to your "other" AS electric are pretty minimal, compared to the start of the AC. No affects with ours after 7 years using with my EasyStart; should not be an issue.
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Old 05-28-2023, 10:21 AM   #6
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How does this device affect the power going to other devices on the same line, at AC startup? Televisions, Routers, Cable and Satellite boxes, Streaming Devices, Clocks.

Bruce
Think of these devices as putting a sponge between you and a straight stream of water. Same water but the blast is dampened by the sponge.
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Old 05-28-2023, 10:49 AM   #7
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Does it have a way of reading the startup and running amps when the AC starts. It would be interesting information if you could post that.

I already have a surge protector and an installed Micro Air. But if I did not I would certainly look hard at this option. The money mentioned does not seem excessive compared to if you have to pay someone to install the Micro Air. I expect the unit mentioned in this post is going to be very popular.
The Honda Generator App for your iPhone shows the running amps as your AC starts up.
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Old 05-28-2023, 03:49 PM   #8
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Not sure I understand what your asking? This is a "softstart" aid for the AC start up. Power to your "other" AS electric are pretty minimal, compared to the start of the AC. No affects with ours after 7 years using with my EasyStart; should not be an issue.
I guess I wasn't clear enough with my question. The Micro Air East Start only affects the compressor windings of the AC. The Active-Start adaptor affects all 120 volt circuits in the RV on compressor startup. Will the changes in waveform cause problems with other devices on startup?

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Old 05-28-2023, 03:56 PM   #9
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Probably only will affect induction motors with a big inductive load. Will not hurt anything. Like having more available power but just for a short time.
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Old 05-28-2023, 10:00 PM   #10
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I do worry about other big load AC devices like microwaves or induction cooktops. Those turn on and off often on some settings and might not appreciate the weird power they are receiving with a pedestal soft start. Dumber things like the electric hot water heater wouldn’t care.

I personally like knowing that the Easystart on my Air Conditioner is only messing with that compressor. The Easystart also includes other safety features like preventing rapid turn on and off.
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Old 05-29-2023, 12:33 PM   #11
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I do worry about other big load AC devices like microwaves or induction cooktops. Those turn on and off often on some settings and might not appreciate the weird power they are receiving with a pedestal soft start. Dumber things like the electric hot water heater wouldnít care.

I personally like knowing that the Easystart on my Air Conditioner is only messing with that compressor. The Easystart also includes other safety features like preventing rapid turn on and off.
The device by design will maintain the average yet limit the inrush. That is the claim. Might actually be a better electrical environment for non A/C equipment.
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Old 05-29-2023, 03:19 PM   #12
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Did some more digging for info and found one issue so far. Using a surge softening device located at the pedestal will place inverter (if you have one) in the middle between power source and load. Apparently an inline inverter is not happy with this and will shutdown at the leading edge of a ramping up A/C load.
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Old 05-29-2023, 07:45 PM   #13
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I do not have an inverter so maybe I do not understand. Using the pedestal surge protector or not using it would not seem to change or affect the inverter at all? You use the inverter when there is no AC power, correct?

Of course I must not know exactly what the soft starts of any form actually do. I thought they basically acted as capacitors to supply more current at the same voltage for a short period of time?

I do have the micro air so I will not be testing the cord or pedestal version. But...I think it would be fine. I will bet it has a restart timer to protect the AC on it also. Our PD EMS does I get to wait out the Micro Air timer and the EMS timer on a restart.
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Old 05-29-2023, 09:08 PM   #14
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Other than not having to climb on the roof and install the permanent soft-start on the a/c unit, what's the advantage here? Seems like more potential downside than upside to me.

It took about an hour to install my Micro-Air soft-start, not including the time to get the gumption to get back on the roof.
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Old 05-29-2023, 10:33 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Bill M. View Post
I do not have an inverter so maybe I do not understand. Using the pedestal surge protector or not using it would not seem to change or affect the inverter at all? You use the inverter when there is no AC power, correct?

Of course I must not know exactly what the soft starts of any form actually do. I thought they basically acted as capacitors to supply more current at the same voltage for a short period of time?

I do have the micro air so I will not be testing the cord or pedestal version. But...I think it would be fine. I will bet it has a restart timer to protect the AC on it also. Our PD EMS does I get to wait out the Micro Air timer and the EMS timer on a restart.
Basically pass through inverter gets hit with the locked rotor load & shuts down to protect itself.
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Old 05-30-2023, 12:54 AM   #16
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Unless you’ve rewired your trailer, most stock Airstreams have a couple of “Inverter” outlets and the rest, including the Air Conditioner, are only powered from shore power. The inverter isn’t part of those circuits. It is possible the inverter, in pass through mode, might take issue with weird things happening to its incoming power going to those inverter outlets. That depends on the inverter.

On the claim that the device softens the inrush of power and that might be good for everything, I’d be concerned. Current just spiked, let’s say, because a microwave turned on. In order to keep the total power from spiking too, a soft start device begins messing with the AC sine wave. It might decrease the peak voltage or it might clip the sine wave in some way to control the total power (area under the curve) it’s sending out. Then, over a few seconds, it slowly backs off of these modifications to the waveform. Motors or resistance devices like heaters are fine with these manipulations but some fancier devices might not appreciate it. I can’t imagine they’d send a thankyou card :-)
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Old 05-30-2023, 09:08 AM   #17
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On the claim that the device softens the inrush of power and that might be good for everything, Iíd be concerned. Current just spiked, letís say, because a microwave turned on. In order to keep the total power from spiking too, a soft start device begins messing with the AC sine wave. It might decrease the peak voltage or it might clip the sine wave in some way to control the total power (area under the curve) itís sending out. Then, over a few seconds, it slowly backs off of these modifications to the waveform. Motors or resistance devices like heaters are fine with these manipulations but some fancier devices might not appreciate it. I canít imagine theyíd send a thankyou card :-)
Video explains the role of the capacitor:
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Old 05-30-2023, 11:39 PM   #18
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These devices arenít, however, capacitors. They are microprocessor controlled waveform modifiers.
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Old 05-31-2023, 05:34 AM   #19
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Does it have a way of reading the startup and running amps when the AC starts. It would be interesting information if you could post that.

I already have a surge protector and an installed Micro Air. But if I did not I would certainly look hard at this option. The money mentioned does not seem excessive compared to if you have to pay someone to install the Micro Air. I expect the unit mentioned in this post is going to be very popular.
Yes, it has an app to monitor power usage.
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Old 05-31-2023, 05:35 AM   #20
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Other than not having to climb on the roof and install the permanent soft-start on the a/c unit, what's the advantage here? Seems like more potential downside than upside to me.

It took about an hour to install my Micro-Air soft-start, not including the time to get the gumption to get back on the roof.
It's also a surge protector, and can be easily moved to future or other trailers. It also can help with other high-load items like a microwave (the microwave is unaffected by it will let you start the A/C while cooking!).
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