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Thread: Inverter Recommendations?

  1. #1
    Low Bitrate kirk78h's Avatar
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    Inverter Recommendations?

    I searched the forum for recommendations on which inverter to use, but didn't find anything. There are many posts that warn of inverters introducing noise, overheating, etc., but none that said one brand was better than another. After googling inverters, there are tons of them out there, and they vary greatly in price. Going in blind, I'm tempted to just buy the most expensive one, and hope for the best. Has anybody used one that they would recommend? If not, are there specific things to look for and/or avoid?

    Thanks,
    Kirk

  2. #2
    FLAC greatwhite's Avatar
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    If you are going with an inverter, find what's called a "true sine wave" inverter.
    But be forwarned, they are not cheap.
    The cheap ones are modified sine wave and while they will work, it's very "messy" power and some of the more delicate electronics don't like the format.
    The main issue with inverters is the power draw results in less battery endurance time when using the comp when the car is off. Yes, they also generate more heat than a dc-dc supply. Most people don't like the process of converting DC power to ac power to only convert it back to dc power for the comp. I'll admit, it is ineffecient. Also, the more......errrrr......... "particular"....... people here will call it "ghetto".

    Meh, whatever.

    As to noise, it's kind of a crap shoot. Depends on the quality of the inverter and your install.
    I'm using an inverter right now and I have no issues at all. But I was very careful with my install and wire routing.

    A dc-dc solution is more effecient and elegant, but sometimes it is not for everyone (my board is not atx standard, I'm still cyphering it out and will probably go dc-dc when I can).
    If your board is an atx standard, I'd say spend a few bucks and get a properly rated dc-dc supply. A true sine wave inverter is going to cost you as much as a dc-dc solution (and you still need a start/shutdown controller). Most of the dc-dc solutions offer built in startup and shutdown controllers by design.

    So if you look at it from a "total dollar expenditure" stand point, the dc-dc solutions are actually cheaper than running an proper inverter setup. And more effecient.

    Cheers

    BJ
    For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.
    Leonardo Da Vinci

  3. #3
    Neither darque nor pervert DarquePervert's Avatar
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    Greatwhites recommendations are good, epsecially if you're going with a vehicle computer setup. Doubly so if you intend to power a laptop and want the battery to charge properly and such.

    However, if you simply want to be able to power a devicve (cellphone charger, small TV, game console, etc.), any inverter will do the trick.
    Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
    How about the Wiki?



    Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.

  4. #4
    Low Bitrate kirk78h's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greatwhite View Post
    So if you look at it from a "total dollar expenditure" stand point, the dc-dc solutions are actually cheaper than running an proper inverter setup. And more effecient.

    Cheers

    BJ
    Thank you very much for the information. I tried to go the dc-dc power route, but my particular laptop (D600) is just not cooperating. If I had it to do over again, I would use an older laptop that was easier to power; or just buy a dedicated car pc.

  5. #5
    FLAC greatwhite's Avatar
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    If you're going with a laptop, see if there is an "auto/airline" adapter available for it. It is basically a cig lighter plug in adapter. You can wire this into the vehicle by cutting off the cig lighter adapter.
    Then you can search the forums for the "ghetto shut down controller" or the "laptop shutdown controller".
    Also, if you just want to start it and shut it down with a button, see if there is a docking station available for your model. If it incorporates a power button, you can take the docking station apart and hack the button there to put a remote buton where you want it instead of cracking open the laptop or having to deal withthe hassle of opening the trunk or fumbling withthe laptop to start it. It will also allow you to pop the laptop out o fthe docking station and take it into the house with you to work on it. Very handy.

    Good luck

    BJ
    For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.
    Leonardo Da Vinci

  6. #6
    Low Bitrate kirk78h's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greatwhite View Post
    Also, if you just want to start it and shut it down with a button, see if there is a docking station available for your model.
    Good luck

    BJ
    This is where I got into trouble. The auto/air adapter that I bought for my laptop powered it fine, but was not compatible with the dock / monitor stand. Obviously, the only thing it will work with is the AC power adapter. This is the point where I gave up, and decided to use an inverter. Very frustrating...

    Kirk

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