Though is that the lappie browning out & flaming thru under-supply?
The ciggie burn should be its cabling - though probably its socket and wiring to & thru the fusebox to the battery. (The fuses won't blow - what do people do when cig fuses keep blowing... Yeah - a 40A fuse replaces the 15A or 20A fuse that protects the 15-20A cable. Double current, double heat, but only one fire.)
They say a pic is worth 1,000 words.
Thanks Malcolm - you posted two.
PS - that inverter claims to be PWM which infers sinewave. But at that price? (Maybe its stepped-wave output is regarded as Pulse Width and Modulated lol!)
It's good seeing more cig-socket wisdoms.
I have 150W inverters that I'll plug in to cig sockets (to grind coffee, recharge shavers or mobiles (cells) & other things I do not have 12V adaptors for. But I know my vehicle's electrics.)
For larger, I use Anderson connectors - typically the 50A units.
You sound as though you may have some experience with low voltage electronics. If you have installed a car audio amp successfully you can install an inverter. I always wire inverters direct to the car battery. I always use at least one fuseable link between the battery and the inverter. Be sure to place the fuseable link closer to the battery than the inverter. Be sure to use the appropriate guage wire also and no "mickey mouse" connections.
You're right about the PC (like any constant power load like amps & inverters above ~200W etc), but it's the power-supply that burns - eg, the car wiring & cig lighters etc that can't handle the extra current.
PC & inverter fuses are rated for their current consumption at their minimum rated voltage (say 200W @ 10V or 8V etc).
And any poor connection at reasonable current means heat.
A cig socket is a poor connection at 20A etc (ie, its resistance is to high).
Keep in mind that the heat is proportional to the current-squared - ie, Amps x Amps, eg, 100A generates 100 times the heat of 10A (which is only 1/10th of 100A).
Hence as Leo said - NO dodgy connections!
Twisting wire tends to go high-resistance even for low power and signal wiring. It's suicidal for high-current connections.
I have a common type green plastic 40A fuselink that is distorted with a brown inspection window thanks to a poor connection to its terminals.
[ Either that or it sat above 40A for quite a while, but I doubt that to be the issue since such plug-in types are available up to 80A. However most are screw in from about 60A, and after this experience, I will certainly consider screw-ins for 40A or above - else clean & good terminals probably with a temp sensor ('cos I have having to unbolt fuselinks). ]
Incidentally - the browned off 40A flink still works. It's still in use as either my alt-bat flink else headlight power flink (the latter is pretty stupid eh? But I have an emergency bypass).
Thanks for the great information guys! Leo, I appreciate your comment but unfortunately I do not have any experience. I have simply done some good, old fashioned, research before proceeding to burn up my only ride to and from class every day. hehe
Anyway, the information above has answered soo many of my questions but could someone guide me through the process? I'll get it started and you guy can simply correct anything I have wrong.
1) Cut the plug off the end of the inverter.
2) Extend the hot wire.
- How do I strip a double cable and how do I know which is the hot wire? [ View Image ]
- How much extra cabling should I add? Enough to reach the battery plus X (inches|feet)?
- How do I attach the new wiring to the old? Wire-nut?
- What gauge wire am I to use? How is this calculated?
3) Run the hot wire though the firewall.
4) Add an inline 35A fuse on the hot wire, near the battery.
5) Attach the hot wire to the positive battery terminal.
6) Extend the ground wire.
- Does this need to be the same gauge?
7) Run the ground wire to the metal body of the vehicle.
- How can I be sure it's attached to an acceptable surface?
8) Anything else?
Thanks for all of your help, it means soo much to me.
Ok, I went to Advance Auto Parts and bought some 22 gauge wiring to extend the power switch so I can mount it remotely... However, after stripping the existing 22 gauge wire, I realized it is silver and the wiring I bought was copper. What is the difference (other than color) and would it matter in this situation?
Additionally, I've been told that I should "play it safe" by using a 6 gauge wire to the battery. This being said, I went out and purchased 10ft of 6 gauge wiring... However, I do not know the difference in wire type and I think I may have purchased the wrong thing... What I got has about 20 thick copper wires inside of a hard plastic insulation...
I feel as if this would be a really easy project to complete if I just knew how to determine what I needed to buy. I really need to get it done as I'm going out of town soon and would like an outlet to plug my laptop into. Therefore, I'd greatly appreciate a quick response in layman's terms.
1. i would take the cig lighter plug apart to confirm which wire is which(on the plug, the center 'tit' is positive)
2.there are really only 2 ways that companies mark wires-- either one will have wording, and the other won't, or one wire will have ribs on it, and the other wire will be smooth. 'usually', the wire that is not smooth, or has printing is the positive, but refer to 1. to confirm.
the amount of cabling doesn't really matter-- just as long as you have enough.
i prefer soldering, but crimp-on connectors are good too-- just squeeze the crap out of them.
for wire size, refer to any of the many guides out there for car amp power cable sizes(though i think you would be safe with 8-10 ga).
3.yup, run it though the firewall-- i usually like to find a large, factory grommet, and make a 'X' in a open area with a sharp blade, and then feed the wire through. my dad is a electrician, so i usually find a short 3'-4' section of 14ga solid wire to pull my new wire through(the solid wire is form-able, and so you can run it around obstacles-- normal car power wire is usually too floppy to do this)
4/5. technically, you would connect the fused lead to the battery, and connect the fuse output to the wire from the inverter, but yes, you are on the right track
6. the ground should be of the same or larger gauge wire.
7. it lets the inverter powerup otherwise, check that the metal is solid, and not a 'bolton' piece-- the metal that you attach to should be welded to the rest of the car.
8. & second post: get a amp kit from walmart-- they are super cheap, and always include more than enough power cabling.
1. The color of the wire shouldn't be an issue here *provided that it is simply a remote signal to turn on the inverter*. As long as the 22 gauge wire is at least as thick as the original wire and you aren't extending it very far, you SHOULD be fine.
The 6 gauge wiring with the bundle of copper wires is fine. Just make sure you have a good connecting device for it.
The hot wire is the one in the center of that cigarette lighter plug. The outside metal piece is the ground. I always recommend using a multimeter to test this stuff. If you have or can borrow one, it is easy to find a video online for how to check for + and - or to use it for testing continuity.
I would not use a wire nut to connect the two wires together. Too much chance for vibration to cause it to come loose or short out. A car stereo install store should have a solution for you, most likely some type of power distribution block. Bonus is you can tap other devices off of that block. Same goes for the ground wire, which should be the same gauge.
I used a ring terminal to connect my power wire to my battery. I suggest soldering it if you can. With heavy gauge wire like that, you first crimp it, then use a propane torch to heat it up and then add the solder. Use heat shrink tubing to insulate the connection.
Also, I was looking at inline fuses and found a 30A one that had 12 gauge wiring (estimate) on the ends... Would this defeat the purpose of using a 6 gauge wire?
Is there an online site with good prices on wiring? All of the sites I've found don't look very well established or trustworthy.