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Thread: Inverter questions

  1. #1
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    Inverter questions

    Mine is drivin me nuts... about a week ago after running fine for awhile my system just dies at highway speed after an hour. Since then can not get it to run more than 1/2 hour while drivin. Will run till battery discharges with engine off and parked. Seems to happen when i accelerate hard mostly. I have checked every wire goin to or from the invertor. Alternator only pushes max 30 amps. It is mounted in engine compartment about 1 foot from exhaust manifold with 1 inch rubber bushings between invertor and mounting place. It does set off the fault light and takes awhile to come back even if parked. My thinking is that exhaust manifold is heating the air enough to cook something in invertor. Has anyone else had similar problems with engine compartment invertors. The motor is a rather healthy chev small block. May be the isolator as well as it is mounted in front of but lower than the invertor in other words closer to manifold.

    Sorry for babbling just trying to figure out something that has me quite puzzled (as well as several electronics people in town).....

    Oh forgot even when in fault mode the invertor cooling fan runs when i throw the switch..... fan also produces enough vibration through mount that i feel it through my feet on the sill plate while wearing tennis shoes.....

    Picture of secondary battery/invertor/isolator setup attached.
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  2. #2
    Tainted Love Cris's Avatar
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    Don't worry, help is on the way..Scouse should be here in a little while!

  3. #3
    MySQL Error Scouse Monkey's Avatar
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    dude, you have a device that generates mains electricity in your engine bay?

    Is it an industial sealed unit with sealed mains sockets?

    1. Get that damn thing away from moisture if there is no specific details in the instructions that it can be mounted in an engine bay

    2. Run some decent wire to the inverter with a fuse on the +ve lead as close to the battery as possible

    3. If your system is dying is the inverter still running? sounds like it's either getting water in it or overheating. Or it could be your isolator getting water in.

    4. I have just read it again and you say it has fans!!! It is in an open engine bay with fans! That does not sound watertight to me.

    5. Go and get a battery and alternator check done at a garage. they are normally free or a few dollars it sounds like you have been abusing them if your inverter has been shorting out and it has been run flat a few times etc.

    6. if it is running your battery down then yeah it sounds like there is a short int he isolator or the inverter is stuck on.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scouse Monkey
    dude, you have a device that generates mains electricity in your engine bay?

    Is it an industial sealed unit with sealed mains sockets?

    It is a 400 watt max sst from napa....

    1. Get that damn thing away from moisture if there is no specific details in the instructions that it can be mounted in an engine bay

    Says nothing about where it can or cant be mounted.....
    2. Run some decent wire to the inverter with a fuse on the +ve lead as close to the battery as possible

    +ve????? NO fuse in system at all How big of fuse???

    3. If your system is dying is the inverter still running? sounds like it's either getting water in it or overheating. Or it could be your isolator getting water in.

    Has not rained or been humid enough to produce moisture in nd. When power goes away the fan on invertor stays running fault indicator lights..

    4. I have just read it again and you say it has fans!!! It is in an open engine bay with fans! That does not sound watertight to me.

    The fan is on invertor from factory engine cooling is via belt driven fan... Open at bottom, minor air leaks as well all around

    5. Go and get a battery and alternator check done at a garage. they are normally free or a few dollars it sounds like you have been abusing them if your inverter has been shorting out and it has been run flat a few times etc.

    Has not been run completely dry sytem and all batts check normal for a 40 yr old car

    6. if it is running your battery down then yeah it sounds like there is a short int he isolator or the inverter is stuck on.
    No not running down unless i let it charge system works fine according to amp gauge at highway less than 5 amp draw on system lights everything running.

    Only other options i have is mount in interior (possible) or on front side of core support (toward traffic)....

    NOt being argumentative just answerin your questions best i can....

  5. #5
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    It shouldn't be in the engine compartment. It's exposed to both heat and water. My guess is it's sucking in hot air from near the engine manifold and overheating the inverter.

    When you get tired of the inverter, buy an Opus.
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  6. #6
    MySQL Error Scouse Monkey's Avatar
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    Name: That means nothing to me, excpet the 400W bit

    1. I would suggest you move it inside your car. Have a look at all the electronics in your engine bay - they are well sealed with rubber plugs and stuff.

    2. Get a goddamn fuse in your system ASAP! do you want to set your car on fire?
    +ve is the + (red) terminal on your battery! The opposite to -ve (black) please tell me you knew that!

    3.does the fault mean anythign in the handbook? Could be: low power, overheat (fans would stay on to cool it), short circuit somewhere.

    4, Why are you telling me how your car is cooled?
    The fan in your inverter needs an inlet (or exit) so the device is getting all the dirt from the road in it. Get it somewhere way from dirt and dust and water - i.e. in your car.

    5. 40year old car???? I would get the alternator checked. What is normal for a 40year old car is not normal for a modern one. YOu may need to replace the alternator with a more modern one. YOur 400W inverter will draw about 30A on full load. A modern alternator puts out about 90A I seem to remember. By the time it runs everything else your alternator might be under too much load. + an old battery will draw more from the alternator too. Worht getting them checked if you are having trouble.

    What size wire are you using for your inverter? I would suggest some nice 8 guage to be safe (off my head - but you can check at the crutchfield site - search on the forum for wire gauge info). And dont forget the fuse.

  7. #7
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    OMG I JSUT SAW YOUR PICS!!!!

    GET RID OG THOSE CROC CLIP CONNECTORS TOO!!! THEY ARE ****E!!!!

    I am not sure about the isolator as I have never seen one but it might be idea to maybe waterproof the terminals.

    Do you realise you have 400W of 110V AC open to the elements in your engine bay???

  8. #8
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    Ive never heard of the connectors being called + and -ve before alwas positive and neg, Croc clips were removed after that photo is now hard wired to batt connectors. wire from bat to invertor is 8 ga sheilded. I'll try find somewhere inconspicuous to mount it inside.

    So from what you say i need at least a 30 amp fuse at batt... The batt that powers invertor only powers invertor all else including touchscreen is powered off main battery.

    Is a standard atc 30 the type of fuse you mean....

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scouse Monkey
    OMG I JSUT SAW YOUR PICS!!!!

    GET RID OG THOSE CROC CLIP CONNECTORS TOO!!! THEY ARE ****E!!!!

    I am not sure about the isolator as I have never seen one but it might be idea to maybe waterproof the terminals.

    Do you realise you have 400W of 110V AC open to the elements in your engine bay???
    Only way exposed to elements is through the bottom of eng compartment. It is shielded by core support and steel fender liner plus hood...

    Yes higher amp alternator is in the plan for this if necessary.

    Better out there than inside settin the carpet on fire.....

  10. #10
    MySQL Error Scouse Monkey's Avatar
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    There should be some good examples of people wiring in inverters on the forum.

    So your car charges 2 batteries? You didnt mention that before.

    Try moving the inverter int he car and see how it goes. Glad to hear you got rid of the croc clips.

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