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Thread: Inverter Relay!

  1. #1
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    Inverter Relay!

    Hi, first of all i have searched and i cant find anything on this...

    I have the usual;

    12V BATTERY --> INVERTER --> PC

    when the ignition is on i want the battery --> inverter connection to be closed. The problem is the current... i guess i need one MASSIVE relay, as the inverter will draw alot of power! I want it to intercept the inverter connection because the inverter draws current even when the connected appliance is not turned on.

    Any idea's, or links?

    Dean

  2. #2
    FLAC evandude's Avatar
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    the inverter must have a power switch... just wire the relay across that. sure an inverter draws a lot of current, but you can get automotive relays rated to 20 or 30 amps easily enough...
    But don't take it from me! here's a quote from a real, live newbie:
    Quote Originally Posted by Viscouse
    I am learning buttloads just by searching on this forum. I've learned 2 big things so far: 1-it's been done before, and 2-if it hasn't, there is a way to do it.
    eegeek.net

  3. #3
    Low Bitrate pastypyro's Avatar
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    Yeah I did it this weekend. I used a 30 amp automotive relay from radio shack. It works well. You can take the accessory wire and run it to the 12V+ in on the coil on the relay and ground the other side. After that wire up the switch on the relay in line with the switch on the inverter and just leave the inverter on. In my inverter the switch must not carry all the current because the wires to the switch were tiny so I wouldn't worry about current.

    How does your inverter draw current when it is off? I have had no problem with this and my car sits for days at a time without being driven.

  4. #4
    FLAC
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    pastypyro, when the igition is off, the relay should turn off the inverter, too, right? That way, the inverter can't draw any power from the battery. I think that's the best set up with inverters.

  5. #5
    FLAC evandude's Avatar
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    what he's talking about is if you leave the inverter on with whatever is plugged into it turned off. then the inverter would still be running to maintain 120VAC on its output, even with no current draw, so it would still consume some power, and if it's a real cheap inverter it might consume a decent amount

    and I would imagine that on most inverters, like yours pastypyro, the power switch is just powering the control circuitry, not actually carrying the full current load of the inverter, so a large relay should not be needed.
    But don't take it from me! here's a quote from a real, live newbie:
    Quote Originally Posted by Viscouse
    I am learning buttloads just by searching on this forum. I've learned 2 big things so far: 1-it's been done before, and 2-if it hasn't, there is a way to do it.
    eegeek.net

  6. #6
    Low Bitrate pastypyro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by evandude
    what he's talking about is if you leave the inverter on with whatever is plugged into it turned off. then the inverter would still be running to maintain 120VAC on its output, even with no current draw, so it would still consume some power, and if it's a real cheap inverter it might consume a decent amount
    I don't have this problem. I'm not sure if I got lucky with buying this inverter or what. I know the switch doesn't carry much current now, but I didn't before I opened it up. I bought the relay before that. Good luck.

  7. #7
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    the inverter does have a power switch...

    so when the inverter switch is OFF does it consume any power?

    dean

  8. #8
    Low Bitrate pastypyro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deanwarez
    the inverter does have a power switch...

    so when the inverter switch is OFF does it consume any power?

    dean
    I think it depedns on the inverter. When mine is switched off and the computer is still plugged in I have not had any problems with it sitting like this for at least a week. If there were any current draw issues I'm sure they would have turned up then.

    Hopefully more will jump into this conversation and discuss the other possibility. But, the only way to know is to try it.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by deanwarez
    the inverter does have a power switch...

    so when the inverter switch is OFF does it consume any power?

    dean
    Probably not. I say probably because it is possible that the inverter circuitry may monitor the switch to see if it is on or off. That would consume a very small amount of power.

    The way to test this is to hook up your digital multimeter (you have one, right? If you have a computer in your car, you are obligated by law to buy and know how to use one :-) to measure the current draw. Turn the switch on and the computer on. Measure it. Shut the computer down, measure it. Turn the inverter switch off. Measure it.

    Then you'll know for sure.
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    I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
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  10. #10
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    yeh ok cheers guys! Thanks alot!

    Dean

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