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Thread: Simple and clean DC to AC inverter remote switch on mod

  1. #1
    Constant Bitrate WarDriver's Avatar
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    How To: Simple and clean DC to AC inverter remote switch mod

    Though I'd make a quick how to guide for a remote power on switch for a DC to AC inverter.

    Rational:
    -I want to be able to turn off and turn on my power AC power inverter from the driverís seat of my car.
    -I donít want to hack up my inverter so it is un-useable in another vehicle.
    -I want the solution to be simple, clean and easy for a person of average skill to replicate.
    -Power inverters that are plugged into the cig lighter are a bad idea.
    -It has to be cheap

    Parts I already had:
    -350 watt power inverter
    -Installed wiring kit (used for my audio amp)
    -Small gauge wire I had laying around

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    Additional Parts Required:
    On/Off switch (Junk Yard $1)
    Green Light (Radio Shack $2)
    DC jack Ė Male (Radio Shack $2)
    DC jack Ė Female (Radio Shack $2)

    Total $7

    Tools Required:
    Drill w/Bit
    Phillips Screw Driver
    Soldering Iron
    Solder
    Electrical Tape

    This is a simple idea. An inverter is right for my application. Iím running a laptop tucked away in the trunk along with a few other AC items. I would like to make it look as stock as stock and clean as possible. Iíve already run heavy gauge wire for my amp. Other wise Iíd say run 4g wire.

    So to start lets gather the parts. A quick trip to radio shack and the junk yard and Iím ready to roll. I was able to snag a factory fog light switch from the scrap yard for a buck. Since I had 2 blanks in my car, I grabbed it.

    Next rip apart the inverter. Check out the wiring. Notice how the DC in wire is much larger than the on switch wiring. This shows that the inverter does not run all of its power through the main switch, but rather it utilizes an internal relay. **You now need to check to see which side of the switch has the power coming in and which side energizes the relay. Also while youíre in there with your multi meter double check to make sure that wire is 12Volts

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    Locate a good spot for the dc jack and drill a hole. Make sure you will have enough clearance once your reassemble the unit. Now that youíve located the correct side of the switch solder a short piece of wire between the closed side of the switch and the center pin of the jack you just installed. (Make sure that it is the wire that energizes the relay and not the 12V constant.)

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    Now for the dashÖ.I installed the factory switch with a 12V input coming off a fused line from a 12V constant source. Then the switch outputs to both the inverter remote switch and the little green light that I installed in the center of a switch blank.

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    To finish it all off the inverter got tucked in the rear panel work.


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    If this type of remote on is not for you perhaps you should check here.
    -WarDriver-
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    My DC to AC Inverter Mod
    My Laptop Remote Switch

  2. #2
    Constant Bitrate WarDriver's Avatar
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    Also...here is a copy of the wiring diagram in my car just in case someone would like to see what is going on. (Got to love MS paint)



    Name:  Wiring Diagram.gif
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    -WarDriver-
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    My DC to AC Inverter Mod
    My Laptop Remote Switch

  3. #3
    Constant Bitrate RawsonDR's Avatar
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    Good work. I still have to do this. (along with a lot of other things).
    One question: did you put a resistor inline with the LED, or are you giving it 12 volts?

  4. #4
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    interesting approach... When I used an invertor I just used a relay on the 12V input of the invertor and left the invertors switch "on". Another idea would be to just wire your switch in parallel with the invertor's switch.

  5. #5
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    how about feeding ign to the onboard relay of the inverter and forgetting about the switch all together,that way if you have a remote starter the computer will be all fired up before you get into your vehicle...

  6. #6
    Constant Bitrate WarDriver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RawsonDR
    ]One question: did you put a resistor inline with the LED, or are you giving it 12 volts?
    That is a good question. I assume you are speaking of the light in the dash. It is actually not a LED which made things more simple and the light less bright.


    Quote Originally Posted by Kaspin
    ] interesting approach... When I used an invertor I just used a relay on the 12V input of the invertor and left the invertors switch "on". Another idea would be to just wire your switch in parallel with the invertor's switch.
    Both of these ideas would work. I didn't put a relay on the line in because I didn't want to splice a relay on my line in wire. They can be a pain getting those thick wires on small terminal ends. Also, I didn't wire the switch in parallel because I wanted somethign simple that was easily removed so it could be placed in another vehicle with ease.

    Quote Originally Posted by finnegan
    ]how about feeding ign to the onboard relay of the inverter and forgetting about the switch all together,that way if you have a remote starter the computer will be all fired up before you get into your vehicle...
    Thought about that too...but my carpc is not running 100% of the times that I am in my car, so I didn't want my inverter kicking on every time I get in. If you are looking for a good design to do that check the link for the thread in the end of my orig post. Plus sometimes I just want to kick the inverter on...so a switch lets me do that without turning on all of my other accessories.

    Thanks for the questions!
    -WarDriver-
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    My DC to AC Inverter Mod
    My Laptop Remote Switch

  7. #7
    Constant Bitrate TheLandYacht's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaspin
    interesting approach... When I used an invertor I just used a relay on the 12V input of the invertor and left the invertors switch "on". Another idea would be to just wire your switch in parallel with the invertor's switch.
    Yah, relay was the way I went too...of course, with a 1200watt inverter I needed a MONDO relay, otherwise the first time ya trip the relay it would weld the contacts together (made that mistake already)...ended up goin to the guys here in Austin that put together emergency vehicles (ambulances/firetrucks/etc) & gettin a 150amp relay. Felt insane to spend $75 on just the relay but whatcha gonna do?

  8. #8
    Constant Bitrate WarDriver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLandYacht
    Felt insane to spend $75 on just the relay but whatcha gonna do?
    That hurt...could have run a parallel switch or do what I did...would have set you back $10 bucks max.
    -WarDriver-
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    My Laptop Remote Switch

  9. #9
    FLAC Jahntassa's Avatar
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    I took a similar approach, wiring a relay in-line with the inverter's internal switch. Both the internal switch and the external 12v source have to be 'on' for my inverter to power on. I have the 12v lead going to my DSSC controller, and it's also wired so when i'm running the system on AC (I have a retractable AC line in my trunk) it shuts off the inverter.

  10. #10
    Constant Bitrate WarDriver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jahntassa
    I took a similar approach, wiring a relay in-line with the inverter's internal switch. Both the internal switch and the external 12v source have to be 'on' for my inverter to power on.

    Very nice...I went with the setup that I did because I can either hit the switch in the dash or hit the switch on the inverter to power it on. That way if I have to toss it into another vheicle quickly (which does not have the remote power on switch), it will work 100% like a factory inverter.

    Good call on the retractable AC line...is it a large amount of cord?
    -WarDriver-
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    My DC to AC Inverter Mod
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