Ramblings of a Techno-Viking

Invertered Problems

An inverter converts the 12 volts DC (nominal, 11-15 volts in practice) from the house battery to 120 volts AC used by most household appliances. All the inverters discussed in this post are of the cheaper "modified sign wave" style, not the "true sign wave" style.

The 400 Watt Coleman inverter I had been using to power my computer (a laptop with a dead screen and battery) and TV that spends most of its time as a computer monitor decided to go into fail mode (tone sounds, red light lights, no output) and not come out. Fortunately, I had some spare smaller inverters that should be big enough for the job. Inverter number two (140 watt) didn't want to work, so I tried inverter three (200 watt) that blew a fuse on my fuse panel. Inverter four, same model as number two, worked for almost a minute before deciding the voltage was too low and dropping out. All the smaller inverters only had cigarette-lighter power cords so had to be plugged in to the available outlet high in my closet, forcing the inverter to be placed on top of my printer. The fuse is only 15 amps, and I'm not sure how the outlet is wired or what it is rated at. (Some cigarette-Lighter style outlets are only designed for 60 watt loads.)

A 410 Watt inverter (if you believe the box rather than the instruction pamphlet that rates it at 400 watts) purchased at Walmart is now being used. Like the Coleman, it has stud terminals and comes with battery clips. I use the battery clips on the terminals on my fuse panel.