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Old 08-15-2015, 08:04 AM   #1
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Inverter help !

Recently I was to Harbor Freight Tools, in Lancaster PA. What a candy shop that is, for somebody handy. I am not that fortunate.

My wife and I lucked out and got 4 days at Assateague National Park. This will be our 1st adventure being self contained. They have no electric, water and sewer.

I purchased an inverter to watch TV on DC. The inverter is 200 / 400 watts (see picture). Three questions.

a) My owners manual says the RCA TV is 78 watts. That is kinda' vague. It appears that I should be able to use the TV via the inverter.
b & c) We have a Dish Tailgater and receiver. I can't find anything that is directed to watts.
Can we use the inverter to power the TV, satellite dish and receiver.

The short version ; what is doable ?


Also, we have a 3500 /4000 watt generator to keep batteries fresh. The generator must be shut down by 10PM, then I run on two 12V deep cycle batteries.

Thanks, John
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Old 08-15-2015, 08:56 AM   #2
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I think you might need a slightly larger inverter. See if the satellite dish and receiver list the amp usage. Amps X Volts =Watts.
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Old 08-15-2015, 08:59 AM   #3
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If it's not a sine wave or pure sine wave you may get some fluctuation/interference on the electronics.
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Old 08-15-2015, 09:15 AM   #4
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I think you will need a larger inverter for what you are describing. Also remember that inverters pull a lot of amps from a battery bank. A 400 watt surge will pull about 40 amps from the batteries. Considering that the camper has a main fuse of 30 amps, it would be like leaving everything on all the time plus some.

I might ask about your generator. Is it a construction grade or inverter type? A construction grade will burn through a lot more gas and be quite loud.
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Old 08-15-2015, 09:37 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djtho1 View Post
Also remember that inverters pull a lot of amps from a battery bank.
So with that in mind, I guess it would be better to mount the inverter as close to the battery bank as possible? And run some romex back to wherever you want the AC power?
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Old 08-15-2015, 09:45 AM   #6
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Grumpy is right about if the inverter is not a Pure Sine Wave model and it could cause problems for electronic equipment. I do not think that Harbor Freight has any PSW models. Some members use the regular inverters with no issues, but I prefer to take the safe route.

As mentioned your Tv is 78 watts and I just checked my TailGater Sat Receiver is rated at 55watts so that is a max of 133 (110VAC) watts which equates to 11 (DC) amps from the battery. And don't forget that you will have a few lights on and a small amount of drain from the CO and Radio and Fridge circuits.

I believe since you have (2) 12VDC batteries (Marine/RV??) and they are probably rated at 85Ah each for a total of 170AH, but you can only use 1/2 of that which is 85Ah (50% level or 12VDC). You should not discharge your batteries below the 12VDC point. So based on that you should be able to get at least 4 hours of Sat Tv from your (fully charged) batteries.

I highly recommend that you purchase (Amazon) a digital voltage meter to monitor your battery voltage while using the inverter, and shut down when the battery voltage falls 12VDC.

One additional point to note is that the inverters are rated at 110VAC, BUT that is at 12.6 to 13VDC. When your batteries reach about 12.2 or 12.4 VDC a few of the small inverters I had, the AC voltage dropped to 100 VAC. At 12VDC the AC voltage dropped to 95VAC. I also monitor the AC voltage when on the inverter.

If at all possible connect the inverter DIRECTLY to the battery.

Good luck

Don
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Old 08-15-2015, 10:24 AM   #7
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Thanks for input

Thanking all, for their input on the Inverter.

DJTH01----The generator was given to us as a present. I assume it is construction quality.

See picture of owners manual.

I understand the courtesies that you must give, when using a generator. It does fall under the decibel threshold of the Federal Parks.

I have used this generator once, deer hunting in Pennsylvania last December with hunting buddies. The noise was not a factor to us, but courtesy to other campers is paramount.

John
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Old 08-15-2015, 10:32 AM   #8
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Yep. That one is a construction generator. What is the dB level rating on that one, and is it rated for that at idle or at 3600 rpm?
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Old 08-15-2015, 03:58 PM   #9
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Decibels

Quote:
Originally Posted by djtho1 View Post
Yep. That one is a construction generator. What is the dB level rating on that one, and is it rated for that at idle or at 3600 rpm?
djth01:
In my owners manual I wrote "db won't go above 68"---The problem is that I don't remember where I got the numbers.

My wife says that I called StarCraft or Champion. Maybe I called our RV Dealer, they sell Champion. I think it was Champion that I called, but not sure.

Does it sound right---I know I was told it fit Federal Campground Guidelines. I should have more info on the generator, but I have to go through a mountain of paper. I will try to give it a shot.

John
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Old 08-15-2015, 04:17 PM   #10
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It will be pretty loud at 68 compared to the Inverter at 58. Also remember that yours is at a constant 68 while the inverters quiet down even more when not running hard because they can idle and still make 110 volts. It is just something to think about. That all being said, I would probably go with your current setup and just be prepared to be flexible with run times and power use overall. If someone complains, you could ask to plug into theirs as well. We used to plug other people's campers into our Honda inverters all the time. It works well as long as you don't need to run high draw appliances or air conditioners.
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