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  #1  
Old 07-09-2013
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Inverter w battery charger

I just bought a cheap inverter for my boat. It's working well so far. My only concern is that it says that you should not plug in battery chargers for power tools into it. I have a cordless drill I would really like to be able to use. I also have a good quality AA charger that I really need.

Am I screwed as far as using this stuff with the inverter?

The link is below.


ENERGIZER 180W Cup Inverter 12V DC cigarette lighter to 120V AC to power laptop notebook & more w/ 4 USB ports 2.1A shared compatible with iPad & more
http://amzn.com/B00ATXEPQI
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Old 07-11-2013
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Re: Inverter w battery charger

Anyone got a solution for this? Thanks.
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Old 07-11-2013
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Re: Inverter w battery charger

Hey Sully...

I assume (dangerous word) you have a modified waveform inverter? While this type may provide A/C for small devices, it is not optimal for battery chargers, motors, and laptops for long-term use. If you were to look at the output with an O'scope, you would find this inverter puts out a squared waveform in an attempt to simulate your standard 110v house current. Without getting too far down the rat hole, this squared waveform is not optimized for what you are trying to use it for. If you want to run sensitive electronics I would recommend you find a True sine wave inverter. These are more expensive but put out A/C in the exact form used in your house.

On a separate note, if you were to use an inverter to run a flat screen TV, laptop, or similar device with it's own power supply...keep in mind you are converting DC to AC to DC. This is very inefficient and you should look for a direct DC alternative.
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Re: Inverter w battery charger

Thanks for the reply. Currently I'm spent as far as budget goes. Ill have to charge my batteries on land and hope for the best.

I just charged up my laptop with the inverter. Am I in danger of damaging the laptop by charging it like that? Or will it just eat up the battery quicker? It looks like the battery remains full via the tester and my multimeter.

Thanks!
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Old 07-11-2013
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Re: Inverter w battery charger

Rather than "AC to DC to AC", I'd look for a straight DC/DC car-type charger for those batts

HTH,
Paul
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Re: Inverter w battery charger

The laptop's power supply converts the AC from the inverter to DC probably 12 or 19 volts. The power supply pretty much protects your laptop from most AC problems. I wouldn't worry about it.

You can get a 12 volt power adaptor off ebay pretty cheaply, then you just plug it into a cig lighter plug and don't have to worry about the inverter at all. With the added benefit of increased efficiency.
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Re: Inverter w battery charger

As previously mentioned, would look for a DC option for your electronics if available. Most laptop manufacturers have a 12v option and you can even find many aftermarket power supplies. You might even find one at your local Goodwill mixed in with the various cell phone chargers.

As for damaging your laptop battery or power supply??? YMMV...I will say any charge you get will not be optimal and it may shorten the battery life of the device. If in a pinch, go ahead and charge them up while you are on the boat. I would never leave them charging unattended or overnight for risk of fire.
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Re: Inverter w battery charger

So is there something cheap that I could plug my drill charger in instead of the inverter?
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Re: Inverter w battery charger

Not to make light of your situation but perhaps you could slip ashore for a cup of coffee? I have worked for more than a few hours while sitting in a Dunkin Donuts or Panera Bread with my laptop and cell phone plugged into their outlet to charge. I have not had anyone challenge me to leave or unplug.

Just a thought....
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Old 07-12-2013
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Re: Inverter w battery charger

Will likely only affect the battery lifespan.

Regards,
Brad
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