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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 01-05-2012
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Selecting Inveters

Hola,

I am ready to complete my electrical system on board and have a feq quick questions. I have been looking at Inverters online and notice that they all have one or two sockets on the front for plugging in AC.
I am looking for an inverter that will alow me to cut out two or three sockets on the boat so I can plug in multiple places instead of the inverter directly. Also, since I would mount ther inverter by the battery I could not plug in direct to it anyway since it is outside the boat under the cockpit.
What inverters allow for what I am looking for? I have an 80 watt solar panael and only plan on running a lap top and cell phone charger so 400 watts is all I need.
Thanks for your help!
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Old 01-05-2012
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I ran 4 conductor tec cable to all the duplex outlets.Each box has two separated plugs .The ones coming from inverter are painted red and nobody uses them without checking with me.My inverter is also a 125 amp charger so when on shore power all plugs are hot.When unplugged only red plugs are live.and location of power hasn't changed .Cheap inverters are modified square wave and eat some electronics and can buzz on the VHF. True sine wave cost more but are worth looking at.They all use some power at idle so must be accessible for on/off. Easy solution is bolt on under table and run suitable cables to fuse at battery switch.
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Old 01-05-2012
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As with most things, there are a variety of options - depending on your budget. Assuming a moderate budget...

It is usually best to mount the inverter near the battery bank to keep the DC runs short (and thus voltage loss small). Then run the AC lines to the cabin (as Capt Len said). There are quite a few inverters that offer a remote switch option which is a really nice deal (like this one, for example: Cobra Power Inverter 2500 watt - DonRowe.com).
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Old 01-06-2012
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The most efficient way to power a laptop is by using a laptop car adaptor, not an inverter. If the cell phone charger is the only other item you wish to power with an inverter the best solution is a small - less than 100 -150 watt - inverter plugged into a cigarette lighter. 150 watts will be close to max a 12 volt socket can supply but will be plenty for a cell phone charger.
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Old 01-06-2012
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For cell phone and computer charging it is best to use 12 V socket and chargers that work with 12V. There are also inverters 100-400W that pug in directly to 12V socket. I used different models (non sinus ones) and all of them caused touch pad problems. I think the frequency(s) of these units are transferred to my netbook and cause problems. The netbook touch pad functions without problems if the charge is not connected and mafunctions when charging via inverter. I switched to 12V charger for netbooks and every thing works okey. If you want mais voltage on board make sure it is sine wave. Otherwise some devices might not function correctly.
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Old 01-06-2012
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The maximum rated amperage of a 12 volt socket is 15 amps (some only 10 amps) and 15 amps into an inverter only translates into about 150 watts AC.
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Old 01-06-2012
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150W is more than enough power to run a laptop or charge a cellphone.
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Old 01-06-2012
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Yes, it is more than enough.
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Old 01-06-2012
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hanks for your well thought out replies. I would like to here more about the lower power inverters that allow AC cord to be run. My boat DOES NOT have any hook ups for shore power, as such, I have NO sockets on the boat by which to plug in ANYTHING.
Right now I have the 80 Watt solar power running to the regulator running to the battery which then fans out to power al my DC.
Now I ned to add an inverter which will allow me to CUT OUT 2 or 3 SOCKETS (just like in our houses) for me to plug in at different parts of the boat.
Are there any smaller wattage systems that allow for this hook up?
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Old 01-06-2012
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Virtually any inverter can be made to work the way you want.

However, it's a lot of work and, with respect, from your posts it's clear that your understanding of AC/DC is a bit wanting.

My question: Why do this? As mitiempo and others have said, both the laptop and the cellphone can be made to work directly from 12VDC (the batteries) with appropriate "car adapters". It these are truly the only things you want to charge, then do yourself a favor and get an adapter for each and keep things simple.

Bill
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