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Av8r3400

Inverter-Charger

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I'm looking for recommendations and opinions on an inverter/charger for my Volvo.

I've had my eye on a Xantrex Freedom 1800 watt model for some time, but I'm curious if there is a newer/better model.  What are you all using and what do you like - dislike about it?

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6 hours ago, Av8r3400 said:

I'm looking for recommendations and opinions on an inverter/charger for my Volvo.

I've had my eye on a Xantrex Freedom 1800 watt model for some time, but I'm curious if there is a newer/better model.  What are you all using and what do you like - dislike about it?

I’ve had that inverter/charger in my truck for ten years.  Only issue is one fan started rattling few years ago.  Ordered two new ones online and easy change out.  No problems since.  Now mine is the Xantrex Freedom HF 1800.  It is modified sine wave not pure sine wave.  All we run from it is a dorm fridge.  If you’re going to run sensitive electronics, may want a pure sine wave.  Kisae-Absoe makes one that’s fairly inexpensive.

Edited by SuiteSuccess

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The Eaton or Cooper-Bussmann SW inverter has been what replaced it in trucks in the past few years.

http://www.connectorconcepts.com/1218acinwiba.html#

The shore power and outlet kit for it is still on EBay!

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Phillips-15AMP-Truck-Cab-AC-Shore-Power-Cable-Set-241806-40-FL10-350-with-Outlet/352269532085?epid=1849816587&hash=item5204e67bb5:g:kXoAAOSwGx1Zwcze:sc:FedExHomeDelivery!98038!US!-1

Amazon's got a pretty good deal on one, but no battery charging.  They guy sells the FL extras, so don't know the warranty status on something like that.

https://www.amazon.com/Cooper-Bussmann-12-110-1800-True-Inverter/dp/B015YT351C/ref=sr_1_12?m=A1RRHZWQYO9TSP&marketplaceID=ATVPDKIKX0DER&qid=1577641962&s=merchant-items&sr=1-12

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Ive been using the Kisea Abso 2000 watt inverter charger for a few years now on various projects. For a moderately priced direct-wire inverter/charger with remote panel it is a pretty good price and the specs are decent. I've had excellent luck with them. It is what we also use in our shop. I've probably installed 20-25 of them and had zero issues with them.  Don Rowe generally has a decent price.

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Not being an electronics expert, having a "pure sine" wave inverter makes "cleaner" power for use with sensitive electronics?  Does this really matter for normal electric use?  (EG a window fan, phone charger or even laptop charger I have a new 12v Volvo fridge in there)  I could understand if I was plugging in an actual desktop computer or something like that.

I see the  Kisae model makes a little more (and pure sine) power for only a moderate ($50) more than the Xantrex.

 

Thanks again for taking questions from the extreme ignorant.

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1 hour ago, Av8r3400 said:

Not being an electronics expert, having a "pure sine" wave inverter makes "cleaner" power for use with sensitive electronics?  Does this really matter for normal electric use?  

Anything using a power brick will benefit from pure sine wave. In general, the electronics in todays devices other than things like heaters also benefit from pure sine wave. We only install PSW inverters. They do cost a little more, but are worth it, IMO. 

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1 hour ago, Av8r3400 said:

Not being an electronics expert, having a "pure sine" wave inverter makes "cleaner" power for use with sensitive electronics?  Does this really matter for normal electric use?  

I run all my small appliances, ceiling fan, TV, microwave and computers off Xantrex Freedom inverter.  The only thing that didn't play well with it was a Mister coffee deluxe model coffee maker.  I returned one back to Walmart twice before realizing what was causing it to stop working.  Got a basic Mister Coffee maker and all is well. 

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12 hours ago, Jack Mayer said:

Ive been using the Kisea Abso 2000 watt inverter charger for a few years now on various projects. For a moderately priced direct-wire inverter/charger with remote panel it is a pretty good price and the specs are decent. I've had excellent luck with them. It is what we also use in our shop. I've probably installed 20-25 of them and had zero issues with them.  Don Rowe generally has a decent price.

Don Rowe has great price on Magnum also. Thanks Jack

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Scrap, Is it not with a charger?  Or at the price should I not even question it?   

38 minutes ago, Scrap said:

Found this one that I swear wasn't there yesterday....... FL extra again I'm sure....Get it!

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Eaton-Model-12-110-1800-B4G-True-Sine-Wave-Inverter/174100008639?hash=item28892b4ebf:g:L3cAAOSwiS9d0zBz

 

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B4 means charger, so it should be a charging type.  And it even has the remote control that most don't have included (it work work without it).  Should be good.  If there is a gotcha I'm not seeing it.  Though I am looking at it on my phone and not the big screen.....

I suppose the gotcha is that it has the connectors for the outlet kit above, so you kinda have to buy that too.  But that keeps the romex out of your sleeper anyways.

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For what it is worth, they will not recharge battery backup batteries, AND with the battery backups we were using during an emergency test, the battery backup units would constantly chirp with the modified sine wave inverters.   Again another take it for what it is worth , they work well with basic things but ...
Next one I purchase will be a full sine wave.

 

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Not to start an on-line vocal war, but a modified sine wave inverter (not square wave) will run what most call sensitive electronics (modern) with no ill effects.  When electronic devices used iron core transformers it was true that modified sine wave was not good as the transformers ran hotter and the peak voltage was lower.  Square wave inverters spelled imminent disaster to these devices (heat).   But today, modern electronics like your TV and computer use a switching power supply designed to take a wide range of voltage often ranging from 90 VAC to over 200 VAC, line frequencies as low as 45 Hz or as high as 70 Hz with no ill effects.  Power around the world is often pretty dirty in less developed areas and switching power supplies negate the old problems.  Just look at the label on the brick or simply pick it up.  If it is very light odds are it is a newer switching supply. These devices work extremely well on a MSW inverter.

On the other hand, smaller dorm type refrigerators using synchronous AC motors in the compressor or AC fans external to blow air across the condenser will typically run slightly hotter on a MSW inverter - just make sure that the refrigeration unit is positioned so it gets plenty of cooling air and it should run for years.  The dorm fridge in my Volvo is approaching 8 years old and is still humming on a MSW inverter.  Conventional microwaves (not those with inverter technology) will not operate with the same power output as a true sine wave and ceiling fans may "buzz" with a MSW inverter.  Synchronous electric clocks don't work well either.  Dorm refrigerators that start out cold and then lose cooling output most certainly are overheating the compressor and condenser - often an added external muffin fan salvaged from an old desk top computer blowing air across the compressor and/or condenser will solve that problem.

No argument that a true 60 Hz sine wave inverter is a better choice but one should not necessarily snub or avoid using a less expensive MSW if cost is a consideration.  Now, with that said, the cost of PSW inverters out of China have dropped in price to the point that they can be a competitive option over a MSW without breaking the budget.  And yes, it is nice to have a PSW inverter that has a 4 stage battery charger built in rather than a separate charger.  Many also have an internal transfer switch which makes the cost differential smaller.  Choices are all about $$$ and what you are powering.

EDIT:  Well, fudge.  I looked at the Eaton PSW inverter Scrap pointed to on ebay.  They are New and include other often extra cost accessories.  According to the description there were two left to sell.  After some hesitation I hit the "Buy Now" button and supposedly one will be on the way soon.  I really did not need it, but if I like it and the price is right items often go into my project bin.  There is one left if any body is interested.  Thanks Scrap!

Edited by RandyA
added information

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On 1/5/2020 at 11:15 AM, Ray,IN said:

RandyA; Do  you agree with this: https://www.rvtechlibrary.com/electrical/sinewave.phwhich indicates most electronics do not run properly on a modified sine wave?

Ray, I do not know the author of this text or what his background may be.  No, I do not agree with everything he has written in the following text.  I believe I made a reference to the problems with microwaves, brick transformers and synchronous motors in clocks.  I have found no issues with desktop computers unless they were old Atari or Commodores.  My Ham radios have no RF issues with MSW inverters. I have read many statements similar to this that are what I call urban mythology - or statements that have circulated so long they are believed to be true and repeated as authority. 

"How it Affects Electrical Devices:

Remember, all of the electrical devices made are designed to operate on a true sine wave. As the device grows more sophisticated, it's reliance on a true sine waveform also increases. Therefore, there are some drawbacks to the modified sine wave.

If you are running simple things, such as lighting, you won't really have an issue with modified sine wave. Modified sine wave inverters will power toasters, lights, microwaves, any electrical heating element, as well as most motor loads such as refrigerators, vacuums, etc. Electronics do not fare as well on modified sine wave. Digital clocks will not keep accurate time. Many small battery chargers, such as used on cordless power tools will not function correctly. And any electronic device is subject to failure. The biggest issue is that all major appliances are now becoming heavily interfaced with electronics. While your refrigerator's compressor motor may run fine on modified sine wave, the electronic control panel in the door that controls the water dispenser and ice maker may not like it and will fail. Microwaves ovens will function but the electronic control panel may not hold up that long. Laptop computers will run fine because the inverter is merely powering a battery charger. The battery itself acts as a buffer and runs the laptop on DC power, even when plugged into the AC adaptor. Desktop computers are not in the same category though and you will probably smoke them pretty quick. Modified sine wave inverters will also generate RF noise in the line so you will have issues if you try to power a ham radio with one. Motor speed controllers using triacs won't work properly either. If there is a "wall wart" power supply box plugged into the wall you'll be fine though. Inkjet printer models can be either way on this so check first. Generally, if you see the current transformer on the power supply, you'll be fine.

With today's improvement in inverter technology it's really not that big of a deal to upgrade to a true sine wave inverter. You'll probably find that the life expectancy of your coach's electrical components will improve and save you money in the long run.

 

Submitted by Mark Quasius - 9/21/06"

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I ran desktop PCs, dorm refrigerators and microwaves on cheap ms inverters in semi's for years with no ill effects on any of them. The microwave clocks weren't correct and power was down a bit. I had one fridge die but I think it was more from the rough ride than anything else.  

When I built the bus I went with a Xantrex Freedom 3000 all went well until I installed induction cooktops. They were noisy even when off, just being plugged in. I also wasn't sure  the inverter mini splits would play well so I switched to PSW.

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I have received one of the NOS Eaton inverter/chargers from the eBay vendor.  Extremely nice unit includes (short) cables and the remote control switch.  Cable ends will need current plugs cut off for generic install.  Good buy for what you get.  It will be going in the Volvo very soon.

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I just received from Don Rowe my Kisea Abso 2000.  Hoping for warm weather to get it installed before April...

 

Jack Mayer - You recommended to me once a while back a source for the chrome (stainless?) plugs for shore power and block heater, can you remind me where they come from?

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Good deal Randy!  You can take the faceplate off and those cords go to a terminal.  So you can take the whole cable off and go direct to terminal using the same strain reliefs.

I think I finally figured out the gotcha on all the Ebay Cooper's.  They changed to inverters with an M in the part number sometime in 2018.  I'm not sure what's different but M inverters need M controllers or they don't work.  They don't make the non-M controllers anymore so you are kind of stuck if you get one of the inverters only that doesn't have the controller included.  The M's also use a different pinout on the controller cable so you can't replace a Xantrex and use the same pre-routed controller cable that's already run through your cabinets.  You have to re-crimp it or run the new cable.  I swear they made that change about as frustrating as they could, but yours came with controller so life should be good.

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16 hours ago, Ray,IN said:

Oddly enough, my 20yr old Xantrex inverter/charger died today. I'm looking at this for a direct replacement: https://www.amazon.com/Xantrex-815-3012-Freedom-Inverter-Charger/dp/B006VELG7A?th=1

Ray, that is a rather healthy price tag!  As long as the transfer switch wires up and the controller is compatible the one above should be fine.  You might want to shop around other brands with a lower price.  A lot has changed in 20 years and Xantrex is not necessarily the best buy for your application.  BTW - at 20 years your first look inside the Xantrex for for a repairable component(s) would be the electrolytic capacitors.  20 years is about right for their life expectancy.

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4 hours ago, RandyA said:

BTW - at 20 years your first look inside the Xantrex for for a repairable component(s) would be the electrolytic capacitors.  20 years is about right for their life expectancy.

Agree, I'd open it up and take a peek.  Failed electrolytic capacitors, that I've come across, have usually been easy to spot by a bulge in an end or circumference.   Replacement is easy.

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