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Old 03-21-2009, 11:21 PM
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Default Best Inverter in town

Looking for opinions here.

Been through a few walmart ones and am sick of replacing them.

I want to go ahead and permanently mount one this time so I want to make sure it is a good one.... where should I go look for one?

I've checked Costco but they don't have one right now.

Wattage just depends on what's available.. I'll go with the biggest I can fit under my center console.
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Old 03-21-2009, 11:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rover67 View Post
Looking for opinions here.

Been through a few walmart ones and am sick of replacing them.

I want to go ahead and permanently mount one this time so I want to make sure it is a good one.... where should I go look for one?

I've checked Costco but they don't have one right now.

Wattage just depends on what's available.. I'll go with the biggest I can fit under my center console.
You are going to find the same one at all the discount stores....just differant color and packaging straight from Korea. Look at camper and boat vendors if you want a real one!
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Old 03-21-2009, 11:38 PM
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To Kevin's point, I'd be looking for the Magnum Energy, Exeltech, maybe some others, USA designed and made, man! Cheap Chinese crap is always going to be cheap Chinese made crap, no matter what name is on it. That's not to say you can't find well made imported stuff, but a Xantrex isn't all that cheap either.

http://www.magnumenergy.com/
http://www.exeltech.com/
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Old 03-22-2009, 07:20 AM
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Why would an inverter list a, "Max operating altitude 15,000’ (4570 m)"?

http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wcs...9&classNum=678
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Old 03-22-2009, 07:39 AM
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I've used Tripp Lite before; they seem good. I bought a bigger one recently that I keep meaning to install.
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Old 03-22-2009, 08:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Ben View Post
You are going to find the same one at all the discount stores....just differant color and packaging straight from Korea. Look at camper and boat vendors if you want a real one!
I pretty much figured all the cheap ones were the same. I'll poke around some boat and RV stores today.

Thanks for the brand suggestions Dave.
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Old 03-22-2009, 08:24 AM
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I know the cheap inverters put out a chunky waveform rather than a smooth sine but what 120V devices are sensitive to the shape of the inverter output?

I've got a 1500W Xantrex mounted in the back of the 80. The biggest installation hassle was the size of the wire needed to supply the inverter with adequate current. I also put a circuit breaker on it so I could easily disconnect the high current wires going to the back of the truck.
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Old 03-22-2009, 08:14 PM
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Man, the Magnum energy ones look really nice.... and expensive. I gues they are "real" peices of equipment though.

Have you been happy with your Xantrex Bruce? I found one of those on the web for muuuch cheaper than the Magnum Energy ones. http://www.fadfusion.com/selection.p...er=20026600246

The Tripp-Lite ones look nice too.

I gave up trying to find something in town today and finished getting the CB and HAM installed. Probably better to actually do some research before buying one of these inverters anyways.
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Old 03-22-2009, 08:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rover67 View Post
Man, the Magnum energy ones look really nice.... and expensive. I gues they are "real" peices of equipment though.

Have you been happy with your Xantrex Bruce? I found one of those on the web for muuuch cheaper than the Magnum Energy ones. http://www.fadfusion.com/selection.p...er=20026600246

The Tripp-Lite ones look nice too.

I gave up trying to find something in town today and finished getting the CB and HAM installed. Probably better to actually do some research before buying one of these inverters anyways.
Yeah, there's a few levels of quality here. The point is to avoid the really cheap pseudo-sine stuff (some are barely better than a slightly filtered square wave).

But the Magnum for example is a very high quality piece of gear and a true sine, 1000W inverter that's designed for constant use in an RVs, boats, emergency vehicles or the like. Applications where a $100 inverter might last a couple of weeks or simply be unsuitable (like running medical equipment). For intermittent use it is overkill for mortals with mortgages. But it will be the last inverter you ever buy... FWIW, Magnum's competition from Xantrex would be a ProSine and they are pretty much the exact same price (about $850 to $950 for a 1kW inverter). Xantrex products are sometimes used in ambulances I know, so they are just fine.

I personally think the happy medium is probably about $300~$400 for about 500 to 1kW. I'd realistically be looking for something like a Samlex SF series or Xantrex XS400. Heck even a Cotek (which is Taiwanese AFAIK) would be alright. The truth is that anything made in the USA is going to be HD use and be at least $600 and typically $1000. But such is the reality when you can pay a good Chinese assembler $1 or $2 per hr and a good assembler here will get 15 or 20 times that. The $100 inverters have a different design target and duty cycle and reliability are not high on the list. They have cheap BOMs and are fast to make.

I would not bother with anything that did not do a clean sine output (less than 0.1% frequency stability and in the 3~4% or less THD range), you never know what you might want to run off it. Usually if it's a reasonably clean inverter you'll be fine, but some things are bound to be sensitive. I had a Dewalt cordless battery charger that did not like a cheap inverter I tried it with. But OTOH the chargers for my Niterider bike lights tolerate very crappy inverters. Shrug.
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Old 03-22-2009, 10:38 PM
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1000W Xantrex were on sale at Costco for $30 a while ago. Pretty good deal but suspect it was a model closeout.
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