voltage invertors.

Submitted: Tuesday, Jan 21, 2003 at 13:34
ThreadID: 3038 Views:2305 Replies:12 FollowUps:17
This Thread has been Archived
When I am away on expeditions into our remote desert regions, I can be away from civilisation between 4 to 6 weeks average. I cannot keep video camera batteries charged as Panasonic do not have an adaptor available to suit the battery adaptor. So, I figured a 12v DC/240v AC invertor would/could do the trick. But, do I need square wave or sine wave to effect this problem. Any body with any experience or electronic knowledge that has any answers? The camera is a digital model NV-DA1 and has Lithiul batteries 7.2V 800mAh. Also, occassionally some tag along crew also would like their batteries topped up, so that would be handy to do also. Thanks.
Back Expand Un-Read 0 Moderator

Reply By: Glenn - Tuesday, Jan 21, 2003 at 13:51

Tuesday, Jan 21, 2003 at 13:51
desert,

I purchased a 350W modified sine wave inverter that I use to recharge my digital camera and run my laptop with no problems. It is connected directly to my second battery. I am extremely happy with what I have.
A good site to have a look, as well as having great prices is Mr Inverter at >

Hope this helps

Glenn
AnswerID: 11627

Follow Up By: Desert - Tuesday, Jan 21, 2003 at 16:33

Tuesday, Jan 21, 2003 at 16:33
glenn, do you mean to say modified square wave?
0
FollowupID: 6565

Follow Up By: Glenn - Wednesday, Jan 22, 2003 at 11:31

Wednesday, Jan 22, 2003 at 11:31
Desert,

Yes, it is a 12 V 350W Modified Sine Wave inverter and I paid $199. Details can be seen at www.omega2000.com.au/12volt.htm
0
FollowupID: 6604

Reply By: Member - Bob - Tuesday, Jan 21, 2003 at 13:53

Tuesday, Jan 21, 2003 at 13:53
Hi Des, square wave works for me. This works for laptop/VCR/dig cam. The sine wave inverters are far more expensive but not necessary in these applications. I use a 200 watt model from Jaycar which cost about $200. This was discussed at length not so long ago. Do a search under inverter.
AnswerID: 11628

Follow Up By: Desert - Tuesday, Jan 21, 2003 at 16:34

Tuesday, Jan 21, 2003 at 16:34
Thanks Bob, I'll give Jaycar a call and sus them out.
0
FollowupID: 6566

Reply By: zigglemeister - Tuesday, Jan 21, 2003 at 13:55

Tuesday, Jan 21, 2003 at 13:55
desert,
Have just discovered this forum and am enjoying it greatly, looking forward to "the trip" when we finally get back to Oz in a few years. I live on an island in Vanuatu where our only power is solar, so have been using inverters for the last five years. We've found modified square wave inverters to be fine for stuff like laptops, printers etc - don't have a video camera myself but my father-in-law charged his Sony one without problem when he came to visit us. Personally I wouldn't bother with the extra expense for sine wave - about the only thing we've come across that doesn't like the modified square wave is your standard 240 volt fluoro tube! For more info try the Rainbow Power Company (rpc) - sorry, I can't remember the website (might be www.rpc.com.au???) - they have a lot of experience with what will and won't work with the different types of inverters.
AnswerID: 11629

Follow Up By: Desert - Tuesday, Jan 21, 2003 at 16:36

Tuesday, Jan 21, 2003 at 16:36
Thank you Mr.Ziggle, looks like the modified square wave will be the grouse.
0
FollowupID: 6568

Reply By: Phil G - Tuesday, Jan 21, 2003 at 15:36

Tuesday, Jan 21, 2003 at 15:36
I use a 100Watt Inverter from Jaycars ($89) to recharge my Canon digital camera battery - works fine, but it won't run my Tosh laptop. A 200 or 300Watt unit will give you more options.

Phil G
AnswerID: 11631

Follow Up By: Desert - Tuesday, Jan 21, 2003 at 16:39

Tuesday, Jan 21, 2003 at 16:39
Thanks phil. Tell me, does the unit generate a lot of heat? I ask because I fancy mounting it near the fridge, but if it's going to get very hot I'll have to have a rethink?
0
FollowupID: 6569

Reply By: Member - Des - Tuesday, Jan 21, 2003 at 15:54

Tuesday, Jan 21, 2003 at 15:54
Desert...please tell me....mate where do you to get six weeks away from IT? Des
AnswerID: 11632

Reply By: Member -Phoggi - Tuesday, Jan 21, 2003 at 16:06

Tuesday, Jan 21, 2003 at 16:06
Desert,

My use of inverters has been mainy concerned with yaching. For many years I ran a Heart 2800w (and still do) inverter on my yacht and it ran everyting from the microwave to the dive compressor (18 amps). The only thing adversely affected was the digital alarm. Square sign wave does not work with electronic timing devices but it does work with simple chargers.
Love inverters. Quiet, inexpensive, long lasting and economical.

Cheers. (whatever happened to artistic stills?)
AnswerID: 11633

Follow Up By: Desert - Tuesday, Jan 21, 2003 at 16:44

Tuesday, Jan 21, 2003 at 16:44
Great advice mate, thanks. Don't despair, the 35mm still gets a good thrashing while I'm bush. The cam-corder is more for reviewing and entertainment once back at home. I't impossible to catch all the action in a still sometimes.
Chow.
0
FollowupID: 6572

Reply By: ExplorOz Team - David - Tuesday, Jan 21, 2003 at 17:35

Tuesday, Jan 21, 2003 at 17:35
Desert,

We use a DSE 300 Watt inverter that cost around $130 (from memory) and it does a great job I have run it all day with Laptop, Digial Video and Sat phone chargers all running at the same time. It does not get very hot and mine is mounted right near the fridge without issue.

I also wired it via a heavy duty relay which allows me to switch it on and off from both the front and rear of the vehicle. I did this so that I could safley have Michelle plug and unplug devices whilst we are on the move. You may think this is overkill but remember the Vehicle is not grounded and I have found that sometimes you can get a bit of a jolt from your equipment. Our video camera has a habit of doing this if running on the inverter. Does not seem to hurt it however, it is a newish expensive Sony model.

Hope this helps
David
AnswerID: 11637

Follow Up By: Oziexplorer - Tuesday, Jan 21, 2003 at 17:54

Tuesday, Jan 21, 2003 at 17:54
David you are on the money with what you did.
While the Dick Smith Electronics www.dse.com.au are good and we have a number of them we have thrashed and never had one go faulty, but as David explains these can at sometimes give you a bit of a jolt.

Lately we have been buying the Jaycar units because they are fully electrically isolated. I have also found that these definitely have more starting capacity than the DSE and some other brands we have tried. Where we have not been able to run our laptops on the DSE ones, the 140w Jaycar fire them up just dandy.
www.jaycar.com.au
Models
100w M15058 $89.50
140w M15060 $109.50
300w M15062 $139.50 on special this month.
0
FollowupID: 6574

Follow Up By: Member - Mike - Tuesday, Jan 21, 2003 at 18:42

Tuesday, Jan 21, 2003 at 18:42
Dave and Ozi, from what I read can I assume that a long lead run to / from battery is ok. I have assumed I need to attach direct to battery - hood up etc. i have a GME 400watt unit. Probably overkill but had it now a few years - mainly used for Notebooks etc.
I would like to plumb this in permanently if possible.
Mike
0
FollowupID: 6579

Follow Up By: Exploroz Team - David - Tuesday, Jan 21, 2003 at 19:01

Tuesday, Jan 21, 2003 at 19:01
Mike,

Longer runs are a bit of a problem however use a good quality large diametre (high current) cable and quality connections. Try to use as little number of connectors as possible and solder each of them. Make the leads as short as you can, but lets face it it has to be long enough to reach the device.

From memory the cable I used was about $5/mtr and I think was rated to 50Amps at 12V. Not real sure about this however I got the most expensive twin core power cable I could get at Marlows. It was the stuff they use to wire up those huge power amps that the younger gen like to have making nosie in their vehicles. Mind you some of these sound systems will pull more than the 32Amps you need for the 400 watt inverter. 400 watts is a high power requirement and you must must must ensure that you install a fuse in the circuit near the battery - just in case your high current cable touches the chassis or something. Do not attempt to use a small spade or 5AG type glass fuse for this requirement as the connectors will have to much voltage drop. I would look at a 35 Amp monster fuse/circuit breaker that you could get from your local electrical supplier.

Hope this is of some help.
David
0
FollowupID: 6580

Follow Up By: Oziexplorer - Tuesday, Jan 21, 2003 at 19:09

Tuesday, Jan 21, 2003 at 19:09
Mike I use two x 6mm oxygen free copper from my battery to my major battery suckers. The distance from my battery is just under 4 metres.

Using a Bosch 70 amp relay to switch the supply to the invertor can be any distance on the vehicle. The amount of power a 70amp Bosch relay takes is not worth talking about in the scheme of things.
0
FollowupID: 6581

Follow Up By: Member - Mike - Tuesday, Jan 21, 2003 at 20:41

Tuesday, Jan 21, 2003 at 20:41
Thank you. Will now investigate - looks good.
Mike
0
FollowupID: 6586

Follow Up By: Oziexplorer - Tuesday, Jan 21, 2003 at 21:43

Tuesday, Jan 21, 2003 at 21:43
Mike just send cheque to Salvation Army for consultancy services rendered (vbg)=(Very Big Grin).
0
FollowupID: 6589

Reply By: Eric - Tuesday, Jan 21, 2003 at 23:14

Tuesday, Jan 21, 2003 at 23:14
Desert.
The method of charging using an invertor and then a charger is ineficient and costly way of doing a very simple thing. All you need to charge a lithium battery is a resistor and a diode, many mobile phones use the same battery, if you can get the car charger from an old analog 7.2 volt phone you done. If not you can make one in a few minutes with a 1 amp diode and a 72 ohm resistor, cost about $1. Eric.
AnswerID: 11659

Follow Up By: Desert - Wednesday, Jan 22, 2003 at 21:29

Wednesday, Jan 22, 2003 at 21:29
Thanks eric for the info and I tend to agree, but, as I said in my initial question, Panasonic do not offer a dedicated 12V charger. And to fabricate one from bastardised parts still does not get around the physical limitations of holding the battery and conecting with the very tiny terminals(about 0.5mm wide and four of them spaced about 2mm apart. So you see, I need to use the 240V charger/holder, to be able to connect to the batteries.
0
FollowupID: 6643

Reply By: Member - Nigel - Wednesday, Jan 22, 2003 at 07:59

Wednesday, Jan 22, 2003 at 07:59
I found chargers get quite a bit hotter on modified square wave inverters than they do on sine wave. Most professionals would recommend a sine wave inverter if you are using your charger regularly, whereas the occasional use of a modified square wave inverter shouldn't cause any problems.

My preference is always for dedicated 12 volt charger. As Eric says they are more efficient.
AnswerID: 11661

Follow Up By: Brian - Wednesday, Jan 22, 2003 at 16:37

Wednesday, Jan 22, 2003 at 16:37
I agree the dedicated 12v chargers are more efficient, but when you have Hand held UHF,Computer, Battery Drill,video cam,digital Cam,Kids toys ....Etc.... thats a lot of dedicated chargers and there purchace cost!
I believe it is cheaper and more practical to buy one realy good inverter and use it for everything.
My 2¢ Worth
Brian
0
FollowupID: 6627

Follow Up By: Oziexplorer - Wednesday, Jan 22, 2003 at 17:25

Wednesday, Jan 22, 2003 at 17:25
Yep, same situation as Brian, to many devices, and for many you cannot get 12vDC dedicated chargers.

For example the Makita 12vDC battery charger is about $160 which is just crazy. But then again, would never buy another Makita.

For my mobile phone, satellite phone and iPaq hand held computer have all dedicated adaptors, but the rest use on invertor.
0
FollowupID: 6630

Follow Up By: Member - Nigel - Wednesday, Jan 22, 2003 at 19:51

Wednesday, Jan 22, 2003 at 19:51
Yeah - it's usually the price that does it. I can buy a 300W pure sine wave inverter for cheaper than a 12 to 16 volt adaptor for my laptop.
0
FollowupID: 6636

Reply By: Eric - Wednesday, Jan 22, 2003 at 22:44

Wednesday, Jan 22, 2003 at 22:44
Desert.
Your 240 volt charger probably has a seperate battery holder and transformer. You just have to get into the battery holder socket,no sweat. If you send it to me I will set it up for you no charge, you pay the postage, Eric.
AnswerID: 11713

Follow Up By: Desert - Friday, Jan 24, 2003 at 09:57

Friday, Jan 24, 2003 at 09:57
Much obliged, Eric.The charger "box" has a socket for the 240V input, a DC output (so you can run the camera of mains supply for editing etc) and it also has a DC input with a queer, unique socket that is marked as "car DC IN". However, the lead that plugs into this socket is not available. I would imagine that one could alter this socket to a more common socket/plug combo to be able to get the car's supply into the charger? How can I contact you Eric?
Desert.
0
FollowupID: 6727

Reply By: Eric - Friday, Jan 24, 2003 at 22:19

Friday, Jan 24, 2003 at 22:19
Desert.
Rather not put my location on the post, could you ring me on 03 59432267 or 0428392077. Eric.
AnswerID: 11829

Reply By: Raymac - Sunday, Jan 26, 2003 at 13:14

Sunday, Jan 26, 2003 at 13:14
There is some good advice given by all the contributors. The most important thing is that the inverter has a load rating to easily supply all of the devices that are likely to be charged at any one time. A 10 percent overload tolerance should be factored in. The supply cable should be big enough to allow for voltage drop which with a 6mm cable is about 0.5 volts at 5 metres. Solder all connections to reduce increasing the voltage drop due to oxidization at joints. If you must use push on connector make sure they are tinned and use a gel on them to prevent oxidization. Must simple battery charging can be handled by a square way inverter but if you are using a laptop or other electronic device directly from the inverter the sine way type should be used. It is better to be a little excessive in choosing your components as undervoltage on electronic devices will cause a lot of grief.
AnswerID: 11876

Sponsored Links

Popular Products (13)