Pure Sine vs Modified Sine Inverters

Submitted: Monday, Apr 10, 2006 at 22:35
ThreadID: 32771 Views:4935 Replies:11 FollowUps:8
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Is there a fundamental difference between the types of devices that can be used. I'm looking to get an inverter to re-charge some of my camera gear and I'm not sure if modified sine will cause any problems - it's a bit hard to get any information from the manufacturers as they are all a bit confused as to what I am after.

Many thanks.
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Reply By: Member - Omaroo (NSW) - Monday, Apr 10, 2006 at 22:39

Monday, Apr 10, 2006 at 22:39
Scooter - this is always a very contentious topic.

You will get those people who absolutely INSIST that you use a PSW inverter to run any electronic devices.

You will also get those that use MSW for everything and have (or claim) no problems.

Do yourself a favour and do a search for "pre sine wave" and you will get a pile of information. It's all been discussed before - many times.

Cheers
Chris
AnswerID: 166308

Reply By: Member - Paul P (Bris) - Monday, Apr 10, 2006 at 22:50

Monday, Apr 10, 2006 at 22:50
Greetings

As suggested do the search here . Also go here www.mrinverter.com.au Click on About Inverts from the main menu. ( I have no afiliation or interest)

A Google on " inverters " will give you even more info. In answer to your first sentence. Yes.

If its expensive to replace my advice would be a pure sin wave inverter.

Regards

Paul
AnswerID: 166312

Follow Up By: Scooter13 - Monday, Apr 10, 2006 at 22:58

Monday, Apr 10, 2006 at 22:58
thanks guys - much appreciated. I'm trolling through the forum looking for inverter - seems a lot of rubbish about people wanting to run power tools :-) - god knows why. I have a couple of devices that are expensive (Epson P2000 - photo storage device) that I would definitely not like to stuff up. Some people mentioned that some devices 'buzzed' on the MSW.

I'll try to refine my search a bit.
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Reply By: Member - Doug T (QLD) - Tuesday, Apr 11, 2006 at 00:10

Tuesday, Apr 11, 2006 at 00:10
Just a quick one here, my 800w modified won't run my laptop but the 300w full sine will , The 800w will run a 750w electric drill ,
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AnswerID: 166324

Follow Up By: V8 Troopie - Tuesday, Apr 11, 2006 at 00:47

Tuesday, Apr 11, 2006 at 00:47
In my case the 150W modified sine wave inverter does run my toshiba laptop, it runs the coffee grinder (just) and it runs a power safer fluorescent light bulb - not all at the same time though. I have not used it on anything else yet and its way too small to run a power tool.
So, the milage may vary, as the saying goes.

Klaus
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FollowupID: 421215

Reply By: Member - Mike DID - Tuesday, Apr 11, 2006 at 05:42

Tuesday, Apr 11, 2006 at 05:42
Xantrex suggest that most appliances will run off Modified Sine Wave Inverters.

Site Link

But keep in mind that not all non-Sinewave Inverters are equal - the crudest ones output just a square wave.

It also depends on how the appliance is designed - some laptop power supplies may off MSW, others may not.

Mike
AnswerID: 166340

Follow Up By: Member No 1- Tuesday, Apr 11, 2006 at 08:27

Tuesday, Apr 11, 2006 at 08:27
and the info from a maufacturer...cant get better than that
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FollowupID: 421241

Reply By: Scooter13 - Tuesday, Apr 11, 2006 at 09:27

Tuesday, Apr 11, 2006 at 09:27
Thanks for the reply folks - much appreciated.

Mike, that link was the 1st one I've found that did a plain explanation of where you should use them.
Quote:
"In general, any device that senses either voltage peaks or zero crossings could have problems when running from MSW. Devices such as these should be run from TSW inverters. Ham radio and CB radio operators may notice RF noise from MSW inverters; in that case do not run the radio and the inverter at the same time. Electronics that modulate RF (radio frequency) signals on the AC line will not work and may be damaged. You may notice hum or buzz in the audio of TV’s, radios and satellite systems used with MSW inverters. Audiophiles or professionals using sophisticated audio, remote measurement, surveillance or telemetry equipment should use TSW."

and

"As a general rule, products operating through an AC adapter will work fine from an MSW inverter. These include laptops and cell phone chargers, video games, camcorder and digital camera chargers. Televisions generally work well; some VCR’s with inexpensive power supplies run poorly. Consider switching to another brand of VCR in that case. A potential solution for RV’ers or off-grid cottagers is to purchase our smallest TSW inverter (such as the RS400) to run TV, VCR and audio equipment, and a larger MSW inverter (such as the XPower 1750 Plus) for the coffee maker, hair dryer and microwave."
AnswerID: 166380

Follow Up By: Member - Mike DID - Tuesday, Apr 11, 2006 at 09:30

Tuesday, Apr 11, 2006 at 09:30
. . . but remember, there are exceptions to every rule, just to keep life interesting.

If you run something off MSW and it behaves abnormally, change to SW - buzzes, runs hot, etc.

Mike
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FollowupID: 421260

Reply By: MartyInNEVic - Tuesday, Apr 11, 2006 at 09:58

Tuesday, Apr 11, 2006 at 09:58
wrecked the battery in my Sony camera
burnt out power supply on Dell laptop
wrecked battery in HP laptop
burnt out fan
all from modified sine wave inverter
buy a pure sine wave and save yourself money and future problems
bought a 150 pure sine wave for $200
the current draw with PSW is less as better efficiency.
they tell me which I would agree MSW use 20% more power over PSW
wish we had bought the PSW first
AnswerID: 166397

Follow Up By: Scooter13 - Tuesday, Apr 11, 2006 at 10:04

Tuesday, Apr 11, 2006 at 10:04
Marty,

Having read all the posts I'm going in that direction myself. I just can't risk screwing up the electronics in my Pannie or P2000. 150W Pure Sine should be more than enough for what I want.
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FollowupID: 421274

Reply By: Scooter13 - Tuesday, Apr 11, 2006 at 10:10

Tuesday, Apr 11, 2006 at 10:10
However, the corollary and further question to all this is:

Can you get a surge protected mutli voltage DC to DC charger that will charge directly to the devices without damaging them. Would DSE or some store like that have them ?
AnswerID: 166400

Reply By: Member - Mike DID - Tuesday, Apr 11, 2006 at 10:11

Tuesday, Apr 11, 2006 at 10:11
Here is a list from Xantrex that I can no longer find on their website.

It gives their view about the type of power they need.

The number after the name is the power in Watts.
The 2nd last number is runtime from a 100 amphour battery
The last number is runtime from a 400 amphour battery

Mike

------------------------------------------------------

Electronics
Portable Stereo 100 Either (Some speaker hum from MSW) 5.0 20.0
Television (35cm) 65 Either (Lines generated across Screen from MSW) 7.7 30.8
Television (65cm) 95 Either (Lines generated across Screen from MSW) 5.3 21.1
TV / Video Combo 80 Either (Lines across Screen from MSW) 6.3 25.0
VCR / DVD 30 Either (Some VCR's will not run on MSW) 16.7 66.7
X-Box / Playstation 75 Either Waveform 6.7 26.7
Computer / Mobile Office
Laptop Computer 70 Pure Sine Wave is preferred to prevent battery damage 7.1 28.6
Desktop Computer 390 Either waveform works fine. Some lines across screen from MSW 1.3 5.1
Bubble Jet Printer 120 Either waveform 4.2 16.7
Laser Printer 900 Will only run from a Pure Sine Wave Inverter 0.6 2.2
Fax Machine (Thermal) 55 Preferred to run from a Pure Sine Wave Inverter 9.1 36.4
Fax Machine (Laser) 900 Will only run from a Pure Sine Wave Inverter 0.6 2.2
CD Burner 80 Either Waveform 6.3 25.0
AC Adaptors / Battery Chargers
Cordless Phone 30 Either Waveform, however batteries may be damaged from MSW 16.7 66.7
Cordless Drill / Dustbuster Vacuum 35 Either Waveform, however batteries may be damaged from MSW 14.3 57.1
Video Camera 20 Pure Sine Waveform is preferred to prevent battery damage 25.0 100.0
Mobile Phone 20 Either Waveform, however batteries may be damaged from MSW 25.0 100.0
PDA 20 Either Waveform, however batteries may be damaged from MSW 25.0 100.0
Truecharge 10i 300 Either Waveform 1.7 6.7
Home Appliances
Bread Maker 675 Will only run from a Pure Sine Wave Inverter 0.7 3.0
Food Processor 400 Either Waveform, however Pure Sine is preferred 1.3 5.0
Juicier 330 Either Waveform, however Pure Sine is preferred 1.5 6.1
Microwave (Normal) 1100 Either, however some modern models will only run from Pure Sine 0.5 1.8
Microwave (Convection) 1800 Either, however some modern models will only run from Pure Sine 0.3 1.1
Coffer Perculator 700 Either Waveform 0.7 2.9
Blender 400 Either Waveform 1.3 5.0
Toaster 850 Either Waveform 0.6 2.4
Kettle 2200 Either Waveform, however not recommended to be run from an inverter 0.2 0.9
Frypan (Electric) 2200 Not recommended to be run from an inverter 0.2 0.9
Fridge (Normal 510 LTR) 1200 Either Waveform, however Pure Sine is preferred to extend motor life 0.4 1.7
Fridge (Bar type) 180 Either Waveform, however Pure Sine is preferred to extend motor life 2.8 11.1
Chest Freezer (160 LTR) 1100 Either Waveform, however Pure Sine is preferred to extend motor life 0.5 1.8
Sepat Machine 260 Must be run from Pure Sine Wave - Warranty void if MSW used 1.9 7.7
Hair Dryer 1400 Either Waveform 0.4 1.4
Clippers (Hair) 35 Either Waveform 14.3 57.1
Iron 2200 Either Waveform, however not recommended to be run from an inverter 0.2 0.9
Pedestal Fan 75 Either Waveform, extended use from a MSW may burn out the motor 6.7 26.7
Washing Machine 900 Either, however Pure Sine is preferred for electric controlled models 0.6 2.2
Clothes Dryer 1000 Either Waveform 0.5 2.0
Vacuum Cleaner 1400 Either Waveform 0.4 1.4
Lighting
Floodlight (150watt) 150 Either Waveform 3.3 13.3
Floodlight (500watt) 500 Either Waveform 1.0 4.0
Battern Fluro (36 watt) 40 Will run on either, but power factor corrector to be removed for MSW 12.5 50.0
60 watt Incandescent Bulb 60 Either Waveform 8.3 33.3
Power Tools
Jigsaw 550 Either Waveform 0.9 3.6
1/3 Sheet Sander 180 Either Waveform 2.8 11.1
Electric Drill (600watt) 600 Either Waveform, but variable speed will not work from MSW 0.8 3.3
Grinder (100mm) 600 Either Waveform 0.8 3.3
Grinder (250mm) 900 Either Waveform 0.6 2.2
Circular Saw (180mm) 1400 Either Waveform 0.4 1.4
Circular Saw (250mm) 1700 Either Waveform 0.3 1.2
Drop Saw 1800 Either Waveform 0.3 1.1
Air Compressor (1/2 HP) 700 Either Waveform, however not recommended from an inverter 0.7 2.9
Sander / Polisher (orbital) 150 Either Waveform 3.3 13.3
Soldering Iron 45 Either Waveform 11.1 44.4
Heat Gun 1500 Either Waveform 0.3 1.3
Electric Blower (Garden) 2200 Either Waveform, however not recommended from an inverter 0.2 0.9
AnswerID: 166401

Reply By: Scooter13 - Tuesday, Apr 11, 2006 at 14:16

Tuesday, Apr 11, 2006 at 14:16
Thanks for all the help folks.

You wouldn't know - I wandered down to my local DSE store here in North Sydney to look at the range of PSW Inverters - only had 3 x 300w jobbies at around $300 - I'd convinced myself to get a 150W one. I asked the guy there if they stocked 150w PSW, and he checked and said no, however one of the 3 up the back was old model M5113, the others were M5213. Said I could get the old stock one for $150 - bingo !!! No decision.
AnswerID: 166439

Follow Up By: Member - Matt M (ACT) - Tuesday, Apr 11, 2006 at 18:28

Tuesday, Apr 11, 2006 at 18:28
Scooter,

You've got to pick up your truck first haven't you?

Matt.
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FollowupID: 421363

Follow Up By: Scooter13 - Tuesday, Apr 11, 2006 at 19:42

Tuesday, Apr 11, 2006 at 19:42
Matt,

No harm in preparing - never pass an opportunity.

:-P

Scott.
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FollowupID: 421396

Reply By: rod2101 - Wednesday, Apr 12, 2006 at 09:41

Wednesday, Apr 12, 2006 at 09:41
Most electronic devices use "switch mode power supplies" that means that the in coming ac power ( 50 cycles per second ) is converted to DC! ( ie +&- ) before
being converted to ac again ( but now at about 40,000 to 100,000 cycles per second ).
Because they convert the input voltage to dc it does not mater what SHAPE the input voltage is , infact most SMP power supplies will even run on a dc input!
Some power supplies may not run with MSW inverters because they think there is a fault with the input but it wont do them any harm ( very few wont work)

regards Rod
AnswerID: 166620

Reply By: atoyot - Wednesday, Apr 12, 2006 at 17:48

Wednesday, Apr 12, 2006 at 17:48
I was in a local store a while ago, and heard a salesman telling a customer that a MSW inverter would power his young son's medical equipment to help him breathe at night when they go camping. Hope the salesmans insurance is paid up (actually, I did interupt, cause I couldn't live with myself if I said nothing and someone died because of it).

Most situations where you might use an inverter are not potential "life and death" situations, but that pretty much sums it up for me. If you are looking at powering something from an inverter, -
1. Check with the manufacturer if it is OK to use with a MSW inverter.
2. If you can't get that info, just add the potential cost of replacing the gear against the risks of using it, and make your choice.

There are some people around that have no problems running anything from a MSW inverter and reckon everyone else is wrong about the potential for damage, and there are others that have had batteries and other things wrecked by using one. I use one to charge some batteries, and I've had a few batteries stuff up, but I think I'm still ahead on costs, but a few more batteries stuffing up might make it worthwhile for me to buy a PSW inverter soon.

The price you paid at DSE for the 150w PSW inverter was cheap and I reckon the best choice; I'm going to see if the local DSE have one here,

Andrew
AnswerID: 166730

Follow Up By: Scooter13 - Wednesday, Apr 12, 2006 at 18:04

Wednesday, Apr 12, 2006 at 18:04
Andrew,

The DSE one was a 300W for $150. You can have a go... just look to see if there's any M5113's hiding under the M5213's. If so, see if you can work a bargain for the superseded one... can't tell the difference between the 2 models and the specs look almost identical.
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FollowupID: 421656

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