inverters for computer euipment,ie.printer/ scanner

Submitted: Tuesday, Mar 25, 2003 at 22:14
ThreadID: 4057 Views:1936 Replies:3 FollowUps:3
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Do i need an inverter connected to my solar setup to run a printer or scanner or for that matter a graphics tablet.If so which would be best and at what price.
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Reply By: shaky - Tuesday, Mar 25, 2003 at 22:37

Tuesday, Mar 25, 2003 at 22:37
from the research I've done , you need a pure sine wave inverter to run a laser printer. I'm not sure about ink / bubble jet's. A lot of these devices use the alternating current as a clock and won't work, if at all on a modified sine wave inverter. I would contact the printer manufacturer and check.
AnswerID: 16119

Reply By: GaryInOz - Wednesday, Mar 26, 2003 at 03:31

Wednesday, Mar 26, 2003 at 03:31
A bit of a can of worms. Depends a lot on what your equipment uses power wise. If they use "plugpack" type power supplies to supply DC only (CAUTION: some equipment MAY just use a transformer in a similar case to a "plu pack") you may be able to run them off a regulator (5, 6, or 9volt) straight off your battery without having to go up to 240volts AC then back down again. The major (and probably killer) exception to this would be on most laptop computers as they typically have 14.8-16 volts batteries which will require their charger.

The suggestion of a sinewave inverter is a MUST if you intend on running your mobile office away from 240 Volts. The main reason is they do not generate as many harmonics ("electrical interference").

Now for the good news. There are products on the market called UPS (Uninterruptable Power Supplies) which are made for home/business based computer systems, whose primary purpose is to allow a short 20-60 minute time frame in which to close down a computer system in an orderly fashion during a power outage. They usually come in 300-650 watt sizes for about $250-400 with an integrated battery.

The idea is that you plug the UPS into the power point OR across a larger battery (than the internal one), and then plug your computer/monitor/accessories into the UPS. Now, the trick is to find one that has an extenal battery input, as most of them only have the 240v ac input to recharge the battery.

And of course if any thing does happen to your deep cycle or external mains power, your inverter still has enough power from the internal battery in the UPS to "let you down slowly".

Try the usual outlets, Dick Smith, Jaycar, Officeworks, Harvey Norman, or a frienly large computer store.

I hope this helps
AnswerID: 16128

Follow Up By: GaryInOz - Wednesday, Mar 26, 2003 at 03:38

Wednesday, Mar 26, 2003 at 03:38
Also if you have problems with the computer/accessories later on the manufacturers would not have an issue with it being connected to a "UPS", they may object to an "Inverter" (although they are really one and the same!)
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FollowupID: 9876

Follow Up By: bob_h - Wednesday, Mar 26, 2003 at 20:50

Wednesday, Mar 26, 2003 at 20:50
GagryInOz
Can you expand on this excerpt from your post: "The major (and probably killer) exception to this would be on most laptop computers as they typically have 14.8-16 volts batteries which will require their charger. "
I was thinking of using a sine wave inverter to power my notebook... 12V->inverter->240V input to notebook power pack (14V output).
what do you think??
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FollowupID: 9926

Follow Up By: GaryInOz - Wednesday, Mar 26, 2003 at 23:14

Wednesday, Mar 26, 2003 at 23:14
That was what I meant, most computer peripherals that use plug packs typically operate at or below 12 volt, meaning you could bypass the plugpack and just use a voltage regulator (LM 340 type, or similar) with a couple of resistors and an appropriate plug to provide the power directly from the battery (less losses). All except the laptop power supply which would make the whole exercise a no-go for an "on the road" office, which would requires in your case 14 volts under load, possibly more to fully charge the battery. You typically only get 2-3 hrs use out of a laptop battery before it goes flat making your days work very brief. As indicated by Grinner below there are solutions to the laptop power supply too if that is the direction you want to head BTW your sine wave inverter would work satisfactorally but would be 20% or so less efficient due to heat and other losses in the up and down conversion of voltages. The computer type UPS that I described earlier is a sine wave inverter.
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FollowupID: 9942

Reply By: Grinner - Wednesday, Mar 26, 2003 at 08:51

Wednesday, Mar 26, 2003 at 08:51
For running your laptop, Jaycar Electronics & D!ck Smith have a DC - DC convertor, this runs of your cig lighter plug and steps up the voltage up to about 18v (you select what you want between 12v - 18v). I have also run a laptop and a small inkjet printer of a standard cheapo 150w inverter from Dick Smith. The only problem I had was that the inverter would turn itself off after about 4 hours of continous operation.

Grinner
AnswerID: 16131

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