Where to buy an Inverter?

Submitted: Thursday, Jan 31, 2008 at 07:33
ThreadID: 54062 Views:2526 Replies:9 FollowUps:4
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To run our laptop I decided the easiest way would be to fit an Inverter in our Teardrop Camper.
Which one should I buy and where?
Had a look on e-bay but found very big price differences.

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Reply By: Fiona & Paul - Thursday, Jan 31, 2008 at 08:05

Thursday, Jan 31, 2008 at 08:05
I use a 12V converter from any cigarette lighter outlet either in the vehicle or out camper. You can buy them for about $20 at Tandy, Dick Smiths, Repco or similar outlet.

I was a bit dubious at first but it works fine when we are under our own power in camp, while charging up at a powered site I use the 240. When the gennie is running we use either mode and it all works fine.
Happy camping
Paul & Fiona
Paul H
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AnswerID: 284653

Reply By: Grungle - Thursday, Jan 31, 2008 at 08:17

Thursday, Jan 31, 2008 at 08:17
Hi Reiner,

Some will say to only buy the Pure sinewave type for a laptop and some will say it doesn't matter if you use the laptop with a modified sinewave type. I have used both for work and pleasure with 2 laptops (Compaq and Dell) and have not had a problem.

If you intend on using a wide variety of electronic gear either now or in the future then a pure sinewave might be best as you CAN run any electronics on it (within its wattage rating). A modified sinewave will not run some TV's, microwaves and other gadgets so it is best to plan what you intend on running and making a decision on this.

I would also go for the biggest you can afford or at least try and cover future applications. I have 4 inverters myself, 2 for work (150W and 400W) for laptops, battery chargers, test equipment etc. and 2 for camping - a 1000W pure sinewave in the camper and a 1000W modified sinewave in the car which I can remove and use for work if needed.

Ebay is a good source for inverters due to price but only buy in Australia to make sure the outlet is AU spec'ed. Also check for warranty and feedback as to quality. Dimensions play a big part as this will determine where you can fit the device.

Inverters are so cheap now that you could start off with a 300-600W modified sinewave to see if that meets your needs and if latter on you want cleaner or more power, then upgrade.

Each person will have their own views (like fridges, batteries etc) so it would pay to search the net for an informative site that can identify what can safely run from either type and a method for sizing. I went for the biggest I could afford but also anticipate using sensitive electronic equipment latter on so settled on the 1000W pure sinewave as my main 240VAC power sorce.

Hope something is of help.

AnswerID: 284657

Reply By: MrBitchi (QLD) - Thursday, Jan 31, 2008 at 08:47

Thursday, Jan 31, 2008 at 08:47
AnswerID: 284658

Reply By: KSV. - Thursday, Jan 31, 2008 at 09:07

Thursday, Jan 31, 2008 at 09:07
I like to echoed David and John. Get one from Jaycar, get pure sine wave and get as big unit as you can comfortably afford. They are not as expensive today as use to be anyway. Also as Chinese says, “Pay more upfront and cry only once”. MSW *IS* compromise and you get what you pay for. It is true that lots of things will run from MSW without any problem, but with PSW you are *GUSRSNTEED* that everything will run. Also what I have found out that realistic power rating of MSW actually 60-70% or so from stated, while with PSW you have not got such problem, usually other way around – you can comfortably overload PSW inverter for 50% for short period of time. Also PSW much more efficient and draw less power from battery. I would not even bother myself to try el-cheapo $20 cigarette lighter power rubbish. Sure, it is not much money, but I feel that putting it forward to buy a slab of beer is much better investment.

AnswerID: 284664

Follow Up By: Member - Kiwi Kia - Thursday, Jan 31, 2008 at 09:20

Thursday, Jan 31, 2008 at 09:20
"....el-cheapo $20 cigarette lighter power rubbish"

Rubbish my a...... !
Try the 12 volt adapter from Dick Smith and see if it works ok, you can always take it back if it doesn't. My adapter works perfectly, might be a little more then $20 though.
FollowupID: 549426

Follow Up By: KSV. - Thursday, Jan 31, 2008 at 10:26

Thursday, Jan 31, 2008 at 10:26
I have been. They can be good enough to charge your mobile, but this is about it. Trouble is I do not have enough time to run back and forth to check all cheap China-made rubbish that sells everywhere. Thanks for advise.

FollowupID: 549438

Follow Up By: Member - Mike DID - Thursday, Jan 31, 2008 at 13:17

Thursday, Jan 31, 2008 at 13:17
I have the Jaycar 500watt Sinewave and am very impressed with it.
FollowupID: 549474

Follow Up By: RovingOz (QLD) - Thursday, Jan 31, 2008 at 17:56

Thursday, Jan 31, 2008 at 17:56
150w ps inverter does 99% of my needs. laptop, phone, cameras.

problems reported on another forum re current jaycar 150w pure sine inverters going bung. older models were ok.

look at morningstar brand, when it comes to a laptop i'd rather use a quality pure sine wave.
FollowupID: 549510

Reply By: Stefandsal - Thursday, Jan 31, 2008 at 09:20

Thursday, Jan 31, 2008 at 09:20
Try Derek from ABR. I have no association with him or his company other than as a customer. He is very helpful. Web address is www.sidewinder.com.au

AnswerID: 284666

Reply By: Mainey (wa) - Thursday, Jan 31, 2008 at 10:03

Thursday, Jan 31, 2008 at 10:03
as stated above, get the 'best' quality you can afford........

The "best" can be stated as:

# PURE Sine Wave technology

# With inbuilt FAN (to remove heat)

# Large CAPACITY (300 Watt minimum - 600 Watt probably more useful)

# EFFICIENCY % number, go with the highest % (90+% is more efficient than 88%)

Buy LOCALLY for the obvious reasons previously mentioned.

Mainey . . .
AnswerID: 284679

Reply By: Member - Pixie - Thursday, Jan 31, 2008 at 13:48

Thursday, Jan 31, 2008 at 13:48
recent thread on similar topic: #53243
AnswerID: 284719

Reply By: Motherhen - Thursday, Jan 31, 2008 at 20:49

Thursday, Jan 31, 2008 at 20:49
Hi Reiner

A couple of years ago now, i purchased a 300w pure sine wave one from eBay. It was the same brand as could be found in shops at the time, including on line shops, but cheaper. It works well and is more than adequate for a laptop. Ours is mounted in the caravan, not the car.



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AnswerID: 284811

Reply By: Member - keith P (VIC) - Thursday, Jan 31, 2008 at 21:53

Thursday, Jan 31, 2008 at 21:53
im running a modified sine wave 100w inverter from dick smith. i run a computer for oziexplorer and all my other chargers from it. these type of chargers do not suffer with the modifier sine wave like moving electrical parts such as a compressor. they may run a bit hotter but if you use an electrical motor it will damage it very quickly.i run my pc all day for navigation and have never had a problem.
pretty good for a $60 inverter.
AnswerID: 284844

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