What is the most effective and innovative way to use a 300 watt inverter

Submitted: Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 08:57
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I am looking for innovative and effective ways to use my 300 watt inverter. My needs are simple and I drive a 4 cylinder Manga with a box trailer in tow. I usually camp for 3 days at a time primitive style without any problems. I don't have any extras yet like deep cycle batteries or appliances. So I'm interested in how others have used 300w inverters. Sorry not interested in buying another size inverter. Just want to play with this one.....
Cheers Jo
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Reply By: Member - Andrew (QLD) - Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 09:23

Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 09:23
Hi Jo,

My question would be why do you need a 300w inverter when you don't have any appliances. Sometimes bneing primitive means not using it at all even if you have it with you at the time. LOL

Andrew
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Follow Up By: jokirt - Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 09:31

Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 09:31
Hi Andrew
Operative word is YET. No appliances means I have a clean slate to start from. When I know what works for you and others I will make my decision as to what I want to buy and play with. I agree with your comment about being primitive and not using it even when I have it with me...very possible. LOL

Jo
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Follow Up By: Member - Andrew (QLD) - Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 13:58

Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 13:58
Seems about face way to do it, but whatever works i suppose LOL Whilst i have a 150w PSW inverter in the vehicle i don't tend to use it much due to 12v adapters available for just about everything.

Area i need it for though was when i had a compact digital camera (sony IIRC) that didn't have a 12v adapter system available, same with Canon HD video camera.

I guess if we are talking innovative and effective ideas, we looked at running a 75w 50cm fan from it when travelling in SA mid summer, 30+ nights. Had to be very careful with battery drain though.

Might be handy for one of those thunderstick pro food blender or similiar....whip up a quick healthy drink or a pavlova ;)

Good luck with your project.

Andrew
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Reply By: Tenpounder (SA) - Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 09:48

Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 09:48
Hi, Jo. I have a small inverter that I use for recharging phones, cameras and things. Lights also are in your range of tasks. Obviously, larger appliances will draw far too much for things like jugs, hair dryers, heaters, but should cope with a small fan.
If you rnverter is 300W, than this is the Max output at 240v. If you assume the inverter is 80 percent efficient, then it will pull 375W at 12v out of your battery at full load. With a 'normal' battery for a 4 cyl car, (say 60AH), you would get around an hours running max before its time to recharge the car battery.
But I have not yet mentioned the curly question of whether your inverter is a true sine wave inverter or not. If not, then there's big issues of risking your appliances, chargers etc. and especially lap tops, from trying to run them off inverters. Plenty of advice on this on this and other sites!!
There are safer options for recharging phones and running laptops, like 12v chargers/adapters that plus into the cig lighter, without puts to suit (Jaycar sell these).
Does this help?
AnswerID: 399523

Follow Up By: Tenpounder (SA) - Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 09:52

Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 09:52
Sorry, should have said "with outputs"!! Incidentally, the ability to run 240v power tools may be relevant to you. You'll need more than 300W to run a drill or say angle grinder, so really you are looking at stuff other than heat or power loads
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Follow Up By: jokirt - Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 10:39

Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 10:39
Thanks Chris

The inverter is a Arista 12v 300w Modified Sine Wave. Output 50Hz 240v.
It can be plugged into the cig socket or clipped onto the battery - which I understand will give more output.
I have cig chargers for DVD player, shower pump, and one basic mobile. The new Next G mobile does not have a cig charger nor does the lap top ( doubt if I would take the lap top anyway).
How ever it's the other appliances and how to use them effectively that I'm really curious about - things that add to creature comforts -perhaps a small fan as suggested. Was wondering what model/s would be effective. What fans have others tried on tiny inverters? Only so many cig plugs one can use at a time.
Jo
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Follow Up By: Member - joc45 (WA) - Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 11:15

Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 11:15
I've been using my inverter for the coffee grinder as well as the suggestions above. Nothing like fresh-ground and brewed coffee when out in the bush. Bought a cheap Tiffany grinder for $15, plus a cheap bamix copy - useful for mixing stuff, tho I admit that doesn't get much use. Neither take up much space.
Not sure I'd take the full coffee machine tho ;-)
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Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 09:55

Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 09:55
With your engine running or while you drive, you will be able to power any small power tools, battery charger for the (new) auxilary battery, bigger 240V light, or other stuff too for as long as you like. 500W you could bake a loaf of bread in a bread maker (PSW only).
Just check the PSW Vs MSW issue first.

Cheers,
Peter
AnswerID: 399524

Follow Up By: garrycol - Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 10:02

Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 10:02
Do not have an inverter on when you drive - it is a safety hazard. While there have been no ,recorded deaths - rescue people have been electrocuted when touching crashed cars that have had their inverters on when the accident occured.

Garry
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Follow Up By: Member - Gary J (NSW) - Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 10:23

Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 10:23
Wow, imagine the smell of freshly baking bread while you drive!
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Follow Up By: jokirt - Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 11:05

Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 11:05
First - I promise that I will not use the inverter while driving, Gary - for the warning. Which is a disappointment really because I do have a.
But back to what I have - the tiny tiny inverter and the innovative ideas. I like the idea of being able to use it while the engine is running. e.g. If I get a flat at night I can see how useful a strong light would be while changing the tyre.
Again more questions - what power tools have people tried. What models? Even the small ones will vary in how much power they will drain. I have an Ozito portable drill - if the batteries flatten and I can't wait to recharge I understand you are saying Peter, is that I would be able to continue to use it with the engine is running.

I wouldn't mind being able to use an small hand beater for pancakes, but I have noticed these vary as well. Again I could just turn on the engine - right?I'm hoping that some one has already figured out the best gizmo models to use.
Jo
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Follow Up By: dbish - Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 12:47

Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 12:47
Hi Garrycol I have a 300Watt in verter permanently wire in my Panel Van & use it when traveling. I find it very hard to believe some one would be electrocuted with it in an accident for a start they are a fully floating 240V supply In most acidents the first thing the rescuers around here do is get there bolt cutters out & cut all leads to any batterys, end of supply. Daryl
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Reply By: Member - Troll 81 (QLD) - Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 09:59

Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 09:59
I use mine to recharge batteries for torches, laptop, run a very bright fluro light, sometimes I run my mozzie zapper if needed and if it's hot I plug in the pedestal fan as well :)
AnswerID: 399525

Follow Up By: jokirt - Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 11:14

Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 11:14
Troll 81
Mozzie Zapper is going on my list, I hadn't thought of that one. Can a 300w cope with a pedestal fan? That would be really great. But how long would before needing to recharge.
Jo
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Follow Up By: Member - Troll 81 (QLD) - Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 11:19

Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 11:19
Mine runs the fan just fine and I only have a 300w unit as well...I can check the plate on the back to check the power figures but from memory it's not that much. The thing you need to watch for is not to drain/kill your battery...I run all this stuff from my deep cycle and the recharge with my three stage charged as needed.
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Follow Up By: jokirt - Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 11:26

Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 11:26
Well it looks like I will have get a deep cycle battery before I can have any real fun with this inverter
Jo
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Follow Up By: Member - mazcan - Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 13:43

Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 13:43
hi jo
the battery in your manga as you called it will last about the same time it takes a good dose of epson salt to work

so yes you will need to fit a larger capacity battery to your mango/magna this is usually posible it's just a mater of doing a few measurements firstly of the battery box clearances height/width/lenght once you have done thit find a bat you can shoehorn in done this on several cars over the years

your going about it the smart way you have asked some questions
cheers
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Reply By: Robin Miller - Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 10:50

Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 10:50
The most innovative way is to buy a bathroom Infra red heater globe 275w and use it as a heater from your invertor.

This can be used to project heat in windy conditions and used for pain relief.

There are different versions , common ones put out a lot of light as well , whereas better ones are deeper red , and got from chemists etc (sunbeam replacements).
Robin Miller

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Follow Up By: oldtrack123 - Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 10:58

Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 10:58
Hi
Just remember it is pulling 20amphrs from your battery , it will not take long to drop your battery to 50% the lowest you should take it for long life
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Follow Up By: jokirt - Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 11:41

Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 11:41
Like the idea of the innovative heater - thanks Robin. Might have wait until I upgrade for this one. I am certainly keeping it in mind.
Jo
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Reply By: Member - Trackker (QLD) - Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 11:07

Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 11:07
Hi Jo

An effective way to make your inverter as efficient as possible is to keep your cables as short as possible between the inverter and battery and maybe even increase the wire diameter if later you intend to increase your loads. Do not use alligator clips and keep it cool as possible. I store mine when not in use in a large plastic food container as the transformers hate moisture. Cheers, Dave
AnswerID: 399540

Follow Up By: jokirt - Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 11:22

Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 11:22
Dave
Can you tell me more please. If I don't use the aligator clips and the cig lighter plug reduces it's power how would you advise I connect to the cable to the battery. Hopefully this is going to be really simple and I can do it myself.
Jo
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Follow Up By: Member - Trackker (QLD) - Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 11:48

Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 11:48
Jo, you can cut off the alligator clips and crimp on some cable lugs which have an eye in them and bolt it to your battery post if the post has a hole or fit a battery terminal first and simply bolt to that. Any auto electrical shop would do this for you if you have not got the tools. Eye terminals or cable lugs would be available at any auto parts store. It is more secure and should always give a good solid connection. Cheers , Dave
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Follow Up By: jokirt - Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 11:58

Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 11:58
Thanks Dave, sounds easy. I'll check it out.
Jo
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Reply By: Gronk - Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 11:59

Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 11:59
The cheapest way to use it is to leave it in the back of the car.........you're going camping.....if and when you get an aux battery, then buy things that run off 12V....

Laptops will run off a battery......phones and lights will charge off one as well.....

My camera needs 240V to recharge ( haven't found an adaptor yet ), but thats the only thing.....try and limit the things to use off one ...don't try and increase the options ????
AnswerID: 399553

Follow Up By: jokirt - Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 12:20

Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 12:20
Thanks Gronk
Know you mean well. But goal here is to understand my little unit fully and it's diversity of uses. Being smarter than the average bear I promise that I will be able to select wisely when the time comes.
Cheers
Jo
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Reply By: Member -Dodger - Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 13:38

Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 13:38
Just about all the toys mentioned above can be purchased in 12v dc configeration.
If you bye a 12v laptop charger supply you will find it is far more efficient than using an inverter.

DC to DC is much easier on the battery and charges DC items better.


I used to have a handle on life, but it broke.

Cheers Dodg.

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Follow Up By: jokirt - Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 20:30

Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 20:30
Thanks Dodger,

Perhaps we could have a separate thread on 12 v gizmos. At the moment I am curious about the uses a 300w Inverter can be put to and how to get the best out of it.
Jo
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FollowupID: 668586

Reply By: Member - Flynnie (NSW) - Sunday, Feb 07, 2010 at 22:03

Sunday, Feb 07, 2010 at 22:03
How about running a washing machine. I used a Powertech 380 watt sine wave inverter the other day to put a load through a washing machine. It is a Fisher & Paykel. Surprised me it handled it. Seemed to handle it pretty easily.

We had a blackout the night before and I wanted to see what it could do.

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