Transit AC Power Inverter Information? - Page 3 - Ford Transit USA Forum
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post #21 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-20-2015, 07:06:AM
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Curious about needing 1000 watts- are you planning on running a microwave oven?
Reason I ask- when I bought the 1000 watt Sunforce that was my plan- then I found it would not run a microwave I had that was drawing a measured 700 watts while running.
The problem was the start up surge current was way too high for the 1000 watt invertor and it would instantly shut down.
The cheapo MSW Harbor Freight 1000 watt invertor I had would start and run the microwave- but had the issue of low cooking power on MSW.

Just saying- make SURE the invertor you choose can do what you think it will- especially one that costs $850

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post #22 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-20-2015, 10:35:AM
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I had the Magnum MSS1012 1000 watt pure sine inverter/charger/transfer switch in the sold Sprinter conversion. Tried running a 700 watt microwave and that worked one time but not the second time so I knew I was very close to the inverter capacity. Changed to a cheap ($50 at K-Mart) 600 watt Proctor-Silex microwave and that worked very well. It does draw, as I recall, 1140 watts when running. The Magnum does have surge capacity above 1000 watts for different lengths of time for different overloads. I think the Magnum ratings are probably conservative because I did run the microwave one time for 10 minutes which should have tripped the inverter.

Have bought the same combination for the Transit conversion. Due to inverter amperage required when inverter is on without a load, I turn the inverter off when 120 volt power is not needed. The PS does not have pushbuttons or a clock so it does not use power when not running. A clock would never work because I turn off the inverter. The reason I turn it off is I left it on overnight one time without any load and used up 7% of my 255 amp-hr house battery capacity.

2015 high roof 148" WB 3.5 Ecoboost 3.31 LS rear cargo.
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post #23 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-20-2015, 11:59:AM
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Yeah sometimes old school with a knob is best- no electronics to sap power when not actually needed.
I miss the old completely mechanical thermostats on RV fridges. No 12V draw at all to make them work.

We were camped once with our toy hauler when lightning hit a nearby tree and blew out our refrigerator control board- note we were NOT hooked to anything external!
Complicated to explain but the flame detector on many electronically controlled RV fridges operates on mere millivolt levels- my theory is the induced voltage from the nearby strike overloaded and blew that detection circuit.
So we had no fridge the rest of that trip plus I had to buy a $125 board to fix it when we got back. By the way that board was from Dinosaur Electronics and was a fraction of what a real Dometic or Norcold board ( I forget which ) costs.

If it had been the old mechanical style nothing would have gone wrong....

BTW should I mention the time an invertor in my company truck failed and threw some sort of surge back onto the 12V buss and blew out a $1000 ham radio?


In fact the failure of the Sunforce invertor I sent back had nothing to do with its AC output- some sort of DC decoupling/noise mitigation failed- we noticed our cell phone chargers suddenly would not work when the invertor was online..it was hashing up the DC buss so much the chargers wouldn't function correctly.
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Last edited by Budsky; 08-20-2015 at 12:02:PM. Reason: fixed tipo
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post #24 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-20-2015, 12:11:PM
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Originally Posted by orton View Post
[snip]
Do not know if Ford inverter also turns off after 30 minutes. Someone here can reply with that info.
Sorry if your question has been answered already, but I checked this out this morning with my old Apple laptop's charger plugged into the inverter, and the laptop's battery charging indicator enabled at the top of the screen.

The OEM 110 volt inverter in my 2015 Wagon only supplied power when the engine was running, or when the key was turned to the full ON position (just before starting). This ON position also powers all the various HVAC fans, windows and so forth.

The inverter was not live when the key was in the Accessory position, and does not appear to have any kind of delayed-OFF timer that I can see . . .

Conclusion -- if one wants to use the inverter with the key in the ON position (and the engine not running) there will be substantial battery drain.

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Last edited by PeterR; 08-20-2015 at 12:14:PM.
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post #25 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-03-2016, 06:43:PM
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My trickle chargers are a Deltron Battery Tender Jr. and a Deltron regular. So far so good with the modified sine wave. I think the Guy at Deltron wants to cover his a$$, and "theory" backs up his claim. So, what's gonna happen, I'm going to fry my AGM's? Stay tuned I guess.
I was on the phone today with Deltron tech , asking about the Costco only availability Deltron 6 volt/12 volt 3 amp charger for $39. He said it's great, just 50% off of MSRP. He asked why I wanted to know how many amps input and I said running it off a small power inverter. He warned me " make sure it's pure sine wave! ". Been charging two AGM's that way for a year now, charger and batteries seem to operate normal. Picking up a 100 A-H AGM today. My future stealth trips may involve longer stays and shorter travel distances, want the bigger charger than my .5 and 1.25 ones since I may need faster charging, hope the modified sine won't screw up the chargers to the point that I destroy my brand new 100 A-H.
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post #26 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-03-2016, 08:45:PM
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Most of the issues I've seen with mod-side inverters and chargers has been damage to the charger itself, not that it doesn't charge properly. (Though I suppose that could happen if the charger's damaged in the right way.)

I had a Dell laptop power supply just about go nuclear on me one day sitting on a job site. Was running it off a 220W mod-sine inverter, had used the inverter many times before without incident but that day I'd run the batteries completely down - thus why I'd gone to the truck. I guess the added load of charging all the batteries (I had the CD/DVD drive bay filled with a second battery) and running the laptop all at once was enough to push it over the edge. I started smelling "cooked electronics" and when I touched the power supply it just about burned me!

I've also read a number of reports where cordless tool chargers died while using mod-sine inverters (most commonly DeWalt).

Even things that run okay on mod-sine aren't going to run as efficiently. (Aside from purely resistive things like electric heaters.) They'll draw a bit more power and run hotter.

I figure I don't want to have to worry about whether something is compatible so I've become a "pure-sine snob"! Won't run any of my gear on mod-sine inverters, have a small collection of various-size pure-sine inverters handy. Two are Samlex, they do a good job but don't have any real surge capacity. Exceed their rated output even briefly and they'll trip out. I also have a Morningstar SureSine inverter. It's only 300W but has a 600W "surge" rating that's good for 15 minutes! I'll probably be using this one for my house bank in the Transit with a 1500W Samlex (since I already have it) connected to the vehicle electrical system for larger loads.
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post #27 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-03-2016, 11:09:PM
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If my $250 battery is safe I'll take the chance of frying the $39 charger for the convenience of using the built in only on with engine running system. It'll be a good experiment.

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post #28 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-04-2016, 11:37:AM
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I've also read a number of reports where cordless tool chargers died while using mod-sine inverters (most commonly DeWalt).
I've noticed my Ryobi 18V tool battery chargers take way longer to charge on an MSW invertor than they do on pure sine.
I also noticed, mentioned here somewhere, that microwave ovens, at least 2 or 3 I've tried, take way longer to heat something on MSW.

I pretty much try to avoid using MSW invertors now.......I have a 300 watt pure sine and a 1000 watt pure sine.
The 300 watt is a MorningStar- very high quality unit.
The 1000 is a Sunforce and pretty crappy, caveat emptor, fake plastic heat sinks on the side and I had one fail under warranty and it took them months and constant hounding to get it handled.

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post #29 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-29-2016, 03:37:AM
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Modified sine wave inverters produce a square wave that does not peak at the same voltage level as a true sine wave. Also, square waves consist of many harmonics and are a very distorted waveform that many electronic devices do not like. Battery chargers will not give the proper output, some motors will not operate at normal power and many newer computer power supplies can be damaged by MSW power supplies. This also is true for many UPS power supplies that are used for computer backup power and home entertaninment equipment. Pure sine wave power inverters are what is needed for the modern equipment. MSW is just fine for incandescent lamps, many power tools and non critical electrical devices. To be safe, always use the pure sine wave inverters.
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