I need power (outside of driving) DC-AC adapter?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Technical Discussion' started by MikeSF, Jul 22, 2006.

  1. MrK

    MrK New Member

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    I'm not qualified to say whether your fish tank's motor will run properly off of the modified sine wave inverter that you've purchased, but I'd like to offer a suggestion for powering the inverter.

    Instead of plugging it into your Prius at all, ask if any of your friends have a deep cycle battery that you can borrow for a few hours while the electrical lines are down. At a 100 watt drawdown, a good deep cycle battery can power your inverter for several hours, possibly for a half day. Then, when power is restored, you return the battery, and your cost to keep the tank going was the $30 you spent on the inverter, and you don't have to worry about overloading the Prius.

    If storage space isn't a problem, you might even consider buying your own deep cycle battery for the next power outage, but you'd probably want to get a charger to recharge it after using it (or borrow your friend's charger; that's what friends are for!!).
     
  2. MikeSF

    MikeSF Member

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    Well a quick reply, I apparently knocked out 3 inverters, 2-200watt ones and 1-400 watt one. I really don't know what the hell happened, even if you count the spike of a pump turning on I should have had ample power (especially with the 400 watt inverter). It worked for a minute, but with multiple pumps after a few minutes the inverter went out.

    I don't know if it was a spike (doubtful since the fuse inside was still working fine) if it was an issue with the square wave output (unsure if this was the case) or if there was a sudden spike in voltage from the HV batteries keeping the 12v charged.

    Eitherway luckily target took them all back so I'm not out any money :)
     
  3. molgrips

    molgrips Member

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    I just tried to get my wife's Dell laptop to work from the car, and completely failed. The PSU says 100-240V 1.5A on it - so I'm thinking, 1.5A must be at 100V, and since we have 240 it would be surely using less. So I tried a 175W inverter, and it overloaded. Then I tried a 330W inverter and this also appeared to be overloading. Ok I thought, it's trying to jam loads of current into the battery, so I removed the battery and it STILL didn't work. How the hell does a very basic laptop use 300W, even if the inefficiency of the inverter/PSU is taken into account?

    So I thought it was the car that was limiting supply somehow. The fuse didn't blow though.

    A bit annoyed to be honest... How can it be so hard to get a laptop to work in a car? The things are supposed to be mobile aren't they?
     
  4. eagle33199

    eagle33199 Platinum Member

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    Quasi-related, does anyone know of a manufacturer that makes a DC-DC power spliter with a switch? essentially, i'm looking for something that i can flip a switch to provide power to one outlet, and flip it the other direction to provide power to a different outlet.

    I'm looking at hooking up a 30A inverter to the 12V system, and i figured i already have the wires running (with the appropriate fuses in place) for my sub, i could just split it right before the AMP and run the other side into the inverter. i want something with a switch on it, though, so i can avoid overloading the fuse by accidentally having both the inverter and the sub in use at the same time.

    any ideas?
     
  5. highroute

    highroute New Member

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    I have a 200W inverter. The instructions say that with loads of 100W or less, I can use the included adapter that will plug into the Prius's passenger-cabin outlets. But above 100W I am supposed to connect directly to my vehicle's battery, red to battery plus and black to battery minus (not to frame/ground). Will someone please translate that into Prius-ese? Do I need to go directly to the 12V battery itself, in the back? Or do I use the jump-start terminal under the hood?
     
  6. eagle33199

    eagle33199 Platinum Member

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    i'm plugging in my 325W inverter today, actually (i'll post pics when i'm done). Since i already have a sub+amp back there, the current plan is to branch the negative lead (which is attached to a bolt in the frame, BTW. i'd never go to the negative terminal... too close to the positive and chances of slippage and sparks) and put a SPDT switch on the positive lead. Thats one of those switches that has three positions - middle off, and either side turning on a different appliance. in this case, it's the amp or the inverter. I decided that running a 20A Amp and a 30A inverter at the same time isn't a good idea. (although i think the car could handle it)

    If anyone wants to emulate me, don't bother with Radio Shack... the highest they have is 20A. I went over to NAPA, and they had a 50A 6-20V switch - perfect for my needs.

    I also plan to add a "quick release" feature to the board so i can safely unplug it and pull the whole contraption out if need be. All in all it should be pretty sweet.


    oh - and for anyone else, don't worry about what the manual says... instead focus on the current draw, since that is what will blow a fuse. in highroute's case, 200W is probably around 18A, which would definately blow the fuse on the outlets in the car.

    Also, for safety's sake, whenever hooking something up to the battery, put a fuse inline with the positive lead within 6 inches of the battery - helps to prevent accidental sparks which can lead to fire, explosion, and death :-p
     
  7. eagle33199

    eagle33199 Platinum Member

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    As promissed, here are the pictures!

    First picture - you cans ee the amp for my sub on the right, the 325W inverter on the left, and the switch on the top. Some other items to notice: on the far right you can see the fuse that sits on the positive lead coming from the batter (pulled out here for show - normally it's tucked under near the battery). along the top are some of the tools used for the project - a DMM to test all the leads to make sure the connections were good, screw driver, drill, and a soldering iron

    Second picture - a close up of the switch. When it's in the middle, both are off. to the right the amp is on, to the left the inverter is on. Note the plug above the switch. this allows an easy disconnection for the board (the female end stays with the car). all i have to do in unplug it and a few wires from the amp and the board will pull right out!

    third picture - a close up of the inverter. in this case you cans ee the green "ready" light is on - my switch was all the way to the left. If you note in the first picture, the switch was all the way to the right, and the blue lights on the amp were on, and the green light on the inverter was off.


    [​IMG]


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    So in short, this was a complete and total success
     
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