Hello! Log in or Register   |  Help  |  Donate  |  Buy Shirts New!  See all banner ads | Advertise on TheSamba.com  
TheSamba.com
 
To invert or not to invert?
Page: 1, 2, 3  Next
Forum Index -> Vanagon Share: Facebook Twitter
Reply to topic
Print View
Quick sort: Show newest posts on top | Show oldest posts on top View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Alaskaberrys Premium Member
Samba Member


Joined: June 19, 2016
Posts: 836
Location: SE Alaska
Alaskaberrys is offline 

PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2017 12:12 pm    Post subject: To invert or not to invert? Reply with quote

Happy Vangon new year all!

The previous owner of our '91 Westy installed a nice 1000 watt AC inverter (Moto Master Eliminator) along with the GoWesty auxiliary battery set up under the drivers seat. We've added a GoWesty portable solar panel set up and controller. All is mounted on the sink/stove partition behind the drivers seat.

We've enjoyed about six weeks of VW time in the six months we've owned the van and only ever used the inverter once - for our electric coffee grinder, which is now replaced by a nifty hand grinder - and am wondering if the inverter is worth keeping. I'd like to install a batter charger/tender as the van sits for a month or two at a time at the in-laws and am eying the inverter location....

I can see off-roaders utilizing small compressors and such so I imagine they're indispensable for some folks, but it does not seem to be for us. Perhaps I'm not thinking of a future use? All our power uses are 12v or USB it seems.

So, my question to you all; what do you use your inverted for? Those without, is it high on your wish/to do list?

Mark, of the inverted
_________________
'91 Westfalia, Bordeaux Red Pearl 2.1L 2wd Auto
'91 T3 Syncro Doka, Escorial Green 1.9L TD AAZ “Gremian” (to provoke, irritate, exasperate, vex...)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Gallery Classifieds Feedback
chachi
Samba Member


Joined: November 18, 2003
Posts: 855
Location: the weeds
chachi is offline 

PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2017 12:18 pm    Post subject: Re: To invert or not to invert? Reply with quote

same story here, PO installed inverter. we don't use it but probably won't get rid of it cause, enh, you never know. also we have a nice hand crank coffee grinder and it does a better job than our bigger AC powered grinder anyway, less silt and resultant bitterness.
_________________
'74 transporter panel
'91 vanagon carat NAHT
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
campism
Samba Member


Joined: September 07, 2007
Posts: 3939
Location: Richmond VA
campism is offline 

PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2017 12:19 pm    Post subject: Re: To invert or not to invert? Reply with quote

We carry one but our approach is normally kinda casual and slapdash. We have not installed a second battery or solar and do not do much boondocking but got this to power a laptop for the times when my wife needed to bring her work along and have had it for most of the ten years we've owned the Westy.
_________________
'87 Westy in Wolfram Grey Metallic
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Alaskaberrys Premium Member
Samba Member


Joined: June 19, 2016
Posts: 836
Location: SE Alaska
Alaskaberrys is offline 

PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2017 12:24 pm    Post subject: Re: To invert or not to invert? Reply with quote

campism wrote:
We carry one but our approach is normally kinda casual and slapdash. We have not installed a second battery or solar and do not do much boondocking but got this to power a laptop for the times when my wife needed to bring her work along and have had it for most of the ten years we've owned the Westy.


Good point campism, we haven't charged our laptop yet...would need it for that. 1 for invert.
_________________
'91 Westfalia, Bordeaux Red Pearl 2.1L 2wd Auto
'91 T3 Syncro Doka, Escorial Green 1.9L TD AAZ “Gremian” (to provoke, irritate, exasperate, vex...)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Gallery Classifieds Feedback
E1
Samba Member


Joined: January 21, 2013
Posts: 4994
Location: Westfalia, Earth
E1 is offline 

PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2017 12:27 pm    Post subject: Re: To invert or not to invert? Reply with quote

There's a lot to be said for having a smaller, 200-400 watt inverter to save the juice of running a bigger one.

We had a 400 for minor-draw tasks like recharging AA and AAA charging, but it recently failed and are about to get another. It's up front running off the cig lighter DC socket.

But our main inverter is an 1100-watt from GoWesty hard-wired into our solar system and that bigger one is good for quicker laptop charges, powering our 24" monitor, charging a drill quicker when you need it now, and to run a blender for smoothies that the 400 wouldn't run at all.

But your shortcoming is the too-small GW wiring that slows down charging times and alternator throughput. I'd start with real wiring.
_________________
1984 Westy-Ferrari firing at 33% capacity
I drive by the seat of my pants but then get behind on my steering
Thank You Bob Lazier, Forever Golden
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Gallery Classifieds Feedback
uther
Samba Member


Joined: March 18, 2007
Posts: 128
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee, USA
uther is offline 

PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2017 12:29 pm    Post subject: Re: To invert or not to invert? Reply with quote

Alaskaberrys wrote:
Happy Vangon new year all!

So, my question to you all; what do you use your inverted for? Those without, is it high on your wish/to do list?

Mark, of the inverted


I'm a special case (aren't we all) as both my wife and I need a CPAP to sleep so we have to have AC. Other than that I really can't remember ever using an inverter.

r
_________________
Rowan

89 Syncro - Juniper Mackenzie

09 Honda Fit - Finnie
17 Ram ProMaster - John Hordle
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Classifieds Feedback
newfisher
Samba Member


Joined: January 05, 2012
Posts: 1764
Location: The wet spot--Oregon
newfisher is offline 

PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2017 12:45 pm    Post subject: Re: To invert or not to invert? Reply with quote

I use one to run a Traeger smoker while we hike. Its also been usefull to run power tools for projects when 5 extention cords were not available. A friend showed up to the lake with kids, floaties and a 110v blower instead of a 12v. My lungs were glad we had the inverter. We could easily get along without it, but nice to have in case we need it.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
dobryan Premium Member
Samba Member


Joined: March 24, 2006
Posts: 13308
Location: Brookeville, MD
dobryan is offline 

PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2017 12:50 pm    Post subject: Re: To invert or not to invert? Reply with quote

FWIW I would not recommend running a laptop off an inverter. You get a lot of lost power going thru the inverter. It is better to find a 12V power adapter for your laptop. Much easier, BTDT. (It is better to convert only once, 12V to 19V, than twice, 12V to 120V to 19V)

We have an inverter and the only thing that we need it for is to power the 40" TV at our tailgate outings. Other than that everything we use is OK with 12V. YMMV. Very Happy

BTW the Iota DLS-30/IQ4 is a great power supply/charger...
http://www.iotaengineering.com/dls30.htm
_________________
Dave O
'87 Westy w/ 2002 Subaru EJ25 and Peloquin TBD

"To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive." Robert Louis Stevenson

MD>Canada>AK>WA>OR>CA>AZ>UT>WY>SD
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=620646

Building a bus for travel in Europe (euroBus)
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=695371

The West Coast Westy
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=746794


Last edited by dobryan on Sun Jan 08, 2017 12:51 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Vanagon Nut
Samba Member


Joined: February 08, 2008
Posts: 9479
Location: Sunshine Coast B.C.
Vanagon Nut is offline 

PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2017 12:51 pm    Post subject: Re: To invert or not to invert? Reply with quote

Some years ago, I installed a modest imverter. 300 Watts? Anyhow...

Useful for:

Quick measure of aux. battery voltage
Soldering iron ($4 harbour freight)
For a while, charging my LG cell phone. (Long story)
Useful to help others when I have surplus solar (will be charging a friends MacBook soon)
Future uses: cordless drill or other batteries? I used to carry a cordless drill. Have found occasion for one on this recent longer trip.

Mostly though, it serves as a + junction for a bunch of other wires.

Neil.
_________________
1981 Westy air cooled to 15º ABA swap: http://tinyurl.com/y9n4xob8

50º ABA Swap in to '88 Westy: http://tinyurl.com/yap5hpwt

Vanagon VAG GAS engine swap Google Group:
https://tinyurl.com/2f24rmh

VE7TBN
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
fxr
Samba Member


Joined: December 07, 2014
Posts: 1499
Location: Bay area CA
fxr is offline 

PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2017 12:52 pm    Post subject: Re: To invert or not to invert? Reply with quote

Alaskaberrys wrote:
campism wrote:
We carry one but our approach is normally kinda casual and slapdash. We have not installed a second battery or solar and do not do much boondocking but got this to power a laptop for the times when my wife needed to bring her work along and have had it for most of the ten years we've owned the Westy.


Good point campism, we haven't charged our laptop yet...would need it for that. 1 for invert.

12V DC-DC laptop chargers are cheap enough. Much more efficient than using an inverter to 110V AC then an adapter back down to 19V DC.
_________________
Jim Crowther
1984 1.9l EJ22 Westy Wolfsburg Edition
Vespa GTS 300
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
hans j
Samba Member


Joined: May 06, 2006
Posts: 2606
Location: Salt Lake City UT
hans j is offline 

PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2017 12:59 pm    Post subject: Re: To invert or not to invert? Reply with quote

There are specific inverters that have the correct sine wave for laptop charging. That's all we use ours for.
_________________
1986 Canadian Syncro Westy TDI - 1989 Syncro Single Cab - 2001 Audi S4 - 1981 VW Caddy ABA - 1980 VW Caddy EV - 1973 VW T-181
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website Gallery Classifieds Feedback
1621
Samba Member


Joined: May 15, 2006
Posts: 2174

1621 is offline 

PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2017 1:12 pm    Post subject: Re: To invert or not to invert? Reply with quote

I bought an 1100w inverter years ago and set it up behind the driver's seat. Seemed like a great idea - and it probably still is. I've used it on a couple of occasions, but certainly not enough to justify its purchase. Honestly, I can't recall using it at all in the last several years. Forgot that I had it until this thread. So unless you really know you need it, I'd consider passing on the inverter.
_________________
'85 Westy
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
E1
Samba Member


Joined: January 21, 2013
Posts: 4994
Location: Westfalia, Earth
E1 is offline 

PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2017 1:50 pm    Post subject: Re: To invert or not to invert? Reply with quote

dobryan wrote:
FWIW I would not recommend running a laptop off an inverter. You get a lot of lost power going thru the inverter. It is better to find a 12V power adapter for your laptop. Much easier, BTDT. (It is better to convert only once, 12V to 19V, than twice, 12V to 120V to 19V)

BTW the Iota DLS-30/IQ4 is a great power supply/charger...
http://www.iotaengineering.com/dls30.htm
I had to edit my post as I thought you were referring to a DC laptop charger... until seeing your link.

Cool item it seems! And your conversion comments are well appreciated.

Obvious to us who have a system, but still worth noting is charging from a house battery is always best -- if you have one. All our starter battery does is start the bus, we installed exterior jumper posts if needed, or can jump the starter with either house battery with a four-foot cable.
_________________
1984 Westy-Ferrari firing at 33% capacity
I drive by the seat of my pants but then get behind on my steering
Thank You Bob Lazier, Forever Golden
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Gallery Classifieds Feedback
E1
Samba Member


Joined: January 21, 2013
Posts: 4994
Location: Westfalia, Earth
E1 is offline 

PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2017 1:58 pm    Post subject: Re: To invert or not to invert? Reply with quote

Vanagon Nut wrote:
Some years ago, I installed a modest imverter. 300 Watts? Anyhow...

Useful for:

Quick measure of aux. battery voltage
Soldering iron ($4 harbour freight)
For a while, charging my LG cell phone. (Long story)
Useful to help others when I have surplus solar (will be charging a friends MacBook soon)
Future uses: cordless drill or other batteries? I used to carry a cordless drill. Have found occasion for one on this recent longer trip.

Mostly though, it serves as a + junction for a bunch of other wires.

Neil.
Great post Neil, just pointing out our 400-watt inverter did NOT work on our soldering iron.

It remains the only time we used anyone else's power for 38 solid road-months... until plugging into shore power for the first time it ever came with a campsite.
_________________
1984 Westy-Ferrari firing at 33% capacity
I drive by the seat of my pants but then get behind on my steering
Thank You Bob Lazier, Forever Golden
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Steve M.
Samba Member


Joined: July 30, 2013
Posts: 5777
Location: Fort Lauderdale, Fl.
Steve M. is online now 

PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2017 2:10 pm    Post subject: Re: To invert or not to invert? Reply with quote

uther wrote:
Alaskaberrys wrote:
Happy Vangon new year all!

So, my question to you all; what do you use your inverted for? Those without, is it high on your wish/to do list?

Mark, of the inverted


I'm a special case (aren't we all) as both my wife and I need a CPAP to sleep so we have to have AC. Other than that I really can't remember ever using an inverter.

r


F.Y.I. I just got my hands on a Philips System One Acpap and it has a 12v power cord as an option which I bought for the road trips.
_________________
This free advice is worth exactly what you paid for it.

There are seven days in a week. Someday is not one of them.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
syncrodoka
Samba Member


Joined: December 27, 2005
Posts: 11510
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
syncrodoka is offline 

PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2017 2:37 pm    Post subject: Re: To invert or not to invert? Reply with quote

RV stores are full of items that will run straight off of 12v dc. I have a Lind 12v adapter for my toughbook that works great.
You can buy a soldering iron that runs off of butane as well as 12v chargers for battery operated tools like my 18v drill, sawzall, metal shears, 3/8 impact or circular saw. You can even get 12v compressors to run air tools off of pretty easily.
I have never come up with a need for a inverter myself.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Timwhy
Samba Member


Joined: January 01, 2009
Posts: 3741
Location: Maine
Timwhy is offline 

PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2017 3:14 pm    Post subject: Re: To invert or not to invert? Reply with quote

I use my 350 watt Cobra inverter to charge my drones batteries, to grind coffee and power a LED desk lamp over the kitchen when added light is needed>
_________________
'15 Audi A3 Quattro
'09 VW Tiguan (dead)
'87 VW Westy
'91 Tin Top
'90 Cabby
What the Westy wants the Westy GETS


http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/album_search.php?search_author=Timwhy&show_results=summary

http://www.youtube.com/user/TIMWHY2?feature=mhee
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Facebook Gallery Classifieds Feedback
nocreditnodebt
Samba Member


Joined: September 28, 2012
Posts: 326
Location: Socal
nocreditnodebt is offline 

PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2017 3:36 pm    Post subject: Re: To invert or not to invert? Reply with quote

Some people view an inverter as the answer to all wheeled life's electrical needs.

Fact is they are noisy Audibly and electrically, and inefficent.

Recently barrell connector cord on my laptop DC to Dc car adapter failed, and I reverted to my inverter powering the ACDC power brick.

Being able to measure wattages at a minimum the inverter powering ACDC brick used 9 watts more and at a maximum 22 watts more than my recently repaired DC to DC car adapter.


They also have 12v Cpaps.

I carry 2 inverters, Pure sine wave and a larger sine wave, and both rarely every get used.

A necessary evil, but place one anywhere near a person who has no idea about electrical consumption, and they become battery torturing devices.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Classifieds Feedback
SCM
Samba Member


Joined: January 26, 2011
Posts: 2601
Location: Bozeman MT
SCM is offline 

PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2017 7:17 pm    Post subject: Re: To invert or not to invert? Reply with quote

We think of our Westy as a REALLY fancy tent. It's amazing enough to have a cushy bed and some dome lights. Can't think of a single use for a power inverter that we would welcome into our camp scene.
_________________
'91 Westfalia GL Automatic (GTA "Turbo" Rebuild w/Peloquin) and 2.3L GoWesty Engine
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Alaskaberrys Premium Member
Samba Member


Joined: June 19, 2016
Posts: 836
Location: SE Alaska
Alaskaberrys is offline 

PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2017 8:16 pm    Post subject: Re: To invert or not to invert? Reply with quote

dobryan wrote:
FWIW I would not recommend running a laptop off an inverter. You get a lot of lost power going thru the inverter. It is better to find a 12V power adapter for your laptop. Much easier, BTDT. (It is better to convert only once, 12V to 19V, than twice, 12V to 120V to 19V)

We have an inverter and the only thing that we need it for is to power the 40" TV at our tailgate outings. Other than that everything we use is OK with 12V. YMMV. Very Happy

BTW the Iota DLS-30/IQ4 is a great power supply/charger...
http://www.iotaengineering.com/dls30.htm


Ha! Not sure I could talk Diana into a 40" for the van.. Very Happy

Thanks for the Iota link, will look into it as the more I read here keeping batteries healthy pays off. I'm a 12v novice and don't want to mess up on the overall end result, which seems like it's pretty easy to do if no pre planning goes into it. I've found a ton of good threads on the subject - slowly getting an idea of what we want/need.

E1 wrote:
There's a lot to be said for having a smaller, 200-400 watt inverter to save the juice of running a bigger one.

We had a 400 for minor-draw tasks like recharging AA and AAA charging, but it recently failed and are about to get another. It's up front running off the cig lighter DC socket.

But our main inverter is an 1100-watt from GoWesty hard-wired into our solar system and that bigger one is good for quicker laptop charges, powering our 24" monitor, charging a drill quicker when you need it now, and to run a blender for smoothies that the 400 wouldn't run at all.

But your shortcoming is the too-small GW wiring that slows down charging times and alternator throughput. I'd start with real wiring.


Good point, we've taxed the GoWesty little aux battery set up with a Propex heater and small Dometic fridge/freezer already. Last cold night the Propex cut out on low voltage Sad Considering moving to larger batteries under the bench seat down the road.

SCM wrote:
We think of our Westy as a REALLY fancy tent. It's amazing enough to have a cushy bed and some dome lights. Can't think of a single use for a power inverter that we would welcome into our camp scene.


Ha! I think we look at our Westy the same way. When someone asks "what about the bathroom" we're saying "bathroom? We're stoked about the comfy dry bed! With heat. And tunes. And we can carry beer!"

It's great to read the posts on power usages. Does seem like it would be hard to justify buying an inverter for our uses, but having one already - could come in handy. We do carry a 12v drill with two batteries and would be handy to be able to charge it up - hadn't thought about that senerio either.
_________________
'91 Westfalia, Bordeaux Red Pearl 2.1L 2wd Auto
'91 T3 Syncro Doka, Escorial Green 1.9L TD AAZ “Gremian” (to provoke, irritate, exasperate, vex...)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Display posts from previous:   
Reply to topic    Forum Index -> Vanagon All times are Mountain Standard Time/Pacific Daylight Savings Time
Page: 1, 2, 3  Next
Page 1 of 3

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

About | Help! | Advertise | Donate | Premium Membership | Privacy/Terms of Use | Contact Us | Site Map
Copyright © 1996-2020, Everett Barnes. All Rights Reserved.
Not affiliated with or sponsored by Volkswagen of America | Forum powered by phpBB