# Better DC to AC inverter: Tripplite or Xantrex?

D

#### [email protected]

Jan 1, 1970
0
My situation:

I'm driving across the country and want to get a power inverter for my
laptop and cell phone so I can use them with my car (I'll be camping,
not staying in hotels, so need someway to keep them charged). I don't
want get DC adaptors for each because:
-it would be more expensive
-the power inverter could be useful in the future for other
applications/appliances/components
-the efficiency loss of DC to AC to DC doesn't bother me - I can just
turn the car on and recharge the battery

I don't think I need a pure sine wave inverter because the AC adaptors
should regulate the PWM = modified sine wave = modified square wave (or
whatever you want to call it) output well enough. They are also way
more expensive.

So I've done some research and narrowed my choices down to power
inverters by tripplite and xantrex. Specifically, the

xantrex prowatt 150
http://www.xantrex.com/web/id/16/p/1/pt/29/product.asp

and tripplite 175
http://www.tripplite.com/products/product.cfm?productID=2553

So I'm trying to figure out if there is any difference between the
different manufacturers for these. Does one have a reputation for
using better components? Anything in the technical specifications I
should look for? They seem like they are basically the same. Any
experience with either of these?

Thanks for any help!

Paul

T

#### the Moderator

Jan 1, 1970
0
My situation:

I'm driving across the country and want to get a power inverter for my
laptop and cell phone so I can use them with my car (I'll be camping,
not staying in hotels, so need someway to keep them charged). I don't
want get DC adaptors for each because:
-it would be more expensive
-the power inverter could be useful in the future for other
applications/appliances/components
-the efficiency loss of DC to AC to DC doesn't bother me - I can just
turn the car on and recharge the battery

I don't think I need a pure sine wave inverter because the AC adaptors
should regulate the PWM = modified sine wave = modified square wave (or
whatever you want to call it) output well enough. They are also way
more expensive.

So I've done some research and narrowed my choices down to power
inverters by tripplite and xantrex. Specifically, the

xantrex prowatt 150
http://www.xantrex.com/web/id/16/p/1/pt/29/product.asp

and tripplite 175
http://www.tripplite.com/products/product.cfm?productID=2553

So I'm trying to figure out if there is any difference between the
different manufacturers for these. Does one have a reputation for
using better components? Anything in the technical specifications I
should look for? They seem like they are basically the same. Any
experience with either of these?

Thanks for any help!

Paul

I have been real happy with my Vector 175. Since you need at least two
outlets you might opt for the Vector 400.

http://store.yahoo.com/brohmsonlinesales/mosiwapoinfr.html

Brohms was a good company to deal with too.

..

R

#### Ron Tock

Jan 1, 1970
0
My situation:

I'm driving across the country and want to get a power inverter for my
laptop and cell phone so I can use them with my car (I'll be camping,
not staying in hotels, so need someway to keep them charged). I don't
want get DC adaptors for each because:
-it would be more expensive
-the power inverter could be useful in the future for other
applications/appliances/components
-the efficiency loss of DC to AC to DC doesn't bother me - I can just
turn the car on and recharge the battery

I don't think I need a pure sine wave inverter because the AC adaptors
should regulate the PWM = modified sine wave = modified square wave (or
whatever you want to call it) output well enough. They are also way
more expensive.

So I've done some research and narrowed my choices down to power
inverters by tripplite and xantrex. Specifically, the

xantrex prowatt 150
http://www.xantrex.com/web/id/16/p/1/pt/29/product.asp

and tripplite 175
http://www.tripplite.com/products/product.cfm?productID=2553

I agree with Alli. I use the TrippLite 300 and I like.
The only time I had a problem was at at party once when I tried to power a
stereo DC amp with it.
It didn't work and I think it was the output wave configuration of the
inverter vs. the DC amp.
Works great with everything else.
Just my .02 FWTW.

B

#### Ben Hogland

Jan 1, 1970
0
So I'm trying to figure out if there is any difference between the
different manufacturers for these. Does one have a reputation for
using better components? Anything in the technical specifications I
should look for? They seem like they are basically the same. Any
experience with either of these?

Thanks for any help!

Running a typical laptop or cell phone adapter should work well with
nearly all modified sinewave inverters. Running a TV is a different
story due to picking up noise on the broadcast channels. You might
consider one of the smaller inverters that has the DC plug built right
into the body of the inverter. They have those and many other type
inverters on eBay for next to nothing. I bought one of them for 10 bucks
including shipping and it works great. Look here for example:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=79816&item=5780503546&rd=1

Ben

B

#### b b

Jan 1, 1970
0
My situation:

I'm driving across the country and want to get a power inverter for my
laptop and cell phone so I can use them with my car (I'll be camping,
not staying in hotels, so need someway to keep them charged). I don't
want get DC adaptors for each because:
-it would be more expensive
-the power inverter could be useful in the future for other
applications/appliances/components
-the efficiency loss of DC to AC to DC doesn't bother me - I can just
turn the car on and recharge the battery

I don't think I need a pure sine wave inverter because the AC adaptors
should regulate the PWM = modified sine wave = modified square wave (or
whatever you want to call it) output well enough. They are also way
more expensive.

So I've done some research and narrowed my choices down to power
inverters by tripplite and xantrex. Specifically, the

xantrex prowatt 150
http://www.xantrex.com/web/id/16/p/1/pt/29/product.asp

and tripplite 175
http://www.tripplite.com/products/product.cfm?productID=2553

So I'm trying to figure out if there is any difference between the
different manufacturers for these. Does one have a reputation for
using better components? Anything in the technical specifications I
should look for? They seem like they are basically the same. Any
experience with either of these?

Thanks for any help!

Paul
We've had a Tripplite 300 watt unit for over 4 years. It works fine for
everything we use it for (19" TV, computer, cellphone, charging AA
batteries, charging family radios, running electric drill, jig saw and
soldering gun). It did require a short direct connection to the house
batteries to run the TV, and then requires several attempts to start the
TV before it holds and runs it for many hours. The weak point on this
unit is the cooling fan, similar to an old computer CPU cooling fan but
smaller in size. It has needed lubrication twice to prevent noisy
operation and failure to start...accomplished by removing the cover
screws, sliding the fan out (and vacuuming the dust out of the unit at
the same time). The fan has a circular label on the center of the rotor
that covers a bushing. Slicing the label center with an X, pulling it
back exposes the bushing allowing a drop of oil to be inserted. Cover
the slice with a circle of plastic electrical tape. It lasts a year.

Barrie B

D

Jan 1, 1970
0
Husky brand. 500w, 650 surge. Sam's Club/Cosco $28. Comes with battery clips for higher amp needs. Use mine for exact same purpose. Beat to hell & back, still ticking. B #### Barry Watzman Jan 1, 1970 0 Personally, I would get a 300 to 500 watt unit, you should be able to get one for under$50, and not worry too much about the brand. You
can't draw more than about 300 watts (absolute tops) from the cigarette
lighter (even 300 watts may blow the fuse), anything more will require
direct connection to the car battery with heavy wires. But I like the
idea of having the extra capacity. The membership stores (Sams, BJ's,
Price Club, Costco) have these at very good prices.

One other option, for \$30 or less you can get an APC 350VA UPS. Take
out the battery, make up a cable from the UPS battery connectors to a
cigarette lighter plug, and you have your 110vac source. Later you can
revert it back to a UPS. Before you leave, however, be sure to connect
the UPS to a computer that has the APC management software installed,
and configure the UPS to be silent, otherwise it will "beep" every few
seconds and drive you nuts. Also be sure that it's one of the later APC
models that will start with no AC line power present. Some of their
early models could not be used as emergency power sources unless they
were plugged into a live wall outlet first. Fortunately they fixed that
a couple of years ago, and all of the current models can do a cold startup.

J

#### J. Clarke

Jan 1, 1970
0
My situation:

I'm driving across the country and want to get a power inverter for my
laptop and cell phone so I can use them with my car (I'll be camping,
not staying in hotels, so need someway to keep them charged). I don't
want get DC adaptors for each because:
-it would be more expensive
-the power inverter could be useful in the future for other
applications/appliances/components
-the efficiency loss of DC to AC to DC doesn't bother me - I can just
turn the car on and recharge the battery

I don't think I need a pure sine wave inverter because the AC adaptors
should regulate the PWM = modified sine wave = modified square wave (or
whatever you want to call it) output well enough. They are also way
more expensive.

So I've done some research and narrowed my choices down to power
inverters by tripplite and xantrex. Specifically, the

xantrex prowatt 150
http://www.xantrex.com/web/id/16/p/1/pt/29/product.asp

and tripplite 175
http://www.tripplite.com/products/product.cfm?productID=2553

So I'm trying to figure out if there is any difference between the
different manufacturers for these. Does one have a reputation for
using better components? Anything in the technical specifications I
should look for? They seem like they are basically the same. Any
experience with either of these?

Thanks for any help!

Tripp-Lite has been around for a very long time as a manufacturer of power
equipment and their stuff is generally pretty good. That said, the only
piece of computer-room equipment that I have ever personally seen catch
fire was from Tripp-Lite, but there's so much of it around that I'd be
surprised if it was any other brand.

D

#### [email protected]

Jan 1, 1970
0
do the xantrex have replaceable fuses or are they soldered in?

D

#### [email protected]

Jan 1, 1970
0
So it turns out both the xantrex and the vector inverters don't have
replaceable fuses. (well they ar replaceable but you have to take the
cover off and all that soldering nonsense..). I ended up getting a
cheap vector 400 from tweeter. I tried it out in my car the other day,
and my multimeter was giving me readings of 90V in one car and 105V in
another car. I am wondering if this is bad ( I was expecting 120V..)
and whether this is the fault of the cars (both of them?) or the
inverter? Should I not try and run devices on such low power? Should
I return this cheap thing and get a better one?

R

#### Rich Grise

Jan 1, 1970
0
So it turns out both the xantrex and the vector inverters don't have
replaceable fuses. (well they ar replaceable but you have to take the
cover off and all that soldering nonsense..). I ended up getting a cheap
vector 400 from tweeter. I tried it out in my car the other day, and my
multimeter was giving me readings of 90V in one car and 105V in another
car. I am wondering if this is bad ( I was expecting 120V..) and whether
this is the fault of the cars (both of them?) or the inverter? Should I
not try and run devices on such low power? Should I return this cheap
thing and get a better one?

First, try to find a "true RMS" meter. Your inverter probably has a square
"average" instead of RMS; AFAIK the "average" to "RMS" ratio is different
for a square wave than a sine wave.

For a quick test, plug in an ordinary lamp. If the output is really that
low, the lamp will be way dim.

Good Luck!
Rich

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