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Old 06-07-2011, 12:39 PM   #1
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Converter/Inverter

From an electrical standpoint is it beneficial to change from the existing converter to an inverter from a battery charging standpoint? And for TV's computers will a modified sine wave inverter be ok or will it have to be a pure sine wave inverter? While I have some knowledge of the difference in level of clean power I am not truly educated as to what is acceptable in motorhome application. Thanks for your insight/comments.
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Old 06-07-2011, 12:50 PM   #2
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The charger in an inverter/charger is usually a top of the line, 3 stage, type so may be better than what you now have. However, there is no inherent advantage and there are quality 3 stage converter/chargers available too. Progressive Dynamics and Iota and Xantrex make some excellent ones.

Most, if not all, tvs work fine on modified sine wave (MSW). They convert the power back to DC anyway, and filter it as well.

Some battery charging devices, especially older ones, do not perform well on MSW, and electric blankets are notorious for failing with MSW. Overheatingis the symptom in both cases. Clocks may run fast or slow.Microwaves may not perform as well and may have problems with their digital clocks or controls, Ditto for the controls on some electric coffee makers.

Despite this list, most coaches come with MSW inverters and most things work fine, or at least adequately.
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Old 06-07-2011, 07:39 PM   #3
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To add too Gary's answer's, be aware some, but not all, Dish and Directv satellite receivers have a problem with MSW inverter's. Likewise as mentioned most TV's will work but you might see horizontal bars across the screen. Also, just a few days ago I had an electric heater fail because of my MSW. Not to say you'd use the inverter to power an electric heater, but I forgot it was plugged into one of the outlets powered by the inverter. This was enough to blow a small circuit board fuse on the heater control board.

Many devices you power with a MSW inverter will work, however, they work in a less then optimum way. Microwave ovens will take longer to say, boil a cup of water. Electric coffee perculators take longer. Many motor powered devices will get hotter then normal, although they do work. But as Gary mentioned most devices do appear to work okay.
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Old 06-08-2011, 08:29 AM   #4
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Hmm. Never had an inverter problem with either of my Direct satellite receivers. Or any of my tvs either - two Sony tubes, and a Sony LCD and a Samsung LCD that replaced the tube tvs. YMMV.
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Old 06-08-2011, 12:36 PM   #5
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This is the old underwear question again.. (They ask groups of young men "Boxers or Briefs" (Briefs) middle age men (Boxers) and senior citizens (Depends)

The seniors have it

Is it better to change from Converter to Inverter/converter?
Answer: Depends on the converter.. Magnetek 6300 or Parallex 7300, I would say yes,

Even a Progressive Dynamics 9100 WITHOUT charge wizard, I'd say yes (or just add the 30 dollar wizard)

Progressive Dynamics 9100 WITH wizard, or 9200 (9100 w/wizard built in) likely no benefit.

So the answer to that depends on the converter, Also on the converter/charger stages in the inverter.. I mean my Prosine 2.0 is a "Best of class plus at least one outstanding feature" converter.. As I might as is the PDI 9200. (There are a lot in that group, I won't list any but those few)

I have not researched other Inverter/charger combos but suspect many (if not all) will at the worse fall in the "Best of Class" category.

Now. The next question is MSW ok for TV and laptop. For the laptop. Most likely.

For the TV. See prior answer It depends. SOME televisions and SOME MSW inverters play very well together.... Others not so good. This is a "you pay your money you take your chances" issue.

Now if you go with a good TRUE SINE WAVE converter.. Then the "it may not work well" list gets short.. Real short.. In fact I will give you the entire list for MSW inverters.

Big power hungry items that need more power than the inverter can provide.
End of list.

That's it. For MSW's it is a bit longer and includs:
Clocks,
Anything with a digital clock
Televisins, Radios, Satellite receivers,
Electric Blankets
Fancy Coffee Makers
Audio systems
And much much more.
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Old 06-08-2011, 01:26 PM   #6
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Back to the question tho....

A converter is a battery charger, pure and simple. 110-ac from the transfer switch / ac fuse panel is it's input, and 12 vdc into the battery is it's output.

A combo inverter/converter is a muchmore complex system. It can either input or output to both 12vdc and 120vac.

Coaches set up for combo units are wired differently. The inverter is setup to automatically ly power to certain circuits (outlets microwave) but never to others (fridge, a/c, washer dryer)

Switching to a combo unit will need a bunch of rewiring.
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Old 06-09-2011, 10:45 AM   #7
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Jim... "A converter is a battery charger" Actually, I agree.

In another thread somewhere someone is arguing over that.. I ask him to tell me what the difference is (Actually there is a difference, but in practice it does not matter)

I have been known to design the odd "power supply" (What we call a converter) by the way.. I think I have 2 or 3 of my own design in the basement.
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Old 06-26-2011, 12:43 PM   #8
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parallax 7345

my damon ultrasport with a parallax 7345 is overcharging my house batteries, i replaced the batteries thinking one might be causing the issues and it is still overcharging. are these an item that can be repaired or just replaced? i am capable of replacing it myself. is there other brands that should be considered? maybe a wfco wf-8955 that is half the price? is there an advantage to going to a larger size, 55 or 65 amp. i have 2 house batteries.
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Old 06-28-2011, 07:26 PM   #9
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you may need to see if you have a temp sensor on your battery. It could be bad.
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Old 06-29-2011, 05:36 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bcbrowne View Post
my damon ultrasport with a parallax 7345 is overcharging my house batteries, i replaced the batteries thinking one might be causing the issues and it is still overcharging. are these an item that can be repaired or just replaced? i am capable of replacing it myself. is there other brands that should be considered? maybe a wfco wf-8955 that is half the price? is there an advantage to going to a larger size, 55 or 65 amp. i have 2 house batteries.
My 7355 also overcharges the batteries. The 73xx converters are not real multi-stage battery chargers. They put out 14.4 (approximate) volts when first turned on and, after 13 hours, drop to 13.5 volts. This wouldn't be so bad but, every time you have a power blip (quite common around here this time of year) it starts over at 14.4 again regardless of state of charge on the batteries. You really have to watch battery water level with this going on.
I have elected to turn the batteries off allowing the converter to only supply 12v power when needed for vent fans, lights, etc. The batteries can be recharged, if necessary, with a quality charger until I replace the Parralax with a converter with a multi-stage charger. Probably a Progressive Dynamics 9260.
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