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Old 01-19-2012, 11:41 AM   #1
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Pure sine wave vs. Modified sine wave Inverter?

I have a Xantrex XS 400 Inverter that is a Pure sine wave unit with transfer switch, it is hardwired into the moho.
It is a good unit but underpowered, I would like to get a higher rated unit but have found the other simiar types are Modified sine wave inverters.
Is there a difference that will be noticable using the TV and surround sound systems between Pure vs. Modified sine wave units?
I do not intend to use it for the microwave or such.
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Old 01-19-2012, 11:50 AM   #2
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You will probably see some snow and hum from the speakers. They are expensive, but get the pure sine wave model. Much better for your electronics.
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Old 01-19-2012, 01:25 PM   #3
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You will probably see some snow and hum from the speakers. They are expensive, but get the pure sine wave model. Much better for your electronics.
Why would you think this? Almost all electronics do not use the AC power directly. The AC is converted to DC to operate the device.

I have seen no difference in the operation of my Toshiba flat screen, whether it be from a MSW inverter or shore power.
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Old 01-19-2012, 01:26 PM   #4
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Xantrex makes a lot of higher powered pure sine inverters. Some have a built in transfer switch and some don't. THIS ONE DOES
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Old 01-19-2012, 01:45 PM   #5
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Why would you think this? Almost all electronics do not use the AC power directly. The AC is converted to DC to operate the device.

I have seen no difference in the operation of my Toshiba flat screen, whether it be from a MSW inverter or shore power.
I want you to read what you posted real close and tell me whats wrong with it . (no ill tell you the lights ,the small motors and even the water pump works on 12volts but your tv dish and dvr and dvd are running are you ready 110 volt being made by the inverter.
Granted some Rv Tvs are 12 volt but not the big flat screens and a dish will never work with just twelve volts.
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Old 01-19-2012, 03:38 PM   #6
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I want you to read what you posted real close and tell me whats wrong with it . (no ill tell you the lights ,the small motors and even the water pump works on 12volts but your tv dish and dvr and dvd are running are you ready 110 volt being made by the inverter.
Granted some Rv Tvs are 12 volt but not the big flat screens and a dish will never work with just twelve volts.

Here is what is wrong with your post:

Modern electronics do not "run" on AC. AC feeds an internal power supply that converts the AC to a lower DC voltage which is used by the unit. The effects of a modified sine wave inverter are negated by the internal AC/DC converter of the electronic device.

BTW, my led tv, my sat receiver/dvr, surround sound system run fine on a MSW inverter.
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Old 01-19-2012, 04:21 PM   #7
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I run my whole 38 ft 5er off my batteries and a modified sine wave 4000 inverter. That said there are some devices that balk at the modified sine wave. My stereo, tv, microwave, fridge, etc all work fine but my Dewalt battery charger gets real hot. My phone often gives me a message that the charger I'm using is not recommended for the phone but continues to charge it anyway.I got my inverter for free but it was blown up. I repaired it with new output transistors that cost about 30$.Xantex has a nice policy on their inverters that if they are not working they will repair them for a flat rate of 300$. I'm happy but there are some devices that dont like modified sine wave output.They all have turned out to be battery chargers. A pure sine wave is clearly the best choice for worry free 110 but it comes at a heafty price.
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Old 01-19-2012, 05:43 PM   #8
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Modern electronics do not "run" on AC. AC feeds an internal power supply that converts the AC to a lower DC voltage which is used by the unit. The effects of a modified sine wave inverter are negated by the internal AC/DC converter of the electronic device.
Sometimes yes, sometimes no. It depends on the design of the power supply.
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Old 01-19-2012, 05:59 PM   #9
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Here are some advantages of Pure Sine Wave inverters over modified sine wave inverters:

a) Output voltage wave form is pure sine wave with very low harmonic distortion and clean power like utility-supplied electricity.
b) Inductive loads like microwave ovens and motors run faster, quieter and cooler.
c) Reduces audible and electrical noise in fans, fluorescent lights, audio amplifiers, TV, Game consoles, Fax, and answering machines.
d) Prevents crashes in computers, weird print out, and glitches and noise in monitors.
e) Reliably powers the following devices that will normally not work with modified sine wave inverters:
  • Laser printers, photocopiers, magneto-optical hard drives
  • Certain laptop computers (you should check with your manufacturer)
  • Some fluorescent lights with electronic ballasts
  • Power tools employing "solid state" power or variable speed control
  • Some battery chargers for cordless tools
  • Some new furnaces and pellet stoves with microprocessor control
  • Digital clocks with radios
  • Sewing machines with speed/microprocessor control
  • X-10 home automation system
  • Medical equipment such as oxygen concentrators
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Old 01-19-2012, 07:16 PM   #10
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I Found a xantrex Fredom 25, a few years ago on e-bay, bought it, installed it, rewired the whole coach to 50 amp and all. It actually melted the control board in a little coffee grinder I had taken along. That was my que. I replaced it last year with a Sw3000 xantrex. The microwave sounds better, there's no lines in the tv, and the power supply for my laptop, doesn't feel like it could start a fire. Yes there is a difference, and yes, to me it matters. And, Yes, it does cost more, a lot more, but, such is life.
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Old 01-20-2012, 08:59 AM   #11
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Xantrex, on it's support site for one of their MSW lines used to have a document titled something like "Things that may not work the same with MSW inverters"

This included many things, way too many to list here but some of the entries were surprising.

TV's. and other Audio/Vedieo gear I expected And they have been discussed above.

Microwaves and digital clocks likewise.

Electric blankets, Coffee pots and Night Lights surprised me. The last (night light) caught fire per one forum member who posted his expereience. And as I said, this is by no means a complete list. It was a fairly long list.

On the other hand, many folks use (Usually differnet brands) of these same devices with no problems. The nightlight for example was an LED type. The old fashion ones work fine.

Of course "Any device needing more power than the inverter can supply" was not mentioned on the list,,, but shoudl have been.

Now with TRUE SINE WAVE inverters.. That last item that was not included... That is the whole list.

NOT only that. but if you have an MSW inverter and are parked near me it can affect MY radios and television. My true sine.. does not (Well it affects the TV's. if mains power is not present it makes them work.. properly, but than that is what it is supposed to do)
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Old 01-20-2012, 01:11 PM   #12
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I have come to the conclusion my current unit is fine but underpowered.
That said my best option is to upgrade the tube TV's to flat screens as they will require less power to operate.
The DW may even go along with this without much "discussion" as the area behind the TV's can be made storage.
That's my story and am sticking with it.
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Old 02-04-2012, 08:55 AM   #13
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people must realize the difference between controller, converter, and inverter. i'm putting in solar so i will need the controller to cut the 17 volts to 12 for the batteries, then the inverter to change the 12volts to 110 volts and run it up to the converter that changes shore power to and combined with ac dc systems. my only problem is finding out where my inverter is and is it pure sine. 89 fleetwood 34' with all kinds of elec. devices
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Old 02-04-2012, 09:17 AM   #14
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Listen to the DW.

I have a 2k Xantrex ProWatt SW inverter installed. Figured since I run a residential refrigerator, two tv's, sat dish tuners etc.. that I would need it.

Well, the 32" LED flatscreen, sat dish and speakers including sub runs about 120 watts. Biggest sustained load I've seen so far is less than 300w. Only time it has been larger is when my wife forgot to turn off the electric heater when we unhooked from shore power. I kinda freaked when I saw the display show almost 900 watts.
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