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Thread: dc/ac inverter adaptor

  1. #21
    Thrive Operative
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoneNomad View Post
    ...There can be issues with the grounding when using 120vAC invertors to drive DC power supplies. That's why "sensitive" 120vAC equipment (not that the Thrive's AC adapter or a heating pad are "sensitive" - a heating pad is about as far from sensitive as you can get) should never be powered this way.
    Example:
    "that orange notice i received with my new flashscan v2: it says 'do not connect flashscan between a vehicle and a personal computer or a laptop if that computer is being powered from the vehicle's 12 volt system through a power inverter' "
    Do not connect FlashScan between a vehicle and a laptop powered by a power inverter
    (This discusses using an automotive diagnosatic tool, connected to a laptop and the vehicle's electrical system)

    Quote Originally Posted by nonie View Post
    Thanks.
    You're welcome.

    (Note: simple resistive devices like heating pads do not have a power supply and are not in the category of "sensitive" equipment)

    If considering recommendations made by others, also consider these facts:

    There are several reasons why "sensitive" 120vAC electronics should not be connected to a DC-AC inverter, but in addition to the grounding issue, affordable inverters do not output true sine wave AC power; instead, they output a stepped approximation of an alternating current sine wave. The result is stress to the power supply in the 120vAC equipment connected to it, and in most cases, you can actually hear that stress by noticing the slightly different sound when an AC power supply (such as in a PC) is running of off inverter power compared to 120vAC from the local utility. In most cases, the power supply in electronics equipment converts the 120vAC back to one or more DC voltages. It's not difficult to understand that converting DC to AC and then back to DC is not the most efficient way to do things. Also, an inverter draws power from the vehicle (alternator or battery, if it's not running) even when no AC load is connected to it. Some inverters automatically power off to prevent most of this no-load power consumption. The efficiency of inverters also decreases with less AC load. In other words, if you have a small AC load connected to an inverter capable of handling a much larger AC load, the net efficiency of the system is lower than with an inverter sized for the load. Typical 12vDC inverter efficiency is only 80% to 90% if properly sized for the load, and much lower if a large inverter is used with a smaller load. The end result is higher power consumption from the source that has the less available power (e.g.: a 12v car battery), and this is more important if running larger loads (e.g.: electric blankets) when the vehicle is not running. Conversely, when connected to 120vAC power, there is no stringent limit (except for the circuit ampacity and/or the power cost). So the best approach in terms of efficiency (which reduces the load on the vehicle battery) is to use DC equipment in a vehicle, and use a DC power supply (e.g.: Schumacher PC-6 6amp 12vDC power supply) if need be to power that equipment from household 120vAC power.
    Last edited by GoneNomad; 10-19-2012 at 09:44 AM.

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  3. #22
    Thrive Tech
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    If you read all that post most folks didn't have trouble. A guy name Taz post a link to GM to see if your car is listed. Hey we have never had problems. We don't run the computer from a AC /DC we use it's battery. If we need a charge we do that from our room at night.
    Our little unit's are mainly to charge our cell's and the Ipod. If we have our frig ice chest along that is running.
    Sent from my AT100 using Tapatalk
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    "I am strong. I am invincible. I am redhead

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  4. #23
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    I have run our computers to play DVDs on long trips in the past and our daughter used to run hers for the same reason before they got the iPad and we got our Thrives, all without problems and with 5+ year old power bricks. I have little doubt that prolonged use "might" reduce the lifespan of some devices/accessories, but that has not been my "real life" experience.

    But, be that as it may, the OP is interested in using an inverter for a heating pad, not a FlashScan V2, and I maintain she should have no problem doing so with any of the units that have been mentioned. A V2 is also connected to the vehicle and creates a totally different problem than a computer, heating pad, etc., that might be somewhat sensitive to "sine wave" variances.

    It is worth pointing out though that the heating pad and other devices should not be left on when the vehicle is not running so as to not drain the battery, though I assume nonie is fully aware of that. The front outlet in our van automatically shuts off when the vehicle is shut off, but the rear outlet does not, and that's why we accidentally ran the battery down. Until that trip, we had never left the fridge in the van overnight. Still, it had nothing to do with sine waves, etc. :beer:
    Cheers, Dave

    ICS Rooted (IMM76D.01.000072314)

  5. #24
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    Thanks for everyones input on this subject.

    And your right, Dave, I would not be leaving it on when car is not running. :-)

    Thanks

  6. #25
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    One last comment. I checked for DC heating pads on Amazon. All I could find were heated seat cushions and blankets, not even close to the same thing. Hopefully you'll be happy with whatever choice you make. If anything I've said turns out to be wrong, please let me know.
    nonie likes this.
    Cheers, Dave

    ICS Rooted (IMM76D.01.000072314)

  7. #26
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    I have one like this http://www.ebay.com/itm/Car-Power-In...-/271079268706 similar that I got from Radio Shack.

    It works great for the Thrive, my laptop, etc.

    Sent from my Toshiba Thrive 32GB using Tapatalk
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  8. #27
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    Thanks, Dave.


 


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