deal on inverter

Discussion in 'Off Grid Living' started by CATO, Aug 18, 2011.

  1. CATO

    CATO Monkey+++

    Anyone used this brand before? - Rosewill RCI-400MS 400W DC To AC Power Inverter with Power Protection and Alarming

    I want to specifically know if you have hooked it up directly to a car battery for power (not going through the cig. lighter). And use simple explanations...I don't know jack about this stuff. I can install ceiling fans, garbage disposals, or porch lights, but that's about it.

    In your opinion, what do I need to know about the appliance to know "OK, this inverter will power the XYZ. I know nothing like a dryer...but, what do you look for on the back panel?

  2. Kingfish

    Kingfish Self Reliant

    What I do know is 400 watts is very small. You can run a lap top, small fan or maybe a telephone base station, four 100 watt light bulbs but Ill bet they would be dim. But in a pinch you could run a couple 30 watt lights, a laptop and phone base. Not much use really for one unless you are thinking of using your car battery to access the internet or light a tent . KF
  3. CATO

    CATO Monkey+++

    That's basically it: can you power a laptop, GPS with a disconnected car battery.

    Thanks KF
  4. Nadja

    Nadja RIP 3-11-2013 Forum Leader

    However, if you used your car battery, you better watch the amp draw, and once it gets below a certain point, crank up your car and let it recharge your battery. Or, your car would be dead also
  5. CATO

    CATO Monkey+++

    I'm thinking of the multitudes of batteries of the cars lining the jammed highways 3 months after SHTF.

    But, just for my edification, how would you check the amp draw? I have an ohmmeter that I use when soldering pickups into my guitars. If that's what you'd need, I still would require directions on how to check the draw.

  6. Nadja

    Nadja RIP 3-11-2013 Forum Leader

    Or, you could spend about $20.00 and buy a device known as " A Kill-A-Watt" You can measure just about anything with that one. That would plug into the inverter, and from there you would plug in just about anything your going to use on the AC side
  7. CATO

    CATO Monkey+++

    Thanks. I've seen those, but was skeptical of their abilities because they're always in those "As seen on TV" stores.

    I will pick one up. Do you recommend any particular kind, or are they about all the same?
  8. Nadja

    Nadja RIP 3-11-2013 Forum Leader

    I only have a Kill A Watt which is the actual brand name. Bought it on ebay for about 16.00 allmost a year ago, and still going strong.
  9. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    You would do better to hit a marina, than the freeway. Car batteries are designed to work at peak voltage at all times, deep cycle batteries (trolling motors, fish finders, ect) are designed to be charged and fully discharged, car batteries will not last long as a power bank.
  10. goinpostal

    goinpostal Monkey+++

    Pilot/FlyingJ travel centers have their 1,000watt inverters on sale for $79.00.
  11. 2Chest1Head

    2Chest1Head Monkey+++

    Shop around....I have a 800W that I picked up at the local (National Chain) auto parts store for either $49 or $59 last year. I know 800W is still not a lot of power but it will run my deep freeze along with a couple of lights and/or TV DVD player for some power outage entertainment.....and its great for tailgating.
  12. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    Checking the Amp Draw on a DC Appliance is done with an AMP Meter, by putting it in series with the appliance, and the noting the Current Used, in Amps. OR... You could use a Volt Meter to measure the Voltage Drop, across a Known Resistance (otherwise Known as a Amp Meter Shunt) that was in series with the Appliance, and do the conversion to Amps, with Math. OR... You could use the Red Neck "Blown Fuse" Method. You put smaller, and smaller, values of fuses in the Power Leads of the Appliance, until one Blows, upon Power Up. Then figure the current is the next Higher fuse that didn't blow..... YMMV.....
    kellory and goinpostal like this.
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