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  1. #1
    Look! My Spine! RubenX's Avatar
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    Power Inverter Question

    Lets say we have a 400 watts inverter plugged into a 12v source, but there is nothing plugged into the inverter, will is still draw 400 watts of the 12v source?
    "Hoy es un dia normal, pero yo voy a hacerlo intenso" ~ Juanes

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    No, only draws power when current is flowing.
    Longbikes Slipstream

  3. #3
    derailleurs are overrated bigbenaugust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wilbur Bud View Post
    No, only draws power when current is flowing.
    +1. It *might* draw a little tiny bit even when there's no load, but it's much closer to zero than to 400W.
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    Carrboro Bike Coalition - putting the "bike" in "CARrboro" :)
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  4. #4
    Senior Member hotbike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wilbur Bud View Post
    No, only draws power when current is flowing.
    Wrong. The inverter will draw some amount of current, even in standby mode, with no load. My inverter is only 140 watts, but when the light is on, it's drawing current. The inverter is not efficient at all in this regard.

    It's not drawing the full 400 watts, but it might be drawing as much as 10 or 20 watts (maybe more). There is a light to let you know it has power, and that draws something, plus whatever is dissipated as heat.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/11629987@N02/sets/72157639939606343/

  5. #5
    Senior Member mvnsnd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hotbike View Post
    Wrong. The inverter will draw some amount of current, even in standby mode, with no load. My inverter is only 140 watts, but when the light is on, it's drawing current. The inverter is not efficient at all in this regard.

    It's not drawing the full 400 watts, but it might be drawing as much as 10 or 20 watts (maybe more). There is a light to let you know it has power, and that draws something, plus whatever is dissipated as heat.
    This. As long as it is plugged in, it will draw some current. just how much really depends on the quality of the converter too.

  6. #6
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    More importantly, will it make any noises? Also, when Ruben uses this to power his Hyundai, what color smoke will come out as it explodes?
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    Quote Originally Posted by colorider View Post
    Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.

  7. #7
    derailleurs are overrated bigbenaugust's Avatar
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    If the Hyundai is parked in his kitchen, which appliances can he run with a 400W inverter?

    We have a 200W and a 400W at home. I think the only time I've actually used it was for running the PowerBook as a giant mp3 player on a long drive last year.
    --Ben
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  8. #8
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Fixed versus variable cost of economics applies here. There's a small overhead load of the inverter itself. Then add that to the load caused by whatever device is plugged in. I hope you don't have this plugged into the cigarette lighter socket.

  9. #9
    derailleurs are overrated bigbenaugust's Avatar
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    We have a 200W and a 400W inverter at home. The only time we've ever needed it was to run the PowerBook as a large mp3 player on a long road trip. The car USB charger, however, gets much more love.
    --Ben
    Carrboro Bike Coalition - putting the "bike" in "CARrboro" :)
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  10. #10
    Footballus vita est iamlucky13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigbenaugust View Post
    If the Hyundai is parked in his kitchen, which appliances can he run with a 400W inverter?
    There's a Green Acres reference to be made here, but I'm not sure anyone here is cultured enough to get it...

    "The internet is a place where absolutely nothing happens. You need to take advantage of that." ~ Strong Bad

  11. #11
    derailleurs are overrated bigbenaugust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iamlucky13 View Post
    There's a Green Acres reference to be made here, but I'm guessing no one here is cultured enough to get it...
    Loved the show, but the reference isn't coming to me. Maybe I didn't see enough episodes in reruns.
    --Ben
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  12. #12
    Footballus vita est iamlucky13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigbenaugust View Post
    Loved the show, but the reference isn't coming to me. Maybe I didn't see enough episodes in reruns.
    When they first bought the farm, there was no "electricical" (to quote Lisa), so Mr. Haney sold them a noisy, unreliable generator.

    It was easy to overload, but Oliver had trouble explaining to Lisa how to limit the power draw. He came up with a list "based on the principal of 7" to figure out what could be plugged in at the same time. As long as they all added up to no more than 7, you're fine.

    So you can plug in the coffee pot, the toaster, the iron, and the can opener, but if you add the mixer the generator will go kablooey. If you have the washing machine or refrigerator on, all you can add is the can opener, etc.

    Ruben might want to make such a list if he's going to be using the Hyundai in the kitchen.
    "The internet is a place where absolutely nothing happens. You need to take advantage of that." ~ Strong Bad

  13. #13
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    iamlucky13 is hereby proclaimed the official winner of this thread. Celebration party will be at Sam Druckers store. Arnold Ziffle will be the master of ceremonies.
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    Quote Originally Posted by colorider View Post
    Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.

  14. #14
    Look! My Spine! RubenX's Avatar
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    LOL... I'll love to tell you my evil plans, but I'll save it until is actually done.

    In the meantime, the Hyundai is at the shop. I needed to replace the timing belt and all the other 3 belts. It's a 3 to 4 hours job for those who do know what they are doing AND have proper tools. In other words, it might take Ruben a week to get it done, and maybe get the valves vent in the process so.... not to mention I have no garage and it's over 100 degrees out there so, screw that, I took it to the shop.

    I used the Cherokee while my beloved Hyundai got his preemptive maintenance. Darn American cars are cursed... freaking jeep broke down this afternoon at 1pm... causing me to wait one hour under the relentless sun for the tow truck to arrive. I'm gonna get rid of the Cherokee at the the first opportunity. If/when the economics permits, I shall get a 2nd Hyundai as backup. God bless the Koreans!
    "Hoy es un dia normal, pero yo voy a hacerlo intenso" ~ Juanes

  15. #15
    derailleurs are overrated bigbenaugust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iamlucky13 View Post
    When they first bought the farm, there was no "electricical" (to quote Lisa), so Mr. Haney sold them a noisy, unreliable generator.

    It was easy to overload, but Oliver had trouble explaining to Lisa how to limit the power draw. He came up with a list "based on the principal of 7" to figure out what could be plugged in at the same time. As long as they all added up to no more than 7, you're fine.

    So you can plug in the coffee pot, the toaster, the iron, and the can opener, but if you add the mixer the generator will go kablooey. If you have the washing machine or refrigerator on, all you can add is the can opener, etc.

    Ruben might want to make such a list if he's going to be using the Hyundai in the kitchen.
    Now that this thread is totally hijacked, I still use the words "shoosting" and "reincarceration" as a direct result of Green Acres, and can not see the word "rutabaga" without thinking of it.
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  16. #16
    Footballus vita est iamlucky13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsharr View Post
    iamlucky13 is hereby proclaimed the official winner of this thread. Celebration party will be at Sam Druckers store. Arnold Ziffle will be the master of ceremonies.
    Quote Originally Posted by bigbenaugust
    Now that this thread is totally hijacked, I still use the words "shoosting" and "reincarceration" as a direct result of Green Acres, and can not see the word "rutabaga" without thinking of it.
    Foo has proven its quality once again.

    You forgot to mention catering and entertainment by the Bradley sisters from the Shady Rest Motel. The main course will be hotcakes. RSVP to Alice the chicken.
    "The internet is a place where absolutely nothing happens. You need to take advantage of that." ~ Strong Bad

  17. #17
    derailleurs are overrated bigbenaugust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iamlucky13 View Post
    Foo has proven its quality once again.

    You forgot to mention catering and entertainment by the Bradley sisters from the Shady Rest Motel. The main course will be hotcakes. RSVP to Alice the chicken.
    Not just any hotcakes. Hotcakes that can be used as roofing tiles. I'll bet Ruben could fix his car with them.
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  18. #18
    Footballus vita est iamlucky13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigbenaugust View Post
    Not just any hotcakes. Hotcakes that can be used as roofing tiles. I'll bet Ruben could fix his car with them.
    They have been demonstrated to work as a suitable replacement for a head gasket.
    "The internet is a place where absolutely nothing happens. You need to take advantage of that." ~ Strong Bad

  19. #19
    derailleurs are overrated bigbenaugust's Avatar
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    We should run a separate Green Acres thread.
    --Ben
    Carrboro Bike Coalition - putting the "bike" in "CARrboro" :)
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  20. #20
    Footballus vita est iamlucky13's Avatar
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    Nah why would you wanna go 'en start 'nuther thread when I kin sell yuh this 'un for...shall we say...five dollars?

    What do ya mean it belongs to RubenX? Then how did it git in the back'a mah truck?

    "The internet is a place where absolutely nothing happens. You need to take advantage of that." ~ Strong Bad

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigbenaugust View Post
    Loved the show, but the reference isn't coming to me. Maybe I didn't see enough episodes in reruns.
    Ralph and Alf(the carpenters) set up the electrical schedule.
    The phone still remained up on the pole outside.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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    Quote Originally Posted by RubenX View Post
    LOL... I'll love to tell you my evil plans, but I'll save it until is actually done.

    In the meantime, the Hyundai is at the shop. I needed to replace the timing belt and all the other 3 belts. It's a 3 to 4 hours job for those who do know what they are doing AND have proper tools. In other words, it might take Ruben a week to get it done, and maybe get the valves vent in the process so.... not to mention I have no garage and it's over 100 degrees out there so, screw that, I took it to the shop.

    I used the Cherokee while my beloved Hyundai got his preemptive maintenance. Darn American cars are cursed... freaking jeep broke down this afternoon at 1pm... causing me to wait one hour under the relentless sun for the tow truck to arrive. I'm gonna get rid of the Cherokee at the the first opportunity. If/when the economics permits, I shall get a 2nd Hyundai as backup(extra car). God bless the Koreans!
    happened to the Haynes manual?
    You could of done the timing belt(with a PM to me)and had time to knock off some trim in the evening.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  23. #23
    Senior Member
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    I've wondered if I could use an inverter, recently I was reading about one that I found cheap on the net (400W). One of the people that bought one and was commenting on it was complaining that it wouldn't even run their HAIR DRYER!

  24. #24
    Footballus vita est iamlucky13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bjtesch View Post
    I've wondered if I could use an inverter, recently I was reading about one that I found cheap on the net (400W). One of the people that bought one and was commenting on it was complaining that it wouldn't even run their HAIR DRYER!
    And as if getting gypped on an inverter and having messy hair wasn't bad enough, that was the same day she her car was totaled due to an electrical fire...
    "The internet is a place where absolutely nothing happens. You need to take advantage of that." ~ Strong Bad

  25. #25
    derailleurs are overrated bigbenaugust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spry View Post
    Ralph and Alf(the carpenters) set up the electrical schedule.
    The phone still remained up on the pole outside.
    I need to move my office phone to a pole outside.
    --Ben
    Carrboro Bike Coalition - putting the "bike" in "CARrboro" :)
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