Author Topic: Weird issue with an inverter?  (Read 3497 times)

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Online Desert Fox

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Weird issue with an inverter?
« on: June 17, 2018, 09:20:59 AM »
Sometimes I work out of my car. When in the car, I often us a little Asus netbook.

Just recently when switching between vehicles, I forgot the inverter in the car I was not using. As such, I ended buying an inexpensive inverter at Walmart.

I was getting a strange issue where where the response of the touch pad would be jumpy. At first I did not connect the situation to the inverter and I tried cleaning the touch pad real well and even uninstalled and reinstalled the touch pad driver.  Nothing helped.

I remembered though that I was hooked up to the wall just the day before and there was no problems. I then tried unplugging the netbook and the issue went away. I had a small power strip, plugged the power strip into the inverter, and then plugged the netbook in. The problem either went away or reduced to a tiny fraction of the problem. I seem to have noticed just the tiniest amount of jumpiness but that could have been in my head.

1. Does anybody know the cause?
2. Did probably I do any damage to my netbook?
3. Would adding a filter to the inverter help? 

 
« Last Edit: June 19, 2018, 01:44:27 PM by Desert Fox »
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Online amysrevenge

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Re: Wierd issue with an inverter?
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2018, 01:18:59 PM »
I know there are issues with inverters specific to using them in cars.  I don't know the details, but I suspect it has to do with how the alternator charges the battery.  It is possible that some purpose-designed filter might work, as it's probably an issue with the flatness of the DC.

(If I plug my phone in to the car's USB port for charging and headphone port for audio, I get a weird buzz in the audio.  If I just use the headphone jack without charging, or while charging from my portable battery charger it's fine, and if I use bluetooth for the audio while charging it's fine, it's only the one combination that is bad.)
Big Mike
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Re: Wierd issue with an inverter?
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2018, 10:35:02 AM »
Probably?  It's cheap enough that you're not screwed if you buy it and it doesn't help.
Big Mike
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Re: Weird issue with an inverter?
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2018, 01:45:32 PM »
Tried to look up filters and unable to find anything like what I was looking for.
As such, I just went ahead and ordered that power supply.
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Re: Weird issue with an inverter?
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2018, 04:40:32 PM »
Report back if you think of it, I'm interested if that does the trick.
Big Mike
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Re: Weird issue with an inverter?
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2018, 06:13:26 PM »
Well, I am on my old inverter right now and not having any issues.
It really seems to be just that inverter.
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Re: Weird issue with an inverter?
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2018, 07:41:41 PM »
I received the DC to DC converter and seems to work pretty well.
Generates far less heat.

With the power supply of the netbook generating heat and the inverter generating heat, I wonder how much energy is being lost. I know it is something but nobody has been able to quantify it for me.
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Re: Weird issue with an inverter?
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2018, 09:58:33 AM »
Plenty (I don't have a number either) of energy being lost.  I'm trying to remember back to a course I took in 2012, but if I remember right efficiency-wise inverters aren't that bad (ie, DC to AC) but regulators (ie. AC to DC) can be very inefficient - the simplest ones are below 50%.  You can get fancy with regulators but you risk failure with fancier components.
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Re: Weird issue with an inverter?
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2018, 05:39:21 PM »
It would be nice if there was a way to get a ballpark number of how long it is safe to run such a device off a car battery.
I have been unable to ever find anything as a guide however.
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Re: Weird issue with an inverter?
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2018, 06:16:29 PM »
Yeah that's mostly because it's not really their function, to provide 12VDC continuously for long stretches.  Their function is to provide a large current of 12VDC for a short time (for the starter) and then stay continuously charged/charging while the engine is running.

You can get good specs for batteries of that style that are not for cars - in the past I've designed installations where solar panels charge a bank of batteries that superficially look like car batteries, but whose purpose is to provide continuous low-current 12VDC to instruments and devices.
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Re: Weird issue with an inverter?
« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2018, 06:59:39 PM »
When you work out of your car, you really can't afford to continuously run the car.
There is no deep cycle battery available for that purpose however
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Offline Billzbub

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Re: Weird issue with an inverter?
« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2018, 11:54:30 AM »
I'm too lazy to look into it myself, but its possible that Googling "How to camp with a C-PAP machine" could lead you down the path to find the kind of batteries you need.
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Offline st3class

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Re: Weird issue with an inverter?
« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2018, 01:41:42 PM »
You might also look into mobile amateur radio set ups. There's a lot of need for deep cycle batteries there.
It's always more complicated than that.

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Re: Weird issue with an inverter?
« Reply #14 on: June 27, 2018, 03:45:50 PM »
The big issue with car batteries seem to be fully draining them.
The idea is that the netbook only draws 33 watts (about half what my Acer laptop uses [65 watts] and about 1/3 of my older Dells [90 watts] used.)
If by using a DC to DC converter, I save half the energy, the drain should be maybe 1/6 that of my old Dells.
Might not be a major issue even off a car battery.
"Give me the storm and tempest of thought and action, rather than the dead calm of ignorance and faith. Banish me from Eden when you will; but first let me eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge."
— Robert G. Ingersoll

 

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