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Old 01-24-2011, 11:54 PM   #1
Winnie-Wise
 
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Dimension 300 watt vs. Tripp-Lite 750

My Itasca has a Dimension 300 watt inverter, which isn't enough when I have the front T.V. on and then power-up the rear T.V. The 'surge' typically trips the inverter, so I'd like to upgrade slightly. I got a quote for the Dimension 600 watt model, and it's almost $800 with shipping. I do like the power 'pass-through' of the Dimemsion; it runs the T.V.'s when I have shore or generator power but then I can use 12v DC without having to unplug the T.V. from a motorhome receptacle and plugging into the inverter. The inverter also has a 12v DC connection, and since I don't have a clue on how these things work, I thought that was just a supply input from the coach batteries when there is no 110v power supply.

Looking at the Tripp-Lite APS750 Inverter/Charger, is it essentially the same thing, same power inputs, or are these two different animals in what they do? In the Tripp-Lite manual, it does state that it will supply AC power to connected equipment and to charge your batteries when AC power is present. (page 4, section 'Auto/Remote') Does this mean that this unit would also charge the coach batteries at the same time that the other inverter/charger installed by Itasca near the refrigerator would? Can you have two 'charging' power supplies to the coach batteries at the same time. I do I just not have a clue how these would all work together and I don't want to blow up batteries or melt down the wiring due to my ignorance.

Looking at the back of my current inverter, there is a 'DC Input' with one white and one red wire, a AC input which is corded and plugs into the 110v receptacle, a 'Chassis Bonding Lug', two 110v output receptacles and some lettering on the back that says "I" Option Switched Outlet but I didn't get a picture of the entire back, part of the picture is cut off, so there might be more on the back of the inverter.

Can anyone explain in really easy terms what I have, what I need, and if the Tripp-Lite would work as my Dimension is wired.

Thank you very much. -RT

Information:
APS750 - PowerVerter APS Inverter/Charger - with Auto-Transfer Switching

Manual:
http://www.tripplite.com/shared/tech...-932803-EN.pdf
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Old 01-25-2011, 09:25 AM   #2
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Update: I don't know how to edit or change my original post.

Looking at the back of my current inverter, there is a 'DC Input' with one white and one red wire, a AC input which is corded and plugs into the 110v receptacle, a 'Chassis Bonding Lug', two 110v output receptacles and some lettering on the back that says "I" Option Switched Outlet but I didn't get a picture of the entire back, part of the picture is cut off, so there might be more on the back of the inverter. - Turns out that there is one more wiring coming from the back of the inverter: 110v AC out-put, hardwired. Don't have a clue where that goes either.
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Old 01-25-2011, 11:04 AM   #3
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I don't know if you saw my post a bit ago. I have the same inverter. I did a bit of research on the wiring. What I found is that is barely adequate for a 300 watt inverter. Swapping to a larger inverter using the same wiring, wouldn't work.

Also, what exactly is tripping when you use both TVs? The output breaker? The input fuse? The GFI? I have run both TVs without a problem. Not very long of course. That would really drain the batteries, especially if you have the original setup with two batteries. And speaking of that, you'd probably need/want to upgrade the batteries if you went with a larger inverter too.
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Old 01-25-2011, 12:51 PM   #4
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The Tripp-Lite says it is a PWM sine wave..> I know that Pulse Width Modulation can generate a fairly pure sine wave.

I could not tell about the Dimensions.

Look for a document "Things that may not work with a MSW inverter" if such a document exists in the owner's manuals or on-line documents... That is an MSW inverter.

Pure Sine wave inverters do not have such a document or chapter in the owner's manual.. They do not need it.
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Old 01-25-2011, 09:31 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tderonne View Post
Also, what exactly is tripping when you use both TVs? The output breaker? The input fuse? The GFI? I have run both TVs without a problem.
The inverter 'trips' off when I turn on the rear T.V. if the front T.V. and DVD player is on. I believe it only trips due to the power surge when you first push the power button on the T.V. Occasionally, the inverter doesn't trip and everything will run properly, with no issues. Both T.V.'s are CRT's, so I know that there is a pretty good draw when you power up the T.V.
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Old 01-25-2011, 09:39 PM   #6
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Since I don't know don't anything regarding electrical items, maybe I've asked the wrong questions.

How about this:

What exactly does the converter do?
Does it charge the coach batteries?
Does the Dimension 300 watt inverter have anything to do with charging the coach batteries?
Does the Tripp-Lite inverter/charger charge the coach batteries? (Seems logical based on the name.)
If the converter charges the coach batteries, can you install an inverter IF it charges the batteries too, or is something like the Tripp-Lite absolutely the wrong thing to replace the factory inverter?

I know there are some electrical people here that could explain these items in laymen's terms for me.

Thank you. -RT
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Old 01-27-2011, 01:55 AM   #7
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Okay, not many responses to all of my questions, so I've been doing some of my own homework and came up with some answers, though I think member tderonne was on to at least part of my problem of wanting to up-grade.

The Dimension 300 watt inverter is an inverter only; the Tripp-Lite 750 is an inverter and charger. The charger part of the inverter can be turned off by way of dip switches if the RV already has a primary charger for the coach batteries. (The 12v DC wiring from the batteries to the inverter is exactly how the charger would charge the batteries when there is 110v AC power, so that wiring could be dual purpose.) So far, looks good as a replacement.

The Dimension has a 110v AC hardwired output; the Tripp-Lite does not. At first I couldn't figure what that was for: that output is to the back bedrooms' T.V. I can't believe I didn't realize that sooner. So, that knocks the Tripp-Lite out of the equation.

Another problem that came to light is the 12v DC wiring isn't a large enough gauge to handle a larger inverter, just like tderonne mentioned. Looks like Itasca used a 10-gauge wire and the Tripp-Lite needs a minimum of 6 gauge, and possibly 4 gauge, depending on the length back to the battery area. So that in turn brings up a disappointing reality: checking out the Dimension website and installation requirements for only the 300 watt inverter, the wiring requirements are a minimum of 8 gauge and more likely 6 gauge. The factory installed inverter doesn't meet the stated wiring requirements of the inverter manufacturer.

Since the inverter usually 'trips' off when I have the front T.V. on and try to turn on the back T.V. and no fuses or breakers need to be reset, (I just turn the inverter 'off', then back 'on') maybe the issue comes down to inadequate 12v DC input wiring.

Hope this helps for anyone who might want to upgrade in the future; check out your wiring first, and if you want 12v DC inverter power to the back bedroom, the Tripp-Lite isn't the brand you'll be able to use. Now I see why the Dimension is 4x's the price of the Tripp-Lite - Not much competition. -RT
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Old 01-27-2011, 02:57 AM   #8
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There are 2 reasons a 12 to 110 volt inverter/converter will stop producing 110 volt. (trip)
1: The input on the 12 volt line at the in/con verter drops below 10.6 volts (measure with volt meter at the converter - long / thin wire can be a course)
2: The load is above the 300 watts the converter can deliver. (switching on a TV can couse a high current surge, combined with another TV already taking 150 watts or so would do that).
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Old 01-27-2011, 10:28 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pa0gri View Post
There are 2 reasons a 12 to 110 volt inverter/converter will stop producing 110 volt. (trip)
1: The input on the 12 volt line at the in/con verter drops below 10.6 volts (measure with volt meter at the converter - long / thin wire can be a course)
2: The load is above the 300 watts the converter can deliver. (switching on a TV can couse a high current surge, combined with another TV already taking 150 watts or so would do that).
Thank you, and I'm going with #1 on your reply. I forgot to mention that I called Itasca this morning and the service representative acknowledge that the 12v DC wiring very well could be the issue. He suggested either running a whole new heavier-gauge wire, or running a second set of 10 gauge. I could do that as a jumper, just to test the theory that the main culprit is the wiring, not the inverter.

The Dimension 300 watt inverter, per the specifications, is good for 400 watts at no more than 20 minutes. I'm usually not even getting past the powering up of the second T.V. without tripping the inverter. On occasion, I have been able to use both T.V.'s with the inverter, it's just more likely to trip, than run.

Thanks again for the information. -RT
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Old 01-28-2011, 02:43 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RTegarini View Post
Thank you, and I'm going with #1 on your reply. I forgot to mention that I called Itasca this morning and the service representative acknowledge that the 12v DC wiring very well could be the issue. He suggested either running a whole new heavier-gauge wire, or running a second set of 10 gauge. I could do that as a jumper, just to test the theory that the main culprit is the wiring, not the inverter.

The Dimension 300 watt inverter, per the specifications, is good for 400 watts at no more than 20 minutes. I'm usually not even getting past the powering up of the second T.V. without tripping the inverter. On occasion, I have been able to use both T.V.'s with the inverter, it's just more likely to trip, than run.

Thanks again for the information. -RT
i replaced my 300w demented inverter with a 750w vector msw inverter in jun 2009. my original installation was with 2 additional 4'' 110v inverter powered fans from wally world. the inverter powers my front tv, digital conv., and dvd 100% of the time. i never turn it off unless it trips.
using power strips, i can power my bedroom tv from this inverter or shore power. i usually use shore power.
the 12v wires to the inverter are too small and cause voltage drop to the inverter. for this reason, i usually don't run both tv's at the same time.
soon, i am going to rewire my front compartment so that i have a choice of either inverter or shore power using power strips. i will probably add another 4'' fan too.
my vector inverter has a fan in it and is pretty noisy. i mounted it in insulation material to attenuate the noise.
i installed an inside-outside temp gauge from harbor freight to monitor the compartment temperature. i find that the inverter will trip at about 95 degrees f compartment temperature. thats why i need another fan.
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