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Yesterday was another day of projects with one of them being the installation of a 120 volt outlet in our main berth (bedroom). Up to this point, if we had wanted to run any electrical items in there, we were forced to run an extension cord from the Nav(igation) station. Motivated by the increase in convenience of having our new outlet in our salon area, we figured that the time and money to do this would be worthwhile.

New outlet in the salon area.

As I mentioned, it is really quite easy for us to gain access to the various channels to run wires on our boat. With Rebecca’s help we got that part looked after quickly. All that remained was to actually purchase a GFI (ground fault interrupter) receptacle and do some cutting on the wooden panel where the outlet would lie.

New outlet in the main berth. The red plug is a GFI Outlet Tester which checks for correct wiring, open ground, reverse polarity, open hot, open neutral, hot on neutral, hot and ground reversed with open hot, and ground fault interruption.

Where does this electricity come from? At present, while tied to the dock, we are hooked into shore power via a large extension cord. While underway though this AC power is generated by our boat’s inverter. Our Heart 2000W Inverter/Charger battery management system, manufactured by Xantrex, takes the DC electricity from our batteries, does some sort of electrical voodoo to it, and spits out the AC that everyone uses in their homes. We don’t use AC very often when not at the dock, but it’s nice to have it available when we do need it.

A newer version of the inverter/charger which is installed on our boat.

10 Comments

  1. We have the same inverter (that is, the older version) on Eolian and absolutely love it!

    bob

  2. Mike,

    Does that inverter output a pure sine-wave A/C voltage? Reason I post this is some people may think all inverters are created equal. I’ve seen some goto Walmart or an auto store and buy a cheap inverter to use on there RV or boat. The problem with lower cost inverters is that they are a “modified” sine wave. IE…pulsating DC or almost a squarewave. This can heat up power “bricks”..Bricks are those boxes you have on like laptop power cords…they convert the A/C to the DC needed to power your device. Modified A/C inverters can cause damage. Here is a repost of a FAQ I found:

    Q: How do I know if I need a sine wave, or if I can live with a modified sine wave?
    A: The following gadgets work well with a modified sine wave: computers, motor-driven appliances, toasters, coffee makers, most stereos, ink jet printers, refrigerators, TVs, VCRs, many microwave ovens, etc.

    Appliances that are known to have problems with the modified sine wave are some digital clocks, some battery chargers, light dimmers, some battery operated gadgets that recharge in an AC recepticle, some chargers for hand tools (Makita is known to have this problem). In the case of hand tools, the problem chargers usually have a warning label stating that dangerous voltages are present at the battery terminals when charging. We would like to add to this FAQ any appliances that you have had trouble with, or had success with, using modified sine wave inverters.

    Q: Why do I hear buzzing on my stereo when using a modified sine wave inverter?
    A: Some inexpensive stereos use power supplies that cannot eliminate common-mode noise. These would require a sine wave inverter to operate noise-free.

  3. Mike,

    I just checked Xantrex’s website..the inverter you have pictured DOES have pure sine wave output..nice device

    • Good thing you did that for me… I was going to have to pull out the manual to find out. 🙂

    • I just checked my manual and it actually says that the one we have outputs a modified sine wave. The newer model that I linked may be a pure sine wave though. In spite of that, we have experienced no issues with it.

      • Mike,

        You may experience no issues now. However, be cognative that they could creep up. I did a quick check on some RV forums and many people have issues with electric shavers, air compressors/air conditioning compressors and washer/dryers. Basically inductive motor loads. There are also some BSEE’s that state MSW’s (Modified Sine Wave) inverters do not cause damage. my thoughts are that there are MANY different designs of MSW’s and that depending on the quality and age of the device being pluged into it..will determine functionality. however, other than PSW (pure sine wave) inverters being a little less efficient..I think all would agree that PSW’s are safer…peace of mind anyway.

        Thanks again for your blog and look forward to staying in touch

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