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Author Topic: Inverters for Ham and Other Electronic Gear  (Read 12250 times)

Pierat

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Inverters for Ham and Other Electronic Gear
« on: March 19, 2009, 06:45:03 PM »
The April, 2009, issue of QST magazine has a substantial article on inverters for ham gear, including detailed test results. When we get our motorhome, I want to be sure we have an inverter capable of powering ham and other electronic gear. Apparently a pure sine wave inverter is the best choice for many applications, but more expensive. I'm a bit confused, though, as portable transceivers operate on 12vdc and wouldn't need an inverter. Any suggestions for a (simple; novice class) reference would be great!
We Have Hung Up The Keys!
Washington State

John From Detroit

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Re: Inverters for Ham and Other Electronic Gear
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2009, 07:02:58 PM »
I have heard ham radios operating near MSW inverters and.. Frankly that's why I installed a True Sine Wave inverter (Xantrex Prosine 2.0)

ON a related note: You are correct, most all modern ham gear is designed to be powered by a car electrical system 12-15 volts.

My TS-2000 runs off the house system
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

Jim Godward

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Re: Inverters for Ham and Other Electronic Gear
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2009, 07:28:28 PM »
The April, 2009, issue of QST magazine has a substantial article on inverters for ham gear, including detailed test results. When we get our motorhome, I want to be sure we have an inverter capable of powering ham and other electronic gear. Apparently a pure sine wave inverter is the best choice for many applications, but more expensive. I'm a bit confused, though, as portable transceivers operate on 12vdc and wouldn't need an inverter. Any suggestions for a (simple; novice class) reference would be great!

I'm not sure about simple but here is a try.  As the article says, there are 2 kinds of interference from the inverters, conducted and radiated.  The 12 volt source may have, and does in my MH, have conducted noise on the power circuit.  This can be removed at the radio fairly easily by a filter circuit but...  The radiated noise comes through the air like any other radio signal.  If you try to remove it, you will remove the signal you want to listen to so my solution for now is to turn off the inverter AND charger when I use the low band radios, non FM, non VHF/UHF.  I have no problem with the VHF/UHF radios, 2 meters and above while the inverter/charger is on.

The best solution to the whole issue is to get a sine wave inverter and hopefully the charger will be fairly quiet.  I don't recall if the article also talked about the charges so I will check.  I don't think it did though. If the charger does interfer with the radios, it is an easy thing to turn it off while operating.  The problem for me is to remember to turn the charger back on when I am through with the radios.   :'(

I hope this helps,

Jim
AC7PO
Jim
Jim & Pat Godward
AC7PO & KD7ZDM
Hillsboro, Oregon

John From Detroit

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Re: Inverters for Ham and Other Electronic Gear
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2009, 09:05:13 AM »
Yup, I agree Sine Wave is best,  I read the article last night and without exception ALL the MSW inverters resulted in noise on the lower bands, Some of them got better as the friequency increased (Some did not) but the SINE WAVE inverters. Narry a wisper

That's why I run a Xantrex Prosine 2.0 (True Sine Wave) in my rig

And thanks for the reminder
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

carson

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Re: Inverters for Ham and Other Electronic Gear
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2009, 09:13:47 AM »
I guess I can consider myself fortunate. My old Kenwood TS- 520 runs on 12 VDC or 120 VAC. I has a DC to AC inverter built-in in the same case. Not many built like that anymore, if any. Works like a charm.

carson FL

Carson, 
 West Central Florida
Ex RV'er. (1995 Winnebago Adventurer)
2007 Buick Rendezvous, SUV / CROSSOVER

...Logic works like a charm...

Jim Godward

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Re: Inverters for Ham and Other Electronic Gear
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2009, 10:58:43 AM »
Carson,

The RF noise from my charger in the MH is so bad the TS-570S in the house is almost deaf till I turn the charger off.  The inverter only bothers if the rig is in the MH with the charger off.
Jim
Jim & Pat Godward
AC7PO & KD7ZDM
Hillsboro, Oregon

Pierat

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Re: Inverters for Ham and Other Electronic Gear
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2009, 11:49:20 AM »
Thank you!
We Have Hung Up The Keys!
Washington State

carson

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Re: Inverters for Ham and Other Electronic Gear
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2009, 01:06:27 PM »
Carson,

The RF noise from my charger in the MH is so bad the TS-570S in the house is almost deaf till I turn the charger off.  The inverter only bothers if the rig is in the MH with the charger off.

Jim, thanks for that info... I must admit I have not yet tried the rig in the RV. Perhaps I too will be in for a surprise with the charger. I do know that it was perfectly ok when I used it in my old Olds some years ago. I was in mountainous country in the Rockies and actually had a QSO with someone in Australia, while driving in dangerous S-curve road territory.  Don't think I'll try that again.  ;D

   One of these days I'll have to make a temporary installation in the RV and see what happens. Ought'a be interesting. I'll report when I get aroundtoit.

Guess we can compare some notes at that time.

  Remember that I have a built-in inverter, who knows what will happen

carson FL



   
Carson, 
 West Central Florida
Ex RV'er. (1995 Winnebago Adventurer)
2007 Buick Rendezvous, SUV / CROSSOVER

...Logic works like a charm...

Jim Godward

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Re: Inverters for Ham and Other Electronic Gear
« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2009, 03:10:41 PM »
Carson,

My inverter/charger is the old Hart 2000watt/100 amp charger combo.
Jim
Jim & Pat Godward
AC7PO & KD7ZDM
Hillsboro, Oregon

John From Detroit

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Re: Inverters for Ham and Other Electronic Gear
« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2009, 04:00:24 PM »
I guess I can consider myself fortunate. My old Kenwood TS- 520 runs on 12 VDC or 120 VAC. I has a DC to AC inverter built-in in the same case. Not many built like that anymore, if any. Works like a charm.

carson FL



DC to AC inverter or AC to DC converter or DC To DC converter

Ham Radios run on DC, all of 'em, some have built in converters which may be up or down converters but outside of the power supply comparment and perhaps tube heater lines you really do not want 60Hz AC floating around inside much.. So the first thign is to convert it to DC, may be 5 volt, 12 volt or 1,000 volt but it's DC
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

carson

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Re: Inverters for Ham and Other Electronic Gear
« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2009, 05:06:09 PM »
Hey John, you are alert....

I thought you might chime in and correct my previous info.. glad you did.

   The TS-520 requires no external power supply. It operates from a 120/220V- 50/60 Hz source

For DC operation a built-in DC-DC converter from a 13.8VDC source powers the unit.

   I was going from selective memory, until I looked in the manual. Glad you pointed it out.

carson FL
Carson, 
 West Central Florida
Ex RV'er. (1995 Winnebago Adventurer)
2007 Buick Rendezvous, SUV / CROSSOVER

...Logic works like a charm...

vancar70

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Re: Inverters for Ham and Other Electronic Gear
« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2010, 08:37:43 AM »
Looks like everyone has left this thread but me!  I am in the process of setting up a new "portable" station that I can move from my house to the motor home with ease when I go out on the road. I have already spent a few hours reading forums like this and getting lots of good information.  More suggestions about using my 5 band HF and my 2 meter would be appreciated. If anyone ever comes back to this forum!

vancar70

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Re: Inverters for Ham and Other Electronic Gear
« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2010, 08:54:02 AM »
"as portable transceivers operate on 12vdc and wouldn't need an inverter"

What I don't know about a lot of stuff could fill a lot of books!  I am purchasing a 100 watt HF rig and also a 65 watt 2 meter rig and plan to use them in my motor home. My guess is they will pull less than 20 to 25 amps each. Of course I won't be running both of them at the same time!   Now, my questions are: 1. Can I run them directly off the battery when running the motor (if I am willing to accept the noise)?  2. When parked can I use the power supply that I use for the rigs when at home. The reason I ask this question is that my class C motor home has 30 amp service.

Jim Godward

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Re: Inverters for Ham and Other Electronic Gear
« Reply #13 on: May 04, 2010, 08:55:46 AM »
I am in the process also and am using 12vdc for power so all I have to do is run a power lead to the area along with the multiple coax for the antennas.  I have a VHF/UHF antenna and will mount a Shakespeare multi-band marine antenna, 3 to 30 MHz, on the roof with a remotely actuated mount I had designed at the local University.

I was at the Quartzsite Hamfest this year and talked with several that were using this antenna for portable operation.  If you shop around you can find them for under $150.  Various  mounting schemes were used depending on the RV and the owner's ingenuity.  There were also a couple of Hams using that antenna in the NVIS mode while traveling by mounting it such that it was about 8 or so inches from the roof and clear of obstacles
Jim
Jim & Pat Godward
AC7PO & KD7ZDM
Hillsboro, Oregon

John From Detroit

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Re: Inverters for Ham and Other Electronic Gear
« Reply #14 on: May 04, 2010, 09:50:34 AM »
I will cover two areas.. First: My HF/VHF/UHF gear (Yesau FT-51R, Kenwood TM-733, Kenwood TS-2000) all runs on battery voltage (Not 12 volts but usually 13.6 or close to it) so, Since the spot I choose for my "Ham Shack" was (literally) right behind the main 12 volt "house" panel in the rig I hooked direct to it.

So the main radio power supply consists of a Progressive Dynamics 9180 with charge wizard + one pair of Interstate U-2200 batteries.. In slightly round figures that's 1,000 watts of continuous power so long as shore power is present and 1KWH of battery power if shore power fails and I don't kick up the generator.

No inverter needed.. Just the converter (NOTE: Shack lights are 12 volt) I don't have a beam antenna so I don't need 120 volts to run a rotor either.

Now.. I do use 120 volts for some computer related thigns.. Normally the computer itself runs on 12vdc via a DC/DC converter (Upps it to 16vdc) but some of the accessories run on 120vac. That comes from a Xantrex Prosine 2.0 True sine wave inverter.

If you have Ham Radio on board,  And you wish to have an inverter.. Make sure it's TSW and not an MSW unit.

The ARRL put a bunch of inverters up against each other

As I recall all the MSW's caused serious interference on 75/80 meters, all of them did (I'm sure here) on 160, likewise AM broadcast.

As you move up in frequency some of the MSW's tapered off, but some of them caused interference all the way to VHF and even UHF

The TSW inverters...   Were very very very hard to detect on the ham bands.. IN fact..  You get less noise from them, in some cases, than from shore power lines. (Sometimes shore power is as good as inverter power... That is "Best case" actually,,, but Shore power is never better (Cleaner) than a TSW inverter)

My TS-2000, can not detect my Prosine 2.0 On or off, the radio sounds the same.. Likewise the PDI 9180+wizard.. however others have reported QRM from the PDI converters.
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

Lou Schneider

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Re: Inverters for Ham and Other Electronic Gear
« Reply #15 on: May 04, 2010, 11:28:23 AM »
Hi Vancar -

Quote
What I don't know about a lot of stuff could fill a lot of books!  I am purchasing a 100 watt HF rig and also a 65 watt 2 meter rig and plan to use them in my motor home. My guess is they will pull less than 20 to 25 amps each. Of course I won't be running both of them at the same time!   Now, my questions are: 1. Can I run them directly off the battery when running the motor (if I am willing to accept the noise)?  2. When parked can I use the power supply that I use for the rigs when at home. The reason I ask this question is that my class C motor home has 30 amp service.

You're comparing apples to oranges, or 12 volt current to 120 volt current.   Remember, Power = Voltage x Current.    1 amp at 120 volts = 10 amps at 12 volts.

You'll only draw about 2.5 amps at 120 volts to produce 25 amps at 12 volts.  And that's only while transmitting.  When receiving, the rig uses only a couple of watts which translates into a few hundreths of an amp from the AC line.

So, yes you can easily use your home power supply in your rig.

Or if the rig has a 12 volt input, you can run it from the batteries.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2010, 11:37:32 AM by Lou Schneider »

joelmyer

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Re: Inverters for Ham and Other Electronic Gear
« Reply #16 on: May 04, 2010, 01:09:28 PM »
Yeaup, me too.

I've been working on a Jackite based vertical using the AH-4 tuner.  Problem is, I've been comparing it with  a doublet and it really suffers.  Nothing beats wire.  More wire, more high.  But you can stick the vertical up in the air anywhere you are camped.

Power.  The inverter generator produces DC which is inverted to AC to feed the power converter which converts it to DC to charge the batteries which run the inverter to provide AC power the power supply which produces DC for the radio.  Works fine.

I haven't actually operated that much while camping so I've avoid a second radio and have been carrying the IC-746Pro back and forth.

Does anybody check in to the various RV nets?

Joel

Joel
« Last Edit: May 05, 2010, 06:44:07 AM by joelmyer »
Joel (W4JNM) and Camille, GA

carson

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Re: Inverters for Ham and Other Electronic Gear
« Reply #17 on: May 04, 2010, 01:40:20 PM »
vancar70, Welcome..

Quote
Looks like everyone has left this thread but me!

   There are a limited number of hams in the RV world. Many are just proud to be "Hams", others are active on the air. Some operate only from home stations, others go mobile in one way or the other.

  I noticed that you wish to have your credentials listed in our HAM roster. We will do that in a little while. We hope that you will stay on the forum for a while so that it won't be an exercise in futility.

  Your 10-10 number seems to be quite old..14198, mine is 14937 in 1977. I don't know how they assign numbers. Not a big deal..both have expired.

  In any case, glad to have you aboard to stimulate this thread once more.

You can view the roster here..http://www.rvforum.net/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=400:rv-forum-member-ham-listing&catid=31:miscellaneous&Itemid=45

73, carson FL

 
« Last Edit: May 04, 2010, 01:44:45 PM by carson »
Carson, 
 West Central Florida
Ex RV'er. (1995 Winnebago Adventurer)
2007 Buick Rendezvous, SUV / CROSSOVER

...Logic works like a charm...

crosscountry

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Re: Inverters for Ham and Other Electronic Gear
« Reply #18 on: May 04, 2010, 04:27:11 PM »
I run an Icom 7000 on the dash to a rigrunner fuze block.  The rr runs heavy wire to the house batteries.  If  you want to run it with a power supply you will either need another power cord or disconnect from the fuse block/battery.  when I'm hooked to shore power my house battery is being charged therefore I don't see the need to use a power supply.  I have a turbo tuner in line to my HiQ antenna.  the only concern I have with the Ic7000 is  I can't monitor vhf/uhf while on HF like you can with the Kenwood TS 2000.  I operate mostly mobile with a Heil boom mike and one ear piece.

I have the 8 block (fuses) rigrunner and connections include cb, ic7000, external speaker, remco tranny pump and I can't remember.

I tow a vehicle behind the Mh.  The van has Kenwood 710 with a GPS 710 for APRS.   Located via findu     wb3fqi-9  (no transmitting currently, lost top section of dual bander), gotta check those connections.

Russ/Betsy
WB3FQI/7  WB3FQH/7

crosscountry

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Re: Inverters for Ham and Other Electronic Gear
« Reply #19 on: May 04, 2010, 04:40:19 PM »
You asked about 2m.

I run a dual band antenna on my rear ladder of the Mh.  You can use angle iron behind the step on the ladder.  drill holes for ubolts to attach to the ladder uprights.  Leave enough angle iron on the side of the ladder you choose for the antenna.  You can either drill the angle iron or find a mount that will attached to it to your liking.  I run the tip of the vhf antenna the same height as the MH ladder.  Realizing of course this is not the best set up for the antenna, however it is permanent, don't have to mess with it, no holes in the Mh, and it works well enough for my purposes. I run all co-x under the mh and up through the floor board near the drivers feet.

73, Russ - WB3FQI/7

vancar70

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Re: Inverters for Ham and Other Electronic Gear
« Reply #20 on: May 05, 2010, 07:12:42 AM »
Man! - This is some of the best information I've received from anywhere! I really appreciate it. UPS is supposed to deliver all my new gear tomorrow (Thursday). Hopefully, I can get it all set up (except for tuning the Hustler 6BTV antenna) by Friday. Then I can take it all down, put it in the RV, and head out for the weekend. Thanks everybody!

vancar70

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Re: Inverters for Ham and Other Electronic Gear
« Reply #21 on: May 06, 2010, 07:02:56 AM »
Thanks for the welcome, everyone. I hope this forum keeps going. I'll check it often.
 
Carson - I remember the 10 - 10 activity quite well. That was a lot of fun. I did all the awards stuff and spent hours (when I should have been working) trying to work more people. I'm looking forward to getting that active in some way starting today.

John From Detroit

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Re: Inverters for Ham and Other Electronic Gear
« Reply #22 on: May 06, 2010, 04:08:46 PM »
Most motor homes have both a HOUSE and a Chassis battery.. Mine has a pair of Interstate U-2200's for house and I think the chassis is a group 73 (Workhorse branded) or 78.. I knew a while ago the first time it appeared dead.. IT was not , and is not. (was a bad connection)

I had the dealer route a 10ga zip cord from the battery via a 40 amp fuse to a Rig-Runner (West Mountain Radio) and plug in 2 CB's and a TM-733 and a WE-800 and some other stuff there

The TS-2000 hooks directly to the house fuse block.. I had to add about 1 foot of wire to it's factory supplied leads.

Works great.

Since I did not get a 120 volt power supply for them (I planned on installing in the Motor Home) that question is moot.. But when I was at home yes, I did indeed use the same "power supply" (The motor home)
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.