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 > Can a modified sine wave inverter damage rlectronics

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pianotuna

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Posted: 03/23/20 09:44am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Be careful with any apple products. Their laptops at one time would fry immediately on msw power.

Most heating blankets and mattress pads allow the magic blue smoke to come out when used on msw.


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Lwiddis

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Posted: 03/23/20 10:37am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I want my electronics protected and working correctly. Pure sine wave for me.


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WNYBob

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Posted: 03/23/20 12:49pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

From what I've seen a MSW put out a square wave, in that it self isn't necessarily bad, but most have a zero volt in between the peaks. That zero period is what the highly sensitive circuits have problems with!

colliehauler

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Posted: 03/23/20 02:21pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

For sensitive electronics I would only use a pure sine wave inverter.

naturist

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Posted: 03/23/20 02:51pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

naturist wrote:

pianotuna wrote:

Be careful with any apple products. Their laptops at one time would fry immediately on msw power.

Most heating blankets and mattress pads allow the magic blue smoke to come out when used on msw.


That's funny. I've an Apple laptop from 2001 that I still use from time to time, and it runs flawlessly on MSW inverters. For what it's worth, most of the inexpensive UPSs seem to have MSW inverters in them, probably because the computer makers all seem to have gone to switched power supplies in the last 10-20 years.

I think you'll find that devices with switched power supplies generally have no trouble with MSW inverters, it's the ones with transformer power supplies that choke. And I don't recall seeing a transformer type used by Apple since, maybe, the mid-nineties. I don't claim to be an expert on that, but just my observation.

There are, however, many devices that do not like MSW power. I've a set of studio strobe lights that are like that. And usually what happens on most devices that don't tolerate square wave power is they get fried. Electric motors are an exception, in that they don't usually burn up, but they do run hot and loud, and are generally inefficient.

In the final analysis, pure sine wave is the way to go if you can afford it. If not, be very, very careful about what you use that MSW inverter to power. Resistance heaters, light bulbs (NOT necessarily LEDs), and dumb coffee makers, no problem. But if it's got chips, and you aren't sure about a switched power supply, maybe not a good match.






opnspaces

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Posted: 03/23/20 02:59pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Short answer is yes a MSW inverter can damage some electronics. Typically resistance type loads (hair dryer, plug in power tools, some space heaters) Think items that get hot, but do not have complicated electronics in them are safe for MSW inverters..

As far as the hair straightener. If it was a standard on/off switch and nothing more. Then most likely the MSW did not damage it. If the straightener had a digital display then yes it's possible that it was damaged.

Many electronics will be damaged by MSW. The real challenge is to figure out what electronics will tolerate and what will not.

Another thing to consider. I would bet that 98% of all the inverters on the road are MSW. If you walk into Walmart, Target etc you will only see MSW inverters. Millions of people have them in their cars with their laptops, phones, and kids games plugged in with no damage.

* This post was edited 03/23/20 05:52pm by opnspaces *


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2chiefsRus

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Posted: 03/23/20 04:48pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

lots of comments up above. I'll just add that sometimes it isn't just whether it will work or fry but it can be about whether it appears to work but turns out to shorten the life span of the item. We replaced our MSW with a Pure Sine Wave just because the microwave clock would hum very loudly when we were on inverter power. Weren't even using the microwave, just being plugged in, it would hum so much it was like fingernails on a chalkboard to me.


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KD4UPL

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Posted: 03/23/20 05:17pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

One of my employees wanted to plug his Apple laptop into my MSW inverter. I told him not to as I'd heard it might damage it. He said he really needed to use it and would just take the chance. It immediately fried his laptop. He had to buy a new one.
A customer of mine with an off grid cabin was using a MSW inverter to power the cabin. They plugged in 2 brand new gas ranges before they realized they weren't defective, the MSW inverter was destroying them.
So yes, MSW can and will destroy some things. They can also make motors run hotter which can shorten their life. However, I have used MSW inverters for years to run things like lights and corded power tools with no problems.

smlranger

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Posted: 03/23/20 05:44pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Our first motorhome had a Xantrex MSW inverter. DW bought several LED night lights and plugged them into several outlets. They all melted within days. I figured she just got cheapo night lights so I bought more from Lowes. They melted around the LED also.

When we replaced our Norcold fridge with a new residential Frigidare, I installed a new Magnum PSW inverter. We got more LED night lights and they worked fine for years after that.


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Me Again

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Posted: 03/23/20 06:14pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I had a MSW Freedom 10 in to two boats and two trailers and never had a problem. Picked up a West Marine 1500 (AKA Freedom 15, which Heart Interface never marketed under their own label) and ran that for like 15 years on the last boat and never had a issue with anything running on it also. The Freedom units have great 4 stage battery chargers built in. They are worth it just for the charger.


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