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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just picked up this 1000 watt power inverter from Costco. I am trying to figure the best place in the Element to put it. It is about the size of a small two channel amplifier.

Any ideas?

Also, how 'strong' is the alternator in the Element? How powerful is the overall electrical system? Am I safe installing this 1000W inverter and only running it while the engine is on?

Any help is appreciated.
 

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I put my power inverter under the Drivers seat and secured it to the springs of the seat with tie straps. Mine however is not 1000 watts, so I am sure yours is quite a bit larger.

One thing you will have to do with it is run a wire straight to the battery. Make sure you fuse it near the battery so the whole wire is protected and also run as large a wire and as short a run as possible. I am sure there are suggestions in the installation as to the wire guage.

If that is 1000 watts AC, I beleive the amperage drawn at 12 volts will be around 88Amps, which is a lot. I am sure your alternator will be able to keep up, but you should check the specs on it to be sure. Also, if it does not have a low battery cutoff built in, I would put one inline so you do not get stranded somewhere.

Keep in mind, it only draws huge amounts of current when you are consuming 300 or more watts, so if you are only charging a notebook, its only going to draw 1/10 the rated current, and can probably leave it on for a few hours.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It turns out that the inverter I got was too big to fit under the seat. I returned it and am looking for a new one. pookSter, do you have any pictures of the one you installed?

Thanks.

I got some 8 gauge wire, and ran it through the firewall. I put in inline fuse right where it connects to the batter. I also installed a relay so that power is not provided to the inverter unless the car is on. Now I just need an inverter that fits in the car! :roll:
 

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Yes, its kinda tough to find places to put stuff like that. Mine is a 300 watt inverter. It is more than enough for what I want it for.
If you are only going to something around 300 watts, you really don't need to run a wire to the battery, but can run a pice of 14 guage from the fuse box near the steering wheel and fuse it there. I ran a wire from there to just under my console cooler where I have a 3 receptical lighter plug there. The inverter/notebook/mp3player/cooler all plug in there, leaving the one on the dash for other things.
Hope this pic helps ya

 

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Hi, I was looking for something like this! I hope??

Can you explain what i can plug into it? besides a laptop, how about a desktop? maybe a stupid question, but I have a Imac and do a lot of digital photography and would love to use this Imac desktop and save myself $3000 for a powwerbook laptop!

I hope you can tell me more.
Nicolaas
 

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Be aware that the inverter can generate a loud and annoying buzz in audio equipment (like a boombox) that is plugged into it. This is because the power voltage is produces is not as "clean" as what you get from the wall at home -- it's an approximation called "modified sine". Think "Aztec Step Pyramid" instead of "Egyptian Great Pyramid" if you want to picture the difference in the waveform. Those sharp edges on the "steps" is what makes the noise.

I have one of those little 70W units that plugs into the 12V power outlet, and I tried running a PA mixer with it into the Element's AUX input (add mike and guitar and -- voila! -- instant concert). The buzzing made it unusable. I then got a unit similar to the one above and while the buzzing is far less noticible (and probably OK for that purpose) it's still there. I would guess a TV set might show a lot of static on the picture for the same reason.

Target sells a line of inverters in various power ratings, and on the back of the package is a chart showing typical power requirements for different applicances. You can look at that if you want to get an idea of what it's good for. The little 70W unit I have (under $20) is fine for a laptop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Here is the final product:



I used a weather-proof outlet cover in case the drink next-door leaks (safety conscious)
 

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Thats sweet shur. You would think in this day something like that would come factory. How did you do that man?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
It wasn't too hard, but it took a little while.

The power inverter is installed under the driver's seat (like pookSter's), however I positioned it sideways.

I ran power from the battery (both positive and negative) with an 8 gauge wire. I went through the firewall on the driver's side where there was a opening that let out behind the left fender.

At the battery (actually the fuse box) I installed a 30 AMP quick blow fuse, and a 12V relay. The relay prevents the inverter from drawing power unless the ignition is on accessory. I found the accessory trigger using eMass' wonderful wiring diagram (from the ignition harness).

From the hole in the firewall, I ran the power line behind the left kick panel, under the door molding, and under the seat. The wires emerged where the other wires from under the seat exit (there is a pre-cut slit in the floor material). Then I ran another set of wires (from the inverter) back through the pre-cut hole--to under the center console. The console comes out really easy. Just pull it toward the subwoofer in an upwards motion.

Using a Dremel, I cut a hole for the outlet box, and installed the outlet (as you would install it in the wall). I have an extra center console in case I want to revert back. ($18 from Majestic Honda).

The outlet box was a shallow outlet box from home depot. A full size outlet box would interfere with the parking brake lines.
 

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I run the 300 watt inverter to power a cooler, MP3 player, and a notebook to watch movies while camping. There is no buzz, or hum present even when the MP3 player is cranked up through the E audio system. I know what you are talking about with the square waves, but I don't experience any unwanted noises.
 

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Silly question, but does the E have to be on to use the power invertor? I'm planning on tailgating this weekend, and I'm not sure what I'm in for. I'm just looking to run a small TV.
 

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[quote:9e26afd7f2="Yaqui_Element"]Silly question, but does the E have to be on to use the power invertor? I'm planning on tailgating this weekend, and I'm not sure what I'm in for. I'm just looking to run a small TV.[/quote:9e26afd7f2]

It depends how long you are running things. Using a power inverter over a few hours, say, to charge a bank of cell phones for which people forgot to bring their 12v adapters along (as I did this past summer at falcon ridge folk fest) didn't tire the rental car's battery at all. Running a tv however, would drain the battery quickly.

I assume this is because up-to-date inverter designs draw current from the battery as needed and are therefore more efficient with the power they extract.

As a compromise, I used my portable jump-start battery + inverter to run the blender for cocktails at the campsite. :)

If you're planning to run equipment from time to time, you have two choices: if the equipment draws very little current, you don't need to run the engine, but if it does draw a lot of current, then leave the car running. You don't want to run your car battery down too far, it's bad for the battery and also bad for getting the car started later.

If you need to run high-current equipment *continuously*, you can save wear and tear on your car by purchasing a separate gas-powered generator. Though pricey, the honda 1000w and 2000w hand-carryable gasoline generators are quiet, super efficient and tiny. I want one pretty badly. :) For less money you can get bulkier generators with more power, of course, but you probably don't want to drive around with them in the car too often.

-brendan
 

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Did you need to "rig" the portable batteery and power invertor? That would be the easiest option for me, assuming there's not too much "splicing" to do! I have a great fear of tools! :lol:
 

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[quote:fb9f2f9977="Yaqui_Element"]Did you need to "rig" the portable batteery and power invertor? That would be the easiest option for me, assuming there's not too much "splicing" to do! I have a great fear of tools! :lol:[/quote:fb9f2f9977]

The portable battery comes in a plastic case with a handle, 12V accessory socket, jumper style cables, a test button and a test-indicator LED-array, charging/charged indicator and "jump" on/off switch.

The latter flips a relay that connects the jumper-style cables so that they aren't live normally (a safety feature).

Anything high-amperage you don't want to run through the cigarette lighter plug, you just connect directly to the jumper cable ends and turn the switch on.

Since the 700W (1400W surge) inverter also came with cables, I just attached black to black and red to red before turning on the battery switch, then the inverter switch.

You want to keep the cable connections away from eachother (a short would start a fire or explosion), the ground (water is bad) and people (electrocution), of course.

I was especially careful, because we were using it to make mixed drinks too. :)

-brendan
 

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[quote:5b9a631bf8="boneheadz"]What wattage do I need. I just want to charge my mp3 player or cell phone, but not at the same time. I can get a 75 watt for 40.00 cdn. Is this enough?[/quote:5b9a631bf8]

Definitely enough. However, I'd suggest one or two 12V to <12V adaptaplug-based modules instead, such as the ones they sell from radio shack. There will be less wasted power.

-brendan
 

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Definitely enough. However, I'd suggest one or two 12V to <12V adaptaplug-based modules instead, such as the ones they sell from radio shack. There will be less wasted power.
Great idea but the 12v plug for my mp3 player is 5 v, the only adapter I can find is 4.5. The oem is not avialable in Canada.
 

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i got a 400W too..
but i move it from my jeep to E or acura all the time
as i need the laptop powered up.. :D
really nice equipment to have
 

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Over the weekend I picked up a power inverter that I'd like to permanently install in the element.

Anyone found the best/easiest way to get power that's switched with the ignition and will supply ~20A under the dash? The fuse box is not readily accessible and I'm not really sure it's worthwhile to pull it out and try and wire into the back of it.

Any suggestions?

Thanks!

-josh
 

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Try this thread for starters:

http://www.elementownersclub.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=8817

It's probably the safest and easiest way to get 20+A power without running your own leads to the battery. However, it's constant on. I don't immediately know any easy path to switched power at your needed amperage.

I'd suggest doing what Honda does, which is tap into the constant-on using a relay controlled by switched power. Get this switched power using a Littelfuse "Add-A-Fuse" tap in the switched DRL fuse location (#12 in the under-dash fusebox).
 
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