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Tell your favorite cheapo modified sine wave inverter here


Totem
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Well, my favorite harbor freight inverter (cheapo modified sine wave) gave up the ghost; and not because it was abused by me. Seems the mice that pee'd and poo'd all over it shorted it out at my hunting cabin up north in Michigan. Whats worse it was the best unit I ever had from HF and was a 1500/3000 rated one that they have since discontinued.

It ran my well pump and vacuum  cleaner along with an electric chainsaw; which is pretty sweet for something I got for $100 on sale.

I since then tried a 2575 Cobra 2500/5000 inverter that went berserk and lasted only 10 minutes ($169) from Walmart.com affiliate VMinnovations.

Thinking cobra would be a good name I was wrong.

 

I am in process of returning that one and they are being pretty nice about it. So now I am stuck with the infamous 2000/4000 flip a coin if it will work or not HF inverter again.

Just curious what everyone else likes out there in internet land...

 

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Hands down - at least for me and people I know - AIMs inverters have been rock solid and have had consistent quality over the years.  Sometimes as cheap as a HF inverter.  I still have my first 2000/4000 HF inverter from 14 years ago.  It got weak and has not died. It won't handle the high surges it used to but still works fine on loads of 1000 watts or less.  I paid $89 for it and it was a great buy.  It looks much different then the new ones HF sells.

I got my start with AIMs after meeting some mobile food wagon people who stopped using Honda generators and used AIMs inverters, batteries, to power their refrigerators. 

If you buy an AIMs, just make sure you opt for a model with a thermal fan and NOT the full-time fan.

http://www.theinverterstore.com/2000-watt-power-inverter.html

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hmm that AIMS you posted looks exactly like the cobra I just returned minus the 4 cable connections (the AIM seems to have 2 battery terminals like a normal inverter.

its front fascia especially, has the remote start Rj11 port, the exact same read out display (the thing that went insane on the cobra) and power button.

The most frustrating thing about the cobra was that it would read a much different voltage that 3 separate voltmeters I had on it ; so it was junk for sure.

maybe the AIMs is better quality on its voltage sensing. 

 

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I've only had three bad inverter experiences ever.  One with a Cobra and two with Vectors.   I've got four AIMS and they all have been fine.  Also have some no-name Ebay specials that also work fine.  Also two "sine wave" Ramsond Sunrays that I think are fantastic. But their prices keep going up and up.

RE the HF inverters?  I'm disgusted with the last one I got (the 2000/4000 watt model). It works fine but is much longer then my old HF unit and the new one has a fan that runs ALL the damn time. That fan noise drives me nuts when inside a camper.  

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yeah I know, the last 2000/4000 I got was not strong enough to run my 900 watt well pump yet their 1500/3000 ran it great; so I am dreading its arrival in the mail; but don't really have a choice.

I needed to get something I could return to a brick n mortar store that was under 160$ and in theory could run a 900 watt pump..

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Here a few 2000/4000 watt inverters I've got sitting here.  Big difference in sizes.   Two in the middle of Harbor Freight. Smaller one from 13-14 years ago and longer one only a year old.  The AIMS in the photo on the left is a so-called "pure sine wave" inverter.  All the rest are modified-wave.  

DSCF6784.JPG

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DSCF6786.JPG

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  • 1 month later...

a great review on the latest 2000-4000 max HF inverter

Just finally got around to hooking the newer iteration 2000-4000 up to replace that crappy cobra.

some things I learned that make HF inverters nice.

1.) cheap and returnable.

2.) coupons

3.) lack of safety features... and this really should be the number 1 reason to go with them if you are like me and use solar panels or charge banks with alternators or generators while actually drawing power from the inverter and using it at the same time. I come to find out cobras are meant shut down and alarm if over 13 volts is sensed .. as a "safety measure" Harbor freight just plain runs on 14 volt no questions. no alarms.

4.) decently quiet fans compared to cobra; man that cobra was so loud. I couldn't believe how quiet the 2000-4000 was this past weekend.

We ran the crap out of it on 4 golf cart batteries all weekend it ran the shower/wellpump AND microwave at same time along with a vacuum cleaner. My 2500 predator inverter wont even do that. This new setup is amazing and never drew the battery bank lower than 12.0 volts Next investment : more panels, new controller.

Just bought a 20 amp MPPT with voltage monitor online and am looking at some 100 watt panels on fleabay right now that are $111 shipped. I am thinking 4 of them in the bank at the cabin will be nice. the idea is that we beat on the bank while there on a weekend and then not there for 2 weeks its charging back up.

 

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