I AM a bit finicky when it comes to inverters that convert 12-volt DC power to 240-volt AC power.
The cheaper units for a particular power rating invariably produce what is known as a modified sine wave. The more expensive units produce a true or pure sine wave, the same as you find in your household AC power supply.
Suffice to say here that a pure sine wave inverter is much better for charging expensive computer, camera and phone batteries, while allowing drills and grinders with electronic speed control to operate correctly and efficiently. If there’s a downside to a pure sine wave inverter it’s that they tend to suck more power from your battery than a modified sine wave inverter would.
I needed something small to charge my plethora of camera and computer batteries; something around 150-watt output would be required. In fact, my computer charger demanded it – before you buy, make sure the inverter you’re looking at has a rated output large enough for the devices you want to run or charge. Enter the Projecta Pro-Wave 12-volt 150-watt pure sine wave inverter.
This unit is a drink can-sized inverter designed to easily sit in a vehicle’s drink holder. It has a rated output of 150 watts continuous, with a 300-watt peak. However, to reach the 300-watt peak without the warning buzzer beeping it needs a fully charged battery or the engine running. That’s no drama, as I tend to charge batteries while mobile. I’ve learned over a long period of time that inverters aren’t something you leave connected and running overnight with your engine off.
A 2.1-amp USB outlet is also provided, allowing charging of tablets, Kindles, mobile phones and such. One thing I particularly liked was the heavy-duty input cable and fuse-protected heat-resistant plug, because while producing just 150 watts of power (basically 0.6amps at 240 volts) the current draw from the battery (say 14 volts) is a little more than 10 amps. That’s quite a bit.
I’m very pleased with this unit. It does everything I want from it and it produces clean power, ensuring I get the best life out of the batteries I’m charging. Plus it runs my portable devices effortlessly and faultlessly.
Available from: www.projecta.com.au
We say: Handy idea ideal for battery charging.