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monty3777
05-06-2010, 12:12 PM
I have done a search and haven't found any recent posts that help with this question. I am looking for an alternartive to expensive Honda generators to power the FEC at a comp. The only thing I can think of is using a power inverter hooked up to a battery. I have a call into Cookshack but thought this thread could help others as well. Would this work? Do any of you do it? Can you recommend an inverter (size, brand)?

Finney
05-06-2010, 12:24 PM
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000TKHMWK?tag=my155-20

G$
05-06-2010, 12:30 PM
Will be interesting to hear from cookshack what the actual power draw is.

DMDon
05-06-2010, 12:40 PM
Monty, This is what I used to use. I still have it if your interested.

http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200313480_200313480

DMDon
05-06-2010, 12:44 PM
Will be interesting to hear from cookshack what the actual power draw is.


According to their advertising 2.5 amp with ignitor on, .83 with out. Draws 300w on and 100w off

Buster Dog BBQ
05-06-2010, 01:07 PM
I would give it some hard thought on a generator. Even a Honda 2000. Think about what all you might want power for.

Not sure if you know Harlyn but he uses two marine batteries to power his with an inverter. Do you have a way to recharge a battery if needed?

monty3777
05-06-2010, 01:28 PM
Monty, This is what I used to use. I still have it if your interested.

http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200313480_200313480

How loud is this? I was next to an ice cream vendor in Marshalltown and I could have killed the guy. Though, I'm sure if you guys used it it must have been quiet enough.

Ron_L
05-06-2010, 01:35 PM
I use an inverter/battery combo at every comp and it works well. The actual power draw once the igniter turns off is about 60w, so you can run a long time with a marine battery. I bought an inverter/battery charger combo that will automatically switch from AC power to the battery if the AC power fails, so I haven't had to run a full comp off of the battery alone.

Buster Dog BBQ
05-06-2010, 01:48 PM
What brand/model is that Ron. That sounds excellent. Does it make a noise if that happens so you know to switch? I would assume the FEC needs restarted?

Last year in Nevada my low oil warning shut off my generator and I was lucky enough to catch it about 10 min after but had no real warning.

Smoke'n Ice
05-06-2010, 02:29 PM
I use dual marine/rv deep cycles and a Freedom Combi 458 inverter/charger. This arrangement carries an FEC100, a Traeger 070, three florescent lights, lcd tv, radio and water pump going for about 12 hours if AC fails. The only way I know it has kicked in is the Air Conditioner goes off as it is on a different circuit. Been using for several years now with no problems.

DMDon
05-06-2010, 03:11 PM
How loud is this? I was next to an ice cream vendor in Marshalltown and I could have killed the guy. Though, I'm sure if you guys used it it must have been quiet enough.


I think the specs says 69dB. I have used it at comps with no problems as far as noise. Bob built a box that fits over it to make it evan more quiet and still allows the air flow. Its really not needed, but doesn't hurt either.

bigdogphin
05-06-2010, 03:12 PM
I use 2 deep cycle rv/marine batteries and a 750w inverter from napa ran for 20 hours no problems.

Scottie
05-06-2010, 03:18 PM
What brand/model is that Ron. That sounds excellent. Does it make a noise if that happens so you know to switch? I would assume the FEC needs restarted?

Last year in Nevada my low oil warning shut off my generator and I was lucky enough to catch it about 10 min after but had no real warning.


http://www.donrowe.com/inverters/xm_1800.html

This is the one that I bought for the back of my RV to run my mini fridge when I am going down the road... Have it hooked up to 2 marine batteries. It has a charger built it. It also has an auto switch so if you lose power, it goes to battery power. As for an alarm. I use one of those cpap alrams that off off if the power goes out in the RV... The inverter has one on it, but it's not loud enough. I would have no problem using this inverter for my FE's... I have a Honda 6500, so generally I don't panic about power too often...

Buster Dog BBQ
05-06-2010, 03:45 PM
Thanks Scottie. I am near deaf in one ear. This will be great.

Butcher BBQ
05-06-2010, 04:46 PM
We have taken a standard battery charger from Napa and hooked it to a deep cycle marine battery, from there we use a Tripp Lite 1000 watt inverter and have it hooked to the battery also and run the FEC's thru it. We can run electric from the cookoff site or thru my generator but if we loose electric the inverter doesn't know this and keeps on working. But on the other side the battery stays completely charged thru the cook cycle with the battery charger just incase I have to go on straight battery to finish the cook. We run 2 FEC's with this one system.

Jorge
05-06-2010, 04:51 PM
We have taken a standard battery charger from Napa and hooked it to a deep cycle marine battery, from there we use a Tripp Lite 1000 watt inverter and have it hooked to the battery also and run the FEC's thru it. We can run electric from the cookoff site or thru my generator but if we loose electric the inverter doesn't know this and keeps on working. But on the other side the battery stays completely charged thru the cook cycle with the battery charger just incase I have to go on straight battery to finish the cook. We run 2 FEC's with this one system.

If you lost power, your cookers would keep going as long as Martin just gave them a dirty look now and then:wink:

Ron_L
05-06-2010, 05:04 PM
What brand/model is that Ron. That sounds excellent. Does it make a noise if that happens so you know to switch? I would assume the FEC needs restarted?


The one that i have now is an AIMS PWRIC1500W (http://www.aimscorp.net/PWRIC1500W.htm), but I'm no sure if I would recommend it or not. It died near the end of last season and I am fighting with AIMS right now. It is outof warranty and they are telling me that they won't repair it. According to them it would cost more to repair than it would to buy a new unit, which is amazing to me since they have never looked at my unit to know what is wrong with it!

When it worked, it worked great. If power failed it would automatically switch to the inverter off of the battery and the FEC never noticed. There is an audible alarm but it isn't very loud. I bought an AC power monitor at Ace $15 that has an alarm and a light that comes on if the AC power fails and I keep that plugged in in our trailer.

Ron_L
05-06-2010, 05:08 PM
We have taken a standard battery charger from Napa and hooked it to a deep cycle marine battery, from there we use a Tripp Lite 1000 watt inverter and have it hooked to the battery also and run the FEC's thru it. We can run electric from the cookoff site or thru my generator but if we loose electric the inverter doesn't know this and keeps on working. But on the other side the battery stays completely charged thru the cook cycle with the battery charger just incase I have to go on straight battery to finish the cook. We run 2 FEC's with this one system.

How do you have the charger and the inverter connected to the battery? Are you using a transfer switch? i was told that if the inverter and charger were hooked to the battery at the same time the inverter would draw power from the charger while AC was connected, and the charger would have to be capable of supplying enough current to supply the load on the inverter. Most chargers aren't capable of doing that. What charger are you using?

Haltech
05-06-2010, 10:52 PM
The one that i have now is an AIMS PWRIC1500W (http://www.aimscorp.net/PWRIC1500W.htm), but I'm no sure if I would recommend it or not. It died near the end of last season and I am fighting with AIMS right now. It is outof warranty and they are telling me that they won't repair it. According to them it would cost more to repair than it would to buy a new unit, which is amazing to me since they have never looked at my unit to know what is wrong with it!

When it worked, it worked great. If power failed it would automatically switch to the inverter off of the battery and the FEC never noticed. There is an audible alarm but it isn't very loud. I bought an AC power monitor at Ace $15 that has an alarm and a light that comes on if the AC power fails and I keep that plugged in in our trailer.

Ron, from what ive researched because i too need a power system for my FEC, these inverters with the older technology still being sold lack SST.. Read below for the definition:


Soft Start Technology (SST):
Before the introduction of Soft Start, high startup currents from large inductive loads could shut down the inverter. Soft Start improves inverter operation. Major features incorporated in SST include:

1. Gradual voltage ramp-up during inverter startup. This eliminates failed cold starts under load.

2. Output that momentarily dips in voltage and quickly recovers to allow large motorized loads to start. This eliminates almost all shutdowns from momentary overloads.




So i called a couple companies touting this SST stuff to get the true skinny. What ive been told is that over time without SST, it will kill the inverter. Im sure if you brought this up to AIMS, you would get silence on the other end of the phone.

Haltech
05-06-2010, 10:57 PM
We have taken a standard battery charger from Napa and hooked it to a deep cycle marine battery, from there we use a Tripp Lite 1000 watt inverter and have it hooked to the battery also and run the FEC's thru it. We can run electric from the cookoff site or thru my generator but if we loose electric the inverter doesn't know this and keeps on working. But on the other side the battery stays completely charged thru the cook cycle with the battery charger just incase I have to go on straight battery to finish the cook. We run 2 FEC's with this one system.

Do you have pics of how you have this wired up? I was thinking a xfer switch as Ron pointed out as well.

My idea consisted of a composite box or milk crate to hold the deep cycle battery with the inverter on one side and a compact charger on the other side. Run a xfer switch from the other end and be done.

Butcher BBQ
05-07-2010, 06:36 AM
How do you have the charger and the inverter connected to the battery? Are you using a transfer switch? i was told that if the inverter and charger were hooked to the battery at the same time the inverter would draw power from the charger while AC was connected, and the charger would have to be capable of supplying enough current to supply the load on the inverter. Most chargers aren't capable of doing that. What charger are you using?

A customer of mine in the meat shop, she is an instructor at the largest electrical training centers in the US told me about doing this. If what you say is true I don't know. The point being is the battery is fully charged at all times and when we loose power the inverter doesn't know because of the constant power from the battery and it keeps on ticking. It does work I have lost power twice this year and it works like a champ.

I wll take some pics of the set up and get them posted.

Ron_L
05-07-2010, 06:55 AM
If it works, who's to argue :-D I'd like to see the pics when you have a chance.

Ron_L
05-07-2010, 06:59 AM
So i called a couple companies touting this SST stuff to get the true skinny. What ive been told is that over time without SST, it will kill the inverter. Im sure if you brought this up to AIMS, you would get silence on the other end of the phone.

Could be. I looked into SST since the inverters that I am looking at to replace the AIMS have that.

What frosts my pumpkin with AIMS is that they refuse to even look at the inverter. Their policy is to not repair inverters after the warranty expires, so customers who buy their products are SOL. BTW, if it was in warranty they would "offer me a discount on a trade in for a new one". Something just doesn't sound right about that. I'm trying to escalate but hitting roadblocks, so I am going to replace it with a product from a company who cares about their customers.

Smoke'n Ice
05-07-2010, 07:17 AM
Xantrex units and others that are a combination (both a charger & inverter) have an auto transfer built in and the load does not see the switch. If you use a dual input ac power system (Shore & generator) then a break-before-make transfer switch must be used. Some units on the market have this feature as well. The higher cost units pay for themselves in features such as dual input, dual output, soft start, peak current, effeciency, 3 stage charge, balanced loads, etc.

Unless you are an electrical engineer, I would not recommend cobbling up a system, spend the money and buy one designed to do the job you want. I spent a lot of money each year until I just bit the bullet and bought a high end system and now don't even think about the incoming AC and what others are doing.

SmokinOkie
05-07-2010, 09:06 AM
Here's the unit I have from tripplite. It's an inverter/charger.

LOVE it. It autochargers, autocutover and works instantly. I've watched my FE's when I cut the power to the unit and the FE's don't even blink.

I run two FE's off of Two deep cell. I get to the contest, hook this up and it charges the batteries automatically.

Had it about 5 years, price has gone up, but I'd buy another one.

Here's a web page with the various sizes of Inverter/Chargers.
http://www.tripplite.com/en/products/product-series.cfm?txtSeriesID=818


http://www.tripplite.com/shared/product-images/med/APS1250-FRONT-M.jpg

Russ

monty3777
05-07-2010, 09:50 AM
This is all really helpful. Thanks. I haven't heard back from Cookshack - when I do I'll let you know what they say.

Haltech
05-07-2010, 06:01 PM
Here's the unit I have from tripplite. It's an inverter/charger.

LOVE it. It autochargers, autocutover and works instantly. I've watched my FE's when I cut the power to the unit and the FE's don't even blink.

I run two FE's off of Two deep cell. I get to the contest, hook this up and it charges the batteries automatically.

Had it about 5 years, price has gone up, but I'd buy another one.

Here's a web page with the various sizes of Inverter/Chargers.
http://www.tripplite.com/en/products/product-series.cfm?txtSeriesID=818




http://www.tripplite.com/shared/product-images/med/APS1250-FRONT-M.jpg

Russ


Hey Russ, whats your battery time with both FE's hooked up on this with battery power? Any pictures of it hooked up? thanks

Kevin

Rich Parker
05-07-2010, 06:34 PM
This is all really helpful. Thanks. I haven't heard back from Cookshack - when I do I'll let you know what they say.

Use your stickburner and don't worry about the power source. Better yet build a drum! :evil: