Author Topic: Foval 150w inverter  (Read 2132 times)

Online Alan Georges

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Foval 150w inverter
« on: April 18, 2017, 08:33:14 PM »
I needed a small-ish inverter to recharge various household items – laptops, ham HTs, LiFePO batteries, Li-ion jump packs, etc.  Some of these items could in principle be charged directly off of 12vdc, but they all came with 110vac chargers that either work 2x faster, or the 12vdc charger really wants 13.8vdc, or there's some other kind of bs issue with going straight from DC.  Just easier to step up to 120vac, plug in the device's wall wart, and be done with it.

Don't need to use the 800 or 1700w monsters for this, a little 100w plug-in will do.  But... my old 100w cigarette-lighter plug inverter had a noisy fan.  Really too noisy in the ham shack, running off that solar power system.  And now on the new car, with the plug on the inverter body, it won't fit into the car's dash!  That was unexpected.  So... looked on Amazon for something that had a cord between the plug and the inverter body, something with a quiet fan.  And here we go: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01H2XD2DY/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

OK, it's just another cheap modified sine wave inverter, nothing special.  But it is quiet, and it does have a foot-long cord for the 12vdc plug.  It also has 2A and a 1A USB charging ports, that's kind of nice, though I haven't used them yet.  It gets the job done, and doesn't spit out any radio interference into the ham rigs on the same desktop.  After a month's intermittent use, it's still functioning.  At $19, it didn't break the bank.  Pretty much fills the bill.

I swear, there are times it seems like "Baofeng" is Cantonese for "hot mess."

Online Carl

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Re: Foval 150w inverter
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2017, 06:53:29 AM »
I refuse to punch back as I didn't come here to fight.

Stop complaining about life and start Celebrating it .

I've reached the age where there is little left to learn the hard way.

If you had only one year,one month,or one day...Would you live your life differently?

Online Alan Georges

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Re: Foval 150w inverter
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2017, 05:14:08 PM »
Blue vs. red, and a buck cheaper... man, Amazon's pricing algorithms get weird.  Thanks for pointing this out, Carl.  I need to order another one or two of these, and a buck saved is a buck saved.

I swear, there are times it seems like "Baofeng" is Cantonese for "hot mess."

Online Carl

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Re: Foval 150w inverter
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2017, 05:21:31 PM »
Mine will arrive tomorrow and I plan to test and report on the unit.
I refuse to punch back as I didn't come here to fight.

Stop complaining about life and start Celebrating it .

I've reached the age where there is little left to learn the hard way.

If you had only one year,one month,or one day...Would you live your life differently?

Offline FreeLancer

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Re: Foval 150w inverter
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2017, 07:05:11 PM »
You sold me.
23:57:30

Offline Greekman

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Re: Foval 150w inverter
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2017, 10:26:52 AM »
good thinking.... I am into a similar search this side of the pond.

I will also suggest checking what your battery drill and tools will need for charging and size accordingly

Online Carl

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Re: Foval 150w inverter
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2017, 11:45:47 AM »
For others reading,many small chargers will not work well on MODIFIED SINE WAVE inverters ,so be sure,or watch closely and feel for abnormal heat before trusting the devices for long term.
I refuse to punch back as I didn't come here to fight.

Stop complaining about life and start Celebrating it .

I've reached the age where there is little left to learn the hard way.

If you had only one year,one month,or one day...Would you live your life differently?

Offline Greekman

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Re: Foval 150w inverter
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2017, 12:42:56 PM »
ouch! thanks for the tip Carl!

Online Carl

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Re: Foval 150w inverter
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2017, 04:21:13 PM »
  The UPS guy really did good today as he delivered my FOVAL 150 Watt BLUE inverter.
The unit is slightly larger than a 'family size' bar of bath soap and has a lot to offer for the low price.
It has a 2.1 amp and a 1 amp USB port for charging those devices and a grounded single outlet for 120 Volts,60 cycle mains power.
The book says to try to not rin at over 80% of maximum power (about 140 watts) and this is always a good idea.
Also the buyer is warned that the fuse and wiring of some autos may not be capable of powering the unit.
(My auto has a 7.5 amp fuse for the lighter plug)

I hooked it to a variable power supply and ran a 10.5 watt LED light bulb on it ,a Phillips 60 watt equivalent bulb ran well from 10.2 to 15 volts input and at just under 10.2 volts the green LED turned RED as the unit was protected from under voltage (and over voltage at 14.5 volts though 15 still was working normal with the small load of the 10.5 watt LED lamp). At about 12 Volts I noticed the voltage dropped to about 100 as is common with these smaller MODIFIED SINE WAVE inverters though the LED light bulb still was working fine,I noticed no discernible lack of output.At 12.5 to 12.6 the inverter performed normally and produced 110 to 130 volts with different small objects I powered with it,even a 60 watt 10 inch fan,though I noticed a bit of noise from the fan motor (normal with modified sine wave).

  My volt meter was designed to monitor the AC mains and the nearly square wave of the modified sine wave does not measure so well with some loads. I next hooked my WELLER 100/140 Watt soldering gun to the tiny inverter and with my Ham power supply at about 14 Volts (about what the average auto produces when running) ...I pulled the trigger on the 100 watt level....it was working though drawing 8 amps from the power supply and not as hot as was normal. I pulled the 140 watt level and it went to 10 amps and the heavy transformer of a gun did melt solder though as I expected ,it was not as hot as normal as this was a heavy load and many transformer or motor loads are often not as efficient on the modified sine wave.

  After an hour or so of powering different devices and from different supplies and batteries I noted the tiny cooling fan had come on ,I had been looking for this to happen or I might not have heard the quiet little fan...it turned off soon as the little inverter returned to room temperature.

I say it is well worth the price for such a small inverter. Great find ALAN.This is not much larger than a computer mouse!

Link to iinverter   https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01KT26D68/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I refuse to punch back as I didn't come here to fight.

Stop complaining about life and start Celebrating it .

I've reached the age where there is little left to learn the hard way.

If you had only one year,one month,or one day...Would you live your life differently?

Online Alan Georges

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Re: Foval 150w inverter
« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2017, 05:17:30 PM »
Carl, thanks for all the testing and the follow-up report.  And thanks for the tip on the chargers vs. modified sine wave inverters.  Will now be watching for problems here in the future.

I swear, there are times it seems like "Baofeng" is Cantonese for "hot mess."

Online Carl

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Re: Foval 150w inverter
« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2017, 06:53:09 PM »
  I would have little to do if not for TSP projects.

Appliance Cautions (for Modified Sine Wave Inverters):

DO NOT plug small appliances into the inverter AC receptacles to directly recharge their nickel-cadmium batteries. Always use the recharger provided with that appliance.

DO NOT plug in battery chargers for cordless power tools if the charger carries a warning that dangerous voltages are present at the battery terminals.

Not all fluorescent lamps operate properly with a modified sine wave inverter. If the bulb appears to be too bright, or fails to light, do not use the lamp with the inverter.

Some fans with synchronous motors may slightly increase in speed (RPM) when powered by a modified sine wave inverter. This is not harmful to the fan or to the inverter.

Certain rechargers for small nickel-cadmium batteries can be damaged if plugged into a modified sine wave inverter. In particular, two types of appliances are susceptible to damage:

Small, battery-operated appliances such as flashlights, cordless razors and toothbrushes that can be plugged directly into an AC receptacle to recharge.
Certain battery chargers for battery packs that are used in some cordless hand-tools. Chargers for these tools have a warning label stating that dangerous voltages are present at the battery terminals.
DO NOT use a modified sine wave inverter with the above two types of equipment.

The majority of portable appliances do not have this problem. Most portable appliances use separate transformers or chargers that plug into AC receptacles to supply a low-voltage DC or AC output to the appliance. If the appliance label states that the charger or adapter produces a low-voltage DC or AC output (30 volts or less), there should be no problem powering that charger or adapter.

http://www.donrowe.com/power-inverter-faq-a/258.htm
I refuse to punch back as I didn't come here to fight.

Stop complaining about life and start Celebrating it .

I've reached the age where there is little left to learn the hard way.

If you had only one year,one month,or one day...Would you live your life differently?

Online Carl

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Re: Foval 150w inverter
« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2017, 12:19:05 PM »
  I just received an email and was advised that the inverter has an 18 month warranty....
I refuse to punch back as I didn't come here to fight.

Stop complaining about life and start Celebrating it .

I've reached the age where there is little left to learn the hard way.

If you had only one year,one month,or one day...Would you live your life differently?

Offline FreeLancer

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Re: Foval 150w inverter
« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2017, 12:33:52 PM »
My blue one came yesterday. It's way smaller than I was expecting. My wife immediately claimed it for her car.
23:57:30

Online Carl

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Re: Foval 150w inverter
« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2017, 12:39:05 PM »
My blue one came yesterday. It's way smaller than I was expecting. My wife immediately claimed it for her car.

Good trade,you needed more than on of them anyway.
I refuse to punch back as I didn't come here to fight.

Stop complaining about life and start Celebrating it .

I've reached the age where there is little left to learn the hard way.

If you had only one year,one month,or one day...Would you live your life differently?

Offline FreeLancer

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Re: Foval 150w inverter
« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2017, 12:47:44 PM »
I think I will. My current smallest inverter is a 150W Tripplite I bought 2 years ago that cost 50% more than this little Foval, consumes over 3x the volume, and doesn't have USB output, or even a second 3-prong AC outlet.
23:57:30

Offline chad

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Re: Foval 150w inverter
« Reply #15 on: April 26, 2017, 12:50:14 PM »
Crap...you guys talked me into one :)

Online Carl

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Re: Foval 150w inverter
« Reply #16 on: April 26, 2017, 02:32:29 PM »
Crap...you guys talked me into one :)

Better get TWO..,. :)
I refuse to punch back as I didn't come here to fight.

Stop complaining about life and start Celebrating it .

I've reached the age where there is little left to learn the hard way.

If you had only one year,one month,or one day...Would you live your life differently?

Offline FreeLancer

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Re: Foval 150w inverter
« Reply #17 on: April 26, 2017, 03:33:06 PM »
I decided to get 3 more.
23:57:30

Online Carl

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Re: Foval 150w inverter
« Reply #18 on: April 26, 2017, 04:42:16 PM »
I decided to get 3 more.

That makes 9 prongs....or 12
I refuse to punch back as I didn't come here to fight.

Stop complaining about life and start Celebrating it .

I've reached the age where there is little left to learn the hard way.

If you had only one year,one month,or one day...Would you live your life differently?

Online Alan Georges

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Re: Foval 150w inverter
« Reply #19 on: April 26, 2017, 05:50:07 PM »
My blue one came yesterday. It's way smaller than I was expecting. My wife immediately claimed it for her car.
Have you plugged it in and heard how quiet it is?  That alone is worth the price.

Putting in another order to Amazon this evening, it's on the list.

I swear, there are times it seems like "Baofeng" is Cantonese for "hot mess."

Offline chad

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Re: Foval 150w inverter
« Reply #20 on: April 26, 2017, 07:00:16 PM »
Is there a "unmodified sine wave Small inverter" ? If so would that work for fans and battery chargers..

Going off to research.....

Online Alan Georges

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Re: Foval 150w inverter
« Reply #21 on: April 26, 2017, 07:13:03 PM »
Is there a "unmodified sine wave Small inverter" ? If so would that work for fans and battery chargers..
"unmodified sine wave Small inverter" = "pure sine wave inverter"  On the cheap end, they're usually 2-3x the cost of similar modified sine wave and very RF noisy.  I don't know anything about the bigger, better, more expensive ones however.

BTW, just saw it's on "lightning deal" this evening for $14:
https://www.amazon.com/Foval-Power-Inverter-Converter-Charger/dp/B01KT26D68/ref=sr_1_2?s=automotive&ie=UTF8&qid=1493256903&sr=1-2&keywords=foval+150w+car+power+inverter
« Last Edit: April 26, 2017, 07:37:38 PM by Alan Georges »

I swear, there are times it seems like "Baofeng" is Cantonese for "hot mess."

Offline chad

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Re: Foval 150w inverter
« Reply #22 on: April 26, 2017, 07:44:54 PM »
BESTEK 300W Power Inverter DC 12V to AC 110V Pure Sine Wave Inverter with 4.2A Dual Smart USB Ports
For: $37

On amazon, I can't link... I have a new phone and still learning it.

 thoughts?
« Last Edit: April 26, 2017, 07:52:10 PM by chad »

Online Alan Georges

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Re: Foval 150w inverter
« Reply #23 on: April 26, 2017, 07:59:09 PM »
Amazon reviews where a guy hooked one up to an oscilloscope looked pretty bad.  Also in one of the Q&A's, an answer claimed it was RF noisy enough to make bluetooth unusable.

But if you go for it, let us know how it works out!  ;D  (and hang onto the receipt until you test it)

I swear, there are times it seems like "Baofeng" is Cantonese for "hot mess."

Offline NWPilgrim

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Re: Foval 150w inverter
« Reply #24 on: June 15, 2017, 05:05:53 AM »
BESTEK 300W Power Inverter DC 12V to AC 110V Pure Sine Wave Inverter with 4.2A Dual Smart USB Ports
For: $37

On amazon, I can't link... I have a new phone and still learning it.

 thoughts?

I got this 300W inverter.  It charges my MacBook Pro (60W adapter) easily and I did not see any interference with the touchpad as some commenters stated.  I have yet to try it with any motorized devices, but my main purpose was to be able to charge both an 85W and 60W MacBook adapter simultaneously.  It does both fine.  It is much bulkier than the 150W Foval pics, the fan runs whenever it is on, although the USB ports can be used without turning it on.  The fan is noticeable but not what I would call noisy.  It only comes with cigarette lighter plug for DC and most car outlets are only rated for 120W (10A) or so.  I have a clamp on DC outlet that I use if charging both laptops, otherwise charging one through the cigarette lighter seems safe (no excessive heat or tripping of fuses).  For my 13" MacBook Pro it charges just about 1% per minute, so less than 1.5 hours for a full charge.  I think it actually took right on one hour to go from 13% to 100%.

I only needed 150W but I would rather have more capacity and not press the limits.  Plus, I thought at this low price for a pure sine wave inverter it was worth a try.  I think for charging batteries it is good enough.  The comment section on amazon actually has two or more posts with pics from oscilloscopes, one looks very dirty (errant spikes) and the other looks pretty clean. If I was planning to run corded tools or a refrigerator I would get a higher priced, "clean" pure sine wave inverter.
There have always been times like this, and there will be again. Will we rise to the challenges or get run over?

Online Alan Georges

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Re: Foval 150w inverter
« Reply #25 on: June 15, 2017, 05:27:55 AM »
NWP, if you have a portable radio and five spare minutes, would you mind turning it on near your inverter and letting us know if there's excessive interference?  It'd be good to know if at least some of these can be RFI-quiet.

Which reminds me, I still need to order some ferrites...

I swear, there are times it seems like "Baofeng" is Cantonese for "hot mess."

Online Carl

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Re: Foval 150w inverter
« Reply #26 on: June 15, 2017, 06:05:58 AM »
NWP, if you have a portable radio and five spare minutes, would you mind turning it on near your inverter and letting us know if there's excessive interference?  It'd be good to know if at least some of these can be RFI-quiet.

Which reminds me, I still need to order some ferrites...

I use these ferrite beads for curing many ills.I like them because they snap around a wire,rather than having to pass the wire through them.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00V4MMIBW/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1
I refuse to punch back as I didn't come here to fight.

Stop complaining about life and start Celebrating it .

I've reached the age where there is little left to learn the hard way.

If you had only one year,one month,or one day...Would you live your life differently?

Offline chad

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Re: Foval 150w inverter
« Reply #27 on: June 15, 2017, 11:32:01 AM »
NWP, if you have a portable radio and five spare minutes, would you mind turning it on near your inverter and letting us know if there's excessive interference?  It'd be good to know if at least some of these can be RFI-quiet.

Which reminds me, I still need to order some ferrites...

I'll try my radio with the inverter ^^^^ up there this weekend.

Offline chad

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Re: Foval 150w inverter
« Reply #28 on: June 17, 2017, 08:43:31 AM »
Just tested my samlex 300 watt PSW inverter with the CCrane  radio, noticeable RF interference between the too which is about 15ft.

Online Alan Georges

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Re: Foval 150w inverter
« Reply #29 on: June 17, 2017, 09:29:32 AM »
Thanks Chad.  Does is zap the FM band too?  FM's generally a lot more resistant to interference, but my PSW manages to obliterate it.

I swear, there are times it seems like "Baofeng" is Cantonese for "hot mess."