Monday, November 2, 2009

The Duck - Unplugged.

We towed the Duck to a friend's house in Groton and boondocked there overnight.  Since we don't have an inverter yet, we had only propane and DC power; that runs heat, stove, refrigerator, some overhead lights, water pump.  Now that I say it that way, it's a lot of stuff. 

I love our new comforter. With the trailer heat set as low as it would go without being off, I had to kick my socked feet out from under to release some body heat.

Annie found a good inverter set-up for us online.  It was a 2500 watt modified (square) sine wave inverter, along with an automatic transfer switch.  As soon as she ordered it, though, she got a call from the company.  The inverter is out-of-stock.  He asked if he could substitute a Xantrex 2000 watt pure sine wave unit in its place for the same price.  Oh mister, can you!!

The power that you enjoy in your house is more or less pure sine wave.  If you could see it, it would look something like the red line:


The squares are what modified sine wave power looks like.  Output, on the average, is equivalent, but while PSW output is smooth and pretty, SSW power is clunky and awkward like a 13-year-old boy.  Square sine inverters are okay for most things, but have a few drawbacks.  Fluorescent lights may hum.  Sensitive electronics (like desktop computers) will revolt.  Most things are fine.  We use laptops, which can be disconnected from AC while in use, and shut off during recharging.  We figured that's not a problem.  Fluorescents might be a problem, but not a huge one.

Pure sine wave inverters produce grid-quality-and-better sine wave power.  Not surprisingly, they cost twice what their adequate-but-inferior half-siblings run.  So, ratcheting down the power output a little and upgrading was a good surprise.

Gave our brand-new Farberware stovetop percolator its first run.
Farberware Yosemite percolator
Nice-looking, perks well, and was broken right out of the box.  Amazon provides free return shipping, and has shipped out another (hopefully intact) unit.  Shame on you, Farberware.  You used to be my shiny, stainless steel hero.

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