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Hi,

I'm thinking of installing (or hiring someone to install) a fairly high power 800w inverter in my 2012 Odyssey. I was thinking in order to minimize the danger, it might be prudent to have the inverter mounted somewhere in the engine compartment and run 110v lines into the cabin (I was thinking of mounting 110v outlets at each of the three rows). The reason I was thinking about doing it this way was to minimize then length of the run for the high current 12v wiring to the inverter, and instead run a much safer lower current 110v through the van.

Anyone have any experience doing anything like this, specifically looking for concerns about mounting an inverter in the engine compartment. Primarily I'm looking to run simultaneously two high power laptops, and probably a lower power net-book.


This is the inverter I've been looking at: Cobra CPI 880 800 Watt 12 Volt DC to 120 Volt AC Power Inverter with 5 Volt USB output Although I'm not sure this one has a switch line so that I could connect it to the ignition wiring so it shuts off when the car is off.. If not, I'll have to find a different inverter I guess.

It's rated at 83% eff at full load (higher at lower loads) so if my calculations are correct, it would pull about 86 amps on the 12v side to output a full 800w, of course that's only just under 6.1a of current on the 110v line...

I've got a 250w cigarette lighter inverter from rat shack that I've had for years.. it works well but only provides enough juice to run one of the laptops at a time.
 

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It would be safer to run the 12v line to the cabin than 120 volt lines. You can't get electrocuted on 12 volts. It would also be better to buy mobile power cables for your laptops and just add some 12 volt outlets. You also need to look at how much your toys really take. Most laptops today take less than 100 watts.
 

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It would be safer to run the 12v line to the cabin than 120 volt lines. You can't get electrocuted on 12 volts. It would also be better to buy mobile power cables for your laptops and just add some 12 volt outlets. You also need to look at how much your toys really take. Most laptops today take less than 100 watts.
These laptops use a lot of juice, they've got 18" screens, quad core i7 cpu's and nvidia GPU's. I don't know how much power they're really drawing but it doesn't seem like a stretch to me for it to be well above 100w.
 

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These laptops use a lot of juice, they've got 18" screens, quad core i7 cpu's and nvidia GPU's. I don't know how much power they're really drawing but it doesn't seem like a stretch to me for it to be well above 100w.
Turn the power adaptors of those laptops around and see what the power rating is. I haven't seen a laptop power adaptor over 95W before and yes that includes high power i7 cpu based ones too. What I have not seen is a 18" laptop. So, total up the power ratings for all your laptops/netbooks and then go from there may be?
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Turn the power adaptors of those laptops around and see what the power rating is. I haven't seen a laptop power adaptor over 95W before and yes that includes high power i7 cpu based ones too. What I have not seen is a 18" laptop. So, total up the power ratings for all your laptops/netbooks and then go from there may be?
120w They are these laptops: Amazon.com: HP Pavilion dv8t Quad Edition series - FULL HD (1080) - Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit, Intel Quad Core i7-720QM Processor (1.6GHz, 6MB L2 Cache, 1333MHz FSB), 1GB Nvidia GeForce GT 230M, 3GB DDR3 System Memory, 250GB 7200RPM SATA Hard Dri Except with 8GB ram and a bigger hard drive. I guess HP has discontinued the 18.4" laptops in favor of the smaller units that are more popular these days.

So, two of those, plus a small netbook... that's probably all the 120v devices I'll be using simultaneously on the trip I'm planning..
 

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So, based on that, even a 400W inverter would work for you. And I agree with the other poster saying that its much easier and safer to run the direct 12V line from the battery terminals through to the cabin than running 120V. The shorter the 120V line the better off you'd be.
 
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