DC to AC


How convenient and useful is it, or would it be, to have an Inverter in your car or vehicle? It would convert the auto’s 12-volt ‘dc’ power into 120-volt ‘ac’ power, and many include a USB port which itself is powered (5 volts) and could directly charge some consumer devices.

I have become accustomed to having a power converter (inverter) in my vehicle and it has come in quite handy from time to time. From a preparedness standpoint, having a DC-to-AC Inverter in the car can be a wise investment and could serve useful for a number of things.

One thing to keep in mind is that there are limits to the AC power available from Inverters that are designed for a car. Many of them will not run a toaster or a vacuum cleaner for example… The thing to know is that everything is measured in ‘Watts‘. This is the key to determining which devices you can plug in without blowing a fuse.

Typical car inverters range from 100 watts to several hundred watts. Heavy duty inverters can be installed but require a heavy duty alternator / battery – and special installation with heavy duty wiring – often directly to the car battery terminals.

I now see more and more inverters that simply plug in to the car’s cigarette lighter, and although they are relatively light duty, they will operate most all communications devices on the market today.

Here are some uses for a DC to AC Inverter for the car

Laptop computer
Walkie-Talkie charger
Portable communications devices that require AC power
Battery charger for consumer batteries
Lighting (beware of ‘watts’ limitation)
Music/Game devices for the kids
Cell phone charger
Portable tools battery pack charger
Camera / video camera charger
Basically, any conventional battery pack charger for devices

(simply check the device to be used and look for a rating in ‘watts’ and be sure that the device ‘watts’ are less than the inverter rating)

Here are a few popular and well reviewed examples of a DC to AC Inverter for the car

200 watt power inverter (Wagan)

375 watt power inverter (Tripp Lite)

400 watt power inverter (Wagan)

800 watt power inverter (Cobra) requires direct wiring

1200 watt power inverter (Roadpro) requires direct wiring

2300 watt power inverter (Power Bright) requires direct wiring


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  1. Michelle_in_NB 10/13/2011
  2. Slazmo 10/13/2011
  3. Slazmo 10/14/2011
  4. millenniumfly 10/17/2011
  5. Scott Oberst 02/08/2012

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