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Meegan

Trunk or treat idea

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Hi all,

my wife’s elementary school is having a trunk or treat event. Seems like the ideas were all “been there, done that”. But, I was thinking of using one of my AC controllers in the back of her SUV to run a simple (1controller, maybe 10-11 channels with LED lights for a few strings and pumpkins) show.  Has any one used a dc to ac converter in their cars? Any issues?  I was thinking it wouldn’t need much by way of power other than my laptop (and whatever the controller itself pulls).Please let me know what you think or if you’ve ever tried it

thanks

Allen M

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I tried that once with my DC to AC converter, most just don't have enough power to reliably run a controller and lights, even L.E.D. lights.

  At least not any that are in the "inexpensive category - $20-$150 range", you'd have to purchase a really expensive one, most folks, like in parades usually use a small portable generator, but it can't be a cheap one either as the power output has to be really good for everything to function properly.

You can try and run tests using one and see if it works, I tried it and it failed miserably.   If you have a DC Controller and DC output to DC powered L.E.D. strands, you'd probably be able to do that straight off the cars 12V battery {although I'd use a secondary battery!} and that should work.  If using the car battery, you may have to keep the car running, and that may not be an option.  So the second 12V battery would be the best option {marine batteries for large boats are really good for this from what I've heard from a friend of mine that works at Disney World, and former neighbors that light up their boats for their annual boat Christmas Parade on the lake, but I can't say how true that really is as I've never tried it}.

Edited by Orville

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Thanks Orville, I appreciate the detail you put in the response. Godd info. I guess it’s plan B. I’ll slap decorations on my car and call it Lightning McQueen (Daughters idea).

thanks!

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I was hoping it would have worked myself.  So I tested it out and just couldn't get it to work very well, totally unreliable, lags, no lights coming on when they should, after about a week of trying to make just one of my CTB16PC controllers work with my "cheap auto parts store" DC-AC Converter, and it was around $120, 400 Watts, but it just couldn't make things work very well, if at all.

I wish it would have worked, that would have been a cool way to literally get the "show on the road", if you'll pardon the pun. LOL

If I were to ever try getting a show operating from a car, I'd probably try one of the LOR DC Boards, like the CMB24 I think.  As these are designed to operate off 12VDC I think, maybe even as little as 5VDC depending on the lights used.  Don't own one, so really not sure about it, but I've heard they work great for mobile applications.

 

 

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You need a TRUE sine wave inverter, not a 'modified sine wave' or 'square wave'.  

Something like this:https://amzn.to/2RWyZ0N  (frankly, I think that is actually too cheap to be a true sine wave inverter, but that is what it says.  Maybe prices have come down.)

 

 

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17 minutes ago, DevMike said:

You need a TRUE sine wave inverter, not a 'modified sine wave' or 'square wave'.  

Something like this:https://amzn.to/2RWyZ0N  (frankly, I think that is actually too cheap to be a true sine wave inverter, but that is what it says.  Maybe prices have come down.)

 

 

Thanks DevMike, I couldn't remember the type of wave used, your post jogged my memory, I thought it was sine, but didn't want to state that and not know for sure. 

My inverters claim that too, especially the one I tried that was $120, but when checked, it's not a true sine wave, and therefore I would say lies the issue with it not working as hoped.

You've got to watch these things, some will say it's a sine wave, but sometimes it's not a true sine wave, and there usually isn't a way to check that out until you get it home,  plug it into your vehicle and scope it or have someone that knows these things do it for you.  So if it's cheap, it's usually not a true sine wave. 

But hey, you may actually luck out and get one that is!

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6 hours ago, DevMike said:

You need a TRUE sine wave inverter, not a 'modified sine wave' or 'square wave'.  

Something like this:https://amzn.to/2RWyZ0N  (frankly, I think that is actually too cheap to be a true sine wave inverter, but that is what it says.  Maybe prices have come down.)

 

 

I have one mounted behind my back seat in my truck. I think I paid about $600. It’s a pretty big unit.

$200 is really cheap but I paid $29 for 750 watt Meanwell power supplies on eBay. 

i was kicking around the idea of drilling holes in my bed cover- hard plastic one and making a matrix. Take it to car shows and school events.

JR

Edited by dibblejr

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Thanks guys. I saw that some of the converters I looked at were modified sine wave and wondered about that and “clipping”.

I’ll do some research into the suggestions provided and try to do it right instead of this years spur of the moment idea

Thanks!

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"Modified Sine Wave".  Market speak for "The most horrendous saw tooth or square waveform you have ever seen but you probably won't know the difference so we can UP the price".

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, DevMike said:

"Modified Sine Wave".  Market speak for "The most horrendous saw tooth or square waveform you have ever seen but you probably won't know the difference so we can UP the price".

 

 

 

Yep, a few of my other AC-DC Converters state that and you're absolutely right.  They are good for using maybe an adapter for charging a cell phone or GPS, or something that doesn't care how bad the output is as long as it sees the correct voltage.   Of course now, you can just plug the 12V plug for most things into the "electrical port", what we in the older days, called a cigarette lighter. LOL  Since most newer power plugs come with anywhere from 1 to 2, sometimes more, USB ports on them for such things now.

So DC to AC Converters are now becoming dinosaurs {except in the case of Solar Power Home Conversions}.  IMO

Edited by Orville

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