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Using inverter to charge battery!

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by charlie999, Aug 12, 2015.

  1. charlie999

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    I've just obtained a 150watt inverter to charge my Phantom batteries and remote control when in the field.

    I have the pro so my understanding is that the charger is 100 watts.

    All seems to work although I've only hooked up the remote for testing purposes. The lights flash in order so seems to work.

    My question is how much of a drain on the battery on my old car is the inverter. My cigarette lighter is powered on even with the ignition off so whilst in the field or having a cuppa at a cafe it would be nice to leave it on for an hour to charge the battery. Would this work or would I end up not being able to start he car afterwards?
     
  2. bbfpv

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    Start the car.
     
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  3. paulajayne

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    I would put a cut-off in line to shut the supply to the socket when the voltage reaches a set point - trial and error, but best starting guess would be circa 11.7 volts.
     
  4. charlie999

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    Cheers people I get the picture. Best with the engine running or park on a slope !!

     
  5. charlie999

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    I don't think I would know how to do this but know what you mean.

    Thanks
     
  6. Turdle

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    Most inverters have a cutoff so as not to drain your battery to the point of not being able to start your car. But then again, I wouldn't test that in the field. Try it in your driveway!
     
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  7. charlie999

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    Spot on my friend just read this on the box.

    Thanks again.

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1439398633.035915.jpg
     
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  8. BenDronePilot

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    Some of these things have been discussed in certain threads but here are some good rules of thumb to bear in mind if using an inverter to charge your Phantom 3 battery in your car using the 100 watt charger and not the 57 watt.

    1) The car you are using should support a 15amp or better fuse to be on the save side. If it only supports 10amp the max power supported is around 120 watts which might not be adequate. I'll be following up on this with some tests to see the actuall battery draw using my UPS which shows that info.

    2) It is recommended your car be either left running, or if idle it should be started once an hour to avoid battery drain. I'd recommend getting a portable car jump started to be on the safe side. You do not want to start your car while the inverter is plugged in though. You can probably get away with leaving your car idling while charging the first 10 to 20 minutes then leave your car off for the remainder of the charge until it is topped off.

    3) Do NOT use a cheap quality inverter. Get a good name brand such as Bestek or Tripplite.

    4) True vs Modified Sine wave inverters. Most inverters you see on the market are not "true or pure sine wae inverters. Modified sine wave inverters are good for charging and running most things except sensitive electronics and motorized items like drills. The modified sine wave inverters will also make your charger generate a bit more heat than a true sine wave inverter.

    Although likely not necessary, If you want the best possible reliability assurance and piece of mind that your inverter wont cause any problems with your charger, you may want to consider paying the extra cost (as much as quadroople) of a modified sine wave inverter and go with a Pure sine wave inverter.

    5) If you're not sure your car can handle the 100 watt charger or your car runs only a 10amp fuse for the charging system, buy the 57 watt Phantom 3 battery charger and you'll be fine.
     
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  9. robsquad

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    a slope wont help if its auto !
    nice to have a charged leisure battery on a split charge system and hook your inverter to that if you are going to use it in the field a lot
     
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  10. TonG

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    Loading an empty P3 battery draws about 7 amps from the loader. So if you have a decent invertor with a good efficiency there should be no problem.
    After all the Phantom battery is only 4,5 Ah/14V and the most car batteries are around 60 to70Ah/12V.
     
  11. charlie999

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    It is an auto so would be buggered!!! Lol

    Have just flown and battery at about 17% so gonna test it on the drive.

    Would not use a lot but nice to have a just in case option.
     
  12. BenDronePilot

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    Connecting directly to your battery is not the same thing as connecting through your cigarette / power accessory connector which may not have the same capabilities. For example my Mazda 3 accessory power only uses a 10amp fuse and supports up to 120watts and I think it was 2amps. Read your cars user manual first before charging.
     
    #12 BenDronePilot, Aug 12, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2015
  13. J.James

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    I see the cut off voltage for the invert shows it dont shut its self off till you battery is completely drained at about 10v which for a lead acid battery is fully drained and dead. and its also not to good to let an acid battery ever fall below 50% charge.

    Tho depending on how big of a battery you have in your car a single charge should not drain you down to far to not be able to start it.

    tho the good thing is being that the charger is just a power supply you dont have to worry about any thing such as if the invert is a pure sign wave one or not cause it dont matter one bit to the dc-dc charger at all. It puts out dc which is is not alternating and is more like any way even if powered with pure sign wave.
     
  14. charlie999

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    My god I didn't expect this response. Brilliant.

    The test went as follows.

    Put on charge at about 17% left it in car for about 45 minutes. When I went back the alarm was going off on the inverter stating it had overheated so had cut the charge. (It was a warm night though in the UK) the phantom battery I guess was about half charged looking at the lights.

    I tuned off and on and then within two minutes it alarmed again but this time low vehicle battery.

    My car still started though so I brought it in the house to finish off.

    I have a 05 Vauxhall Astra.

    Best to use when engine running in a cool car between venues.

    Got to be cheaper than getting lots of batteries!!
     
  15. BlackHawk388

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    My 2015 Explorer Sport has a built in 150W inverter with a standard plug. I've used it quite a few times to recharge a battery while flying with the other one. There is typically no reason at all to charge the controller and extender unless you have 14+ batteries and are spending all day out flying without ensuring you have properly charged your controller and extender in the first place.

    My Explorer will cut power to the inverter well before draining the battery to the point of not starting my vehicle. However, I also have remote start and can press a couple of buttons to start the vehicle and it runs for 10 minutes. Simply running the vehicle for ten minutes per hour of charging has kept my starting voltage high enough to where the inverter remains charging the whole time. Whether your older car has this ability or not, just running it for 10 minutes per hour of charging, with no lights or A/C turned on, will keep your battery charged.
     
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  16. TonG

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    If a 150W investor gets overheated then you have a bad invertor. The DJI loader is only 70W and gets never overheated. Off course you should place the Invertor in such a way that you get enough ventilation.

    If your car battery gives a low warning for only half a charge for the lipo than either your car battery is not good or their is something terribly wrong with the inventor.

    Do the math. Your car battery in a healthy state should be around 50-70Ah while the lipo is only 4,5Ah and if half a charge can cause a warning...?!
     
  17. 4wd

    4wd

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    150w is barely enough, bearing in mind the rating will be rather optimistic and probably not tested with a substantial load for the time you are charging.
    I have a 300w one works OK. with the 100w p3p charger.
     
  18. BlackHawk388

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    I can charge my phone, laptop and P2V+ batteries off the 150w charger in my vehicle. Just because the charge rate is a given doesn't mean it will always pull that maximum charge.
     
  19. charlie999

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    It was hot in the car though thinking about it. I will try it again.

    When I bought the inverter today the man in the shop showed me a 300 watt inverter but said that it would only run at 150 watts from the cigarette lighter. If I wanted the full 300 I would need to go direct to battery.

    I would be surprised if my car battery is at fault it's been on s while.

    If only they did a car charger for the Phantom 3. Mind you the car charger for the Phantom 2 was really expensive.
     
  20. 4wd

    4wd

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    There are 12V chargers for them, The inverter route has benefits though as you can charge other stuff and won't need buy another 12V charger for the Phantom 4 with slightly different batteries ;)