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Thread: DIY pure sine wave inverter

  1. #1

    Default DIY pure sine wave inverter

    Hey i'm interested in getting a pure sine wave inverter to power my ac strobes outdoors..

    hmm sometime like a explorer XT. Looking at the prices, i'm not so sure why is it so expensive? i mean the cells are so cheap. what are we paying for?

    Is it possible to DIY a pure sine wave inverter? i.e. get some lead acid battery and a separate pure sine wave inverter and hook it up together, through the help of some workshop?

  2. #2

    Default Re: DIY pure sine wave inverter

    Yes, it would be possible to DIY it, but it may not be worth the time and effort. How much does the explorer XT cost here anyway? It may be possible to get a cheaper alternative made either locally or nearby, probably one with a less catchy name

    For comparison, here's a link to a local supplier for just an inverter (http://singapore.rs-online.com/web/s...3635378#header). That's $384 for just the inverter, without the sealed lead-acid battery, charging circuit, or nice integrated packaging.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: DIY pure sine wave inverter

    RS stuffs are usually overpriced..

  4. #4
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: DIY pure sine wave inverter

    expensive? it is commercially available and at least you know it will work with what type of strobe.

    want to save cost? can always DIY, take your own strobe as guinea pig.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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  5. #5

    Default Re: DIY pure sine wave inverter

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    expensive? it is commercially available and at least you know it will work with what type of strobe.

    want to save cost? can always DIY, take your own strobe as guinea pig.
    save the sarcasm.. thanks

    its all about electronics. I dont think there is much "photo technology" in this...
    just to share with you guys what i found out:

    the explorer xt cost about 600$+ at cathay.
    the pure sine wave inverter comes in different types. Mainly the difference is the continuous power and peak power.
    The explorer xt is 350w continuous, and 1200w peak power. So it can fire a 1200w ac strobe maximum.
    actually the more continuous power it is rated at, the more expensive is it.

    the reason i want to diy is because i can hook up a higher capacity lead acid battery to my setup for more power at probably the same cost. i would also want to make it easier to detach the battery onsite for backup power.

    so looking into getting pure sine wave inverter and where to get.. and rig everything up together..

  6. #6

    Default Re: DIY pure sine wave inverter

    I would be looking in electronics hobby shops or possibly a place that supplies four wheel drive camping accessories and not photo shops.
    A 4WD shop may be able to supply a suitable inverter designed to attach to a car's 12v electrical system - to which you could attach your own Sealed Lead Acid battery. All the dangerous bits will be safely enclosed in the inverter box.
    (Note however you can still seriously injure your self with 12v from a car battery, be careful with those wires!). The lower capacity inverters come with a 'cigarette lighter plug', the bigger ones draw to much power to be fed from that socket and come with clips to attach direct to the battery terminals.

    One of my work's 4WD cars has a 1000W sine-wave inverter permanently installed in the back so people can run their laptops and assorted other mains powered equipment when out in the field. The load it puts on the car batteries is considerable.

    Also, do so your strobes really require a pure sine wave inverter ? (For that you may have to ask the manufacture), the modified sine wave type are cheaper and more efficient at conversion. (Which means your batteries will last longer).

    Go to
    http://www.jaycar.com.au/ and then browse products under 'inverters' so see what an Australian hobby electronics shop supplies. Most of the range are 'modified sine wave' type. I also found an on line '4x4 equipment' shop that also had a few inverters in their product range. Seems some people just can't live with out their TV's, even 'in the bush' ! :-)
    Last edited by matthew; 14th October 2009 at 12:47 AM.

  7. #7
    Member kirk's Avatar
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    Default Re: DIY pure sine wave inverter

    why don't you just buy a china brand outdoor strobe? there are outdoor strobes up to 1000w already. just buy, plug in and shoot. no need to go to the hassle of building your own inverter system. much lighter than lugging a heavy lead acid battery around too.

  8. #8
    Senior Member ZerocoolAstra's Avatar
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    Default Re: DIY pure sine wave inverter

    Can try THIS shop at Sim Lim Tower. Seems like they have what you're looking for. Not sure about the price though.
    Exploring! :)

  9. #9
    Member tim's Avatar
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    Default Re: DIY pure sine wave inverter

    Don't get the modified sine wave type, it must be a PURE sine wave inverter.

    The AlienBees Vagabond II is a 150w (max. 300w) pure sine wave inverter with a 12v 20Ah
    sealed lead acid battery and a nice bag.

    http://www.paulcbuff.com/manuals/vagabond.pdf

    Its quite easy to make, if you needed help, let me know.
    Last edited by tim; 14th October 2009 at 04:26 PM. Reason: add 'acid' to battery

  10. #10

    Default Re: DIY pure sine wave inverter

    Quote Originally Posted by tim View Post
    Don't get the modified sine wave type, it must be a PURE sine wave inverter.

    The AlienBee Vagabond II is a 150w (max. 300w) pure sine wave inverter with a 12v 20Ah
    sealed lead battery and a nice bag.

    http://www.paulcbuff.com/manuals/vagabond.pdf

    Its quite easy to make, if you needed help, let me know.
    wah. didnt know u so handy.

  11. #11
    Member tim's Avatar
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    Default Re: DIY pure sine wave inverter


  12. #12

    Default Re: DIY pure sine wave inverter

    would it be safe to run a non alien bee strobe off the vagabond pack? i think the vagabond looks more compact than the xplorer xt.

  13. #13
    Member tim's Avatar
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    Default Re: DIY pure sine wave inverter

    Yes and No.

    If your strobe is 110v AC then 'Yes' but if its 220v AC then 'No'. If you read the beginning page of the Vagabond manual, "The Power Cord Outlet (Labeled 120VAC 60Hz Out)".

    Cheers

  14. #14

    Default Re: DIY pure sine wave inverter

    Quote Originally Posted by tim View Post
    Yes and No.

    If your strobe is 110v AC then 'Yes' but if its 220v AC then 'No'. If you read the beginning page of the Vagabond manual, "The Power Cord Outlet (Labeled 120VAC 60Hz Out)".

    Cheers
    saw the info but can run a transformer to use it for local usage right?

  15. #15
    Member tim's Avatar
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    Default Re: DIY pure sine wave inverter

    Then you need another big chuck of (aleast of 150w) hi-quality transformer to carry
    around and also may not work.

    Alternatively you can ask Paul of AlienBees to ship with a 220VAC outlet inverter, but then
    you cannot use with the AlienBees (110VAC).
    Last edited by tim; 15th October 2009 at 01:21 AM.

  16. #16

    Default Re: DIY pure sine wave inverter

    Quote Originally Posted by tim View Post
    Then you need another big chuck of (aleast of 150w) hi-quality transformer to carry
    around

    Alternatively you can ask Paul of AlienBees to ship with a 220VAC outlet inverter, but then
    you cannot use with the AlienBees (110VAC).
    i don't plann to get alien bees.

  17. #17
    Senior Member kel77's Avatar
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    Default Re: DIY pure sine wave inverter

    I'm looking for such options as well but what's stopping me is I've seen mixed reviews for them.

    I've read that digital monoblocs would not be able to powered up and the only option is using an electric generator?

  18. #18
    Member/Tangshooter
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    Default Re: DIY pure sine wave inverter

    I am an electronics design engineer by profession ( in power electronics ) for about 15 years. DO NOT attempt to DIY a pure sine wave inverter yourself. Give up the idea.... it is too complex for someone not in this line without proper test equipment and tools. It will take you years to built one....

    go buy it from ebay or shops in SimLim Tower.

    good luck,
    Billy

  19. #19
    Member tim's Avatar
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    Default Re: DIY pure sine wave inverter

    I agreed that one shouldn't have a thought of making your own a pure sine wave inverter
    even if you are in this line w/o proper equipment/tools.

    Somehow the thread title is a bit confusing, maybe "DIY portable power supply" ?

    But in the discussion, its didn't mentioned about building a pure sine wave inverter from component parts

    TS want to know what's inside a portable power supply like Explorer XT & etc and if he is able to assemble one.
    (Inside: a pure sine wave inverter with battery charger and a sealed lead acid battery)

    http://www.scottkelby.com/blog/2009/archives/5124

    Cheers
    Last edited by tim; 15th October 2009 at 01:39 AM.

  20. #20
    Member tim's Avatar
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    Default Re: DIY pure sine wave inverter


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