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a Small Inverter Installation

a jazz 300 in a 2001 Popular 190 Dodge Roadtrek

Harvey Tetmeyer K5LJM - Silent Key 5 Feb 2005 

Basic question... what is an inverter? It is an electronic box that converts 12 volts DC... battery stuff... to 117 volts AC... to run regular household electrical items.

Is it like a converter? No! Converters turn AC into DC... to charge batteries, run lights, furnaces, heaters, fans, etc. ....right the opposite of an inverter.

Why a jazz 300?
- It was available at a truck stop just west of Gallup, NM... when I needed it.
- The price was right... $30.00
- It was big enough for what I wanted... 240 watts continuous... 300 watts for 30 minutes... 500 watt surge
- It had an ON-OFF switch...
- It had nice screw terminals on the back for the 12 volt input power.
- It came with two power cords... one to plug into a cigarette lighter for low power... another with battery clamps for max power.

So... where to install it? At max output, neither the accessory socket on the dash or the TV outlet in the back would supply enough power to run it...

Most of the AC needs are in the back... on the left side... my side of the van. The converter and most heavy electrical wiring is... yes... under my bed... on the left side.

I chose to mount it under the TV cabinet.

(Since the TV sockets are so hard to reach, I also put a double DC outlet along side it. The dual outlet plugs into one of the TV power outlets in the TV cabinet.)

Mounting was done with a simple strap... hand and pliers formed... to wrap around the inverter. Two holes were drilled in the strap and wood screws secure it to the bottom of the cabinet.

(The strap really isn't as white and noticeable as it looks in the picture... unless you bend down and look under the cabinet with a bright flashlight. See the picture above...)

The #10 wires... red and black... are connected to the terminals on the inverter with crimped lugs. The wires are triple wrapped through a Radio Shack radio interference ferrite core to keep the inverter noise out of our radios... broadcast, ham, CB, etc.

The purple wire connects the dual 12 volt outlet to the socket in the TV cabinet.

(The other wires are for some of our other toys.)

The power wires go down the van wall, in the corner next to the refrigerator cabinet.

I had to remove the two wood panels that support the bed to get the inverter power wires into the main DC wiring area. When reassembling, I notched the panel in the corner to clear the wires.

(I'll dress up the wires before the next Show-N-Tell...
I promise... but this way you can see them all.)

I robbed the 12 volts from the battery connect switched terminal on the latching solenoid.

Considering the possibility of a short in the wiring, I installed an in-line 30 amp automotive fuse.

The black wire was connected to the 12 volt DC common grounds on the fender well.

(I don't know how that yellow crimp coupler got so dirty. It obviously had a lot of experience rolling around in the bottom of my old tool box.)

The best part of the installation is... IT WORKS!