Power Inverter/Key machine nightmare!! Please help!!

I have a Cole 4k Key Machine that has worked great since I purchased it
used 8 months ago. Up until recently, I have been embarrassingly using
customer power to run it. Having purchased a used Van I quickly began
putting together my power needs. I purchased a Vector Maxx SST 2000w
110/220 inverter that provides 18amps. After hooking everything up I
plugged the key machine in directly to the inverter and watched as my
machine chugged painfully to start. Meanwhile I received an audible
continuous beeping from the inverter. After some reading, I learned
that some older electric motors are not compatible with most inverters.
So off to Grainger I went and bought a newer Dayton 1/4hp - 115v -
4.5amp electric motor. Before placing it into my machine I tested it by
plugging it in to the inverter. Although it was closer to kicking over
than my old motor it still wouldn't start - that is, until I
started the van. To my excitement, the motor kicked over and reached
full RPM.
I took out the old motor, put in the new one, attached the drive belt
and kicked on the switch. Again, chug-chug but no start and the same
audible from the inverter. After holding back a few tears, I scratched
my head then removed the belt and wow, the motor turns over. Replaced
the belt and no start. At this point I am at a loss. With a load on the
motor, it won't kick over at all. And that's with the engine
running on the van. I metered the lines at the inverter and I'm
getting 12.3vdc so I don't quite understand what's going on. I know
motors tend to require more power to start than most other appliances
but one would think that this inverter could handle it. The wiring was
already in the van running from the battery to the cab. I'm not quite
sure of the gauge but it is fairly thick (maybe and 1/8") and solid
copper (not stranded). It's about a 10-12' run from the battery to
the inverter. The batter specs are Napa Legend 75 load tested at
335amps.
So there it is. I'm hoping somebody here has a solution to my dilemma
because I am at a loss here. I can't believe the inverter isn't
enough. I know locksmiths who are using 1200w inverters just fine. I
know it isn't the motor because that's brand new. Could it be my
battery? I just don't know. For now, I'm back to using customer
power which is really embarrassing considering I have a van now.
Any help will be greatly appreciated...
prmirage
Reply to
prmirage
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also make CERTAIn that the power line from the battery TO the inverter is big enough.. to me 1/8" wire smells of 10 gauge, and that IIRR is NOT big enough.. making a guestimate here, they use 10 gauge from the alternator to the battery..which can easily run a long term 40 amp supply.. 40 amp * 13 v is 520 watts..
you need 1800?
assuming 13v supply, you are trying to pull about 150 AMPS thru that line.. for a 10 foot run, you probably need #1 wire.. which is bigger than normal battery cable..
another suggestion? if you are in a more open area.. Honda? or something close, used to make a 'small' size gas generator that was pretty quiet, and VERY easy to start..abour a foot by foot by 18" size..IIRR the one my friend had was 1500 watt..
--Shiva--
Reply to
me
What I've found, the big problem with inverters is they draw a LOT of amps at the 12 volt side. Basic math. Watts equals volts times amps. Since you have 1/10 the volts on the DC side, you'll need 10 times the amps.
My suggestion is to get a small car battery, or a marine trolling battery. Put that battery in your work area, and put the inverter as close as possible to the battery. Use the shortest wires possible from the second battery to the inverter. Use the largest wires you can (even if it comes to buying a couple battery cables at the auto parts store). Use the existing wiring to keep the second battery charged as you drive.
The audible beeping is probably a sign that says the 12 volt supply isn't adequate. "low voltage alert". An inverter that "provides 18 amps" at 12 volts requires at least 180 amps of DC power coming in.
Reply to
Stormin Mormon
Needing to turn on the van to start the key machine sounds like not enough current getting to your inverter.
Replacing the cable with #1 or #0 gauge cable should solve the problem.
If not, put a battery in the back of the van and run your #1 cable between batteries. An isolator would work best between the 2 batteries, but isn't necessary.
Make sure the battery is about the same size as what's up front. They have glass matt batteries that put out less dangerous fumes as a gel cell or a conventional lead acid battery does.
From the back battery, run a heavy cable (as heavy as you can get) to your inverter.
Make sure you have just as heavy a cable for the negative terminals as well.
The cable price will make you cringe, but it'll be worth not having to ask your customer for power.
Your inverter should be well powerful enough to run that key machine.
I've had 2 vehicles where I had a heavy wire connecting front and back batteries without an inverter between the two. I've never had problems starting my key machine on a 1500 inverter with that set-up.
I'm in the midst of researching batteries and cables and fuses for my new van.
Sunshine Locksmith Team
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prmirage wrote: > I have a Cole 4k Key Machine that has worked great since I purchased it > used 8 months ago. Up until recently, I have been embarrassingly using > customer power to run it. Having purchased a used Van I quickly began > putting together my power needs. I purchased a Vector Maxx SST 2000w > 110/220 inverter that provides 18amps. After hooking everything up I > plugged the key machine in directly to the inverter and watched as my > machine chugged painfully to start. Meanwhile I received an audible > continuous beeping from the inverter. After some reading, I learned > that some older electric motors are not compatible with most inverters. > So off to Grainger I went and bought a newer Dayton 1/4hp - 115v - > 4.5amp electric motor. Before placing it into my machine I tested it by > plugging it in to the inverter. Although it was closer to kicking over > than my old motor it still wouldn't start - that is, until I > started the van. To my excitement, the motor kicked over and reached > full RPM. > > I took out the old motor, put in the new one, attached the drive belt > and kicked on the switch. Again, chug-chug but no start and the same > audible from the inverter. After holding back a few tears, I scratched > my head then removed the belt and wow, the motor turns over. Replaced > the belt and no start. At this point I am at a loss. With a load on the > motor, it won't kick over at all. And that's with the engine > running on the van. I metered the lines at the inverter and I'm > getting 12.3vdc so I don't quite understand what's going on. I know > motors tend to require more power to start than most other appliances > but one would think that this inverter could handle it. The wiring was > already in the van running from the battery to the cab. I'm not quite > sure of the gauge but it is fairly thick (maybe and 1/8") and solid > copper (not stranded). It's about a 10-12' run from the battery to > the inverter. The batter specs are Napa Legend 75 load tested at > 335amps. > > So there it is. I'm hoping somebody here has a solution to my dilemma > because I am at a loss here. I can't believe the inverter isn't > enough. I know locksmiths who are using 1200w inverters just fine. I > know it isn't the motor because that's brand new. Could it be my > battery? I just don't know. For now, I'm back to using customer > power which is really embarrassing considering I have a van now. > > Any help will be greatly appreciated... > > prmirage >
Reply to
SunshineTeam.net
I agree with Shiva... run a larger #1 wire and run your power directly. (stay away form all the vans components). also, fuse it to protect you working components.
I run a 3K watt Honeywell generator so I can't tell ya much about converters.
my2¢
Reply to
Key
"Stormin Mormon" <cayoung61-#spamblock*-@hotmail.com> wrote in message news:ek9Zf.40138$ snipped-for-privacy@twister.nyroc.rr.com...
I never like the idea of having a battery inside the van.
my2¢
Reply to
Key
knew a man that had a Dodge.. 3 batteries...
something about the FIRST amp required 2 40 amp fuses to feed the SECOND amp that had 2-60 amp fuses.. funny thing was the stereo wasnt really THAT good.. lots of fried alternators tho.. ate one about every 3 months or so..
I like my generator too
--Shiva--
Reply to
me
Yep, this really can not be recommended; sometimes batteries exhaust explosive gases or even spontaneously explode. I really would not like this :)
Ralph.
Reply to
Ralph A. Schmid, DK5RAS
Thanks so much for you suggestions so far...I really am not fond of the two battery idea either. Too many horror stories. At any rate...Here's where I'm at.
I just bought a new battery at Autozone that is actually more suitable for the Van all together. It's a larger battery with 800 cca below 32f and 1000 cca above 32f. I had them put a load of 1000 at the store for 30 seconds and the volts dipped slightly but not below 11.5. Also, I searched hard for 1 gauge battery cable to no avail. All of the audio places carry it but only in amplifier installation kits at $250 a pop. Automotive places dont even carry it. Lowes carries #2 electrical wire but it is the thicker strands and working with it in this application would be a chore to say the least. I might as well try and bend conduit with my hands. So, I bought a set of jumper cables rated at #2. In speaking with the auto and audio guys, the difference between 1 and 2 would be so minute that it wouldn't make a difference. But, if I wanted, I can move my inverter closer towards the front of the van to lessen the distance, thus making the #2 more than enough.
I'm off to test this out so wish me luck! I'll post my results soon.
prmirage
Reply to
prmirage
You can get #1 or #0 cable on eBay by the foot.
(I've already researched.)
prmirage wrote: > Thanks so much for you suggestions so far...I really am not fond of the > two battery idea either. Too many horror stories. At any rate...Here's > where I'm at. > > I just bought a new battery at Autozone that is actually more suitable > for the Van all together. It's a larger battery with 800 cca below 32f > and 1000 cca above 32f. I had them put a load of 1000 at the store for > 30 seconds and the volts dipped slightly but not below 11.5. Also, I > searched hard for 1 gauge battery cable to no avail. All of the audio > places carry it but only in amplifier installation kits at $250 a pop. > Automotive places dont even carry it. Lowes carries #2 electrical wire > but it is the thicker strands and working with it in this application > would be a chore to say the least. I might as well try and bend conduit > with my hands. So, I bought a set of jumper cables rated at #2. In > speaking with the auto and audio guys, the difference between 1 and 2 > would be so minute that it wouldn't make a difference. But, if I > wanted, I can move my inverter closer towards the front of the van to > lessen the distance, thus making the #2 more than enough. > > I'm off to test this out so wish me luck! I'll post my results soon. > > prmirage >
Reply to
SunshineTeam.net
ANY place that can build batter cables has it as well.. farm tractor supply places carry it.. and YES, its a pain to bend.. try 0000 if you really want fun.. BTDT as well.
--Shiva--
Reply to
me
Well, my project is complete and I am happy to announce - SUCCESS! A slight chrip from the inverter on initial load and the key machine fires up to full RPM without even the smallest hickup!
So, asside from the motor I thought was the original problem ($85.99 @ Grainger) here is the total cost:
Battery - Autozone - 800cca/1000cca - $79.99 Booster Cables 2 gauge/20ft. - $39.99 Total: $119.98 (tax not included)
The booster cables worked out great. I drilled out the rivets holding the clamps on then used a larger drill bit to make the whole larger - Instant lugs. I ran the cable under the van, keeping clear of the exhaust pipe and cat converter fastening it in various places with heavy duty ties (doubled up). I still had cable to spare when I reached the battery. Actually a clean job if I do say so myself. All in all I got a new battery, new motor for my key machine and a whole bunch of great information from all of you.
Thank you so much for all the help!
prmirage
Reply to
prmirage
I think you're approaching this the wrong way. Consider getting a 12-volt DC motor of a suitable RPM for the key machine.
Reply to
Jay Hennigan

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