(Topic ID: 260854)

Power inverter question


By goldenboy232

11 months ago



Topic Stats

  • 6 posts
  • 5 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 11 months ago by fixintoplay
  • No one calls this topic a favorite

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    #1 11 months ago

    Hi guys, I’ve been a bit AWOL from Pinside over the past four or five months, and one of the reasons why is because I’ve been dealing with trying to find a place for my Pinball collection.

    Long story short, I’m losing access to the garage in which I have had my collection in the past 3+ years, which I’ve also used as a workshop. So in the next couple of months I’m going to have to find a new place to either put my collection in storage indefinitely, or find a new garage/workspace.

    One idea I had was to put the games in a climate controlled storage unit that I currently have, and turn that into an arcade/workshop.

    Like most storage units, mine does not have AC outlets of any kind in it. I was wondering if it’s feasible for me to consider using a power inverter, or even a couple of power inverters, to convert a storage space into a usable arcade/workshop? If that’s a dumb idea, my apologies, I truly know almost nothing about power inverters.

    I was thinking I could put one or two in there, plug my games in to them, and also plug tools in like soldering irons, rotary tumbler, ultrasonic cleaner, etc. when I’m restoring a game.

    Would something like that work? What size inverter or inverters would I need? How long does it charge typically last on one of those? Are they noisy?

    Just trying to explore all my options.

    #2 11 months ago

    I know a few things about inverters. If your going to use an inverter do not use the small cheap ones or any kind of modified square wave inverter of yesteryear. They will fry your boards. The type of inverter you would need is not cheap. Full sign wave. I would go with Outback or Trace. The trace 4024 would work nicely. You can find used ones on Ebay. Now if you really want to go big time, you should add a couple of solar panels ( Like Sharp 224s) and charge controller (outback Flexmax 40) ! That would keep your batteries charged and you would always have power! I design off the grid solar power systems for residential. I have one of my own for my house in Colorado. We don't need No stinking Grid Power!

    #3 11 months ago

    You'd need a bank of deep cycle ($$$$) batteries and at least a 3,000 watt inverter (also $$$$). If you plugged your games into the inverter, you might be lucky to get 2 hours run time before the batteries die. For what you are proposing, a 3,000 watt generator would be better and give longer run time.

    #4 11 months ago

    OK this is sounding like it would not be an option then. I could not run a generator in a commercial storage unit anyway.

    I do have only EM games if that matters, but it sounds like I would need a huge amount of power to make this work.

    Quoted from KenLayton:

    You'd need a bank of deep cycle ($$$$) batteries and at least a 3,000 watt inverter (also $$$$). If you plugged your games into the inverter, you might be lucky to get 2 hours run time before the batteries die. For what you are proposing, a 3,000 watt generator would be better and give longer run time.

    #5 11 months ago

    When I had a storage unit I took out the light bulb and screwed in this piece that had a place to plug in a 2 prong cord. And then the light bulb screws into that. And for a 3 prong cord you can get a two prong adapter that plugs into that and accepts a 3 prong. If that makes any sense. Any hardware store should have them.

    #6 11 months ago

    You're in a tough spot. Storage unit businesses that do not provide their tenants with AC outlets inside the units are trying to tell them something: "don't use our electricity." Outlets are rare for most non-commercial units. Besides, most EMs after 1970 are 3-wire systems -- the third wire being ground -- which means the 2-wire hack suggested in post 5 can pose risk of electric shock. So even if you did have enough amps available from, say, a light fixture, you'd somehow have to work that ground wire, if it's accessible, into your hookup. Some businesses do provide common power outlets outside but that can involve multiple extension cords.

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