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Anybody know about inverters?

 
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Hairyloon



Joined: 20 Nov 2008
Posts: 15232
Location: Today I are mostly being in Yorkshire.
PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 19 8:56 am    Post subject: Anybody know about inverters?  Reply with quote    

I plugged my soldering iron into my inverter yesterday and it (the iron) started buzzing then the blue smoke escaped.
The iron was temperature controlled one, not just a simple heater, but it was a cheap one, so it might be just coincidence that it went when plugged into the inverter, but it seems more likely that the inverter killed it.

So, what is likely wrong with the inverter, and can we fix it?

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 35259
Location: yes
PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 19 11:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

put a meter on the inverter out put , check for 230v (ish). dont get zapped.

if an inverter is going wrong it is usually low or no output rather than a v spike .

i would suspect a soldering iron before i would suspect a surge from an inverter.

Hairyloon



Joined: 20 Nov 2008
Posts: 15232
Location: Today I are mostly being in Yorkshire.
PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 19 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

dpack wrote:
put a meter on the inverter out put , check for 230v (ish). dont get zapped.

if an inverter is going wrong it is usually low or no output rather than a v spike .

i would suspect a soldering iron before i would suspect a surge from an inverter.

I don't think it was a surge, more likely a dodgy waveform: the iron buzzed for a bit before the smoke escaped.
I plan to borrow a scope to have a look, but for some reason a meter had not occurred to me.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 35259
Location: yes
PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 19 5:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

buzzed sounds like a melting bit of soldering iron but that is most likely to be a soldering iron issue.

small cheap red hot wire heating element switch gear plastic thin metal bits , i aint seen yours but i have killed a few with those criteria

Hairyloon



Joined: 20 Nov 2008
Posts: 15232
Location: Today I are mostly being in Yorkshire.
PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 19 7:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

dpack wrote:
small cheap red hot wire heating element switch gear plastic thin metal bits , i aint seen yours but i have killed a few with those criteria

Nah, the switching is with silicon. It's a S3F94C8 chip, if that means anything to you, but my guess is that the problem is in the power converter.

I've a picture of the circuit here if it helps (the iron, not the inverter).



Hairyloon



Joined: 20 Nov 2008
Posts: 15232
Location: Today I are mostly being in Yorkshire.
PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 19 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

dpack wrote:
put a meter on the inverter out put , check for 230v (ish). dont get zapped...

About 160V.
I've got a scope here, but it's not mine and it's only rated to 20V.
Could use a divider, but I'm not entirely confident on that...

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 35259
Location: yes
PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 19 10:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

put the scope away. you might kill it.

160 out of a 230 device is a bit shabby but it was the soldering iron on fire

2 problems is very plausible

a possible one problem fits both symptoms would be the inverter electronics have broken and decided to drop the voltage and up the current.
i give that a fairly low confidence but failing stuff does odd things

try the inverter with a few "crash test dummy " appliances in a place where applying normal fire fighting procedures is safe and easy and see if they :

A function
or
B apply normal fire fighting procedures

never trash a meter or whatever posh kit if a light bulb or old hair dryer will give the required data

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