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Power Inverters - Best for Inspire 2

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Hello all,

Have an Inspire 2 and sometimes fly a mavic and phantom 4 owned by a client of mine. I’ve been using a 2000 watt inverter (cigarette plug) in my Tahoe and it charged the I2 batteries no problem except the cord would get really warm and the inverter would alarm so I’d shut it down fir a few minutes and everything was ok.

When I fly my clients mavic and Phantom I noticed the inverter wasn’t charging the batteries. I have a power outlet in my Tahoe on the center console and tried it out and that works. Not sure if my inverter is broken. I tried hooking up to the battery via the alligator clips and same problem. The display says it’s the correct voltage outpu.

I haven’t flown my I2 in a while so I don’t know if the inverter will still charge the I2 batteries. I was on a shoot and a guy had a phantom and was using a cheap little inverter and he said it would start to charge and then cut off. Looks like some of these inverters are hit or miss.

I was wondering what everyone is using and what works best. I know about the dji car charger and that it takes a good while to charge with it so I’d like to stay with an inverter so I can charge the ipad etc while I’m at it.
 
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The Editor

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Hello all,

Have an Inspire 2 and sometimes fly a mavic and phantom 4 owned by a client of mine. I’ve been using a 2000 watt inverter (cigarette plug) in my Tahoe and it charged the I2 batteries no problem except the cord would get really warm and the inverter would alarm so I’d shut it down fir a few minutes and everything was ok.

When I fly my clients mavic and Phantom I noticed the inverter wasn’t charging the batteries. I have a power outlet in my Tahoe on the center console and tried it out and that works. Not sure if my inverter is broken. I tried hooking up to the battery via the alligator clips and same problem. The display says it’s the correct voltage outpu.

I haven’t flown my I2 in a while so I don’t know if the inverter will still charge the I2 batteries. I was on a shoot and a guy had a phantom and was using a cheap little inverter and he said it would start to charge and then cut off. Looks like some of these inverters are hit or miss.

I was wondering what everyone is using and what works best. I know about the dji car charger and that it takes a good while to charge with it so I’d like to stay with an inverter so I can charge the ipad etc while I’m at it.

Using 'Inverter' as the keyword in the search field....













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I’ve seen a bunch of these threads and some of them are old. I was wondering if people had an up to date inverter that they may be using now that has worked well for them.
 
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I use a 500 watt sine wave (as opposed to less expensive square wave) inverter that direct connects to auto battery rather than using the accessory cigarette lighter outlet; as I was concerned about voltage drop and or excessive current draw tripping breaker or blowing fuse. You can find inverters 'reasonably' priced on Amazon. I don't know enough about the DJI's charger's aversion to square wave inverters so opted for the sine wave one, which of coure mimics a standard USA 120VAC outlet.
 
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I had a similar experience with a Mavic Pro and a Pro 2. Using a Bestek half wave power inverter it would charge the Pro just fine, but not the 2 Pro. I javen’t tried it yet, but I think I may need a full wave inverter.
 
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I use a 500 watt sine wave (as opposed to less expensive square wave) inverter that direct connects to auto battery rather than using the accessory cigarette lighter outlet; as I was concerned about voltage drop and or excessive current draw tripping breaker or blowing fuse. You can find inverters 'reasonably' priced on Amazon. I don't know enough about the DJI's charger's aversion to square wave inverters so opted for the sine wave one, which of coure mimics a standard USA 120VAC outlet.
What make/model do you have?
 

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Hello, my name is Mike D. and I am happy to help you out with this.

Most of the previous posts are older but not much if anything has really changed.

I do have a lot of experience on this one, and I am opinionated. My first opinion is that making sure you have the correct size wire is important! (if not you won't get the performance you need and it will heat up). Also paying attention to OHMs Law is important. (https://ohmslawcalculator.com/ohms-law-calculator) Also, you are going to want to make sure to keep in mind wire length. Size or Guage and Length will determine how much available power is available to your inverter. To accommodate for line loss here is a link to a calculator site. (https://www.calculator.net/voltage-drop-calculator.html) In addition to the above, you going to want to make sure you apply the 20% rule. This basically states that all your breakers or cables should not exceed 80% load, leaving 20% for fluctuations and bad math. As for your voltage range, I try my best to keep it as close to true as possible. But even your local power company has a ~5% or 5volt +- range. That is why you will sometimes hear 110v,115v, or 120v it's really 115v +- 5.

All of this really focuses on preplanning. Now if you connecting it directly to a battery that helps, I typically get the battery connection cables from Autozone, and that works well without a lot of thought connected directly or within a couple of feet of the battery. I also have an individual inverter for each charger I plan to run. I tried a 3500W inverter hardwired into my vehicle but then I just started having more troubles, I also learned that I will never get 3500W actually out of it. Some inverters use different equations to determine what the output is and what they advertise which does not help at all.
 
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I use a Jupiter 1000 Watt Continuous/2000 Watt Peak Modified Sine Wave Power Inverter. It has two outlets and is able to power TWO I2 battery chargers (charging 4 batteries at once). I have it connected to the auto battery with a 3' #2 AWG power cable. Bought it at Harbor Freight ($90). Important note on using an inverter: DO NOT plan on buying an inverter and trying to plug it in to the 'cigarette lighter' plug. An inverter requires a lot of power to run safely. The #2 power cable is real thick and is needed to keep your connection cool. I have the inverter connected to a 'deep cell' camper battery in my VW Eurovan Camper. Beware if you are using your car starter battery, since you run the risk of discharging to the point of not being able to start your car. Also, a deep cell battery is designed to absorb a lot of discharge without damaging it. I am able to charge a 2 sets of I2 batteries (all at once) WITHOUT the engine running. And even if the inverter starts 'signing' for more battery, I can easily start the car (using the unaffected starter battery) to feed the deep cell battery more juice. Hope that helps everyone wanting to field charge. I am able to keep up with all day projects (I only have 4 sets of I2 batteries) with ease.
 
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Although nothing can beat the reliability and simplicity of a portable 1000W Honda gasoline generator, second car battery with quality 1000W Sine Wave inverter will do. This additional battery, however, must be installed with a battery isolator (or split charge relay), which allows an auxiliary battery to be charged by the vehicle's system, yet not participate in engine starting. It also prevents the starting battery from being run down by your equipment when the engine is off. As S White stated above, heavy duty wiring is required thoroughly to avoid voltage drop. Cigarette lighter sockets within such circuitry are a big NO.

Edit: not to be confused with DJI car charger, designed for light duty performance via cigarette lighter socket.
 
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Totally concur with Dobmatt. The only reason I am able to safely use the Eurovan deep cell, is because the vehicle is setup as a camper. All the electrical units use the deep cell (frig, etc) AND the camper is setup to charge the deep cell with the engine or plugged in to 'shore power'. And the battery has the perfect wing nuts on the +/- terminals to attach the #2 power cables. Unless you do it right, you risk safety AND dead/damaged starter battery. A portable generator is likely your best field solution.
 
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Hello all,

Have an Inspire 2 and sometimes fly a mavic and phantom 4 owned by a client of mine. I’ve been using a 2000 watt inverter (cigarette plug) in my Tahoe and it charged the I2 batteries no problem except the cord would get really warm and the inverter would alarm so I’d shut it down fir a few minutes and everything was ok.

When I fly my clients mavic and Phantom I noticed the inverter wasn’t charging the batteries. I have a power outlet in my Tahoe on the center console and tried it out and that works. Not sure if my inverter is broken. I tried hooking up to the battery via the alligator clips and same problem. The display says it’s the correct voltage outpu.

I haven’t flown my I2 in a while so I don’t know if the inverter will still charge the I2 batteries. I was on a shoot and a guy had a phantom and was using a cheap little inverter and he said it would start to charge and then cut off. Looks like some of these inverters are hit or miss.

I was wondering what everyone is using and what works best. I know about the dji car charger and that it takes a good while to charge with it so I’d like to stay with an inverter so I can charge the ipad etc while I’m at it.
Inverters can be finicky accepting DC voltage at input. Cigarette lighter sockets are a big NO due to significant voltage drop caused by not sufficient wire size. Therefore direct, heavy duty wiring between car battery (preferably a second one with isolating circuit) and inverter (preferably sine wave, 1000W) is required. That said, a given inverter may refuse to accept input voltages way off nominal 12V. Good quality sine wave inverter will analyze supplied voltage and switch on only when accepted. For example mine (Xantrex PROwatt SW prowatt-sw.aspx) wouldn't switch on with engine running, because the voltage supplied by car battery charging system is too high. Once the inverter is on and working, it will remain in this state regardless until the auxiliary battery is drained below acceptable threshold.
 
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Alternative. I use a HP300 220Wh portable power pack. $149.00. Inputs, 15v 2.5A, DC 5V 3.1A, 120V 300W Max, and CD 12V 10A. 6inX6in. Weighs a couple of pounds. Run all you controllers all day. I can get three full sets of TB50 charges out of it. Works great.
 
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What make/model do you have?
I honestly do not remember, and it's currently in my motorhome in a remote garage. I best remenber I purchased it on Amazon and was not the least expensive, and got good reviews. It did not come with a cigarette lighter adapter, but a set of fairly heavy duty battery clips.
 
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I decided to take the easy route, Harbor Freight 2000 generator, really 1800 watts, no cutting, very portable, runs the TB50 Battery Station with almost 10 amps to spare. $449 with a coupon.
 
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Thanks for all the replies. Another thing is I shoot heavy transport jobs where I’m driving ahead of the transport and setting up for the shot as they pass by so I’m always on the move. A generator wouldn’t work for this type of job.
 

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