Xantrex or Samlex 2000?

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  • DillDill Solar Expert Posts: 170 ✭✭
    Re: Xantrex or Samlex 2000?

    3 amps DC according to my Trimetric meter. The inverter will idle down to about 400ma with no load. I do have it tied into a transfer switch, so I'll try the extension cord test tonight, as well as measure the voltage through each. I'll also try putting a larger load on it to see if the flickering changes.
  • ywhicywhic Solar Expert Posts: 621 ✭✭
    Re: Xantrex or Samlex 2000?
    ywhic wrote: »
    Specs from the Xantrex manual:

    Output voltage (nominal) 120 Vac RMS ±5%
    Output voltage range 104–127 Vac

    How can it be 120 +/- 5% and be 104-127 V ??

    Should say 114 to 126 IMHO..

    This has me re-thinking my selection in favor of the Samlex.. ughh..

    ETA.. I found some notes saying Xantrex Pro Sine has a sleep mode.. looking for 10-15 watts or more every 2 seconds.. maybe they have it on all there Sine boards and just don't say anything..
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,212 admin
    Re: Xantrex or Samlex 2000?

    Many CFL's have very poor "power factor" (0.6 or even 0.5)... Non-linear and inductive loads (like induction motors) can cause inverters some stability problems. A few folks found that if they place one filament bulb on a string of CFL's--things can work better.

    Not sure if it is your "problem"--But it is a cheap test.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • WxboyWxboy Solar Expert Posts: 70 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex or Samlex 2000?

    Usually when I saw the flickering I was running 1 to 3 CFL's and a small crt tv. When I noticed the flickering I would check the Killawatt I have plugged into the inverter and see the voltage jumping up or two 1-3 volts. Again, no other electronics have a problem, just the lights. I still love the inverter.

    ywhic, I have only seen the voltage fluctuate between 118-124 under normal use so I wouldn't worry about the output voltage range that looks scary. It does seem to hold within the +/-5% of 120V very well.
  • 2manytoyz2manytoyz Solar Expert Posts: 373 ✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex or Samlex 2000?
    fish wrote: »
    Photowit Thanks for the review link - Had not seen anything negative. Their was a great you tube demo proving the naysayers wrong though.

    Brock Thanks for you opinions - all input counts!

    I think I'll try to wait a while until I see a review of the new Samlex - If I can't wait maybe I'll review it first! lol

    I have the Xantrex Prowatt SW2000 inverter. That was my video on YouTube contradicting the negative reviews on Amazon. If someone uses a small battery bank, and/or small cables, the inverter will experience a low DC input voltage, causing it to shutdown. That's not the fault of the inverter, but rather an improper installation.

    I connected a scope to my inverter, here's the actual waveform:

    Attachment not found.

    Per the Xantrex manual, the recommended cable for this inverter is 4/0:

    Attachment not found.

    Has no problem running a 1500W heatgun, despite the Amazon reviews:

    Attachment not found.

    Attachment not found.


    As for CFL bulbs, I ran the indoor, and outdoor lighting at my last house exclusively for the past couple of years from MSW inverters. Not PSW. No flicker, no hum, no noticible difference between grid power light quality, and running on the inverter. I was careful to only run a couple of lights from the inverter since CFL bulbs are inductive loads, and these inverters can cause a strobe effect if there's too much of an inductive load. The fix is to either add a resistive load, or reduce the number of inductive loads. AFAIK, this does not apply to PSW inverters. I have not tested this yet.

    I had zero issues running a 5000 BTU A/C unit, two fridges, lights, TV, fan, etc, all from this inverter.

    Samlex is a good brand. We've used their DC-DC 24V to 12V converters at work inside M-113 Armored Personnel Carriers. Tough product, does well. Not used any of their inverters, but heard good things about the smaller capacity models.

    I did buy my Xantrex Prowatt SW2000 from Camping World on sale for $349 a couple of years ago. They had the best price at the time. I've found them available for ~$320 recently. Pleased with the product.
  • DillDill Solar Expert Posts: 170 ✭✭
    Re: Xantrex or Samlex 2000?

    my 1000 watt is hooked up to my batteries with 15 inches of 2 gauge on the positive side, and probably 24 inches at the negative (to allow for the shunt to be mounted). Voltage at the inverter just now is 12.65V, my Trimetric is showing the usual 3.5 amp draw this time of night, which is my cable tv signal amplifier, a light, and some cell chargers etc.

    Earlier today, I plugged my Kill-A-Watt into the offending outlet, then I plugged my lamp into it with the incandescent installed. I noticed the flickering, the Kill-A-Watt stated 118 volts and 58hz, just now I checked it, and it's not flickering at 116.3V and 59.9hz. Go figure. I've been out all night buying flooring and cabinets for my cabin so I haven't gotten a chance to try the extension cord thing yet. All in time...

    I just re-worked all my battery connections, so I know they're all tight.

    One thing I thought of to try is to plug in my PowerMax 55A charger and see if that stops the flickering. I'll probably need to do so tomorrow anyways as it's going to be cloudy.
  • WxboyWxboy Solar Expert Posts: 70 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex or Samlex 2000?

    I have had luck running the tv, lights, plus a laptop and that seemed to improve/reduce the frequency of the flickering compared to not having the laptop plugged in but I haven't done enough experimenting to know exactly what situations are good and bad. Recently I've mostly been running my LCD tv and PS3 and not running lights.

    A special thank you to 2manytoyz because without his review on YouTube I would have been hesitant to buy the Prowatt after reading the negative reviews on Amazon.
  • DillDill Solar Expert Posts: 170 ✭✭
    Re: Xantrex or Samlex 2000?

    I purchased a Morningstar SureSine 300 from NAWS for my off grid cabin, and hooked it up to my transfer switch to let it 'burn in' for a week or so before installing it in the cabin. So far, after 3 days, no light flickering at all. I have another week or so to let it run, but I'm guessing I won't see any flickering. I'll be curious to see if my alarm clock runs more up to time as well. It's too bad Morningstar doesn't make larger versions of this inverter, I'm pretty impressed with it so far. The thing is built like a tank!
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex or Samlex 2000?
    Dill wrote: »
    I purchased a Morningstar SureSine 300 from NAWS for my off grid cabin, and hooked it up to my transfer switch to let it 'burn in' for a week or so before installing it in the cabin. So far, after 3 days, no light flickering at all. I have another week or so to let it run, but I'm guessing I won't see any flickering. I'll be curious to see if my alarm clock runs more up to time as well. It's too bad Morningstar doesn't make larger versions of this inverter, I'm pretty impressed with it so far. The thing is built like a tank!

    Letting it "burn in for a week or so" before putting it in service? Interesting concept.:D
    These are indeed awesome inverters and I totally agree, it's tragic that Morningstar doesn't make bigger inverters, as well as 24 volt versions. Boggles my mind, especially the lack of a 24 volt version of the SS 300.
    I truly expect the only flicker you'll see in your lights is when some heavy , or relatively heavy load starts, or when you've got your 1000 watt car stereo thumping out the bass and pulsing the battery voltage in time of the "music". :D
  • DillDill Solar Expert Posts: 170 ✭✭
    Re: Xantrex or Samlex 2000?

    well, I'm in the IT industry, and I've been 'burning in' systems for 15+ years. It's just my way of ensuring something doesn't fry.

    Now, ask me if I've actually had any systems fail between the 2 hour mark, and the 1 week mark. The answer would be almost never :)
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