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post #1 of 14 Old 10-29-2010, 06:55 PM Thread Starter
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Inverter wiring question

I have a 800 watt (1600 surge) inverter (~70 amps) I want to wire into the "trunk" of my JKU. I looked at the wiring "sticky" and found that a #2 gauge wire is enough to run amperage. My question is do I need to run both a hot (+) and ground (-) to the battery, or can I use a grounding point in the rear and just run a hot wire to the front? Yes, I will be fusing/relay the hot wire.

Also, can I utilize the "hot" wire that goes to the TIPM for some of my other items (CB, OBA, lights...) or should all this come off of the battery? I can't afford a SPOD at this point, but will be purchasing/fabricating one in the future.


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post #2 of 14 Old 10-29-2010, 07:35 PM
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When I do this, I will be running two wires from the battery terminals (fused positive).
There is a lug on the back of mine for a short wire from the inverter case to the vehicle body/chassis.

When you say trunk, do you mean the cargo bay, or the hidden compartment under the cover?
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post #3 of 14 Old 10-29-2010, 07:39 PM
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I would recommend using a circuit breaker for that application. Even like a blue sea marine circuit breaker. Just because it is resettable if you over do it.

You can use the junction where the tipm meets the battery, just consider how much load you are putting through the cable to it.

Same thing for the ground at the back of the Jk. If it was me I'd run another ground from the battery to the frame by the engine, and ground the inverter to the frame in the back. That makes your entire ground circuit stronger throughout the vehicle and cuts down on cable usage.

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post #4 of 14 Old 10-29-2010, 08:12 PM
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I used this, also recommends 4ga. I put 85a variable load with 3% drop over 12'.

http://beta.circuitwizard.bluesea.com/

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post #5 of 14 Old 10-29-2010, 08:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goodysgotacuda View Post
I used this, also recommends 4ga. I put 85a variable load with 3% drop over 12'.

http://beta.circuitwizard.bluesea.com/
Nice.
I had decided to use #4ga.
Haven't decided where or how to mount it.
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post #6 of 14 Old 10-29-2010, 08:30 PM
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I wired mine up like so:







The cable is probably overkill for only 400W but it leaves room for future upgrade. My only concern at this point is the + cable is not fused between the bat & firewall. It's been in for almost two years with zero issues.

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post #7 of 14 Old 10-29-2010, 08:47 PM
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Ok let me take a shot at this. If I were wiring it like you this is how I would do it: grab power from an ignition switched source (like the cig lighter) wired to a switch mounted wherever that activates a relay. Off that relay is where you use your heavy gauge wiring to send power to a circuit breaker then to the + of the inverter. You can then run a ground to either the chasis or straight to the battery for a cleaner more secure ground. By using the cab mounted switch and relay you insure the inverter doesn't get power unless the ignition is switched on, so some douchebag can kill your battery by using your inverter without your knowledge.

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post #8 of 14 Old 10-29-2010, 08:57 PM
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Whats the inverter for...A blender for the Margaritas??
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post #9 of 14 Old 10-29-2010, 08:57 PM
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You'll need more of a solenoid rather than a relay for that much load.

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post #10 of 14 Old 10-29-2010, 09:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Krunchytaco View Post
Whats the inverter for...A blender for the Margaritas??
I use mine for running fans or utility lights when camping or Christmas lights


Quote:
Originally Posted by Goodysgotacuda View Post
You'll need more of a solenoid rather than a relay for that much load.
Heard that. & 800W through the cigarette lighter circuit aint gonna float. And a potentially dead battery is half the reason I got an inverter with a LVCO. Making AC out of DC is no joke on a battery.

And I don;t know about the rest of ya not running a fridge in the back but mine doesn't get used often enough to worry about ease of access to the power switch.

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post #11 of 14 Old 10-29-2010, 09:16 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goodysgotacuda View Post
I would recommend using a circuit breaker for that application. Even like a blue sea marine circuit breaker. Just because it is resettable if you over do it.

You can use the junction where the tipm meets the battery, just consider how much load you are putting through the cable to it.

Same thing for the ground at the back of the Jk. If it was me I'd run another ground from the battery to the frame by the engine, and ground the inverter to the frame in the back. That makes your entire ground circuit stronger throughout the vehicle and cuts down on cable usage.
Thanks for the idea of a circuit breaker - makes sense. The more I think about it, I think it's best to run both hot and ground to the back - electricity tends to take the path of least resistance and could fry the smaller grounds, same reason we wire a winch to the batt instead of the frame.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Goodysgotacuda View Post
I used this, also recommends 4ga. I put 85a variable load with 3% drop over 12'.

http://beta.circuitwizard.bluesea.com/
Yea, 2ga is a little overkill, but since I'm running wire back there might as well have some overkill for the future.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scottrock View Post
I wired mine up like so:


The cable is probably overkill for only 400W but it leaves room for future upgrade. My only concern at this point is the + cable is not fused between the bat & firewall. It's been in for almost two years with zero issues.
Looks great! Nice and neat.

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Originally Posted by jeepersheart View Post
Ok let me take a shot at this. If I were wiring it like you this is how I would do it: grab power from an ignition switched source (like the cig lighter) wired to a switch mounted wherever that activates a relay. Off that relay is where you use your heavy gauge wiring to send power to a circuit breaker then to the + of the inverter. You can then run a ground to either the chasis or straight to the battery for a cleaner more secure ground. By using the cab mounted switch and relay you insure the inverter doesn't get power unless the ignition is switched on, so some douchebag can kill your battery by using your inverter without your knowledge.
Thanks. Haven't found a relay to handle that much current, but a solenoid....hmm. (Thanks goody)

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Originally Posted by Krunchytaco View Post
Whats the inverter for...A blender for the Margaritas??
Blender, flat screen, computer, wife's vibe, whatever...

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Originally Posted by STUPIDFACE View Post
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Last edited by babiehughie; 10-29-2010 at 09:21 PM.
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post #12 of 14 Old 10-29-2010, 09:19 PM
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very cool...I have one in my garage waiting to go into something and this would be useful for tailgaiting.
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post #13 of 14 Old 10-29-2010, 10:50 PM
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If you pick a good chassis or frame ground, there's no electrical difference between that and going back to the battery. In fact, it will be better than running a wire back, the chassis/frame is a fawking HUGE conductor, and will present less resistance. Also remember, you will be running this off the alternator, not the battery, most of the time. But the wires between the alternator, battery and chassis are rated for the full 140/160A output of your alternator. The chassis itself is a big and efficient enough conductor that it's current-carrying ability is virtually unlimited.

+1 on the solenoid and breaker. You can use the left-side cigarette lighter outlet to activate the solenoid -- it goes on-and-off with the key -- possibly with a switch in series, mounted on the dash, so you can keep the inverter off when not needed, even when the key is on. Keep the breaker and solenoid as close to the battery as possible, this way you're not sending power down the hot wire when you don't want to, and if you do get a short the breaker will be as close to the power source as possible. You'll also need crimp-on or screw-on lugs for the end connections, as wire that size is virtually impossible to solder.

Personally, I would go with 2 gauge, but I like to over-engineer things. According to the wire capacity charts I have, 4 gauge is good for 3% drop up to 15', 2 gauge up to 25', both at 80A. IIRC, you need to base this on the total round-trip distance, not just the one-way distance from the battery to the load; but I'm not 100% certain if this applies when using a chassis/frame ground.

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Last edited by BumpInTheRoad; 10-29-2010 at 10:56 PM.
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post #14 of 14 Old 10-30-2010, 07:22 AM
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I agree on the chassis ground and adding another ground strap, but its up to the original poster. Your 70a and a winches 300-400a are not on the same playing field.

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