Power Inverter

Every modern car comes with its own DC power source (what most of us call the cigarette lighter). And most of us use it pretty frequently. DC power cables can be sold for all sorts of appliances, from cell phone chargers to GPS systems and mp3 players. It's very convenient to have a power supply ready to go, but for those of us who use tons of small appliances, this might not be enough. For those people, an AC/DC power converter is the way to go. It will allow you to plug in more than one appliance, use more power, and best of all, it will literally allow you to do hundreds more things in your car.

The concept of a power converter is very simple. You plug it into your car's AC power source (some bigger cars have a few to choose from). From there the power converter usually provides two or three normal electric outlets, just like the ones you have in your house. This allows you to plug in an regular electric cord right into your car. You can watch TV, play videogames, or power your laptop, all through this one device. It's extremely convenient for people who use a lot of gadgets, or for larger groups of people taking along car trip.

Best of all, the power inverter is very inexpensive, and will likely actually save money over time. The common power inverters usually cost between $30 and $40, and give out somewhere between 200 and 400 watts of power. The more heavy-duty inverters are much more expensive, but they're made for vehicles with very high power supplies (and usually with high-end alternators as well). Those can cost up to $1,000, and can provide around 1800 watts of power, which is fairly enormous. The regular models, however, will easily satisfy most people, and they'll have enough power to run most appliances you would use in a car or SUV. And they also can actually save money, because you’ll no longer have to buy special DC cables just so your regular appliances will also work in your car.

For applications like TVs, laptops, phone or camera chargers, or handheld videogames, you usually won't need more than 300 watts. Providing more power than that will also require you to connect the power inverter to the actual battery, as opposed to the cigarette lighter. Don't worry, though, any inverters using that much power will be designed for easy and convenient connection. For microwaves or refrigerators, you’ll need more like 1200 watts, something that requires a high-end battery and electrical system.

Most power inverters are of a rectangular shape, and you can find them online or at most auto or electronic shops. Some shops have them in specific sizes made specifically for glove compartments or cup holders. Also, it is recommended that you get a separate, deep cell battery for some of the more high-wattage inverters (your car battery is a starter battery). These are meant for more long-term use than your regular car battery, and can be used longer when your car is off.

Power Inverters have a great amount of uses, and if you take a lot of trips with groups of people, or your just use a lot of electronic applications, you owe it t yourself to invest in one. Not only can it actually save you money, but it can make a trip so much easier and more convenient. Even if it's just you in the car, you can bring your computer, speakers, cell phone and camera charger and TV, and have them all at your convenience while driving. And if you get a better one, you can literally live out of your vehicle, carrying your microwave, cooking materials and refrigerate with you on the road. It's a great addition to your vehicle overall.

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