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Old 04-11-2014, 11:41 AM   #1
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AIMS Inverter

I am looking at a AIMS 3000 watt inverter to replace my Xantrex. Does anyone have experience with this brand to offer feedback to reliability. The only problem I see there is no remote interface capability to monitor SOC and since my current inverter is not readily accessible this would be an inconvenience. The price on these units is however most acceptable.
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Old 04-11-2014, 01:03 PM   #2
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A few questions:
  • MSW or PSW?
  • Charger too?
  • New or used?
  • Ever seen one in action?
  • Marine rated?
  • Maximum temperature operating rating?
  • Do any new boat builders offer one as standard equipment?
Cheap inverters are that for a reason IMHO.Also, it is common to buy and install BMKs separate from the inverter
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Old 04-11-2014, 01:05 PM   #3
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Yes they seem to be cheap house hold inverters. I would go for something marine.
Ie: Xantrax, Magnum, Victron, outback, etc.
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Old 04-11-2014, 03:21 PM   #4
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Why would you go for an almost un-heard-of non-marine inverter??? The high-quality, latest technology, tried-&-proven solutions from Victron, MasterVolt, Outback etc are not expensive for the core role they play and also have extensive dealer support/known to most marine electricians. I don't get the thinking. The lack of a remote and/or SOC interface alone should be a killer for anyone experienced in this area.
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Old 04-11-2014, 03:48 PM   #5
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I'm guessing the attraction is that an equivalent modified sine wave Magnum, for instance (w/charger and and auto transfer switch) is $1000 more.... triple the price.
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Old 04-11-2014, 04:02 PM   #6
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With more than triple the functionality and safety....I don't think the OP realizes that this is a mission-critical piece of equipment for a cruising vessel.
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Old 04-11-2014, 04:30 PM   #7
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Not sure that just because it's a marine inverter its 3X safer and 3X functional.

Even the cheap ones haven't (and almost all haven't ) burned boats down or have failed to run the vast majority of 110 appliances.

Some pretty decent "non-marine but brand name" inverters are even less than 1/5 of some of those marine brand mentioned.

But it really does depend on how your bot is set up and used....I am finally toying with the idea of becoming sore power independent so a good inverter may finally be in the cards....the cheapo ones have served admirably.
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Old 04-11-2014, 06:51 PM   #8
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Couple of things.
Is your environment fresh or salt water?
Is it anywhere near ER vents?
If not then the "marine" issue is slightly over blown.

The bigger issue, which is a non starter for me is the lack of remote control.

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Old 04-11-2014, 06:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cathy and David View Post
I am looking at a AIMS 3000 watt inverter to replace my Xantrex. Does anyone have experience with this brand to offer feedback to reliability. The only problem I see there is no remote interface capability to monitor SOC and since my current inverter is not readily accessible this would be an inconvenience. The price on these units is however most acceptable.
Inverter only or inverter/charger? Is the Xantrex broken? I agree with the others that a no-name, non-marine inverter is asking for trouble. Not that it will burn your boat down if properly installed and wired, but the marine environment is pretty hostile to electronics and precautions have to be taken. A dead inverter can be pretty inconvenient if you're cruising and expecting to cook meals with your microwave.

You really need either a remote on/off or a physical switch on an accessible inverter. Inverters have a standby current of up to one amp or so even with no load and that can run your batteries down.

I am on my second Xantrex. I replaced it with the same only to avoid rewiring and configuring. I wouldn't recommend Xantrex based on my experience.
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Old 04-11-2014, 09:37 PM   #10
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Replies to Questions

My current Xantrex inverter resides no where near the ER. It resides under the seats to the galley table. The PO was an electrical engineer who took great pains to make sure the inverter was protected and had good ventilation. Believe me I understand and appreciate the marine aspect as it relates to reliability. I am also an electrician by trade and I do not believe the core components of the Marine Xantrex charger inverter make it more reliable than the American made AIM inverter charger especially 3 times more cost wise. I believe the feedback on Xantrex's reliability speaks for itself. In fact AIM's touts the great business they are doing by selling to people with failed Xantrex inverter/chargers. The only concern I had was the inability to interface my current Link interface to monitor SOC however I believe I could still rig a separate battery monitor to serve this function.
My new plan will be to remove the AC outputs from the Xantrex inverter and install a junction box near the current location and run a temporary feed back to my main AC panel to feed my 110 V circuits from shore power/generator until I can evaluate inverter/charger options further. It sucks right now not having AC power outlets on the boat and not having TV.
I really appreciate the feedback and questions.
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Old 04-11-2014, 09:42 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cathy and David View Post
My current Xantrex inverter resides no where near the ER. It resides under the seats to the galley table. The PO was an electrical engineer who took great pains to make sure the inverter was protected and had good ventilation. Believe me I understand and appreciate the marine aspect as it relates to reliability. I am also an electrician by trade and I do not believe the core components of the Marine Xantrex charger inverter make it more reliable than the American made AIM inverter charger especially 3 times more cost wise. I believe the feedback on Xantrex's reliability speaks for itself. In fact AIM's touts the great business they are doing by selling to people with failed Xantrex inverter/chargers. The only concern I had was the inability to interface my current Link interface to monitor SOC however I believe I could still rig a separate battery monitor to serve this function.
My new plan will be to remove the AC outputs from the Xantrex inverter and install a junction box near the current location and run a temporary feed back to my main AC panel to feed my 110 V circuits from shore power/generator until I can evaluate inverter/charger options further. It sucks right now not having AC power outlets on the boat and not having TV.
I really appreciate the feedback and questions.
Yes I would install a rotary switch so you can "jump" the hot straight to the panel incase of an inverter failure.
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Old 04-11-2014, 10:07 PM   #12
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Further Investigation

My further research into the AIMS reveals they do make a remote automatic control for the 3000 w inverter. I like the idea of the rotary switch to act as a transfer switch to shore / generator power in case of inverter failure.
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Old 04-11-2014, 10:14 PM   #13
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Yep, just take a rotary switch like in the photo and throw it into on outdoor junction box and done. Name:  ImageUploadedByTrawler Forum1397268883.407649.jpg
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Old 04-11-2014, 11:59 PM   #14
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I have an AIMS1000 bought from Power Inverters and Solar Inverters for Home and Businesses - The Inverter Store for $74 about 4 years ago. It works fine, and has zero issues. Okay, the one issue it had was my fault.

I'd not tied to a dock for 54 weeks and the first thing I did upon tying up was plug in shore power. That promptly toasted the inverter. I replaced and it's been fine ever since.
And yes, I have one of the switches as shown by Oliver in my stash of unfinished projects. Installing it will come soon -- after this engine swap is finished. That's a good rainy day project.

The Aims1000 is Square Wave, not pure sine.

Also, on mine 1000 with a 3k peak, the fan always blows. The sound is annoying. The smaller units don't have a constantly running fan.
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Old 04-12-2014, 07:24 AM   #15
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>Yep, just take a rotary switch like in the photo and throw it into on outdoor junction box and done.<

That switch needs to be able to transfer the ground and the neutral seperatly.

The ground and neutral are ONLY joined at the source.

On the dock power hose, the connection is somewhere at the marina .

On the noisemaker , its at the noisemaker,

On the inverter its at the inverter.

Any rotary switch has to be able to keep the wiring to code.

======
For most folks the simple 1500W inverters that are under $200 work just fine.

For the folks that can use the following & adding feature of the advanced inverters they could be worth the price.

If a 15A or 30a power source is all that is available and starting/running a second big draw that may be hard starting (2nd Air cond on 30) fine.

If a small noisemaker was preferred it too can be boosted for a while , to operate an added heavy load.

And of course if air cond will be operated from big alternators underway , a higher quality Sine Wave unit would be worth the high cost.
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Old 04-12-2014, 07:33 AM   #16
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The show-stopper for me on this 3000W inverter would be that it only has a 30A charger. I didn't look at options for a remote panel, but I'd definitely want the option to display amps in, amps out, voltage and any other goodies a remote usually gives you.

otherwise, you can't beat the price.
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Old 04-12-2014, 10:37 AM   #17
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30 amp charger is a fatal flaw for anyone who anchors out repeatedly, running the generator to use a 30 amp charger is not justified.
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Old 04-12-2014, 11:36 AM   #18
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30 AMP not too big a concern

In our particular system the 30 A charger is not too big a concern. We have a solar panel array that is currently keeping the batteries at an acceptable charged rate. Also we are not currently anchoring out or have immediate plans to so we are either on generator or shore power for our 110 v requirements. The problem now is with the inverter not functioning all of our convenience 110v is out since they route through the inverter. We still have major 110v to supply AC and other major 110 loads since these feed directly from shore power/ generator. I think the AIMS will be a good cost effective replacement for our immediate needs.
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Old 04-13-2014, 08:13 AM   #19
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See the "Link 2000" thread for my questions here. Something sounds odd about the current set up.
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Old 04-13-2014, 10:07 AM   #20
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In our particular system the 30 A charger is not too big a concern. We have a solar panel array that is currently keeping the batteries at an acceptable charged rate. Also we are not currently anchoring out or have immediate plans to so we are either on generator or shore power for our 110 v requirements. The problem now is with the inverter not functioning all of our convenience 110v is out since they route through the inverter. We still have major 110v to supply AC and other major 110 loads since these feed directly from shore power/ generator. I think the AIMS will be a good cost effective replacement for our immediate needs.
It seems pretty odd that your 120 volt circuits are powered by an inverter even on shore power but since you are an electrician you should be able to fix that.
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