Tactical Power Inverter Notes

Tactical Power Inverter Notes

Highlighted Features
  • Built-in electronic documentation accessible even if the unit is down
  • Setup and operation is quick, less than 2 minutes total
  • Units are light weight and well protected for easy transport
  • Quick connect NATO input cable available in various lengths
  • Can also use standard NATO cable via NATO input connector
  • Input circuit breaker instead of an inaccessible fuses
  • Isolated true sinewave AC outputs
  • Up to six GFCI or non-GFCI protected AC output connectors
  • Each output can also have its own aircraft style circuit breaker
  • Outputs spaced apart to allow room for wall plug-in transformers
  • Quick-disconnect and wing-nut ground connections included
  • Washable, easily replaceable, intake air filter assembly
  • Equipped with lockable tie downs to keep your inverter YOURS
  • Ability to daisy-chain the NATO Slave cable

Comparisons between our DC/AC Inverter units and other product solutions.

Existing Inverters

Documentation in the field (OK, who forgot to bring the manual?) Most inverters are shipped with some sort of limited documentation, usually in hardcopy format. As usually happens, this documentation gets separated from the equipment at receiving and rarely makes it to the field.

If it does get to the field in paper or CD format, it is not likely to be with a tactical unit when they are deployed.
Unpacking (Now where do I put it ?)
Other inverters must first be removed from their box or shipping case to set them up for use, posing some risk of damage to the inverter or personnel in handling. Once it is out of the case, you have to set it somewhere safe yet accessible. When you are done, you have to pack it back up before moving out.

ETI's TacticalPower Inverters

ETI Solution: Give them everything they ever wanted to know! ETI provides the needed information in two form: silk-screens and eDocs Port™. On the front panel of the equipment, we have silk-screened the basic operating instructions. In addition, ETI's eDocs Port (patent pending) imbeds a flash memory device within the unit accessible via a standard USB port. This memory is accessible via any standard computing device such as notebooks or PDAs. The memory holds standard format files containing user installation, operating, and troubleshooting instruction guides.

ETI Solution: No need to unpack!
With ETI's TacticalPower inverters, there is no need to unpack or repack! The unit is self contained and only requires opening the cover, a matter of 1-2 minutes. And you do not have to find a place to put it since you can just set it on the ground.

Hooking up the cables (Where are those wrenches?)

A special cable must then be fastened to other inverters using tools. This requires caution in properly attaching the cable lugs to the proper inverter studs and tightening the nuts to the correct torque and then pushing the insulation boots over the assembly. This whole process poses potential personnel safety hazards particularly to the less experienced AND it takes several minutes if you know what you are doing.

Plus if the person hooking the cable leads up got them backwards, there is a potential safety hazard or damage to the equipment when they plug into the DC power source.

ETI Solution: No tools required quick connect!

The ETI setup is simplified and safer. We provide two quick connect input connectors that eliminate the need to "bolt on" the input cable as you do today. One connector is the NATO Slave receptacle identical to those on the HMMWV. This would allow the use of the existing standard NATO Slave cables or the cable supplied with the ETI inverter. In either case, the connection is quick and easy.

Use of these input connectors also improves safety for the user. Since both of these cables are readymade with connectors on both ends, the user cannot accidentally reverse polarity when he hooks them up. For added safety, ETI includes a reverse polarity indicator incase someone inadvertently rewired the cables.

Two Devices Need Power, But There Is One Only NATO Connector (Another fine predicament!)

Once you have the other brands of inverters setup, you plug its cable into your NATO Slave connector on your HMMWV or other vehicle. But if you have another device needing the NATO Slave, then you have a problem.

  ETI Solution: Two Input Connectors!

By using the supplied cable and its quick connection, the NATO Slave connector on ETI's inverter can be used as an output. This means that the second device can be plugged directing into the ETI unit's NATO receptacle.

Fuse Replacement (Even Radio Shack does not stock these fuses!)

If the input fuse to the brand "X" inverter blows, you have a major dilemma! Even if you brought along spare fuses, the input fuse of those inverters is buried inside its enclosure . Replacement of the fuse is laborious with lengthy down time.

Outlets (Did you bring those power strips?)

The other inverters only provide two NEMA 5-15R outlet receptacles. This is rarely enough for an inverter with 1800 watts of output, this hinders the number and type of electrical or electronic equipment that can be attached as loads to the inverter.

Also try hooking up a couple of those bulky wall transformer type power supplies to these outlets.

ETI Solution: Use a circuit breaker instead!

To eliminate these issues and for added user safety, we have included a double pole input circuit breaker that can serve as the master on/off function as well as providing protection in case of short circuits.

ETI Solution: More outlets and spaced apart!

In our design, additional 120 VAC outlets are provided. In the basic version, we have (6) outlets instead of the (2). All are still protected by the GFCI. This is a more reasonable number of outlets for an inverter of this power rating.

Further, we space the receptacles apart enough to allow for oversized connections such as found on some electronic equipment power supplies with the power supply/converter and plug as one.

GFCI  (Why did everything trip off???)

The single duplex outlet on most inverters has a GFCI built-in for user safety, just like the one in our home kitchens and bathrooms. As most of us have experienced, plugging in certain equipment causes this to trip, taking down all other connected outlets. This can be a major issue in the field with multiple devices connected to the inverter going down.

Filtering Dust, Dirt and Sand  (This sucks!)

With most inverter designs, you have no way to filter the air. This eventually results in failure of the inverter due to the collection of particulate matter on the internal electronic components causing heat build-up. This is particularly true for hostile environments such as Iraq or Afghanistan.

Preventative maintenance is a lengthy process requiring disassembly of the inverter to vacuum out the accumulation of crud. Even the receptacles and connectors get plugged with the fine particulate matter in the air.

ETI Solution: Multiple user GFCI configurations

While still providing safety, we have designed the units so that any one of the individual duplex outlets can be GFCI protected or not, avoiding the problem of loosing all loads when only one has a problem. This increases overall reliability of the configured system.

ETI Solution: Intake air filter and connection covers!

Our packaging design allows for filtering the cooling air used by the inverter. This keeps the inverter internal electronics clean, prolonging its life. Preventative maintenance in this case is a matter of easily removing the filter (readily accessible on the top panel) and cleaning the filter media by either shaking the dust out of it or washing it in water if needed. In addition, all connections including the AC outlets have dust covers.

Display Readability (Anybody got a flashlight?)

With the existing inverter approach, the digital display is on one end in a vertical plane. Unless the inverter is setting at eye level, viewing the display may be difficult requiring bending over to the level of the display and possibly having to use a light source to read it.

ETI Solution: Put the display where you can read it!

All interfaces in our design, including the digital display, are on a single horizontal plane. Having the display in the horizontal plane makes it much easier to see and read from almost any angle, plus available lighting in the horizontal plane is usually equal to or greater than that in a vertical plane.

Output Voltage (Do I need a 220 inverter also?)

Most CONUS equipment operates from 120 VAC, which the other inverters provide. But if you have  OCONUS equipment, it typically requires 220 VAC, which means you need another inverter.

ETI Solution: Provide both voltages as an option.

We offer an option for both 120 and 220 VAC output at the same time. Having this feature would add flexibility to the use one product worldwide.

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Contact ETI by mail at:
Energy Technologies, Inc.
219 Park Avenue East
Mansfield, OH 44902-1845

Contact ETI by phone or fax:
Voice: 419-522-4444
FAX: 419-522-4466