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1000 Watt Power Inverter Wiring
with Anderson Power SB Plug
By Clay Cissell
You know how some projects start with a simple purchase at your local warehouse store or appliance outlet. This project reminds me of the 50” big screen that we purchased many years ago that prompted the building of a family room because the living room was too small for the TV. Well this project isn’t likely be get that extreme…..yet.
It all started at one of those yaga monster warehouse stores where on one of the end caps was a 1000-watt power inverter. That’s 1000 watts of continuous power, not a surge of 1000 watts for a half second before the overload kicks the unit off. My eyes got big when we looked up at the price tag of less then seventy dollars. Before the brain ever had a chance to consider the balance in the checking account that inverter was in my shopping cart and on its way to its new home.
After reading the installation requirements we knew we had a project on our hands. The manufacturer was recommending a minimum of 2 gauge wire, no longer then 5 feet from the battery. Having never worked with wire larger then 8 gauge we were not sure what we were getting into when we decided to tackle the job of making the power connection for the inverter.
The first thing we did was hit the internet to see what was available for my project. By accident we ran across a company called Anderson Power. They make the plugs that Warn uses on their portable winches. Turns out these cool plugs come in different amperages and different colors. After reviewing the specifications of the Anderson Power SB series plugs, see the spec sheet, we decided that this was the product of choice to connect the inverter to the battery. As you might guess this got the old brain juices going, stop laughing... there is juice in this brain, and before you know, it we started looking into making a set of jumper cables and running a second battery in the rear compartment. Then thoughts of a second winch were also peeking through.
With the Anderson Power SB Series you have a choice of four sizes of plugs; 50 amp, 120 amp, 175 amp and 350 amp. For my power requirements and the gauge of wire that was needed for the inverter and taking into account of future projects we went with the 175 amp plugs, which are designed for 1/0 gauge wire. Another bonus with the 175 amp plug is it comes in nine different colors. That ought to satisfy the finicky consumer.
Next we had to shop the 1/0 wire market to find a good low impendence wire that would work good for a cable run from the battery in the engine compartment to the rear of the vehicle. After looking at standard battery cable, welding cable and stereo power supply cable we elected to go with the welding cable. It is a high strand count which cuts down on resistance and it's priced right.
Now that the materials were decided upon we had to find a supplier for our wire and the plugs. Again we cruised the net and soon found a good source for the plugs and for the cable at different locations. This part of the project will cover the installation of the plug mounted on the front bumper and the cables for the inverter.
After getting the wire and plugs we decided to forego visiting my local welding shop to have the lugs crimped onto the cable every time we wanted to work on the project. So we hit the net again a found a hammer type lug crimper for less then thirty dollars. We also found some shrink tube on eBay that would give the project the finishing touches.
Now that we had all of our ducks lined up it was time to get down to working on this project. It was easy choosing a location for the plug on the ARB bumper. we simply cut a small hole in the rubber flashing next to the radiator and fished the 1/0 wire thru the grill and flashing. Now that we were in the engine compartment we pulled the wire around the battery and that's when the idea of utilizing the side terminals on my Optima battery came into action. We measured each wire from the terminals to where the plug was going to be mounted on the bumper and cut the wire with a 32 tooth hack saw blade.
Cut cable with 32 tooth hack saw blade
It is easy to gauge how much insulation to remove from the cable by setting the lug next to it and checking the depth of the lug. A sharp knife works fine for the insulation removal. Twist the cable as you spin it into the lug and then set the wire and lug into the crimper. This particular crimper is designed to be used with a hammer or you can use the better controlled method of using a vise. we elected to use two layers of shrink tube to insulate the lug. we put the shorter of the two piece on first and used a heat gun to shrink the tube. Don’t waste your time or the wife's hair dryer with this large of shrink tube. Been there, done that.
|Measure Depth of Lug||Stripe insulation with a sharp Knife||Wire in lug and lug in crimper|
|Crimping lug in vise||Properly crimped lug|
After the second layer of shrink tube is on you can install the wires. Screw down the plug to the bumper and make up the cable for the power inverter. One of the nice things about the Anderson Power SB plugs is that there is no male and female plugs. They are all the same, you just flip one over and it will plug into another plug. The positive and negative leads will always line up correctly. Providing you installed the positive wire in the + terminal.
|1 Layer of shrink tube||Heating 2nd Layer||Completed lug connection|
On the power inverter we installed an A Frame Handle and clamp to take the stress off the wires when unplugging from the vehicle. we still need to pick up a dust cover to keep the contacts clean on the bumper plug.
|SB175 w/ 1/0 lugs (use double crimp)||Completed Cables with inverter||SB175 mounted on bumper|
|SB175 completed||1000 watt power inverter|
This concludes the first phase of the electrical upgrade. The next step will be to install a marine type battery switch, and install a new deep cycle Optima battery in the rear compartment. We will be installing a second plug at the rear bumper as well as a plug to disconnect the second battery. Last on the list will be to make up a set of jumper cables that will reach the battery of a vehicle facing the same direction as me on the trail. Maybe eventually we will get a second winch that we can plug into the receiver winch and plug into the back.
See how that trip to the warehouse store started a chain of events……
Until next time,
The Grand Pooh-Bah
|1] Xantrex XPower 1000 Watt Inverter||1] APP 995G1 Gray A-Frame Handle|
|1] Brute Hammer Crimping Tool||1] Lennox 32 tooth Hack Saw Blade|
|15] 1/0 Welding Cable||6'] Yellow 3/4" Shrink Tube|
|2] Anderson Power Products SB 175 amp Yellow Plug||2] 3/8" x 1/2" bolt|
|1] APP 945G3 Cable Clip||4] 1/0 x 3/8 cable lugs|
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