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IAM a bit finicky when it comes to in­vert­ers that con­vert 12-volt DC power to 240-volt AC power. The cheaper units for a par­tic­u­lar power rat­ing in­vari­ably pro­duce what is known as a mod­i­fied sine wave. The more ex­pen­sive units pro­duce a true or pure sine wave, the same as you find in your house­hold AC power sup­ply.

Suf­fice to say here that a pure sine wave in­verter is much bet­ter for charg­ing ex­pen­sive com­puter, cam­era and phone bat­ter­ies, while al­low­ing drills and grinders with electronic speed con­trol to op­er­ate cor­rectly and ef­fi­ciently. If there’s a down­side to a pure sine wave in­verter it’s that they tend to suck more power from your bat­tery than a mod­i­fied sine wave in­verter would.

I needed some­thing small to charge my plethora of cam­era and com­puter bat­ter­ies; some­thing around 150-watt out­put would be re­quired. In fact, my com­puter charger de­manded it – before you buy, make sure the in­verter you’re look­ing at has a rated out­put large enough for the devices you want to run or charge. Enter the Pro­jecta Pro-wave 12-volt 150-watt pure sine wave in­verter.

This unit is a drink can-sized in­verter de­signed to eas­ily sit in a ve­hi­cle’s drink holder. It has a rated out­put of 150 watts con­tin­u­ous, with a 300-watt peak. How­ever, to reach the 300-watt peak with­out the warn­ing buzzer beep­ing it needs a fully charged bat­tery or the en­gine run­ning. That’s no drama, as I tend to charge bat­ter­ies while mo­bile. I’ve learned over a long pe­riod of time that in­vert­ers aren’t some­thing you leave con­nected and run­ning overnight with your en­gine off.

A 2.1-amp USB out­let is also pro­vided, al­low­ing charg­ing of tablets, Kin­dles, mo­bile phones and such. One thing I par­tic­u­larly liked was the heavy-duty in­put ca­ble and fuse­pro­tected heat-re­sis­tant plug, be­cause while pro­duc­ing just 150 watts of power (ba­si­cally 0.6amps at 240 volts) the cur­rent draw from the bat­tery (say 14 volts) is a lit­tle more than 10 amps. That’s quite a bit.

I’m very pleased with this unit. It does ev­ery­thing I want from it and it pro­duces clean power, en­sur­ing I get the best life out of the bat­ter­ies I’m charg­ing. Plus it runs my por­ta­ble devices ef­fort­lessly and fault­lessly.

There’s a 2.1-amp USB out­let to charge phones and tablets.Con­ve­niently sized, the unit fits within a cup holder. RATED AVAIL­ABLE FROM: www.pro­jecta.com.au RRP: $199 WE SAY: Handy idea ideal for bat­tery charg­ing.

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