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OT: Microwave recommendations

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Tractor Expert

Joined: 22 Sep 2011
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 7:50 am    Post subject: Re: OT: Microwave recommendations Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Yeah, they claim it's lighter but I don't feel any difference from any other microwave this size. Instead of a transformer they use a pulse-width converter. That is what Panasonic calls it themselves. Not exactly an "inverter" by the normal use of the word. In normal "tech" jargon, an inverter changes DC current into AC. A "converter" changes AC current into DC. To be technical, I guess with the "pulse width modulation" process - they change AC to DC (convert), then change the frequency, and then change back to AC again (invert) - to make inductive heat. Many devices do that so I'm not sure why they market it as an "inverter" microwave. But I guess that sounds better then a "pulse width modulation" microwave.

The main claim-to-fame with this mircowave IS the PWM control.

Regardless of the name, it does work. Great for use in a camper that runs of a battery-to-inverter AC power supply. That because there are no high-amp spikes like in a regular microwave.

I ran a test on an AIMs 1500 watt mod-wave inverter (rated 3000 watt surge). It cannot power a conventional 700 watt microwave. Now - I tested the Panasonic 900 watt "Inverter" microwave and it works fine.

At power level #1 - it draws 2.7 to 4.5 amps. Never spikes above that.

At power level # 5 it draws 6.7 amps steady.

At power level # 10 it drew 14.2 amps and tripped the breaker in my 1500 watt inverter. But that was due to low DC battery voltage. I started the engine in the camper and ran the test again and it then worked fine.
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Joined: 11 Nov 2009
Posts: 2829
Location: NW Ontario Canada, Near Beautiful Rainy Lake

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 8:54 am    Post subject: Re: OT: Microwave recommendations Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I used to fix electronics at a store that sold Panasonic, the "inverter" models were just being rolled out when I left there. I remember the warnings on shock hazard to the technician on those models was pretty serious because of the stored voltage.........not that a conventional microwave doesn't store a lot of voltage too (around 5KV if I remember correctly) but for some reason there were extra warnings about the inverter models. There were a few duds right from the getgto but I think they've refined them quite a bit over the years.
At the time they were notably lighter although the ones I was fixing at the time were probably older and heavier built to start with.

I'm not sure what we have at home right now, I want to say GE maybe. It replaced my old Panasonic from the early 90s which is still working, just relocated to the bar in the basement. We got the current one as a wedding gift. Had it 2+ years and so far I'm happy with it. I think nowadays you get what you pay for but with things like microwave ovens for the price of the cheaper ones you can't go too wrong with any of 'em. I like the ones with a carousel for more even cooking and it has to be big enough for a large plate, those are really my only two stipulations. Aside from the inverter models, the rest all operate on the same principle as they have for 50+ years!

Last edited by Inno on Wed Nov 14, 2012 8:58 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 9:38 am    Post subject: Re: OT: Microwave recommendations Reply to specific post Reply with quote

We just retired the Microwave I bought in 1979. It weighed a ton and still did a reasonable job although it was slowing down. The replacement was feather light by comparison - sure hope it lasts 33 years like the last one.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 4:49 pm    Post subject: Re: OT: Microwave recommendations Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I forget what brand the one at the shop is. I got it from an estate auction, for free, cause no one bid a buck on it, and they were gonna throw it away. If I don't find one at an auction, I'd go to goodwill, where you can plug it in, to see if it works. Most there go for less than 20 bucks!
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