BESTEK 300-Watt Pure Sine Wave Power Inverter
At first glance, this little 300-watt inverter looks a lot like the in-car inverter I wrote about back in 2017. However, the key differences that made it an important recent purchase for my wife and I are:
- It has positive and negative power terminals on the back, and comes with the alligator clamps needed to connect the inverter directly to our battery system rather than just a 12V car lighter port.
- It has a power switch so you can leave it plugged/connected while turned off without drawing power from your battery.
So why did we need this? Well, before our trip into Baja, Mexico — which we’re nearing the end of after two months — we went through the trouble of installing the beginnings of a sweet solar system for our RV (only two 100W panels to start, with hopefully more to come). The single most expensive component of this whole thing was an $800+ 3000-watt inverter charger that would let us use our “house” outlets and such when we didn’t have access to shore power, and I won’t be linking it here because the stupid thing completely FAILED on us within the first month and the company has been almost entirely unhelpful about it. Don’t even get me started, I’m still mad and the problem has yet to be fixed 😡🤬
Anyway, until we get back to the States, we still need to be able to use our Starlink internet so we can, y’know, do our work (like I’m doing right now) and generally stay connected. But we don’t want to run our loud onboard generator just to power that one thing, so we thought, “What if we had a little inverter running off the solar battery bank that only gets used for Starlink as needed?”
The ‘pure sine wave’ thing turned out to be absolutely critical, because we tried buying a cheap-o inverter from a local AutoZone in La Paz, and because it was a modified sine wave type (read: dirty power), it caused some very concerning electrical noises to emanate from our Starlink router as soon as we powered it up. So that was a big nope.
Since I knew BESTEK was a trusted brand for this kind of thing, we ended up buying this inverter, somewhat hesitantly paying the international shipping/import fees — and I’m so glad we did, because it’s been a life saver. We just flip on the switch, wait a few minutes for our Starlink equipment to calibrate and whatnot, and we have sweet, sweet internet pretty much anywhere there’s a view of the northern sky.
I’m a big fan of this little thing so far, and I recommend buying one for yourself if you ever have to worry about powering AC devices while traveling. It’s $50 on Amazon as I write this.