Very disappointed with the new Nexus inverter.

  • 2
  • Problem
  • Updated 2 weeks ago
  • In Progress
  • (Edited)
Like many others, I just recently received the Nexus inverter, and the first thing I could think to use it for was to power a small fan at a tailgating event.

The fan I chose is a tiny desktop fan I got from Costco, with a current rating of 0.6 amps on the plug. No sweat I thought. Well when I plugged the fan into the Nexus on a 2.5 Ah battery, it could only make the thing spin up to its lowest speed, with the fan producing an electric whine along with it. 

I threw on a fully charge 7.5 Ah battery, and got the same results. I then plugged the fan into a kill-a-watt and measured only a maximum of about 22 watts coming from the inverter. I threw the fan on household 120V power, and the kill-a-watt measured ~22 watts at the lowest speed, and only 42 watts at the highest speed. 

I called Ego support for guidance to see if maybe my inverter was a dud, or if other people were having similar experiences, and that went nowhere. They wanted me to plug a phone charger into the 120V outlet and once I verified for them that it was producing power (10.6 watts!!!) they stated the inverter was operating as designed, and that the Nexus is not intended to power large electronic devices like a small desktop fan.........

So needless to say I'm extremely bummed out about this thing. Ego is advertising this thing as being able to power a TV for up to 15 hours, but apparently it's not able to handle tiny fans. It sounds like this device is way too flaky about what it can power, regardless of the actual demand of the device, so I have zero confidence in its ability to safely power the anything it should be able to handle. At $75/$100, it should be able to function as something more than just a phone/tablet charger, since that need is already fulfilled by existing products on the market.
Photo of TwinTurboJosh

TwinTurboJosh

  • 140 Points 100 badge 2x thumb

Posted 3 months ago

  • 2
Photo of SCDC

SCDC, Champion

  • 49,424 Points 20k badge 2x thumb
This has been verified.  I just tried it with my office fan which is a low power draw fan.  When turned on using the inverter, my fan just makes a bad humming noise and barely spins.   I'm not exactly sure of the power draw of this particular fan.  But, I don't think the square wave will work with an analog motor.  I'm no engineer, so I'm just speculating.
(Edited)
Photo of Rick F

Rick F

  • 1,008 Points 1k badge 2x thumb
It seems that running some fans with the Nexus won't work.  After reading some of these reviews I tried a little 8" fan I have near my desk.  Plugged it into the inverter and it runs at about 1/3 speed of normal.  Also I could hear a bit of a hum - 60hz hum.  Not good.

I wish now I hadn't thrown out the box it came in cause I think I'd return it to HD.com.
(Edited)
Photo of szwoopp

szwoopp, Champion

  • 69,168 Points 50k badge 2x thumb
You can return it to a local HD without the box.
90 day satisfaction guarantee.
Photo of SCDC

SCDC, Champion

  • 49,424 Points 20k badge 2x thumb
Found this.  Interesting.  Not good for the motor as well.

https://www.quora.com/Why-can-a-square-wave-inverter-not-run-some-devices-like-motors

Photo of Blue Angel

Blue Angel, Champion

  • 164,726 Points 100k badge 2x thumb
Interesting. Kite Army powered a small fan in his review video. I wonder if the multiple speed selection has something to do with it?
Photo of SCDC

SCDC, Champion

  • 49,424 Points 20k badge 2x thumb
*shrug*
Photo of Tae Cooke

Tae Cooke

  • 328 Points 250 badge 2x thumb
AC motors depend on the smooth sinusoidal shape of the voltage to function properly. A square wave has sharp discontinuities which will cause current and/or voltage spikes in the motor, and those get fed back into the inverter. It is definitely bad for both devices to be used together in this state!

(The derivative of sine results in sine shifted by 90 degrees, so it's still smooth, but the derivative of square results in huge spikes)
Photo of Oregon Mike

Oregon Mike, Champion

  • 37,372 Points 20k badge 2x thumb
We have a clip on fan that can run off of 120V or USB. It's rated at 3.5W. Yesterday I plugged it in to a USB port on the inverter and had the inverter on a fully charged 2.5 ah battery. I turned the fan onto its slow speed setting and it ran for 13 hours. I'll need to try it on high speed too, but this little fan moves a fair amount of air even on low setting.
I'll try it using its 120V adapter with the 120V outlet on the inverter too.
Pic of setup.

Photo of SCDC

SCDC, Champion

  • 49,424 Points 20k badge 2x thumb
USB is DC.  So you are correct blue.
Photo of Oregon Mike

Oregon Mike, Champion

  • 37,372 Points 20k badge 2x thumb
Agreed, it may not be relevant other than pointing out that this sort of fan worked well with the inverter. Could be an option instead of an AC fan.
Photo of SCDC

SCDC, Champion

  • 49,424 Points 20k badge 2x thumb
I'm glad you posted that. Another mental note should our power go out  :)
Photo of Blue Angel

Blue Angel, Champion

  • 164,966 Points 100k badge 2x thumb
Agreed. More data = better
Photo of David HD

David HD, Champion

  • 32,840 Points 20k badge 2x thumb
Photo of David HD

David HD, Champion

  • 32,840 Points 20k badge 2x thumb
I don't have a fan to test this, but I did charged my 13" MacBook Pro on the inverter using my 5.0 Ah battery from 30% to 100% without any issues (see recent post below).  I used the "dedicated" charging cable from my laptop to the inverter.  Currently charging my LG phone using the USB cable.

https://community.egopowerplus.com/ego/topics/what-can-the-nexus-do?topic-reply-list[settings][filte...

Photo of SCDC

SCDC, Champion

  • 49,424 Points 20k badge 2x thumb
To my knowledge, the only extended power outages we've had in this house over the past 25 years have been in the winters from ice storms.  We have our share of those in South Carolina.  I have natural gas (not from my wife's cooking) so for heat we usually just turn on the oven.  I don't see us ever running a fan or anything driven by a motor.  Probably phones/ipads charging is it, and those are USB.
Photo of szwoopp

szwoopp, Champion

  • 69,224 Points 50k badge 2x thumb
Dell 24" monitor plugged into the inverter's standard outlet.  Also an iphone in one of the usb outlets.
2.5 ego battery.  Battery was not fully charged but probably 90%. 
Going on 45 minutes.   No humming or buzzing.    Working great. 





Photo of David HD

David HD, Champion

  • 32,840 Points 20k badge 2x thumb
That's awesome Szwoopp!  When I charged my 13" MacBook Pro, my inverter was also quite as well - no buzzing or loud sound at all.  I will test my TV this weekend and see how long it will last on my 5.0 Ah battery ... :-)
Photo of szwoopp

szwoopp, Champion

  • 69,224 Points 50k badge 2x thumb
After 6 hours of working on my computer, I noticed the battery was showing red light.  The monitor had not shut down yet, but I unplugged and went back to the AC power.

So, great results in my opinion.
Photo of szwoopp

szwoopp, Champion

  • 69,224 Points 50k badge 2x thumb
Well some more testing. The inverter works great with my led light but will not work with my drop light that has a fluorescent bulb.

(Edited)
Photo of GlenW

GlenW

  • 746 Points 500 badge 2x thumb
Sufferin succotash!!   Do we need to know ahead of time whether a device we might want to plug into the Nexus is going to have its control board fried?   I suspect some of us (including me, myself and my shadow), have no idea which devices produce a square wave.  I'm doing good if I can figure out where the On/Off switch is!!   LOL
Photo of Oregon Mike

Oregon Mike, Champion

  • 37,228 Points 20k badge 2x thumb
Glen, I know EGO reps will take these results and discussions back to their Engineering teams to make improvements to the products. It'll be interesting to see what changes they make to this one and future new releases.
Photo of GlenW

GlenW

  • 746 Points 500 badge 2x thumb
Thanks Mike.  I had ordered one from HD, but will likely wait for the next version to come out.  Too bad this issue wasn't picked up in testing before it was released for sale.
Photo of Michael G

Michael G

  • 7,158 Points 5k badge 2x thumb
Wish this was safe to work on everything or have a quick test to see if the device is compatible.

I just tried the inverter on my grill controller (main reason I purchased it). I use this for overnight low/slow cooks. Seems to work fine:





Was pleasantly surprised to find it could power my "go-to" LED worklight. Now I can go cordless:

Photo of David HD

David HD, Champion

  • 32,830 Points 20k badge 2x thumb
Thanks for sharing Michael.  Another person also tested his inverter on the LED work lights as well (see link & picture below):

https://community.egopowerplus.com/ego/topics/ego-fans-power-inverter-is-real-ego-nexus-escape?topic...



(Edited)
Photo of Michael G

Michael G

  • 7,158 Points 5k badge 2x thumb
Maybe I spoke too soon. My grill controller started shutting down. Found two issues.

1) Does this thing drain the battery even when turned off? I had a battery with 70% charge and it drained just doing experiments? I did have it connected overnight but it was off.

2) Think my grill controller has the same issue my wife's iPad keyboard did - doesn't draw enough power??? This is ridiculous! After couple minutes it kept shutting down. I added a USB plug to charge an iPad and now it stays on. Am I going to need a small USB load on this thing to make it work?

Not happy just yet with this thing. Maybe return it and wait for the NextNexus.

Mike
Photo of szwoopp

szwoopp, Champion

  • 69,168 Points 50k badge 2x thumb
It does not drain the battery when not turned on. 
My nexus has been mounted to my battery for the past week and I just passed 3 hours running my 24" monitor off the same battery.
Photo of David HD

David HD, Champion

  • 32,840 Points 20k badge 2x thumb
As promised, I am testing out my Nexus Inverter by:

  1. Charging my 13" MacBook Pro and
  2. Powering my 22" Monitor
When I charged my laptop only, the inverter was quite without any sound.  But once I plugged in the monitor, the inverter's internal fan revved up high and stayed on during the entire time of use.





To push the limit of my battery, I had a movie played on the monitor while working on the laptop.  Both are working well without any "noticeable" delays.  Will see how long this will last and report back later today ... :-)

(Edited)
Photo of SCDC

SCDC, Champion

  • 49,424 Points 20k badge 2x thumb
Thanks for that Dave
Photo of Michael G

Michael G

  • 7,158 Points 5k badge 2x thumb
Time will tell but how do you know powering a computer or monitor (or any device) with the square wave Nexus isn’t slowly killing the electrons?
Photo of David HD

David HD, Champion

  • 32,830 Points 20k badge 2x thumb
Totally in agreement here.  Plus, I am certain this will not be the "only" inverter EGO will make.  So I look forward to Generation 2, 3, 4 and so on.  Look at Apple Smart Watch, for example, we are now on Series 4 and counting.  And of course, iPhone XR, XS and XMax ... :-)
(Edited)
Photo of Michael G

Michael G

  • 7,158 Points 5k badge 2x thumb
I feel it hard to compare this inverter with a phone or smart watch. In those cases new versions are released mostly due to technology advancements. In this case DC-AC inverter technology has been out for quite some time. I have one for the car that will handle 400W and it was around $20.

Simple things like the square wave and shutting down if it thinks the power draw is too low should have been found prior to production release to consumers. Especially with the premium price paid and high expectations from EGO.
Photo of David HD

David HD, Champion

  • 32,830 Points 20k badge 2x thumb
Perhaps you are missing my point here Michael.  No way can an inverter be compared to an expensive smartwatch or iphones.  My point is that every company will launch a new product to market that will not be 100% perfect for every consumer.  They will hear the "positives" and "constructive" feedback, and will modify their new model(s) as appropriate.

For me, this is nothing more than an inverter which allows me to take advantage of my 7 batteries (as stated above).  If you don't like the square wave, then wait or continue using your current sine wave inverter.  I cannot tell you for certain what EGO should or should have not done with their 1st inverter, as I don't work for them.  I am a consumer who is willing to take my chances on a product that fits my needs (e.g. use my existing 7 batteries for emergency power).
Photo of SCDC

SCDC, Champion

  • 49,424 Points 20k badge 2x thumb
EXACTLY.  ^^^  What David HD said.
Photo of Michael G

Michael G

  • 7,158 Points 5k badge 2x thumb
But before a large new product launch most companies will have several consumers test the product and review the “voice of the customer “ comments. Some of the issues reported here would likely have surfaced. Maybe EGO did this?
Photo of summetj

summetj

  • 6,372 Points 5k badge 2x thumb
I just bought this "Cozy Breeze" fan from Home Depot and it runs OK with the Nexus inverter. Their is a noticeable "hum" or "buzz" caused by the square wave, and while the speed controller works, it appears that the speed controller and Nexus interact in some way such that the frequency of the pulses goes down when the fan is in 1 or 2 (slower) modes. My Kill-O-Watt meter says it does 59.9 Hz when running at high speed (#3).  Funny enough, according to the Kill-O-Watt meter, the fan draws more power when it is in slow speed with the inverter.

From the wall (sine wave) the fan draws 25 watts at #1, 30 watts at #2, and 35 watts at #3. While from the Nexus inverter, the reported draw is 37 watts in #1, and changes it's output frequency to 9Hz. In #2, it draws 35 watts at 16.7 Hz, and at #3 (fastest) speed it draws 34 watts at 59.9 hz. But the fan blows, which is the important thing...and since I got it on clearance I don't mind if the life of the fan motor is slightly reduced by the square wave power output.


Photo of David HD

David HD, Champion

  • 32,830 Points 20k badge 2x thumb
Thanks for sharing, what size battery did you use?  Are you going to keep the fan running to test the duration of operation on one battery?
Photo of summetj

summetj

  • 6,372 Points 5k badge 2x thumb
I was using a 2.5 AH battery for testing purposes. I didn't test experimentally, but I expect that this fan (which draws 35 watts) would run for 3-3.5 hours on the 2.5AH battery based upon math.  (2.5 AH * 56 v = 140 watt hours * 0.80 de-rating factor = 112 usable watt hours / 35 = 3.2 hours of runtime.
Photo of Tom H

Tom H

  • 320 Points 250 badge 2x thumb
EGO should pull this product and make it worthy of the EGO name.  This is dirty power.  Please make this as good as it should be and I will buy again.  I am returning mine to HD.
Photo of Michael G

Michael G

  • 7,158 Points 5k badge 2x thumb
Got about double time out of 5.0AHr battery compared to the 2.5AHr as expected. One thing I did notice was both times the battery registers no power left. When I drain the batteries all the way down on the lawn tools there is still maybe 15-20% left in the tank. Thought I hear draining all the way is bad for the batteries.
Photo of summetj

summetj

  • 6,372 Points 5k badge 2x thumb
What do you mean by "registers no power left"?  Does the light under the button on the battery refuse to turn on at all? (e.g. no red or green indicator when you push the button?) 
Photo of Michael G

Michael G

  • 7,158 Points 5k badge 2x thumb
I built a battery power meter that was posted at this forum. It displays voltage and % charged.
Photo of Blue Angel

Blue Angel, Champion

  • 164,726 Points 100k badge 2x thumb
My theory is, high power tools won’t deplete batteries as far because the voltage drop under load determines the shut down point, but the battery voltage recovers once the load is removed. The draw/recovery is less for lower powered tools so they can draw down much farther for a given minimum voltage.

Curious, how did you determine the min and max voltage for % remaining?
Photo of Michael G

Michael G

  • 7,158 Points 5k badge 2x thumb
% left - I used a power meter that I built following this:

https://community.egopowerplus.com/ego/topics/how-to-add-a-digital-volt-meter-to-the-charger

Mike
Photo of Kite Army

Kite Army

  • 4,058 Points 4k badge 2x thumb
I'm really pleased with mine.  Although it does have it's limitations - I think for $75 it's a cheap insurance policy for those unexpected power outages. 
Photo of SCDC

SCDC, Champion

  • 49,424 Points 20k badge 2x thumb
Well stated and proper expectations.
Photo of szwoopp

szwoopp, Champion

  • 69,168 Points 50k badge 2x thumb
Agree, I think this post is a mix of those that are unhappy it is not what they wanted/hoped it would be and those that are happy with what it is.

I understand the disappointments, but think they are being miss categorized when presented as a product failure instead of simply didn't meet my expectations.

As has been said on this board, this is Gen 1.  For those that wanted more, it is likely coming in the future. 
(Edited)
Photo of Tom H

Tom H

  • 320 Points 250 badge 2x thumb
It reminds of the iPhone that came with poor reception and Apple just claimed people were holding it wrong.  
Photo of Tom H

Tom H

  • 320 Points 250 badge 2x thumb
Tried the inverter a with a 5.0 battery on an LED Snap-On spot light (25W) and it just flashes and makes odd noises.  It is currently powering a lamp with a 6-7 watt LED so I will see how long that lasts.  
(Edited)
Photo of Oregon Mike

Oregon Mike, Champion

  • 37,372 Points 20k badge 2x thumb
We overnighted at a BLM campground with no services so I hooked up the inverter/ fully charged 2.5ah battery and powered up the ol' laptop. I'd turn the inverter off once the laptop battery got charged and then turn it back on as the battery ran down to around 50% or so. I got a couple of cycles that way and the battery is still green. This is mainly why I got the inverter so really glad it's going to work this way.



Photo of Oregon Mike

Oregon Mike, Champion

  • 37,372 Points 20k badge 2x thumb
A little bit more of a mundane use for this inverter, and really not using the AC side. I received a new tire pressure monitor/display for my trailer TPMS system and needed to pair it up with the sensors on my 4 trailer tires. The display runs off of USB voltage so I wanted to make sure the battery in the display had a good charge on it while I was programming the sensors. Our little Nexus filled the bill perfectly for that. And it was nice to be able to do that sitting at the table in our nice warm house instead of out in the 30 something degree (F) weather.