Operating Instructions for Your
Cobra® 300 Watt
POWER
INVERTER
MODEL CPI– 300
Nothing comes close to a Cobra™
00
300 Watt
POWER INVERTER
MODEL CPI–300
Congratulations
Thank you for purchasing the CPI 300 Power Inverter from
Cobra®. When used properly, your unit will give you many
years of reliable service. The operating features of your
CPI 300 include:
• Dual AC receptacle
• Automatic thermal
protection/shutdown
• Low battery alarm
• Reverse polarity protection • Low battery shutdown
fault indicator
AC Output
POWER
FAULT
ON/OFF POWER
switch
OFF
battery
cable
terminals
ON
+
AC outlets
For Best Results
Your CPI 300 must be
installed and used properly
in order to provide the best
possible results. Please read
all instructions carefully
before installing and using
the unit. Pay special
attention to CAUTION and
WARNING statements in this
manual.
CAUTION statements
specify conditions that
could cause damage to the
unit or other equipment.
power indicator
AC Output
INTRODUCTION
-
Cobra® 300W
Output Waveform
This unit’s output waveform
is referred to as ”square
wave“ of ”modified sine
wave“. It is a stepped
waveform designed to have
characteristics similar to the
sine wave shape of utility
power. A waveform of this
nature is suitable for most
AC loads (including linear
and switching power suppliers
used in electronic equipment,
transformers and motors).
CAUTION
WARNING statements
identify conditions that
could result in person
injury or loss of life.
WARNING
fuse
A1
A2
How Your Cobra® Power
Inverter Works
The Cobra® Power Inverter
takes low voltage DC (direct
current) power from your
automobile or other low
voltage power supply and
converts it to standard 110
volt AC (alternating current)
power like the electrical
current you have in your home.
You can connect your power
inverter either with the 2 foot
direct-to-battery 12 gauge
cable (included) or simply by
plugging into your vehicle’s
cigarette lighter socket. This
will allow you to use many of
your household appliances and
electronic products in
automobiles, RVs, boats,
tractors, trucks, and virtually
anywhere else.
A3
Customer Assistance
You can receive technical
assistance with your unit
through one of our customer
support services:
• Automated Help Desk
is available 24 hours a day,
7 days a week at
773-889-3087.
• Customer Service Operators
are available 773-889-3087
Monday - Friday,
8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. CST.
• Questions can be faxed to
773-622-2269.
• Automated Technical
Assistance is available 24 hrs.,
7 days a week via e-mail at:
productinfo@cobra.com.
• On-line answers to
frequently asked questions can
be found at: www.cobra.com
For additional Customer Service
information, see page 8-9.
Table of Contents
Introduction
A2
How Your Cobra® Power Inverter Works
A3
1 Rechargeable Appliances
2 Quick Checkout
3 Installation and Operation
4 Controls and Indicators
5 Operating Limits
5 Input Voltage/Automatic Shutdown
6 Troubleshooting Guide
7 Maintenance and Service
8 Power Consumption
9 Specifications
10 Limited 2-Year Warranty
1
2-3
4
5
6
6
7
8-9
10
11
12
1
CAUTION
Certain rechargers for small
nickel cadmium batteries
can be damaged if connected
to the CPI 300. Two types
of equipment are particularly
prone to this problem:
1. Small battery operated
appliances that can be
plugged directly into
an AC receptacle for
recharging, including
flashlights, razors, and
night lights.
2. Certain battery chargers for
battery packs used in hand
power tools, specifically
those that have a
WARNING label stating
that dangerous voltages
are present at the battery
terminals.
1
QUICK CHECKOUT
RECHARGEABLE APPLIANCES
Problems do not occur with
the vast majority of battery
operated tools, most of which
use a separate charger or
transformer that plugs into
an AC receptacle and
produces a low voltage
output. If the label on your
tool’s AC adapter or charger
states that is produces a low
voltage AC or DC output
(less than 30 volts) you
can safely power the charger
with your CPI 300.
In order to check the
performance of your CPI 300
before installing it, please
have the following on hand:
1. A 12 volt DC power source
(such as a vehicle battery)
2. The 2 foot cigarette lighter
plug wire and the 2 foot
direct-to-battery 12 gauge
wire
3. A test load such as a lamp
or other small appliance
that can be plugged into
the AC receptacle on the
inverter
Power Source
You will need an 11 to 15 volt
DC power source capable of
supplying enough current to
run the test load. As a rough
guide, divide the wattage of
the test load by 10 to get the
current (in amperes) that the
power source must supply.
A fully charged standard
automotive battery will
work fine.
Connecting to the
Power Source
2
Your CPI 300 comes with both
a 20 inch cigarette lighter plug
wire and a 20 inch direct-tobattery 12 gauge wire. The
cigarette lighter plug is suitable
for operating the inverter at
loads up to 150 watts.
CAUTION
When operating any loads
over 150 watts, connect the
inverter directly to the
battery.
Remove any jewelry. Be
careful not to short circuit
the battery with a metallic
object (wrench, etc.)
WARNING
Do not connect to the
power source if flammable
fumes are present. Explosion
or fire may result. Thoroughly
ventilate the battery
compartment before
making a connection.
2
2
QUICK CHECKOUT
Quick Checkout (continued)
To connect your inverter
to the power source:
1. Push the inverter’s ON/OFF
switch to OFF.
AC Output
AC Output
POWER
FAULT
INSTALLATION • OPERATION
the red post marked (+) on
the back of the CPI 300.
Connect the other end to
the positive terminal on
the battery.
ON/OFF
switch
+
-
OFF
Positive
terminal
Negative
terminal
ON
2. If the power source is a DC
power supply, switch it off.
3. To use the cigarette
lighter plug wire:
Connect the wire to the
posts on the right side of
the inverter. Insert the plug
into the cigarette lighter
of your vehicle.
To use the direct-tobattery wire:
a. Connect the black cable
to the black post marked (-)
on the back of the CPI 300.
Connect the other end to
the negative terminal on
the battery.
b. Connect the red cable to
3
4. Plug the power cord from
the test load into the
inverter’s AC receptacle.
5. Check to be sure all power
connections are secure.
CAUTION
A reverse polarity connection
(positive to negative) will blow
the fuse in the inverter and may
permanently damage the unit.
Testing
Turn on the inverter. It should
supply power to the load. If
the inverter does not appear
to work properly, refer to the
Troubleshooting Guide on
page 7.
The location where you install
your CPI 300 must be:
• dry–Do not install the unit
where water can drip or
splash on it.
• cool–Ambient air temperature
should be between 30˚ and
105˚ F (0˚ and 40˚ C). The
cooler the better.
• ventilated–Allow at least
1 inch (3 cm) of clearance
around the unit for proper
air flow. Make sure that
ventilation openings on the
ends of the unit are not
obstructed.
CAUTION
To prevent fire, do not cover
or obstruct ventilation
openings. Do not install the
unit in a zero-clearance
compartment. Overheating
may result.
The inverter must only be
connected to batteries with a
nominal output voltage of
12 volts. It will not work with
a 6 volt battery, and will be
damaged if it is connected
to a 16 volt battery.
3
Turning on Your
Power Inverter
Turn on your CPI 300 by
pushing the ON/OFF switch
to ON.
AC Output
AC Output
POWER
ON/OFF
switch
FAULT
OFF
ON
The unit is now ready to deliver
AC power to your loads. If
several loads are to be powered
by the inverter, turn them on
separately AFTER the inverter
has been turned on. This will
ensure that the inverter will
not have to deliver the start-up
currents required for all loads
at once.
4
4
On/Off Switch
The ON/OFF switch turns the
control circuit in the inverter
on and off. It DOES NOT
disconnect power from the
inverter.
AC Output
AC Output
POWER
FAULT
ON/OFF
switch
OFF
ON
When the switch is in the OFF
position, the inverter draws
no current from the battery.
When it is the in ON position,
but no power is being
supplied to the load, the
inverter draws less than
500 milliamperes from the
battery. This is low current
draw. It would take more
than a week to discharge a
100 ampere-hour battery at
this draw rate.
You don’t have to worry about
excessive drain on a battery if
you leave the inverter
5
OPERATING LIMITS
INPUT VOLTAGE/AUTO SHUTDOWN
CONTROLS & INDICATORS
switched on for a few days.
However, you should switch it
off if you are not planning to
recharge the battery within
about a week.
Fault Indicator
The ”fault“ indicator of your
CPI 300 will light whenever
the unit detects excessively
high or low input voltage, or
begins to overheat.
AC Output
AC Output
POWER
FAULT
OFF
ON
fault
indicator
Power Output
Your CPI 300 will deliver 300
watts continuously. It can
deliver 360 watts for about
30 minutes, after which it
must cool for about 15
minutes before it can resume
operation at 300 watts.
(NOTE: the wattage rating
applies to resistive loads.)
Input Voltage
Your CPI 300 will operate
from input voltage ranging
from 10 to 15 volts. Optimum
performance occurs when the
voltage is between 12 and
14 volts.
If the voltage drops below
10.7 ± 0.3 volts, an audible
low battery alarm will sound.
The inverter will automatically
shut down if the input
voltage drops below 10.0 ±
0.3 volts. This protects the
battery from being overdischarged. The inverter will
5
restart when the input voltage
exceeds 12.0 ± 0.5 volts.
The inverter will also shut
down if the input voltage
increases to 15.0 ± 0.5 volts.
This helps protect the unit
from damage due to excessive
input voltage. Although the
inverter is protected in this
way, it may still be damaged
should the input voltage
exceed 16 volts.
Automatic Shutdown
The unit will automatically go
into thermal shutdown if it
becomes overheated due to
excessive input voltage, poor
circulation or high ambient
temperature.
6
6
MAINTENANCE & SERVICE
TROUBLESHOOTING GUIDE
Problem/
Symptom
Possible
Causes
Solution
Low output voltage
Overload
Reduce the load.
No output voltage
Low input
voltage
Recharge battery.
Check connections
and cable.
Short circuit or
wiring error
Check AC wiring for short
circuit or improper polarity.
High input
voltage
Make sure the inverter
is connected to a
12 volt battery.
No output voltage
and ”fault“
indicator is lit
Check regulation of
charging system.
No output voltage
when load is in
excess of 300 watts
or 2.6 amperes
Low battery
alarm sounds
continuously
7
Thermal
shutdown
Allow inverter to cool down
Improve ventilation—
make sure ventilation
openings in the inverter
aren’t obstructed. Lower
ambient temperature.
Poor DC wiring,
poor battery
connection
Use proper cable.
Ensure good connections.
Use new battery.
Maintaining Your
Inverter
Your CPI 300 requires very
little maintenance to keep it
operating properly. The exterior
of the unit should be cleaned
periodically with a damp cloth
to prevent accumulation of
dust and dirt. At the same
time, tighten the screws on
the DC input terminals. Keep
vents and fans free from dust
or debris.
7
• Questions can be faxed to
773-622-2269.
• Automated Technical
Assistance is available
24 hours, 7 days a week
via e-mail at:
productinfo@cobra.com.
• On-line answers to
frequently asked questions
can be found at:
www.cobra.com
Service
You can receive technical
assistance with your unit
through one of our customer
support services:
• Automated Help Desk
is available 24 hours a day,
7 days a week at
773-889-3087.
• Customer Service Operators
are available at
773-889-3087 Monday
through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to
6:00 p.m. CST.
8
7
Service (continued)
If you suspect that your unit
requires service, please call
773-889-3087 BEFORE
shipping it to Cobra®. This
will ensure that you receive
service as quickly as
possible.
If you are asked to send your
unit to the Cobra® factory,
please follow these steps:
1. Send the complete unit.
2. For warranty repair, enclose
some form of proof-ofpurchase, such as a
photocopy or carbon copy of
a sales receipt. If you send
the original receipt, it
cannot be returned.
3. Enclose a typed or clearly
written description of the
problem you are having
with your unit, plus the
name and address where
you want the unit returned.
4. Pack the unit securely to
prevent damage during
9
POWER CONSUMPTION
MAINTENANCE & SERVICE
transit. If possible, use the
original packing materials.
5. Ship prepaid and insured
using a traceable carrier such
as United Parcel Service
(UPS), Federal Express, or
first class mail with delivery
confirmation. Ship to:
Cobra® Factory Service,
Cobra Electronics
Corporation
6500 West Cortland Street
Chicago, IL 60707 USA
6. Please allow 3-4 weeks
before contacting us about
the status of your service.
Call 773-889-3087 for
assistance.
If your unity is under
warranty, it will either be
repaired or replaced upon
receipt, depending on the
model. If your unit is out of
warranty, you will receive a
letter informing you of the
repair or replacement charge.
For each piece of equipment
you will be powering with
your CPI 300, you must
determine the battery’s
capacity (how long the
battery can deliver a specific
amount of current). For
example, automotive
batteries usually provide
25 amperes of current. A
battery with a reserve
capacity of 180 minutes
can deliver 25 amperes for
180 minutes before it is
completely discharged.
Equipment
Power
Consumption
Coffee grinder 100 watts
TV*/VCR
115 watts
8
Calculate the total watt-hours
of energy consumption
(power X operating time),
then divide the watt-hours
by 10 to determine how may
12 volt ampere hours will be
consumed.
Operating
Time
0.1 hour
3 hours
Watt-Hours
(power X
operating time)
10
345
*up to 25 inch
10
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
15.
16.
LIMITED 2-YEAR WARRANTY
Specifications
Continuous output power (4 hours)
300w
Continuous output power (30 minutes)
360w
Surge rating (0.1second)
550w
Peak efficiency (12V—1/2 load)
90%
Efficiency (full load, 12V)
>83%
No load current draw
< 0.1 A (12.6V)
Output waveform (resistive load)
Perfect modified
sine wave
Output frequency
60HZ±2HZ
Output voltage
110V+/-5%
Input voltage
10-15 VDC
Alarm voltage (unload)
10.7 V ±0.3V
Shutdown voltage (unload)
10.0V ±0.3V
Operating temperature range
-10° C-40° C
Storage temperature range
-40° C to 85° C
Protection Overload, short-circuit, Overtemp
Reverse polarity, under/over voltage
Notes: All protection is
automatically recovered.
To protect the battery, if the
unit needs to be restarted after
low voltage protection, the
11
10
SPECIFICATIONS
voltage of DC input should be
above 12V.
The unit is completely
insulated in input and output
for added safety.
2
9
© Cobra Electronics Corporation
6500 West Cortland Street
Chicago, Illinois 60707 USA
Cobra Electronics Corporation warrants
that its Cobra® Power Inverter, and the
component parts thereof, will be free
of defects in material and workmanship
for a period of two (2) years from the
date of consumer purchase. This
warranty may be enforced by the first
consumer purchaser, provided that the
product is utilized within the U.S.A.
Cobra® will, without charge, repair or
replace, at its option, a defective
inverter upon delivery to the Cobra®
Factory Service Department,
accompanied by proof of the date
of first consumer purchase, such as
duplicated sales receipt.
You must pay initial shipping
charges required to ship the product
for warranty service, but the return
charges will be at Cobra’s expense, if
the product is repaired or replaced
under warranty.
This warranty gives you specific
rights, and you may also have
other rights which vary from state
to state.
Exclusions: This limited warranty
does not apply 1) to any product
damaged by accident; 2) in the
event of misuse or abuse of the
product or as a result of
unauthorized alterations or repairs;
3) if the serial number has been
altered, defaced or removed;
4) if the owner of the product
resides outside the U.S.A.
All implied warranties, including
warranties of merchantability and
fitness for a particular purpose are
limited in duration to the length of
this warranty.
Cobra® shall not be liable for any
incidental, consequential or other
damages; including, without
limitation, damages resulting from
loss of use or cost of installation.
Some states do not allow limitations
on how long an implied warranty lasts
and/or do not allow the exclusion or
limitation of incidental or
consequential damages, so the above
limitations may not apply to you.
12
The Cobra® line of
quality products includes:
CB radios
microTALK® radios
Radar/Laser Detectors
Safety Alert®
Traffic Warning Systems
Accessories
HighGear™ Accessories
For more information about
our products, or to order online
please visit our website:
www.cobra.com
Click “shop Cobra”
Nothing comes close to a Cobra™
Printed in China
Part No. 480-032-P
© 2002 Cobra Electronics Corporation
6500 West Cortland Street
Chicago, IL 60707 USA