Seeking info on Power Conversions "Slimline" inverter

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I have a sine-wave inverter manufactured by Power Conversions P/L in
Victoria.  It is the "Slimline" series, 500 Watt.  According to the
current operators of PC, this was made by the previous management
something like 15 years ago and they have no info on it.

On the rear panel is a 5-pin DIN socket, which apparently is for I/O
functions - remote on/off has been suggested.  (One interesting
characteristic of this inverter is that if the DC input CB is opened
and reclosed, the main [output] on/off switch has to be cycled to get
the inverter to restart.)  I have traced the DIN connector circuitry
and it drives a pair of 4N35 optos.

Unfortunately exciting these optos doesn't cause any change in the
device - if on it stays on, if off it stays off.  If the "remote"
function were to over-ride this it would make some sense.

I am hoping that someone out there has info or history on these and
can shed some light.

Re: Seeking info on Power Conversions "Slimline" inverter

"who where"
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** You sure that pins 1 and 2 go to the DIN socket?

Remote status would be useful, ie battery voltage OK and operating or not.

...  Phil

Re: Seeking info on Power Conversions "Slimline" inverter
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It is very possible that it is some kind of serial data connection
(probably RS-232) or similar.  I have seen stuff like this in UPS
supplies used with PC's. If there is a micro in there such as a PIC or
AVR then this is very likely.  Apart from turning the unit on and off,
it likely provides data as to the battery voltage (how much charge it
has left), the load current, operating temperature of the unit, fault
reports and so on.  It may also be possible to change these settings
and activate/deactivate these and other options via a PC with the
appropriate software.  It is also possible that it connects to a
custom remote control that is only available from the manufacturer,
but a PC based setup is very likely these days.

If it is an RS232 or similar - then the optos are there simply to
isolate the PC (serial port) from the electronics in the inverter, to
protect the PC from high voltages that could occur on the RS232 lines
in the inverter if it catastrophically failed, and also to prevent
ground loops.  There is typically one opto used for data in and one
for data out in these designs.

Often this method is also used in ones with USB, except that it will
connect to a USB/Serial IC and power for this isolated side of the
circuit will come from the host PC via USB connector,

In this case, activating the optos as you described by just connecting
them to a DC supply via a suitable resistor would do nothing. They
would need a data stream of some kind and what rate, what format and
what actual data to send is anyone's guess, and probably only can be
discovered by a massive amount of trial and error.

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