Thank you for purchasing the PI400LA 400W Power
Inverter with USB Charging Port. This inverter can be
used to operate personal electronics such as: laptop
computers, digital/video cameras, MP3 players, cell
phones, PDAs, and more. It can also be used to recharge
AC devices that have an appropriate recharging
adapter with a local standard plug. Please read this
Instruction manual carefully before use to ensure optimum
performance and to avoid damage to this product.
The front panel provides two LED indicators. The AC and
USB outlets are ready to use. The green LED indicates
power and proper operation of the inverter. The AC and
USB outlets are ready to use. The red LED indicates
inverter shutdown from an over-load or over-temperature fault.
The Power Pushbutton turns the inverter ON and OFF. It
can also be used to force reset of inverter circuits by
pressing it OFF (no LEDs are lit), then back ON again.
AC power is supplied through two standard three-prong
type outlets. The outlets can accommodate either two- or
three-pin AC plugs.
Controls and functions (Fig. A)
1. Power inverter
2. Battery clips (with cables)
3. DC accessory outlet plug
4. Output fault LED indicator
5. Input fault LED indicator
6. (On/Off) Power pushbutton
7. AC outlet
8. USB charging port with tethered cover
9. High-Speed cooling fan
10. (Red) positive (+) cable post
11. (Black) negative (–) cable post
How this inverter works
This inverter is an electronic device that converts low
voltage DC (direct current) electricity from a battery to
AC (alternating current) household power. In designing
this inverter, Black & Decker has incorporated design
techniques previously employed in computer power
supplies. The result of these design innovations is a
smaller, lighter and easier-to-use power inverter.
The 400W Power Inverter with USB Charging Port
converts power in two stages:
f The first stage is a DC-to-DC conversion process
that raises the low voltage DC at the inverter input
to 145V DC.
f The second stage is a MOSFET bridge stage that
converts the high voltage DC into 220V, 50-60HZ AC.
Power inverter output waveform
The AC output waveform of this inverter is known as a
modified sine wave. It is a stepped waveform that has
characteristics similar to the sine wave shape of utility
power. This type of waveform is suitable for most AC
loads, including linear and switching power supplies used
in electronic equipment, transformers, and small motors.
The modified sine wave produced by this inverter has an
RMS (root mean square) voltage of 220V. Most AC
voltmeters (both digital and analog) are sensitive to the
average value of the waveform rather than the RMS value.
They are calibrated for RMS voltage under the assumption
that the waveform measured will be a pure sine wave.
These meters will not correctly read the RMS voltage of a
modified sine wave. Non-TRUE RMS meters will read
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about 20 to 30 volts low when measuring the output of this
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inverter. For accurate measurement of the output voltage
of this unit, use a TRUE RMS reading voltmeter such as a
Fluke 87, Fluke 8080A, Beckman 4410 or Triplett 4200.
Fig. 1: AC Output
Caution! Rechargeable Devices
f Certain rechargeable devices are designed to
be charged by plugging them directly into an AC
receptacle. These devices may damage the inverter
or the charging circuit.
f If there is any sign that your appliance is behaving
differently to that when connected to the normal power
source then unplug and seek advice from your
f When using a rechargeable device, monitor its
temperature for the initial ten minutes of use to
determine if it produces excessive heat.
f If excessive heat is produced, this indicates the device
should not be used with this inverter.
f This problem does not occur with most battery-operated
equipment. Most of these devices use a separate charger
or transformer that is plugged into an AC receptacle.
f The inverter is capable of running most chargers
Soft start technology
Black & Decker's Soft Start Technology gradually "ramps
up" the inverters power to slowly start appliances that
require a surge to get started. This gradual ramp up
protects the inverter and the appliance, as well as the
power source, from damage and failure.
ENGLISH • 13
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220V del seno