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Cobra CPI 850 Operating Instructions Manual

Made by: Cobra
Type: Operating Instructions
Category: Inverter
Pages: 11
Size: 0.6 MB

 

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Intro

Operation

Customer
Assistance

Warranty

Notes

Notice

Main Icons

Secondary Icons

Caution

Warning

Installation

Customer Assistance

A1 English

Our Thanks  to You

Intro

Operation

Customer
Assistance

Warranty

Notes

Notice

Secondary Icons

Caution

Warning

Installation

Introduction

Thank you for purchasing the Cobra CPI 850
inverter. Properly used, this Cobra product will
give you many years of reliable service.

How Your Cobra Power Inverter Works

The Cobra power inverter is an electronic product that 
has been designed and built to take low voltage DC (Direct
Current) power from your automobile or other low voltage
power supplies and convert it to standard 115 Volt AC
(Alternating Current) power like the current you have in
your home. This conversion process thereby allows you 
to use many of your household appliances and electronic
products in automobiles, RVs, boats, tractors, trucks and
virtually anywhere else.

Customer Assistance 

Should you encounter any problems with this product, 
or not understand its many features, please refer to this
owner’s manual. If you require further assistance after
reading this manual, Cobra Electronics offers the 
following customer assistance services:

For Assistance in the U.S.A.

Automated Help Desk English only. 
24 hours a day, 7 days a week 773-889-3087 (phone). 

Customer Assistance Operators English and Spanish. 
8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. CT, Monday through Friday 
(except holidays) 773-889-3087 (phone). 

Questions English and Spanish. 
Faxes can be received at 773-622-2269 (fax). 

Technical Assistance English only.
www.cobra.com (on-line: Frequently Asked Questions). 
English and Spanish. productinfo

@

cobra.com (e-mail).

For Assistance Outside the U.S.A.

Contact Your Local Dealer

© 2005 Cobra

®

Electronics Corporation

6500 West Cortland Street

Chicago, Illinois 60707 USA

www.cobra.com

Operating Instructions

Nothing comes close to a Cobra

®

English

800 WATT POWER INVERTER

CPI 850

Printed in China 

Part No. 480-198-P

Version A

Nothing comes close to a Cobra

®

English

For more information or to 

order any of our products, 

please visit our website:

www.cobra.com

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Handheld GPS Receivers

Mobile GPS Navigation Systems

HighGear

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Accessories

CobraMarine

VHF Radios

Power Inverters

Accessories

The Cobra line of quality 
products includes:

 


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Cooling Fan

A3 English

A2 English

Product Features

Intro

Operation

Customer
Assistance

Warranty

Notes

Notice

Secondary Icons

Caution

Warning

Installation

Introduction

Intro

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Customer
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Warranty

Notes

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Caution

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Installation

Introduction

Intro

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Customer
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Installation

On/Off 

Power Switch

AC Outlets

Negative Battery 

Cable Terminal

(Black)

Positive Battery 

Cable Terminal

(Red)

Features

• Two AC Receptacles

• Automatic Thermal

Protection/Shutdown

• Reverse Polarity Protection

• Low Battery Alarm

• Low Battery Shutdown

Contents

Introduction

Our Thanks to You  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A1
Customer Assistance  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A1
Product Features  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A2
Important Safety Information  . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Quick Evaluation Before Installation  . . . . . . 3

Installation

Installation Requirements  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Mounting  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
Connecting Cables  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Power Consumption  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

Operation

Turning Your Inverter On or Off  . . . . . . . . 11
Power and Protection Indicators  . . . . . . . 12
Operating Limits  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Troubleshooting Guide  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
Specifications  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

Warranty

Warranty  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

Customer Assistance

Maintenance  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
Product Service  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
Accessories and Order Form  . . . . . . . . . . 18

Protection &

Power Indicators

 


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Introduction

Important Safety Information

Important Safety Information

Before installing and using your Cobra power inverter,
please read these general precautions and warnings.

Caution and Warning Statements

To make the most of this inverter, it must be installed and
used properly. Please read the installation and operating
instructions carefully before installing and using it. Special
attention must be paid to the CAUTION and WARNING
statements in the manual.

CAUTION Statements specify conditions which 
could cause damage to the unit or other equipment.

WARNING Statements identify conditions that 
could result in personal injury or loss of life.

General Precautions

1. Never install the inverter in a boat’s 

engine compartment where gas and 
battery fumes are present.

2. Do not operate the inverter if it has 

been dropped or damaged in any way.

3. Do not open the inverter; it contains no user-

serviceable parts. Attempting to service unit 
could cause electrical shock.

NOTE Internal components remain charged 
after all power is disconnected.

4. Do not expose the inverter to rain, snow, 

bilge water or spray.

5. Do not obstruct the ventilation openings.

6. Do not install the inverter in zero-clearance

compartment.

CAUTION This inverter should be used in 
negative ground applications only.

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Important Safety Information

Intro

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Warranty

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Caution

Warning

Installation

Introduction

WARNING Power inverters contain components 
that can produce arcs or sparks. To prevent fire 
or explosion, do not install the inverter in areas or
compartments containing batteries or flammable
materials or in locations that require ignition-
protected equipment.

WARNING To reduce the risk of fire, do not cover 
or obstruct the ventilation openings. Do not install
inverter in zero-clearance compartment.

Warning: Wash Hands After Handling Power Cord

The power cord on this product contains lead, a chemical
known in the state of California to cause birth defects or
other reproductive harm.

Caution: Rechargeable Appliances

Certain chargers for small nickel cadmium batteries can be
damaged if connected to the Cobra 800 watt inverter. Two
particular types of equipment are prone to this problem: 

1. Small battery-operated

appliances such as flashlights,
razors, and night lights that 
can be plugged directly into 
an AC receptacle to recharge.

2. Certain battery chargers for

battery packs used in hand 
power tools. These chargers
have a WARNING label stating
that dangerous voltages are
present at the battery terminals.

This problem does not occur with the vast majority of
battery operated equipment. Most use a separate charger
or transformer that is plugged into the AC receptacle and
produces a low voltage output. If the label on the AC
adapter or charger states that it produces a low voltage 
AC or DC output (less than 30 volts), the inverter will 
have no problem powering the adapter safely.

Cobra  800 Watt Output Waveform

Some very sensitive electronic equipment may not operate
satisfactory on “square wave” or “modified sine wave.” 
The output waveform is referred to as “square wave” or
“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).

Quick Evaluation Before Installation

This section provides you with basic information about the
inverter and how to check its performance before installation.

Be Sure to Have on Hand:

£

A 12 volt DC power source (such as a vehicle battery).

The power source must provide
between 11 and 15 volts DC and 
be able to supply 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)
the power source must deliver.

£

The provided two foot direct-to-battery 12 gauge cable. 

Only use the cable provided with
your inverter.

£

A test load that can be plugged into the AC receptacle on
the inverter for short term testing at a low power level.

Quick Evaluation 
Before Installation

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Installation

Introduction

Plug In Directly

Dangerous Voltages

Power Supply

Cable

Test Load

 


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Installation
Requirements

To check your inverter’s performance before installation:

1. Turn the inverter off (see page 11

for details). If the power source
is a DC power supply, switch it
off as well.

2. Connect cables to power input

terminals (see page 7 for details).

3. Connect cables to power source

(see page 7 for details).

4. Check to make sure all

connections are secure.

5. Turn the inverter on. If the

power source is a DC power
supply, switch it on first.

6. Plug in the test load.

The inverter should supply 
power to the load. If the inverter 
is not working properly, refer to
the troubleshooting guide on 
page 14 or power and protection
indicators section on page 12.

Installation Requirements

The inverter must be installed in an area that meets 
all of the following requirements:

A. Dry

Do not place in an area where water can drip 
or splash on the inverter.

B. Cool

Ambient air temperature should be between 30°F 
and 105°F (0°C and 40°C). The cooler the better.

C. Ventilate

Allow at least one inch (three cm) of clearance around
the inverter for proper airflow. Make sure that ventilation
openings on the ends of the unit are not obstructed.

D. Safe

Do not install the inverter in the same compartment 
as a battery or in any compartment that contains
flammable liquids such as gasoline.

E. Close to Battery

Install unit as close to battery as possible (without
being in the same compartment) to minimize the 
length of cable required to connect the inverter to 
the battery. It is better and cheaper to run longer 
AC wires than longer DC wires (cables).

CAUTION To avoid fire, do not cover or obstruct
ventilation openings. Do not install inverter in a zero-
clearance compartment. Overheating may result.

CAUTION 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.

WARNING This unit contains components which 
can produce arcs or sparks. To prevent fire or
explosion, do not install in compartments containing 
a battery or flammable materials, or in a location
which requires ignition protected equipment.

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Customer
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Warranty

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Installation

Quick Evaluation 
Before Installation

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Introduction

On/Off Switch to Off

Connect Terminals

Connect Power Source

On/Off Switch to On

Connect Test Load

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Mounting

To mount your inverter:

1. Place the inverter on a flat surface with the 

mounting bracket against the mounting surface. 

2. Mount to secure surface using mounting hardware 

that is corrosion resistant (not included). 

The inverter can be mounted horizontally or vertically.

Connecting Cables

Power wire and wiring are very important to the
performance of the inverter. Because the inverter has a
low voltage, high current input, low resistance wiring is
essential between the battery and inverter. This is so it 
can deliver the maximum amount of energy to the load.
Only use the cables provided with your power inverter.

To connect the cables between the inverter 
and the battery:

1. Turn the On/Off Switch on the inverter to the off

position. If the power source is a DC power supply,
switch it off as well.

2. Connect cable to the Power Input Terminals on 

right side panel of the inverter. The red terminal is
positive (+) and the black terminal is negative (-). 
Insert the ends of the cables onto the terminals and
tighten the screws to clamp the cables safely.

Mounting

Connecting Cables

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On/Off Switch to Off

Mounting Brackets

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Connect Cables

 


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Connecting Cables

Connecting Cables

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3. Connect cable to the power source:

a. Connect the cable from the Negative (Black)

Terminal of inverter to the Negative Terminal of 
the power source. Make a secure connection.

b. Connect the cable from the Positive (Red) Terminal

of the inverter to the Positive Terminal of the power
source (the battery’s main fuse or the battery selector
switch, if you are using one). Make a secure connection.

You might observe a spark when you make this connection
since current can flow to charge capacitors in the inverter.

All power connections to your Cobra inverter must 
be Positive to Positive and Negative to Negative.

CAUTION Do not connect the inverter and another
AC source (such as a generator or utility power) 
to the AC wiring at the same time. The inverter 
will be damaged if its output is connected to 
AC voltage from another source. Damage can 
even occur if the inverter is switched off.

CAUTION Do not connect the inverter to an AC
branch circuit that has high-power consumption loads.
It will not operate electric heaters, air conditioners,
stoves, and other electrical appliances that consume
more than 800 watts.

CAUTION Loose connectors result in excessive
voltage drop and may cause over heated wires 
and melted insulation.

CAUTION Reverse polarity connections (positive 
to negative) will blow internal fuses in the inverter
and may permanently damage the unit. Such
damage is not covered by the warranty.

CAUTION Remove any jewelry (watch, ring, etc.).
Be careful not to short circuit the battery with 
any metallic object (wrench, etc.).

WARNING 115 volt AC power is potentially lethal.
Do not work on AC wiring when it is connected to 
the inverter (even if it is switched off) unless the 
DC power source is physically disconnected from 
the inverter. Also, do not work on AC wiring if it is
connected to another AC power source such as 
a generator or the utility line.

WARNING You may observe a spark when making
the connection because current can flow to charge
the capacitors in the inverter. Do not make this
connection in the presence of flammable fumes.
Explosion or fire may result. Thoroughly ventilate the
battery compartment before making this connection.

 


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Power Consumption

For each piece of equipment you will be operating from the
inverter, you must determine the battery’s reserve capacity
(how long the battery can deliver a specific amount of
current – in automotive batteries, usually 25 amperes) or
ampere-hour capacity (a measure of how many amperes 
a battery can deliver for a specified length of time). 

Example – Reserve capacity: a battery with a reserve
capacity of 180 minutes can deliver 25 amperes for
180 minutes before it is completely discharged.

Example – Ampere-hour capacity: a battery with 
an ampere-hour capacity of 100 ampere-hours can
deliver 5 amperes for 20 hours before it is completely
discharged.

To determine the battery ampere-hour 
capacity you require:

1. Determine how many watts each piece of equipment

consumes. This can normally be found on the product
label. If only the current draw is given, multiply the
current draw by 115 to get the watt consumption.

2. Estimate the time (in hours) that each piece of equipment

will be running between battery charging cycles.

3. Calculate the total watt-hours of energy consumption

(power x operating time) using the average power
consumption and the total estimated running time 
(in hours). Power x Operating Time = Watt-Hours.

4. Divide the watt-hours by 10 to determine how many

power supply’s (12 volt) ampere-hours will be consumed.

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Turning Your Inverter On or Off

Be sure to have your power inverter properly installed before
attempting to turn the unit on (see installation page 5).

To turn the power inverter on:

1. If a DC power supply is being

used as the power source, switch
it on.

2. On the left side panel, switch the

On/Off Switch to on.

The inverter is now ready to deliver AC power to your loads.
If several loads are to be operated by the inverter, turn them
on separately, after the inverter has been turned on. This
will ensure that the inverter does not have to deliver the
starting currents required for all the loads at once.

To turn the power inverter off:

1. On the left side panel, 

switch the On/Off Switch
to off.

NOTE The On/Off Switch turns the control circuit 
in the inverter on and off. It does not disconnect
power from the inverter.

NOTE When the switch is in the off position, the
inverter draws no current from the battery. When
it’s in the 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 rate
depending on the age of the battery.

Power Consumption

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Laptop

50 watts x 2 hours 
= 100 watt-hours

TV/VCR (up to 25")

115 watts x 3 hours
= 345 watt-hours

Blender

300 watts x 15 minutes 
= 75 watt-hours

On/Off Switch to On

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Power and Protection Indicators

The power and protection indicators include a green light,
a red light and an alarm.

Green Light

Power on – The green light should remain on steady. 

Red Light and/or Alarm

Current overload – The red light will turn on momentarily,
then the inverter will shutdown. The inverter will continue
to check for appropriate current levels while trying to
restart the load.

DC input voltage overload – The red light will turn on and
the inverter will shutdown. The inverter will continue to
check for appropriate voltage levels while trying to restart
the load.

DC input voltage shortage – As a warning that the voltage
is getting low, the internal alarm will sound. When the
voltage is too low, the inverter will shutdown and the red
light will turn on. The inverter will continue to check for
appropriate voltage levels while trying to restart the load.

Temperature overload – The red light will blink, then the
inverter will shutdown. The inverter will continue to check
for appropriate temperature levels while trying to restart
the load.

NOTE A momentary sound of the internal alarm
and/or flash of the red light is normal at start up.

Power and 
Protection Indicators

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Operating Limits

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Operating Limits

Power Output

The inverter can deliver 800 watts for about 60 minutes.
The inverter must cool for 15 minutes before it can
resume operation at 800 watts. Note: The wattage 
rating applies to resistive loads.

The inverter will operate most AC loads within its power
rating. Some induction motors used in freezers, pumps,
and other motor-operated equipment require very high
surge currents to start. The inverter may not be able 
to start some of these motors even though their rated 
current draw is within the inverter’s limits. The inverter 
will normally start single phase induction motors rated 
at one-half HP or less.

Input Voltage

The inverter will operate from input voltage ranging 
from 10 volts to 15 volts. Optimum performance will
occur when the voltage is between 12 volts and 14 volts.
If the voltage drops below 10.5V+/-0.3V, an audible 
low battery warning will sound. The inverter will shut
down if the input voltage drops below 9.5V+/-0.3V. This
protects the battery from being over-discharged. It will
restart when the input voltage exceeds 12V+/-0.3V.

The inverter will also shut down if the input voltage
exceeds 15.75V+/-0.75V. This protects the inverter 
against excessive input voltage. Although the inverter 
has protection against over-voltage, it may still be
damaged if the input voltage were to exceed 16 volts.

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Troubleshooting Guide

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Specifications 

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Specifications

Continuous output power (1 hour)  . . . . . . . . . . . . 800W

Surge rating (0.1 second)  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1600W

Peak efficiency (12V – 1⁄2 load)  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . > 88%

Efficiency (full load, 12V)  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . > 83%

No load current draw  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . < 0.5A (12.6V)

Output waveform (resistive load)  . . . Modified sine wave

Output frequency  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58HZ – 62HZ

Output voltage  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109V – 120V

Input voltage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10.4VDC – 14.4VDC

Alarm voltage (unload)  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10.2V – 10.8V

Shutdown voltage (unload)  . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9.2V – 9.8V

Operating temperature range  . . . . . . . . . . . . 0°C – 40°C 

(32°F – 104°F)

Storage temperature range  . . . . . . . . . . . . -40°C – 85°C 

(-40°F – 185°F)

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 voltage of DC input
should be above 12V.

To extend the life of the fan, it will stop when there is no
load. The speed of the fan increases as the load increases.

The unit is completely insulated in input and output for
added safety.

Problem/Symptom

Low output voltage 

No output voltage 

No output voltage
after prolonged use

No output voltage,
“Protect” indicator
lighted

No output voltage

No output voltage

Low battery alarm
on all the time

Possible Causes

Overload 

Low input voltage

Thermal 
shutdown

High input 
voltage

Short circuit

Inverter 
switched off

No power 
to inverter

Reverse 
DC polarity

Poor DC wiring

Poor battery
condition

Solution

Reduce the load.

Recharge battery.
Check connections
and cable.

Allow inverter 
to cool off.

Reduce load,
continuous
operation input
current required.

Improve ventilation;
Make sure ventilation
openings in the
inverter are not
obstructed.

Reduce ambient
temperature.

Make sure 
the inverter is
connected to 
12V battery.

Check regulation 
of charging system.

Check load for
proper operation.

Turn inverter on.

Check wiring 
to inverter.

Observe 
correct polarity.

Check
connections.

Make sure battery
is fully charged.

Troubleshooting Guide

 


background image

17

Nothing 

comes close to a Cobra

®

16 English

Limited Two-Year Warranty 

For Products Purchased in the U.S.A.

Cobra Electronics Corporation warrants that its Cobra power
inverter, and the component parts thereof, will be free of defects in
workmanship and materials for a period of two years from the date
of first 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, defective
power inverters, products or component parts upon delivery to the
Cobra Factory Service department, accompanied by proof of the
date of first consumer purchase, such as a duplicated copy of a
sales receipt. 

You must pay any 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 legal rights, and you
may also have other rights which may 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, to
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.

For Products Purchased Outside the U.S.A.

Please contact your local dealer for warranty information.

Trademark Acknowledgement 

Cobra

®

, Nothing comes close to a Cobra

®

and the snake design 

are registered trademarks of Cobra Electronics Corporation, USA.
Cobra Electronics Corporation™ is a trademark of Cobra 
Electronics Corporation, USA.

Maintenance

Very little maintenance is required to keep the inverter 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. Be sure
vents and fans are free of dust or debris.

Product Service

If you have any questions about operation or installing your new
Cobra product, or if you are missing parts…

Please call Cobra first! 
DO NOT RETURN THIS PRODUCT TO THE STORE! 
See customer assistance on page A1.

If your product should require factory service, please call Cobra
first before sending your power inverter. This will ensure the
fastest turn-around time on your repair. You may be asked to 
send your power inverter to the Cobra factory. 

It will be necessary to furnish the following to have the product
serviced and returned.

1. For warranty repair include some form of proof-of-purchase,

such as a mechanical reproduction or carbon copy of a sales
receipt. If you send the original receipt, it cannot be returned. 

2. Send the entire product.

3. Enclose a description of what is happening with the power

inverter. Include a typed or clearly printed name and address 
of where the power inverter is to be returned.

4. Pack power inverter securely to prevent damage in transit. 

If possible, use the original packing material.

5.

Ship prepaid and insured by way of a traceable carrier 
such as United Parcel Service (UPS) or Priority Mail 
to avoid loss in transit to: 
Cobra Factory Service
Cobra Electronics Corporation
6500 West Cortland Street
Chicago, Illinois 60707 USA.

6.

If the power inverter is in warranty, upon receipt of your power
inverter, it will either be repaired or exchanged depending on the
model. Please allow approximately three to four weeks before
contacting Cobra for status. If the power inverter is out of
warranty, a letter will automatically be sent informing you 
of the repair charge or replacement charge. 

If you have any questions, please call 773-889-3087 for assistance.

Warranty and Trademark
Acknowledgement

Customer
Assistance

Warranty

Notes

N

Caution

Warning

Warranty

Maintenance and 
Product Service

Intro

Operation

Customer
Assistance

Warranty

Notes

Notice

Secondary Icons

Caution

Warning

Installation

Customer Assistance