Originally Posted by Kejacobson
...on Ebay I have seen power inverters ($60) that plug into a car's cigarette lighter and convert to household power. Is this something that I could use to power my AB's.
Yes, but... You have to be very careful when shopping for inverters because there are two kinds, and the ABs (as will most electronics) don't tolerate one kind very well.
A power inverter converts direct current into alternating current... usually converting 13.8v (nominal) into 110v AC. The AC component is normally a pure sine wave, if you look at the voltage coming out of your wall socket. But, inverters often approximate the smooth transitions of the AC cycle by stepping through the various voltages. This can cause problems with electronics because that method develops extra signals called harmonics.
A light bulb could care less whether you're feeding it pure sine wave AC or stepped voltages.. but your strobes are different - they want to see pure sine wave.
So, as long as you're careful to purchase inverters which produce pure sine wave AC, then the inverter is a good choice for portable power. The pure sine wave inverters will probably cost you a bit more than the cheap imports, but they'll be worth it to you if you're feeding the voltage into electronics, as opposed to light bulbs and/or power tools, etc.