Trace Inverters: Failure to Trace

Lucas61

Active member
Jun 13, 2014
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retired English teacher (30 years)
Hello All,

Generally, when you evaluate a product, it's nice if a website is attached to that product with information available about that product, where it is manufactured, manual(s) to download, and contact information should you have further questions.

I want to evaluate the Trace AC/DC Inverter, which appears to be of good quality (pure sine wave, for example). And their are stores throughout the D.R. that specialize in Trace inverters. However, when I try to find the website for Trace I come up with nothing. Nothing with the word "trace" in it, such as trace.com A Google search informs me that Trace was purchased! by the Canadian company Xantrex. Xantrex does have a website but when I go there they do not sell any inverters with the name "Trace." Further, I find that Xantrex is owned by Schneider Electronics.

Nor can I find any manual with the word "Trace" in it. All of the above lead me to believe that this brand is not to be trusted. I don't know the website; I don't know who manufactures it; I don't have contact information should I have questions, etc.

What's your view? Find a different brand that doesn't have all these "gotchas" attached? Or can you clarify the status of this company?

Thanks!
 

johne

Silver
Jun 28, 2003
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Hello All,

Generally, when you evaluate a product, it's nice if a website is attached to that product with information available about that product, where it is manufactured, manual(s) to download, and contact information should you have further questions.

I want to evaluate the Trace AC/DC Inverter, which appears to be of good quality (pure sine wave, for example). And their are stores throughout the D.R. that specialize in Trace inverters. However, when I try to find the website for Trace I come up with nothing. Nothing with the word "trace" in it, such as trace.com A Google search informs me that Trace was purchased! by the Canadian company Xantrex. Xantrex does have a website but when I go there they do not sell any inverters with the name "Trace." Further, I find that Xantrex is owned by Schneider Electronics.

Nor can I find any manual with the word "Trace" in it. All of the above lead me to believe that this brand is not to be trusted. I don't know the website; I don't know who manufactures it; I don't have contact information should I have questions, etc.

What's your view? Find a different brand that doesn't have all these "gotchas" attached? Or can you clarify the status of this company?

Thanks!

Trace-Engineering Manuals
 

beeza

Silver
Nov 2, 2006
3,264
410
83
Trace became Xantrex a few years ago. Their inverters are very good quality. Mine is fifteen years old. An early generation pure sine wave 4KVA model. Cost me a small fortune at the time, best part of $2,500.

I did need to get it repaired earlier this year, but the technician at the Xantrex main dealer in Santiago did an excellent job and is now working like new.

Expensive to buy new, but you get what you pay for. Pure sine wave is exactly that. You can't tell if we are running on batteries. Total uninterruptible power change over and no humming from the ceiling fans.
 

Drro

Bronze
Mar 22, 2006
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We bought our Trace at La Sirena 14 yearrs ago and have a small one with 2 batteries, twice have changed batteries only.
 

windeguy

Platinum
Jul 10, 2004
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If you are finding an Inverter with the name TRACE on it, it is either very old new stock or a company that just appropriated the name.

The original TRACE DR series inverter was made for a country that had some of the worst electrical power in the world. You guessed it, The Dominican Republic.
Trace engineers told me if their products worked here, they would work anywhere. True Story.

Trace was purchased by Xantrex which was purchased by Schneider of France:


My guess is you have you found a "CHINESE" locally sold as Trace. (or an old "new stock" Trace).

An actual TRACE inverter is a good one. But I had to replace mine with ones from Inverluz/Megatone many years ago when they finally were not worth repairing.
Inverluz/Megatone does sell decent quality inverters $$. Schneider sells some really good ones $$$$.

The current TRACE stores in the DR just borrowed the name TRACE, by the way. They are not related to the original TRACE company which as I mentioned has not existed for more than a few years now.
 

Lucas61

Active member
Jun 13, 2014
598
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retired English teacher (30 years)
Trace-Engineering Manuals
I went to the Trace Solar store today in Sto. Dom. The model I am interested in is Trace APC1612, i.e. 1.6Kw, 12v. I have the spec sheet. The manual for that inverter is nowhere to be found on this that you quoted. In fact, I found no models beginning with APC. And I cannot find a manual when I do a Google search. And at the store they told me they didn't know where I could find a manual. I assume there's one in the box . . . but then means I have to buy before I can look. For that matter, I have to buy before I can even look at the inverter.

The service was not that good and the pickings were slim. They did not have an inverter on diaplay for the model I wanted. They could only give me a picture. They have no sealed batteries. They have no 12v batteries. Of the three 6v batteries they have on display, two are not available even though they are on display. So, really, they have only one battery. They also have no LCD display available even though they advertise it as an option. When I get my iron cage built, I'll probably buy at the shop in el Oeste. It can't be any worse and maybe it will be better.

Everyone here attests to this being a quality product but the service sucked at this Trace store.
 

Lucas61

Active member
Jun 13, 2014
598
23
38
68
retired English teacher (30 years)
If you are finding an Inverter with the name TRACE on it, it is either very old new stock or a company that just appropriated the name.

The original TRACE DR series inverter was made for a country that had some of the worst electrical power in the world. You guessed it, The Dominican Republic.
Trace engineers told me if their products worked here, they would work anywhere. True Story.

Trace was purchased by Xantrex which was purchased by Schneider of France:


My guess is you have you found a "CHINESE" locally sold as Trace. (or an old "new stock" Trace).

An actual TRACE inverter is a good one. But I had to replace mine with ones from Inverluz/Megatone many years ago when they finally were not worth repairing.
Inverluz/Megatone does sell decent quality inverters $$. Schneider sells some really good ones $$$$.

The current TRACE stores in the DR just borrowed the name TRACE, by the way. They are not related to the original TRACE company which as I mentioned has not existed for more than a few years now.
Oh, hell, my quasi-bad experience today kind of bears out your description and I'm grateful for it because it kind of explains my bad experience today. The so-called "Trace" store I visited today may very well have nothing to do with the original Trace inverters and may well be a Chinese knock-off which almost always spells disaster.

So forget Trace. Can you recommend a brand that actually is what it claims to be, that has a website, that has a manual, that actually lists its models? What is your advice? I re-quote my response to johne:

I went to the Trace Solar store today in Sto. Dom. The model I am interested in is Trace APC1612, i.e. 1.6Kw, 12v. I have the spec sheet. The manual for that inverter is nowhere to be found on this that you quoted. In fact, I found no models beginning with APC. And I cannot find a manual when I do a Google search. And at the store they told me they didn't know where I could find a manual. I assume there's one in the box . . . but then means I have to buy before I can look. For that matter, I have to buy before I can even look at the inverter.

The service was not that good and the pickings were slim. They did not have an inverter on display for the model I wanted. They could only give me a picture. They have no sealed batteries. They have no 12v batteries. Of the three 6v batteries they have on display, two are not available even though they are on display. So, really, they have only one battery. They also have no LCD display available even though they advertise it as an option. When I get my iron cage built, I'll probably buy at the shop in el Oeste. It can't be any worse and maybe it will be better.

Everyone here attests to this being a quality product but the service sucked at this Trace store.

Aller Anfang ist schwer.
 

JD Jones

Moderator - Covid 19 in DR & North Coast
Jan 7, 2016
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I have a PowerTek 2.6 that has served me very well.

Powertek inverters are available at most department stores such as Jumbo, Plaza Lama, La Sirena, etc.
 

Lucas61

Active member
Jun 13, 2014
598
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retired English teacher (30 years)
@windeguy

Wow! I just checked the website for Megatone inverters. I found exactly the model I needed; the manual was readily available and it's beautifully written--specs, dimensions, wiring diagrams, LED indicators, etc. all with large colored diagrams, etc. And the store is walking distance from my house on 30 de marzo in Sto. Dom. a street that has almost entirely electronics businesses.

You told me that this is the inverter that you have. Would you call this mid-range? Any complaints? Would you buy again? I will still check Schneider and PowerTek but, at this moment, Megatone is coming up smelling roses . . .
 
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windeguy

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@windeguy

Wow! I just checked the website for Megatone inverters. I found exactly the model I needed; the manual was readily available and it's beautifully written--specs, dimensions, wiring diagrams, LED indicators, etc. all with large colored diagrams, etc. And the store is walking distance from my house on 30 de marzo in Sto. Dom. a street that has almost entirely electronics businesses.

You told me that this is the inverter that you have. Would you call this mid-range? Any complaints? Would you buy again? I will still check Schneider and PowerTek but, at this moment, Megatone is coming up smelling roses . . .
I actually use their non-sine wave, aka a square wave, inverters. I have used those models for years from 1.5 Kw to 3.5 Kw.
Cheap to repair and cheap to purchase. Very similar to the actual Trace DR series in performance.

So I cannot speak specifically on their sine wave model. But I expect it to be a good deal. And being close to the shop is a good thing for you.
 

JD Jones

Moderator - Covid 19 in DR & North Coast
Jan 7, 2016
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For those of you who are wondering about the origins of Trace:

Trace was born in 1986 as a result of a constant and latent need in the Dominican Republic: blackouts; under the slogan: 'The End Of Blackouts'. Trace has evolved and expanded and recently started operations in Puerto Rico.

FB: https://www.facebook.com/TraceSolarLLC/?ref=page_internal

Website: https://traceinternational.com/?fbclid=IwAR0NaBQiLTBVPgEKnG0yQJrVgRo7jvQiJaA5aJzYFHiVIcaN2krJF-CG0os

Linkedin page of owner Jose Hernandez: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jose-hernandez-03872521/

They have a store on Roberto Pastoriza and a shop at Autopista Duarte at km 9 1/2 according to their website.

My Trace T-235 batteries have a "Made in the USA" sticker on them with a barcode control image so I guess the batteries are now produced in Puerto Rico.
 
Last edited:

windeguy

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I am going to make a guess, based on past telephone conversations with TRACE in the US before Xantrex bought TRACE and Schneider bought up Xantrex, that the TraceSolarLLC from PR is a different company. My conclusion is based upon the fact that TraceSolarLLC still seems to exist as a company while TRACE in the US was purchased by Xantrex years ago.

By the way, Trace in the US never made batteries, but yet I did once buy some TRACE batteries in Puerto Plata.
Then I switched to only using Trojan T-105s..
Only the shadow knows who still makes those Trace batteries.
 

JD Jones

Moderator - Covid 19 in DR & North Coast
Jan 7, 2016
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I am going to make a guess, based on past telephone conversations with TRACE in the US before Xantrex bought TRACE and Schneider bought up Xantrex, that the TraceSolarLLC from PR is a different company. My conclusion is based upon the fact that TraceSolarLLC still seems to exist as a company while TRACE in the US was purchased by Xantrex years ago.

By the way, Trace in the US never made batteries, but yet I did once buy some TRACE batteries in Puerto Plata.
Then I switched to only using Trojan T-105s..
Only the shadow knows who still makes those Trace batteries.
Trace batteries are available in most major stores so it has to be a fairly big operation.

Then again, I bet most folks don't know Trojan batteries are made by Cometa batteries.

I used to think the Cometa batteries were cheapo, but they seem to be a pretty solid outfit and their LTH batteries are top-notch.
 

windeguy

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Trojan Batteries are made by Cometa? Call me skeptical, but I have my doubts on that.
 

windeguy

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Jul 10, 2004
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Unless the folks in their office were lying to me. Totally possible.

If it is the folks in the COMETA office, then I suspect it is likely there was incorrect information supplied. From that link, it looks like they are a distributor of various batteries including some imported and some made in the DR. I seriously doubt any genuine Trojan T-105 batteries are made in the DR. We have frequently been warned that there are "counterfeit" Trojan T-105's made in the DR. My brother in law warned me. He used to have a battery recycling company. On the outside, they looked "good as new"...
 

bob saunders

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Jan 1, 2002
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If it is the folks in the COMETA office, then I suspect it is likely there was incorrect information supplied. From that link, it looks like they are a distributor of various batteries including some imported and some made in the DR. I seriously doubt any genuine Trojan T-105 batteries are made in the DR. We have frequently been warned that there are "counterfeit" Trojan T-105's made in the DR. My brother in law warned me. He used to have a battery recycling company. On the outside, they looked "good as new"...
https://www.trojanbattery.com/news-room/ Trojan is owned by C&D Technologies and I think all their batteries are manufactured in the USA. IN THE DR ONE OF THE DISTRIBUTERS IS GRUPO COMETA https://tools.trojanbattery.com/dealers.aspx
 
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