[Loch-ruadh] electricity

Sluggy! slugmusk at linuxlegend.com
Wed Feb 6 07:14:38 PST 2002

> Several people have emailed me requesting electricity. Well, this is
> Gulf War and there is no Electricity in the campsite.

Depending on how much electricity someone needs, they could get a small
inverter and a car or marine battery and charger.

I found such an inverter at WalMart for about $40. I haven't priced a
marine battery lately, but a car battery could be another $40-50.
(Marine batteries, sometimes called deep cycle batteries, are designed
to supply low to moderate loads over a long period of time, whereas a
car battery is designed to handle large loads (starting a car, for
example) occasionally. In either case, get one with a handle for
carrying!) A charger (be sure the get one that matches the kind of
battery you have) should be about $20-50 and may well be optional. So
for as little as about $80, you could have an essentially silent
portable electric system capable of supplying about 400W. They make
bigger inverters, but they get more expensive quickly and take more and
more battery power to operate.

Obviously, such a system will deplete the battery fairly quickly at full
load, but you shouldn't be running a space heater on it anyway. :)
Chances are, if you are frugal with the power, a car battery might last
the entire week without a recharge. If a recharge was needed, the
battery charger could probably top it off in a few hours, assuming you
can find somewhere to plug it in. If all else fails, jumper cable that
battery up to your car and run the engine for a while. For the long
term, I might suggest a solar charger, but they can get pricey pretty quick.

Non-heating devices like a laptop computer, a lamp, a small fan or other
appliance is not likely to pull more than about 100W, probably less.
Maybe you want to charge up a camcorder battery for the next day. This
kind of system is great for such things. Check the labeling on the
device. Just about everything will show its power requirement in watts.

VERY IMPORTANT: It rains at Gulf War, almost guaranteed. While the 12V
from a car battery is not particularly dangerous in the wet, 110V AC
from the inverter is. Such a system should be in a dry location and must
be off the floor and covered to prevent it getting wet in case your
shelter leaks.

If anyone is interested in more details, feel free to contact me.

Electrically yours,


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