[Stargate] Alternative power for computers and cell phones at long camping events
eadric at scabrewer.com
Fri Oct 15 09:36:11 PDT 2010
I take two deep cycle batteries to war each year.
One runs my CPAP and it does it all week easily. Actually it does it
for more than a week since I am usually on site for 10 days or so. The
second runs the pump on the shower and it always last a full week.
So far I have never either during the week.
I always have my cellphone and laptop for emergencies but I try not to
use them at war unless the is real need. I am at at the SCA event to
get away from that stuff.
For cellphone recharging dont plug a home cellphone charger into the AC
inverter. You waste power in converting from DC to AC and then from AC
back to DC for the phone. Just get yourself a car charger for your
cellphone and make sire you have a 12v DC outlet connected to your
battery so it can plug in there without having to do DC/AC/DC conversion.
It certainly is not cost effective to do this just for cellphone
recharging. It is much more cost effective to simply go on ebay and buy
an extended runtime battery and a spare battery for your phone and when
you get out of your car just make sure they are fully charged. Unless
you are spending a lot of time on your phone a couple of batteries
should last all week and if during the week you ever get in a car to
take a trip to town just make sure you take em with you for a top-off
I would caution people against thinking they could run a microwave
without spending a bunch more cash on a significantly more robust
setup. Microwaves actually draw a good bit of juice and most affordable
DC/AC Inverters aren't going to handle them or will burn up trying to
power them. A typical low power microwave draws about 10A of 120V power
or 1200 Watts. The small Microwave that Deitrich had at Camwood last
weekend drew 13.5A or 1620 Watts. The $80 Inverter in the list below is
a 750W inverter and one needed to power a Microwave is going to cost
$200 or more. But yes, it could be done as this is basically the way
that off-grid 100% Solar and Wind powered homes do it.
On 10/15/2010 10:53 AM, Mike Dudley wrote:
> Won't run a microwave, but for longer events like Gulf Wars, we pack
> our Powerpack.
> It keeps the cameras and cellphones charged for a week. Have an extra
> motorcycle battery that can be hooked up to it for extra charging
> power (as I usually end up charging other people devices also). Its
> 28Ah, but its an alternative to the DIY version. It charges via AC or
> DC (I think that solar panel would work on it, I think I might look
> into that since the battery is pretty dead after a week of use), and
> has a DC outlet, 3 AC outlets, a radio, light, and comes with jumper
> Have also used it during power outages. During Hurricane Ike, we used
> it at night to power stuff, as I didn't want to run the generator
> while we slept. And I have used it plenty of times to jump start
> - Mike Dudley / Collwyn O'Snowdon
> On Thu, Oct 14, 2010 at 2:11 PM, Steve Scott (Dietrich)
> <dietrich.strobelbart at yahoo.com> wrote:
>> For those of you who find that they just cannot go a whole week without their
>> laptop; check out this alternative for charging a laptop or cellphone at long
>> camping events:
>> Deep cycle marine battery $75.00--$150 depending on how big you want.
>> 12vdc to 120vac inverter $79.99
>> 15 watt 12v Solar panel $79.99
>> Charge controller $29.99
>> Battery Box $10.00
>> Total ~$275.00
>> This setup would be enough to pretty much keep your laptop going continuously,
>> assuming at least some fair weather. These solar panels are pretty good, even
>> on a cloudy day. A 32Ah battery will give you about 15 hours of charge time for
>> most laptops by itself, without recharging. There is also a 5 watt solar panel
>> with a built in controller and a smaller inverter if all you want to charge is a
>> cell phone. For that you get out under $150.00!
>> Or you can get a larger battery, a larger inverter, and link several solar
>> panels, and run whatever you want! How about a microwave in your tent at Gulf
>> Wars? ;-) You could pull that off for about what a generator would cost. And
>> all without the noise and stink of a generator! And you don't have to buy any
>> gasoline! Keep in mind that generators are rather frowned upon at Gulf Wars!
>> Now, let all the screaming about "that's cheating!" begin! ;-)
>> Just my 2 pence....
>> Numerus vestri pluma!
>> Number your feathers!
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