[Stargate] Alternative power for computers and cell phones at long camping events

Eadric Anstapa 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 
and recharge.

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.
> http://www.duracellpower.com/portable-power/power-packs/powerpack-600.aspx
> 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
> cables.
> 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
> vehicals.
> - Mike Dudley / Collwyn O'Snowdon
>    http://www.jmtimeless.com
> 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.
>> http://www.batterymart.com/c-deep-cycle-marine-batteries.html
>> 12vdc to 120vac inverter      $79.99
>> http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200422356_200422356
>> 15 watt 12v Solar panel        $79.99
>> http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200422042_200422042
>> Charge controller                 $29.99
>> http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200422043_200422043&issearch=121182
>> Battery Box                          $10.00
>> http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200321559_200321559
>>     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....
>> YIS,
>> Dietrich
>>   Numerus vestri pluma!
>> Number your feathers!

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