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Chockstone Forum - Gear Lust / Lost & Found

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 Page 1 of 2. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 34
Author
Camping Power
laan
9/02/2012
9:10:10 AM
Maybe slightly off topic, but I'm looking for a good way to power a laptop and some other low power stuff for 2-3 days per week in a camping environment, with maybe only a short visit or two to nearby power plugs per week.

Solar cells charging a car battery? Exercise bike connected to a generator/battery? Camp fire fueled steam engine?

Anyone's got suggestions or ingenious engineering solutions? Not looking to spend tons of money and stuff that makes lots of noise are out.

nmonteith
9/02/2012
9:27:48 AM
"working from home" hey?

Small generators are actually surprisingly silent. Just dig a foxhole or put them in a gully and you could hardly hear them once you walk away by 20m. My dad has a small Honda one he uses for biology scientific work and it has never effected campfire conversation.
kieranl
9/02/2012
9:35:54 AM
If you're going to be doing it regularly then a a dual-battery system in your vehicle supplemented by solar panels is the go. But that starts to get expensive. Even without the solar panels the auxiliary battery can run things for a long time. We can run the fridge in the Patrol for about 3 days without going for a drive. I haven't had the need for solar panels with it yet but longer periods in camp or higher power draw would require it.
Another alternative is something like the Waeco Coolpower battery which is just a portable battery pack appearing to have it's own inverter. I haven't used one of these.

Zarb
9/02/2012
9:50:57 AM
I find a complicated system of hamster-wheels works the best. You have to pay a little extra for food for said hamster, but I find the hilarity of the situation more than makes up for the extra outlay.
Duncan
9/02/2012
10:10:22 AM
I'm working off an inverter right now. I paid a bit more to get one that allows me to run directly off the car battery (as opposed to just charging the battery) and that has an alarm warning me that car battery voltage is low.
singersmith
9/02/2012
10:17:35 AM
The auxiliary battery in my van runs an Engel fridge for about a week; longer than I usually go without driving. For the budget minded, you can plug a [portable] solar panel directly into your 12v outlet for a trickle charge as long as you put a little doohickey inline on the positive so the current is unidirectional; otherwise the panel will drain the battery in the dark.

I concur, Neil, the Honda EU series generators are very quiet but I think you're looking at about a $1000.

Smaller scale, has anyone seen the Biolite yet? http://biolitestove.com/BioLite.html
Rocafella
9/02/2012
2:02:36 PM
Has anyone used these before?

http://www.goalzero.com.au/shoppingcart/categories/Complete-Power-Kits/

Would be cool to get feedback/advice on the Sherpa 50
laan
10/02/2012
8:55:38 AM
On 9/02/2012 kieranl wrote:
>If you're going to be doing it regularly then a a dual-battery system in
>your vehicle supplemented by solar panels is the go.

Can you recommend any solar cell kits that are suitable for charging standard car batteries? I have a tiny car with a tiny battery and would prefer not going for charging runs too often, so solar cell charging sounds like a good option.
laan
10/02/2012
8:57:15 AM
On 9/02/2012 nmonteith wrote:
>"working from home" hey?

yep.. "working"... really "hard" ;)

laan
10/02/2012
9:06:58 AM
On 9/02/2012 Rocafella wrote:
>Has anyone used these before?
>
>http://www.goalzero.com.au/shoppingcart/categories/Complete-Power-Kits/

Those things looks really neat. Even 150Wh is still not very much though if looking to power a 30-40W laptop + wirless for a couple of bad weather days...
kieranl
10/02/2012
3:12:48 PM
On 10/02/2012 laan wrote:
>On 9/02/2012 kieranl wrote:
>>If you're going to be doing it regularly then a a dual-battery system
>in
>>your vehicle supplemented by solar panels is the go.
>
>Can you recommend any solar cell kits that are suitable for charging standard
>car batteries? I have a tiny car with a tiny battery and would prefer not
>going for charging runs too often, so solar cell charging sounds like a
>good option.
No, I haven't gone to the point of getting solar cells for my car. If your car is small then you probably don't have room to install a dual battery setup. Lacking that don't try to drive your gear straight off your car battery - you'll flatten it enough to remove its cranking ability really fast. Probably one of those portable power packs is the best option.
Mr Poopypants
10/02/2012
5:21:32 PM
Hey Kieran

What kind of fridge are you using? I need to buy one for camping with the kids. Last one I bought was an electrolux 3 way, 30 years ago - still going strong but been hijacked by the in-laws. 3 days use on dual batteries sounds great??? I've been leaning towards another gas one, but maybe not??

G.
kieranl
10/02/2012
6:20:05 PM
Fridge is a Bushmaster which I think is a rebadged Engel. 24 litres I think (holds about the same as a large eski). I think I saw someone else reporting getting 5 days out of it. Ours is about 8 years old so hopefully technology is better today.
Mr Poopypants
11/02/2012
12:46:48 PM
Thanks. Is it noisy enough to be heard outside the car at night?
G.
Kieranl
11/02/2012
1:58:11 PM
No. It's very quiet. Just a very low hum when the compressor is going.
Mr Poopypants
11/02/2012
4:47:29 PM
Good to know, thanks.
Mr Poo
12/02/2012
12:37:15 PM
hey mate,

check out the 'Power Gorilla' put with the 'Solar Gorilla'.
u looking at around $500 but well worth it.

I think the company that makes it is called "Power Traveller"

cheers
earwig
13/02/2012
4:00:54 PM
On 9/02/2012 a.brasington wrote:
>I find a complicated system of hamster-wheels works the best. You have
>to pay a little extra for food for said hamster, but I find the hilarity
>of the situation more than makes up for the extra outlay.

Being a non-native species you are not permitted to bring hamsters into a national park. I suggest you convert your hamster wheels to bush rat or something similar. I'm sure google will find you a webpage devoted to "adapting your hamster wheel for other species".

aarond
14/02/2012
12:36:27 PM
i have a second battery in my ute. Everything runs through it except for the starter motor, its great! And it self isolates when the ignition is off. Picked up a battery for about $180 for a 85AH and did all the wiring myself so all up cost me only about $400. a full charge of the deeep cycle battery will get me about 6 hours of laptop life if charging the laptop from dead flat, but if its always at full cahrge full it wont use much at all. or will get me about 7 hours of headlight + radio usage etc. ive never even half drained my battery and it only takes short (2-3hour drive i guess) and its full charged again anyway depending on whats runnign while im driving. one thing but, is run seperatre wiring to your inverter and get a decent inverter (maybe 400W) otherwise the inverter will overheat and keep shutting out ( i think a laptop at full draw will use maybe about 150W).

you just need to sit down and work out how much power you actually expect to use then work out how often or how your going to charge it and then a battery size to suit.
laan
15/02/2012
1:23:55 PM
Thanks guys for your suggestions. On a related note, I'm trying to work out a plan how to get away with an extended stay in rural Victoria without getting sacked and I'm wondering if anyone has experience with Telstra 3G/NextG mobile broadband in the areas where you want to hang out as a climber (i.e Araps/Grampians). Is it usable?

 Page 1 of 2. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 34
There are 34 messages in this topic.

 

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