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DIY Power Cart
#11
Mac66, do you use your generator   to recharge the batteries with a12 VDC plug/battery clamps, or do you use a battery charger[pluged into one of the 110 VAC outlets, then clip onto the battery]?   Would the small 900 watt at Harbor Freight work for this, or a bigger unit?
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#12
(09-27-2017, 12:19 AM)fishingjeff Wrote: Mac66, do you use your generator   to recharge the batteries with a12 VDC plug/battery clamps, or do you use a battery charger[pluged into one of the 110 VAC outlets, then clip onto the battery]?   Would the small 900 watt at Harbor Freight work for this, or a bigger unit?

I've done it  both ways and yes I do have the HF generator which I bought specifically to recharge the batteries.

I will say that most plug in battery chargers have charge controllers that regulate then shut down as the batteries get topped off. So while you can directly charge the batteries from the generator you risk damaging the batteries. It's better to use a charger, or better yet, a dedicated charge controller.

BTW, I just ran across this in the local paper. A local company is sending solar battery units to Puerto Rico to help them...

"The solar units Cass will be sending will have the capacity to completely charge 2 iPhones, completely charge a computer, run lights for 6 hours, run a fan for 3 hours and operate a sub pump for half an hour every day."

No specs but it looks like its probably a couple batteries, a controller and probably a 100W panel. I do like the wheeled box they are using. I've seen those at Home Depot.

[Image: AFjhYJu.jpg]

We really should be keeping an eye on Puerto Rico since they are likely to be without power for some time, a true long term Grid Down scenario. Credit cards don't work, ATMs don't work. Not much coverage due to the stupid NFL BS.
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#13
Costco had a 70qt cooler a short while back with wheels and handle for about $35.. it would have made a great box for above too. Or a used cooler to save monies. Easily fit in a couple deep cell batteries/ controller and inverter.
( tho all should have some sort of vent added )
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#14
(09-27-2017, 01:34 PM)Tom Mac Wrote: Costco had a 70qt cooler a short while back with wheels and handle for about $35.. it would have made a great box for above too.  Or a used cooler to save monies.  Easily fit in a couple deep cell batteries/ controller  and inverter.
( tho all should have some sort of vent added )

That's a great idea.
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#15
I'd be concerned that the wheels of a cooler wouldn't be strong enough to support the weight of big batteries.

I like the idea of using 'garden carts' which have larger wheels and are usually rated for a few hundred pounds



So, I've been working to improve my 'power cart' with lessons from my father, who was without power for 5 days in florida.

I just received this in the mail

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008XZAQDU/

It's bright as hell, with a fairly wide field of view and only draws 500ma. I feel confident it would light up a very large room. It blinded me for several minutes when i looked at it when I turned it on

that means it would run for 30 hours straight on 8 D cell batteries.

and it's $10

So, I'd probably take it and mount it to my power cart with a switch. My next piece would be a fan. Things got very steamy in Florida

I'm watching PR also. It's going to take more than a 100 watt panel to make much of a difference. I'd be concerned with fans... cooling... and lights. Why bother charge your cell phone when 80% of towers are down?
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#16
"I'd be concerned that the wheels of a cooler wouldn't be strong enough to support the weight of big batteries. "

Thought about that too...
My battery weighs in a 35 lbs ( 40ahr ) so two may be 70+... controller and inverter aren't much added.

70qt is aprox 140 lbs so fiq a normal filled cooler ( due to space ) can be 70 lbs too.
Or just mount a old cooler on a plywood base and add dollie wheels. ( find some shopping carts Smile )
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