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#297123 - 09/25/20 07:52 PM Re: More power sources! [Re: Bingley]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2919
Loc: Alberta, Canada
They all look like decent systems.

Perhaps you might consider a small 12V solar panel to trickle charge the CAT lead-acid (SLA) unit. I use a 2-watt panel on a smaller SLA booster pack and it works great. Those batts die if they sit discharged.

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#297125 - 09/25/20 09:36 PM Re: More power sources! [Re: Bingley]
Bingley Offline
Veteran

Registered: 02/27/08
Posts: 1442
Seems like a useful comparison for shoppers...

https://thecampingnerd.com/goal-zero-vs-jackery-power-stations

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#297126 - 09/25/20 10:39 PM Re: More power sources! [Re: Bingley]
RayW Offline
Addict

Registered: 12/06/01
Posts: 563
Loc: Orlando, FL
All, glad to hear that the thermal process requires extreme temperature to run away. I have no idea what is in the box. Normally I would like to know more about what is in it. It is the Noco GB150 and it is "rated" (advertising is always suspect) to deliver 4000 amps for a very short time. How I started with this is a friend that buys cars and equipment has one because there is always a dead or dieing battery in something. He has carried it for years in the cab of his truck in the Florida heat. It looks terrible from years of constant use but he said that when it quits working that he would be buying another one that same day. So it came highly recommended by someone who uses tools daily. There are also quite a few reviews online. Like I said earlier, I have no affiliation just a happy customer. This thing just works, but I have only used it for jump starting and I don't make my living turning wrenches so it leads a relatively pampered life. It has been used to start anything from small 4 cylinder cars to antique diesels with dead batteries. If you are using it for auxiliary power one of the other listed products may be a better choice and some of the lead acid battery units have a user replaceable battery which may be preferable if you are using it for emergency power. None of the lithium based units that I have seen have user replaceable batteries.

Bingley, let us all know which one you decide to get and post a review after you have had a chance to use it.

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#297140 - 09/29/20 04:58 AM Re: More power sources! [Re: Bingley]
Bingley Offline
Veteran

Registered: 02/27/08
Posts: 1442
A quick update, with information that may interest others looking for power stations, etc. I'm still "looking into it" and learning, so this is not the final word.

It seems that most products use either lithium or lead acid batteries, and it seems that lead acid batteries, such as the ones used in the CAT jump starter or in the Goal Zero power station, require more regular maintenance. This must be what Chaos referred to earlier in the thread. Without regular monthly maintenance, the battery would degrade and eventually die (or die before it reaches its expected lifespan). Lithium batteries seem to require less in the way of maintenance.

For people who may be away from home for months at a time, they may want to think twice about lead acid batteries.

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#297145 - 09/29/20 01:56 PM Re: More power sources! [Re: Bingley]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2919
Loc: Alberta, Canada
That's true. But bug or feature? It's easy to trickle charge a lead acid battery from all sorts of sources. Very tolerant, and so very versatile.

Lithiums are very fussy about the correct input and charging profile. Increasingly, the charging circuitry is built right into the unit instead of those easy-to-lose wall warts. That's good, because it's not something you can improvise.

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#297151 - 09/30/20 01:38 PM Re: More power sources! [Re: Bingley]
nursemike Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 11/09/06
Posts: 870
Loc: wellington, fl
Lead acid batteries that are not sealed require weekly checking and replenishing with distilled water. Sealed lead acid adsorbed glass mat require no maintenance. The 12v 35ah battery is commonly used in mobility scooters and is readily available. I have a system composed of a 100 watt solar charger from HF, still working well after 3 years: 5 duracell 35ah 12v agm batteries, 2 HF battery chargers, and 3 HF inverters fitted with jumper cable attachments. I make my own cable terminals with copper pipe and a crimper. And a 4KW generator which will eventually break my heart, as small gasoline engines are wont to do.
I have reservations about jump starters and multifunction energy banks cause they have pretty small batteries on board, and charge a lot for the convenience of having lots of functions in a small package: when one element fails, the entire system fails. I prefer a modular approach with redundancy.

But then, I don't actually have a life to interfere with my spending time mucking about with a bunch of gadgets. YMMV.
_________________________
Dance like you have never been hurt, work like no one is watching,love like you don't need the money.

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#297168 - 10/01/20 09:28 PM Re: More power sources! [Re: Bingley]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2919
Loc: Alberta, Canada
I think the OP includes regular top-up charging under the heading of maintenance; that's all SLAs batts require.

Good suggestion re using SLA mobility scooter batteries. These see heavy use, and may indeed be more robust than the mystery SLAs inside power packs.



Edited by dougwalkabout (10/01/20 09:30 PM)

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#297200 - 10/04/20 05:06 AM Re: More power sources! [Re: Bingley]
Bingley Offline
Veteran

Registered: 02/27/08
Posts: 1442
An update in my search of the best way to get rid of the money burning in my pocket--

While there are many brands of power stations, in truth there may be only a small number of distinct manufacturers. After comparing products in the similar price range, I saw that sometimes they look mostly identical. I find this frustrating, as this way of doing business complicates things and makes it easier to commit fraud. The company you buy from could be an ephemeral entity that just rebrands stuff. They will not stand behind their products, and if you try to hold them responsible, you'll discover they have vanished into thin air.

I also learned that the field is evolving. I notice many YouTube reviews of power stations complain about the charging time. Suddenly Jackery released a 300W power station last month that is supposed to charge a lot faster. Other problems that YouTube reviewers complain about seem to be design decisions rather than engineering problemw, and as the consumers grow more sophisticated, the manufacturers will start adding features that you could use.

So if you can wait, it's probably better to wait. In a year or two you may have better options than today. But if you're worried that another hurricane or tropical storm is going to hit the Gulf Coast this month, that's a different story, I guess.

It also seems to me that the quality of the power end stuff (under 500W) is probably just lower. There are more suspicious brands at this range, so beware!

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#297203 - 10/04/20 12:42 PM Re: More power sources! [Re: Bingley]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7349
Loc: southern Cal
Basically we are talking about a lithium-ion battery with imputs and outputs nd usually tiny light, so how different can the technology be?

Charging time has never bothered me - it takes what it takes, and I keep them charged and ready to perform. Also I use them from time to time, they don't just sit on a shelf.....
_________________________
Geezer in Chief

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#297212 - 10/07/20 09:49 PM Re: More power sources! [Re: Bingley]
LCranston Offline
2
Member

Registered: 08/31/09
Posts: 199
Loc: Nebraska
I am a power junkie, sigh.

I am not a huge fan of the ""solar stations"

I prefer to have the pieces separate. Takes more space, but hey, mostly for the house.

2 golf cart batteries- 6 volt, 86 amp hours each, 90.00 each.

They are currently on house power through an AGM charger.

I had bought 4 used 50 watt panels which are in the garage as a stand by, with an MPPT controller. (bought in an auction- came off one of those road signs, lol)

I have a 3 inverters in the garage, 2 of which can run our fridge or freezer (but not both at once)

I also have a very old Harbor Freight 45 watt kit- the panel are junk, but the brain part is useful-- has 2 fluorescent DC lights, and can charger 12 volt or USB...

I have a new-in- box 900 watt inverter generator- replaced the 1200 watt Non-inverter generator over the summer-- net cost of 60.00 after selling the old one.

From a portable perspective I bought a 21 watt panel that outputs to 2 2-amp 5 volt USB plugs, and have a 12000 Mah battery bank. This was capable of maintaining my cell phone, my tablet, and my camping fan for a full well and kids Boy Scout Camp..

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