Author Topic: Battery recommendation for specific usage - portable but not EDC  (Read 7728 times)

Offline DheereCrossing

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Battery recommendation for specific usage - portable but not EDC
« on: September 21, 2016, 12:45:17 PM »
I'm needing a battery that can charge other items on an inverter for a few days at a time, only hooked up overnight, without recharging this main cell.

When I go camping, I want to take a battery with me, usually car camping rather than backpacking, that I can put in my tent and run a small LED light for a short time, charge a few mobile devices from, recharge camera batteries, maybe run my laptop from in a pinch.

I was looking for either a sealed gel cell or a glass mat AGM battery, but I don't know if those are available in smaller than a full car size or less than 40 pounds.

Any thoughts?

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Re: Battery recommendation for specific usage - portable but not EDC
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2016, 12:49:38 PM »
Some of the lithium jump boxes should fit the bill quite well. They come with a USB output or two, some have a laptop output, and most can charge off your cigarette lighter. They're around $100, but should give you years of service with the frequency of use you're talking about.

Offline Carl

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Offline DheereCrossing

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Re: Battery recommendation for specific usage - portable but not EDC
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2016, 02:25:50 PM »
No, I won't be using any high draw items other than the laptop needing to charge perhaps, but I can do that off the inverter pllugged directly in to the car.  This is mainly for charging my phone and camera batteries inside the tent.  I'll look at that one on amazon in a bit.

Offline Carl

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Re: Battery recommendation for specific usage - portable but not EDC
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2016, 03:26:18 PM »
While their are a number of 'jump packs' that often only have smaller 12 amp batteries , I showed you a $35 battery to use with 12 volt sockets and USB outlets that would provide good power for a few day at a reasonable cost and easy to put together as a ready made pack with this size battery often costs well over the 100 dollar mark...The WAGAN power dome my be more like what you want and JACK likes them as it weights 20 pounds and has a 18 amp hour battery just like the one I linked to above...and it is only $170.. :facepalm:

https://www.amazon.com/Wagan-400-Watt-Starter-Built-Compressor/dp/B000WJEPCI/ref=pd_sbs_263_4?ie=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=HNM6ATEQD8EJ0SWJBXDJ

I figured you could put together a better power unit in a small ice chest box and save over $100 while being satisfied on building your own.

Offline Alan Georges

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Re: Battery recommendation for specific usage - portable but not EDC
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2016, 05:41:35 PM »
Some of the lithium jump boxes should fit the bill quite well. They come with a USB output or two, some have a laptop output, and most can charge off your cigarette lighter. They're around $100, but should give you years of service with the frequency of use you're talking about.

Yes, they're pretty cool with all the USB ports, laptop charging output, and the ability to jump a car in a pinch.  I also like how they come as a pre-packaged consumer-resistant easy-to-use unit.  Here's one I kind of like over at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/INTELLIBOOST-Portable-Display-Charging-Emergency/dp/B01AKQPBE8/ref=sr_1_12?s=automotive&ie=UTF8&qid=1474500468&sr=1-12&keywords=auto+booster+pack+lithium

For an in-tent LED lamp that will run on this, Goal Zero makes a sweet little USB plug-in for about $10: https://www.amazon.com/Goal-Zero-14101-Stick-Light/dp/B0045XRK06/ref=sr_1_3?s=automotive&ie=UTF8&qid=1474500826&sr=1-3&keywords=goal+zero+light


Expanding further, the "what battery pack should I get" question is a giant swamp that should only be entered with caution.  Way too easy to get caught in analysis paralysis.  But if you're so inclined, here are a couple of interesting threads:
http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=58583.0
http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=58810.0 <--cool video in the lead post
Being firmly mired in this paralysis, I'll advise to skip the madness, buy a $50-$100 jump pack & LED light, and get back to real life. ;)

Offline DheereCrossing

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Re: Battery recommendation for specific usage - portable but not EDC
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2016, 08:38:13 AM »
Fantastic guys.  I knew I was going to be 'that guy' with the 'Which battery should I get' question thread, but I wanted to see what y'all would come up with.  I'm just going to look these over and pull the trigger. 

I had a sealed gel cell from a UPS to do this with before but I left it on a 'non-smart' charger last time and expanded the battery.  I could probably do the same thing but get a smart charger for it.  I was thinking one of the Schumacher units from Wal-Mart that Steven Harris recommends or if these jump packs will do the same thing.

Offline DheereCrossing

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Re: Battery recommendation for specific usage - portable but not EDC
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2016, 08:59:34 AM »
Do you think there would be an easy way to add a terminal clamping option to that Bestec converter?  I'd rather splice it in so both options would still be available or quick connects/plugs to be able to switch the inputs easily.

Offline Carl

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Re: Battery recommendation for specific usage - portable but not EDC
« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2016, 02:39:22 PM »
Do you think there would be an easy way to add a terminal clamping option to that Bestec converter?  I'd rather splice it in so both options would still be available or quick connects/plugs to be able to switch the inputs easily.

Not familiar with BESTEC...a link might help but most and plug arrangement will work on a charger. Steve Harris tends to over engineer some things with larger than you need devices so please explain a bit more detail. 

Offline Hurricane

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Re: Battery recommendation for specific usage - portable but not EDC
« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2016, 03:46:25 PM »
For an in-tent LED lamp that will run on this, Goal Zero makes a sweet little USB plug-in for about $10: https://www.amazon.com/Goal-Zero-14101-Stick-Light/dp/B0045XRK06/ref=sr_1_3?s=automotive&ie=UTF8&qid=1474500826&sr=1-3&keywords=goal+zero+light
It would be handy if they made these with a pass-through USB so I could use it to light my keyboard without losing a port .

Offline DheereCrossing

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Re: Battery recommendation for specific usage - portable but not EDC
« Reply #10 on: September 22, 2016, 05:55:37 PM »
Not familiar with BESTEC...a link might help but most and plug arrangement will work on a charger. Steve Harris tends to over engineer some things with larger than you need devices so please explain a bit more detail.

Carl - the BESTEC thing you linked to in one of your earlier posts for the cigarette lighter and USB plugs.  -- https://www.amazon.com/BESTEK-3-Socket-Cigarette-Lighter-Splitter/dp/B00XP5C3XY/ref=sr_1_3?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1474487988&sr=1-3&keywords=cigarette++and+USB

Offline Carl

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Re: Battery recommendation for specific usage - portable but not EDC
« Reply #11 on: September 22, 2016, 06:07:07 PM »
Carl - the BESTEC thing you linked to in one of your earlier posts for the cigarette lighter and USB plugs.  -- https://www.amazon.com/BESTEK-3-Socket-Cigarette-Lighter-Splitter/dp/B00XP5C3XY/ref=sr_1_3?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1474487988&sr=1-3&keywords=cigarette++and+USB

Sorry,I blame the memory lapse on the chemo...yes ,just about any connector will attach to the wire.

Offline DheereCrossing

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Re: Battery recommendation for specific usage - portable but not EDC
« Reply #12 on: September 22, 2016, 08:02:18 PM »
Sorry if that sounded kinda bitchy - I went through year of chemo after a few months in the hospital when I was in grade school.  I made it to my late 40s now but I couldn't imagine having to go through all that again later in life.  When you're a young kid and are protected from realities by parents, it doesn't seem as big of a deal.

I've got my fingers crossed for you Carl.

Offline Carl

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Re: Battery recommendation for specific usage - portable but not EDC
« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2016, 06:00:17 AM »
Sorry if that sounded kinda bitchy - I went through year of chemo after a few months in the hospital when I was in grade school.  I made it to my late 40s now but I couldn't imagine having to go through all that again later in life.  When you're a young kid and are protected from realities by parents, it doesn't seem as big of a deal.

I've got my fingers crossed for you Carl.

No Problem...If I had a choice,I would not face what has been put before me.

Offline DheereCrossing

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Re: Battery recommendation for specific usage - portable but not EDC
« Reply #14 on: September 24, 2016, 09:56:44 AM »
An 18 amp hour gel cell ought to do unless you try to run a coffee pot or hair dryer of the inverter and there are plenty of plugs and adapters for accessories and USB charger units.

https://www.amazon.com/ExpertPower-EXP12180-Rechargeable-Battery-Bolts/dp/B00A82A3RK/ref=sr_1_7?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1474487730&sr=1-7&keywords=12+volt+battery

https://www.amazon.com/BESTEK-3-Socket-Cigarette-Lighter-Splitter/dp/B00XP5C3XY/ref=sr_1_3?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1474487988&sr=1-3&keywords=cigarette++and+USB

I'm most likely going to get that 18 amp gel cell - what type of charger would you recommend to use on it?  I have a field charger for RC plane batteries around here somewhere but thats all I have for the moment that isn't for AAA/AA or 18650 cells.

Offline Carl

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Re: Battery recommendation for specific usage - portable but not EDC
« Reply #15 on: September 24, 2016, 11:10:57 AM »
I'm most likely going to get that 18 amp gel cell - what type of charger would you recommend to use on it?  I have a field charger for RC plane batteries around here somewhere but thats all I have for the moment that isn't for AAA/AA or 18650 cells.

There are plenty of specialized chargers but I suggest a simple,3 stage ,Smart charger with a 2 amp setting for any battery under 25 amp hours and while you can spend more money...I have had over 10 years good service from one of these:

This is good for even auto/boat battery charging and set to 2 amps ,good for 18 amp hour battery:$50
https://www.amazon.com/Schumacher-SSC-1000A-SpeedCharge-Battery-Maintainer/dp/B0009IBJE4/ref=sr_1_1?s=automotive&ie=UTF8&qid=1474735438&sr=1-1&keywords=schumacher++2+amp+battery+charger

This is fair for auto battery size and GREAT for 18 amp battery, OK for up to 40 amp hour batteries:$34
https://www.amazon.com/Schumacher-SP-1-12-Volt-Automatic-Extender/dp/B005F1YIVG/ref=sr_1_12?s=automotive&ie=UTF8&qid=1474735438&sr=1-12&keywords=schumacher++2+amp+battery+charger

This is good for smaller ( under 25 amp hour) batteries only,POOR at charging larger cells ,TOO SLOW  $23
https://www.amazon.com/Schumacher-SEM-1562A-CA-Charge-Battery-Maintainer/dp/B0009IBJAS/ref=sr_1_6?s=automotive&ie=UTF8&qid=1474735621&sr=1-6&keywords=2+amp+battery+charger

This is good for your 18 amp hour battery, $20
https://www.amazon.com/Energizer-ENC2A-Battery-Charger-Maintainer/dp/B01GSI1S08/ref=sr_1_1?s=automotive&ie=UTF8&qid=1474735621&sr=1-1&keywords=2+amp+battery+charger


Well,there is your price range for shopping..it takes a charger that provides at least 1/10 of the amp hour rating of the battery you wish to charge ,so a 2 amp charger is ideal for the 18 amp hour battery while a larger charger will be usable for larger batteries ALSO...like a car or boat or backup battery...so you set the price by your possible use or specific use...SCHUMACHER has the best reputation as far as I am concerned.There are smaller 'wall wort' sized chargers that charge at about a half amp , but stay away as they are VERY SLOW and you may forget a charger like that and 'COOK' your batteries chemistry.
I carry a 12 amp gel cell battery in a small plastic cooler that is made to hold a six pack as I found it low cost and protective of the battery and you might find an old back pack or book bag in a closet that will aid in transport of the 20 pound battery.Just be careful to insure metal objects don't get across the battery terminals as great amounts of current available can cause fire!

Offline DheereCrossing

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Re: Battery recommendation for specific usage - portable but not EDC
« Reply #16 on: September 24, 2016, 09:51:54 PM »
I have an abundance of tool bags around with nothing but junk in them.  Having the charged battery, a few leads of different types, and an inverter in a sturdy canvas tool bag seems like a good kit.   I'll probably do one for the house and one to keep in the car.  I may wind up with multiple chargers from your list but I like that SC-1000A with the 2/6/10 amp options.

Offline Carl

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Re: Battery recommendation for specific usage - portable but not EDC
« Reply #17 on: September 25, 2016, 06:14:03 AM »
Start slow and buy good stuff and expect to need new batteries about every 4 years with wet or gel cells and up to 10 year life with lithium iron ($100 for 10 amp hour)
The chargers will last many years and the SCHUMACHER line has capability of making batteries last longer as the (and I am sure other brands) charge batteries without abusing them.
I use Schumacher chargers with CURRENT and BATTERY TYPE selection (Regular,Deep cycle,sealed Gel cell) as different batteries require different charging voltages for optimum useful life
Most Sealed Lead Acid cells should be charged at 13.4 to 13.6 volts for optimum life.