Offline Hootie

  • Written Word Wrangler
  • Dedicated Contributor
  • ******
  • Posts: 1190
  • Karma: 43
  • Just another day gardening in the heat of texas
    • Frozen Gardener
 The Survival Podcast

EPISODE:      1040
DATE:         December 13, 2012



Special Note – Steve put all of the info in these two shows and more into over 5 Hours of professionally produced HD Video that walks you though every single thing about batteries and back up systems you could even want to know. For all TSP Members these videos are available for only 24.95 at
Steven Harris returns to TSP this time to discuss battery back up systems. As is typical with Steven he did so much research and prep that we had to break this into two episodes. Today we cover everything you will need to know to build a battery back up system from the most basic to a highly powerful vehicle mounted mobile system.
Steven Harris is a consultant and expert in the field of energy. He is the founder and CEO of Knowledge Publications, the largest energy only publishing company in the USA.
Mr. Harris came to his current position to do full time work on the development and implementation of hydrogen, biomass and solar related energy systems after spending 10 years in the Aero-Thermal Dynamics department of the Scientific Labs of Chrysler Corporation.
Steve is always full of great ideas, knowledge and projects we can use to improve our personal energy independence and today is no exception. The work that went into these two shows took over a month of work and an investment of over 3,000 dollars. Every item mentioned was purchased, tested and personally used by Steve to insure all the systems he teaches you about will preform as expected.

Additional Resources for Today’s Show

Members Support Brigade -
TSP Copper -
Join Our Forum -
The 13Skills Blogging Contest Details - -
My New YouTube Video on Swales -

Steven’s Websites – All the resources for this show and the 5 hours of HD Video – Get info on all Steven’s Sites – This is for the small still, currently sold out.
Steve on Facebook -

“Revolution is You” by Gregg Yows

Hootie and Welshrats and Moonfire

<intro/housekeeping 0:00 –5:22>
« Last Edit: March 11, 2014, 03:54:36 AM by Hootie »

Offline Hootie

  • Written Word Wrangler
  • Dedicated Contributor
  • ******
  • Posts: 1190
  • Karma: 43
  • Just another day gardening in the heat of texas
    • Frozen Gardener
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2013, 10:23:20 PM »
<intro/housekeeping 0:00 –5:22>

Jack Spirko: So that's all wrapped up. Lets go ahead and to get into the main topic of today's show. Yesterday we had Steve on and Steve talk to us about everything batteries. Probably more some of you wanted to know but hopefully you went through that and found out the part you needed to know for your applications, for your safety concern, for your power concerns, how to put batteries up, that type of thing. Today we are going to say now we got the battery. That is one component. Let's hook it all together. Let's go with inverters. Let's look at what does and doesn't work. Lets start out with a very simple DC power system. Let's move onto AC/DC power system. Let's move one to a full battery back system and then lets move on to a mobile power station in the back of a pickup truck. Then let's find out how to put solar in touch with all of those things, specifically the mobile system because that is what I asked for. Once you can do that you could do it anywhere. That's what he is here to talk to you about today. Before I bring them on, he has got the video product. It is like $24.95 for over five hours of HD video. I told you guys yesterday, I think it would be a good idea to support the work he did and the investment he made in this, by purchasing that if you have any intention of building a backup power system ever because he has given a cheaper this month, then it will be next month, which is steal by the way. The guy has done a lot for the show and he has done a lot to teach us and that type of thing. Then finally yesterday, after I recorded that, I got to actually watch the videos. Not all of them because I didn't five hours of to dedicate to it. The production quality will blow you away. I am absolutely blown away by the production quality of the videos. I did not expect that level of a production quality. It's amazing. He did a great job. The first thing I asked what you produce this with, so I can use it myself in the future. That's how good it is. I just wanted you know, it's not just the information, it's the quality of the production that goes along with information. Which lets face it, that helps you better absorbed the information. I just wanted to put that out there for him because he deserves kudos for it because this was done in five weeks. We tried to do it in a month, but it took him one extra week. That is why we had to delayed broadcast of this show. Anyway with that, hey Steven. Man, welcome back to The Survival Podcast.


Steven Harris: This is going to be a heck of a show. It is really hands-on, really DIY. Now that you know what battery you want, we are going to tell you exactly what to do with it. For those of you at home, you can follow along with us with some of the stuff we're talking about, right here on the website


Jack Spirko: Let's get straight into today because we got another show. Probably going to go 90 minutes. How can people start. What is the simplest way people can have a home battery bank right at home and have some backup power that way.


Steven Harris: This is a simple as it gets. We are going to start with the DC only battery pack. No inverter. You go to Walmart, you get a group 29 deep cycle marine battery. you go down the aisle a little further and you get a 6 amp or 10 amp Schumacher battery charger. It is a smart computer-controlled three stage battery charger. The 6 amp one is only $29.95. The 10 amp one is only $39.95. The marine battery will run you $95. If you're going to listen to this in the future what you're looking for, if those brands aren't there, is a computer control three stage battery charger. Not a dumb charger. Someone could be listening to this in 2015 and saying "They don't have Schumaker Walmart anymore." You put the battery in the closet or the cupboard or in the basement on a low shelf and you clamp on the battery charger. Red to positive, black to negative. You plug in the battery charger. Turn it on and move it up to its highest charging ability. In this case it would be a little red light that looks like a rabbit. There is a turtle and a rabbit, for slow and for fast. Why they don't put words there? I don't know. That will put 6 A or 10 A into the battery, and the charger will maintain the battery in 100% all the time after it's fully charged. You leave the charger on the battery all the time. When the power fails, you pick up your battery and you put it down on the kitchen or dining room table. Just set it down. It won't harm anything. Just make sure it does not fall off. 50 pounds of battery falling 3 feet will do a lot of damage to the floor and to your toes. You clamp onto the battery posts with a pair of clamps that go to a single female cigarette lighter socket. This is a 12 V power socket. Now you have 12 V coming off the battery. If you don't know what I'm talking about, you can find a photograph of all the stuff in a link to these clips on If you don't know what I'm talking about, you might find on one of the shelf Walmart. Harbor Freight will have one. RadioShack definitely has a nice one, that will cost more money there. After you got the 12 V socket, now you want a 12 V splitter. This is one cigarette lighter male plug on it with 2 to 4  female sockets on it. you want to use the battery for more than one thing, otherwise you would do just one thing, charge your phone and that is it. This is also on the website. You can also find these at Walmart, Harbor Freight, and Radio Shack. I'm assuming you are going to be doing this by candlelight or it is day time but go and get your car charger for your cell phone and plug them into one of the 12 V sockets. You are now charging your cell phone from your big battery. A typical marine battery will fully charge an iPhone over 200 times. You have plenty of energy. FYI, you should all at least two car chargers for your cell phone. What you really want to own are 12 V USB chargers. These plug into the cigarette lighter socket and give you usually 2 USB ports to charge your phone, iPad, or whatever you have off of it. Most everything today charges off of a USB socket. Watch out there are lots of cheap USB car charger that only output 500 mA. You want one that does at least 1000 mA and it is better off if it does 2000 mA or 2 A. Most iPhones will take a very long time to charge on only 500 mA. You want at least 1000 milliamps to do the job quickly. All iPads and other large tablets will want to be charged at 2000 mA to charge them quickly. There are DC car chargers out not in December 2012 that are 3000 mA. One 1000 mA USB plug and one 2000 mA USB plug. I have one on the website I keep mentioning. If you want some light, in the automobile section of Walmart or in the auto store, you will usually find some type of 12 V led or 12 V compact fluorescent light with a cigarette lighter plug on it that you can plug into your battery. Some nice ones are made by company called they Bayco. As of December 2012 Walmart is carrying a nice one for about $15 or less. It has a real long cord on it and it is a compact fluorescent. It only draws 13 W. One type of these or another should always be in a good car section of any good store no matter what year you are listening to this. Now you have communication and you have light. Depending on the time of year you might even find a small 12 V fan in the stores that will give you some air movements from the 12 battery. Again everything we just described: phone charging, light, and fan this is all straight 12 volts.


Jack Spirko: We get a lot more efficiency that way as well. There is nothing wrong with an inverter. We are going to get to them in just a bit but the most efficient use of power from 12 V battery is straight up 12 V.


Steven Harris: Yeah it is, until you want to try to move that any distance. Then you get into really thick cables when you are try to move it 12 V.


Jack Spirko: You are talking a short distance stuff here. Tabletop backup power.


Steven Harris: Yep exactly. You know this is less stuff there, is less stuff to go wrong. What do you really what in a blackout. It could be a short one. It could be a long one. You want to charge your phone and you want some illumination. Maybe one fan on you. You can move the battery to your bedroom at night. You can move it back to the kitchen. Going DC only is as simple as it gets. The few things to go wrong or break.


Jack Spirko:  Then a person is going, "Well I want a multi battery back up with AC and everything going on with it. But I don't have anything right now." That can't afford to that system yet. Can do this system now, done and you've got it. You can always do more later in this gets your feet wet. That's awesome. Okay, so power goes out. I pull out my battery. I plug all my stuff into it. This turns in to be Sandy or Irene event. And we're not talking a day here, we are talking awhile. Pretty soon that battery starts to get low on charge. I need to recharge it. That is the best way to recharge that battery.


Steven Harris: This is where most people will want me to tell you about what type of solar panel to get out. But as you know Steve Harris does not suggest anyone get any type of any solar panel unless you have a month of food and water put away first. What use is it to charge your cell phone for six months but you got three days of food and water. The phone will outlive you. You don't want that. Plus before and after hurricane Sandy, here in Western PA, we had 9 solid day is a 100% cloud cover and solar does not work when it is cloudy. The really easiest way to put some energy back into the battery is to take it out your car and hook it up with jumper cables from your deep cycle marine battery to battery in your car. Then immediately start the car so that car alternator is going to provide a charge for the marine battery. If you take a marine battery gets 50% discharge and hook it up to your car battery, that is 100% charged the car battery will immediately start dumping a lot of current into the battery. One battery can never fully charge another. This high current dump is kind of efficient. That is why you must start the car and let the higher voltage alternator provided a good charge for both the batteries. That way the car battery will be working and ready to go as well as the battery inside your house, your marine battery will be ready to go. If you're new to us here at TSP, one welcome and thank you for joining. Jack has an incredible show here. You're wondering why we are not hooking up to the car. The answer is we do hook the inverter up to the car. But I already have a very detailed show on how to power your house from your car, on TSP with Jack. It is at for you to go and listen to.


Jack Spirko: You mentioned putting your batteries in a basement. When I was a mechanic by trade, whenever we had battery stored we always got them off the concrete on the woods. A lot of people think that is because it discharges. I have a different take on it then that. What say you?


Steven Harris: The idea that, if your battery is sitting on concrete it will go dead quicker is a myth. It's been 100% proven incorrect. However I will tell you why not set your battery on the concrete in your basement. The reason that the basement concrete is usually the temperature of the earth, the ground. At your latitude, the more north you go the colder it is. Up here my ground temperatures around 64°, of course that's all year round. Lead acid batteries perform worse at lower temperatures. As you might know on a cold day trying to start your car, it is harder. That's because it's colder. If your battery is sitting directly on cool concrete the battery is going to get cool down a little bit. Thus it will have a measurable amount of performance lost from being colder. Keep your batter's room temperature, keep them cool summer and warm in the winter.


Jack Spirko: That is my take too. We are in sync on that one. How do we go from the straight DC system one step further and add an inverter to it.


Steven Harris: That is easy, you go find yourself 100 W or 150 W inverter for about $20 at Walmart, Target, RadioShack, Kmart, Amazon, or wherever. You plug it directly into one of the open cigarette light sockets and now you have about 150 W of 120 V AC already for you. You'll want to plug in an outlet strip into this and have more 120 V sockets. Now you can plug in your AC phone charger, your wall charger for your phone's and charge it up. Plus you can charge up your Game Boy and other electronics that make the power outage a lot more fun. You can also run some small fans on this. Note, I suggest small fans. Something smaller the 12 inch that plows directly in your face and body rather than the big box fax that tries to move all of the air around the whole room. Again think small, think low power. Think "run silent, run deep." The best lights for you to use on a small inverter like this with your marine battery are going to be 2 W or 4 W 120 V regular LED lights. They are available at Walmart. You can see my four favorite ones I like. You can get them on Amazon or you get them at Walmart. They are on When you are drawing 2 W or 4 W per light, you can have one of these lights on, in every major room of your house. You can just leave them on because they draw so little power. A typical 88 ampere hour group 29 marine battery running a 2 W LED light for a small inverter, would run for about 500 hours. That's over 20 days of light, 24 hours a day. That would be about 60 days the light if you will only used one 2 W LED light bulb for eight hours a night. Get the idea? Low wattage lights. Brighter is not is not better. 2 W or 4 W LED bulbs are more than enough.


Jack Spirko: I know a lot of people are sitting there going, "It is only a 150 W inverter."  If we are talking about a single battery and we want to get the maximum life out of it. We can hook up a bigger inverter to the damn thing, but we are going to drain it a hell of a lot faster if we start using that power.


Steven Harris: A bigger inverter has less electronics in it so it will have a smaller drawl just sitting there on it's own. A bigger inverter will have a little bit bigger draw there on its own, but but today it's not much. It would be more than a couple watts.


Jack Spirko: I am going to throw in one more thing on the lights. I keep saying this, and I know you love them too, but the daggon LED Christmas lights. The ones I've got have 100 lights on them, are 3.5 W draw. Man, do they light up a room.


Steven Harris: <laughs> And they just make you so happy don't they.


Jack Spirko: They do make me happy because I can fit one in an ammo can and take it out and have power. It's a cool thing. You keep saying that they are cheap this time of year. I am going to tell you when they are going to be cheap, December 26th. You are going to be able to buy them for nothing.


Steven Harris: That's right. I are trying to buy my winter heaters in the spring time. I buy my summer air conditioners in the fall.


Jack Spirko: Yeah. You mentioned a small inverter. I agree, they're so cheap and are so many of them available that are half decent. That is probably one of the most useful things that you can have, even get a bigger inverter. "Two is one and one is none. Three is for me." Is what we came up with yesterday. It's a great place to start if you don't have much money. It is a great redundancy if you don't. Like you said, if am not really using it a lot then it's not sitting there drawing a lot to run a fan. Is there anything else you would say is really useful thing to add to this system that is affordable and just get ton of utility?


Steven Harris: The best answer to that question is a AA or AAA nickel metal hydride battery charger. You want one that will charge between four and eight batteries as fast as a one hour and a slow as in two hours. That is sweet spot. Make sure you don't get one that does it eight hours. They are cheaper and you won't like it. It just takes way too long. My favorite one is on the website and It does eight batteries in two hours. There is one that does it in one hour but I think eight batteries in two hours or less is fast enough. Remember what I'm saying, "Think small. Think low wattage. Think simple." Now that you have a AA and AAA battery charger, you can use AA and AAA nickel metal hydride rechargeable batteries. You can use them in your LED flashlight. You can give them to kids and let them have a ball with them in the dark. LED headlamps or your kids toys. Using them to your hearts content. A big marine battery will recharge hundreds of AA batteries. In fact I did a quick back of the envelop calculation just for you. It tells me your average deep cycle marine battery can charge around 300 AA nickel metal hydride batteries. I covered recharging AA and AAA batteries in extreme detail in the TSP show, I did with Jack, on how to power your house from the car with an inverter. Again that's on Other things that you can now plug into the 120 V from the inverter would be a radio, a small TV and I mean a small one. Like a 7 inch LCD digital TV. I have one on the site. That one draws only 9 W of power and it comes a DC cord too so you can be DC only and you don't even need the inverter. Most small portable TV will want to run off of 120 V, now you got 120 V. TVs are important because her main source of information for us in a disaster. If you had to power a larger TV set because that's all you had. I have a 28 inch one that I use for a second computer monitor and it uses 55 W. If that's 55 W on your car at idle that's not very much power. If that is 55 W off your marine battery and you only have one marine battery. Then you want to turn on the TV, catch the news and then turn it off. A typical marine battery will run a 55 W TV for about 20 hours. That would be for an 88 ampere hour group 29 deep cycle marine battery. When you are running off a home battery bank it is going to mostly be about two things. Light and communication: your LED lights, your cell phone, your radio, your TV, or your police scanner.


Jack Spirko: I want to back up for just a second on the battery chargers, the AA and AAA battery charger. I think the Powerex MH is the one you talking about.


Steven Harris: Yeah.


Jack Spirko: I bought one of those right after the show we did where we talk a lot about them. It is the best damn battery charger I've ever owned in my life. I have gone all to the eneloop batteries. That has been one of the best decisions I have ever made.


Steven Harris: Don't you agree with me, that the two hour one is big enough? You don't need the one hour one, with the bigger power supply.


Jack Spirko: When you are charging 8 batteries at a time, How many battery are you going to use a time when you charging them? If you even wanted more batteries I say you're better off with two of these daggon things because then you got a redundancy. I would rather have two of those, then one that does the same amount battery twice as fast. In the end there is power in that battery. I only draw so much for so long before... it's a bucket full of water, when it is empty it is empty. I think I'd rather have two as a redundancies. I could have one sitting in my car, running directly of the car and one running off my back up system. I would be better off that way anyway.


Steven Harris: Yeah, you would. Anyone who wants know exactly what Jack and I are talking about, you can go see the picture of it and a link to it at I have the eneloop batteries up there. I have the Powerex charger up there. I have nice holders for the battery. If you want some step-by-step instructions on how to use it, go back to the TSP show on that says how to power your house from your car with an inverter. I covered AA nickel metal hydride recharging in detail in there. Which batteries are the best. Why they are the best. Which ones you avoid. I think this is one of the most useful things you can have your house, and that AA or AAA battery charger. It makes all the little things simple.


Jack Spirko: The one you got does AA and AAA. You don't have to put them all in the same time. You can put them in and independently charges them. You know which ones are topped off. If you used 2 and yank them out and put new ones in and the other ones are still charging, it's got an indicator for all of them. I think it's the best charger I have ever seen.


Steven Harris: Yeah. Lots of other chargers make you charge them two at a time.


Jack Spirko: It doesn't do that. You can put one in. If you got one of those little LED keychain lights and you need to recharge one light for it. You can put one in at a time. That's awesome. Let's move on, with the recent storms we have seen this. One of the most important things in a basement is a sump pump. One of the worse things in the world is when your power goes out. Power tends to go out when we have these things called storms, which bring this stuff called rain. Which is when we most need the sump pump to run. What can we look at as far as how long we can run a sump pump with a backup system.


Steven Harris: How long it can run is a very broad question. First thing you're going to need is at least an 800 W inverter. I point you to some on the site that I gave for the show. The 800 Watt inverters are as cheapest $50. These don't plug into cigarette lighter socket. They have alligator clamps and they clamp onto the terminals of your battery. They have to handle the starting load of the pump. Plus they to handle the load needed to run the pump, to pump the water. If you can get the 1000 W or 1200 W or 1500 W inverter, then do it. If you can only get the 800 W inverter, it should work for you. I have lots of emails from people that powered their sump pump with an 800 W inverter on the car, during hurricane Sandy. I went and found really awesome little quarter horsepower sump pump. It draws only 460 W. How how long your battery will last depends on how fast the water is coming in. Usually sump pumps do their job pretty quickly. In less than minute normally. Yes I've lived in a house with sump pump and I know your concerns and fears. If the little quarter horsepower sump pump ran for 30 seconds every 15 minutes, then on a typical marine battery, it would last for 2.5 days with an 800 W inverter. That gives you an idea of how long it will run. You might have a half horsepower sump pump motor and yours. You might need to 1500 W inverter. That's twice as big of the quarter horsepower sump pump I just mentioned. Of course the half horsepower power motor might not run for 30 seconds. It might only run for 15 seconds because it pumps water out faster than the quarter horse does. But it needs a larger inverter to do this. Depending on how fast the water is coming in, you got from 1 to 3 days sump pump use on your single marine battery. If some pump backup is a big concern for you. You might want to have more than one marine battery at home. Just try putting a price on your flooded basement, then you'll think about how many marine batteries and $94 apiece you might want. Plus you want to be able to run your sump pump and recharge your marine battery off of your car. Then you'll have to have fuel storage stored. I have a whole TSP show again I did with Jack, on fuel and fuel storage. It's on the same site. You can listen to anytime you desire.


Jack Spirko: If I start to have more than one marine battery, do that necessitate that I go out and get more than one charger? Or if I am going to charge them collectively, do I need a charger with many more horsepower, a bigger charger?


Steven Harris: Good question, Jack. The answer is may be. If you have two marine batteries and they are group 29 deep cycle batteries, about 88 ampere hours each. Then you have, with two batteries, about 180 ampere hours of total battery capacity. If you have that little 6 amp charger, that I mentioned for $29 from Walmart, it would take about 30 hours to charge the batteries to 80%. Again listen to show number one about battery charging, you will understand why it is just at 80%. The thing is that with these computer-controlled battery chargers, if they are charging for more than 24 hours and the battery is not changed yet, they think there might be something wrong with the battery. A bad cell in the battery would prevent it from getting a full charge. The charge will shut off and give you an error code after 24 hours. Of course your battery bank is taking more than 24 hours charge because you now have a lot more batteries to charge, do to no fault of the charger. Worse comes to worst, you'll have to reset your charger every 24 hours and tell it again to start charging. Just turn it on and off it will be happy to start charging. It is your little slave, it does nothing but charging for you. The really smart idea, is to get the Schumacher 30 amp battery charger. Especially if you have more than one marine battery. That way if you're also running a generator to power of her stuff in your house for a few hours, you can dump power as fast as you can into the batteries at the rate of 30 amps and then turn off the generator and run silent run deep on the battery bank. If you're not going to have a way to rechargeable your home battery bank for some source of 120 V, then the 6, 10, 12, or 15 amp battery charger will work for you. If you think you're going to get a chance to recharge your batteries from some 120 V source like a generator, then you want to go with the larger 30 amp Schumaker charger. That will be around $75 for the charger. You'll want to go with a larger charger even if you only have one battery because you're going to be dumping more energy there quicker off of the generator. What Jack said about having two chargers, for two is one and one is none, is not a bad idea. If you start off with the 10 amp charger then upgrade later to the 30 amp charger, then you have two is one and one is none. If you had two marine batteries and you could get two 10 amp chargers, you could charge each one separately up to 100%. That would also work and that will also give you two is one and one is none.


Jack Spirko: That would be more for person that was using them independently. For instance one down, to keep that some pump running and one up on the tabletop.


Steven Harris: Yes. True, but remember we're at 120 V so you can actually literally run an extension cord from the tabletop always down into the basement to the sump pump. You can do converse. You can have your battery bank and your inverter down in the basement, and you can run extension cord all the way upstairs because 120 V goes very far through extension cables with very little loss.


Jack Spirko: I guess my question then is; if we take two batteries and if are going to try them together to increase our overall amp hours and to make true bank out if it I really want to charge them that way, together at the same time if possible?


Steven Harris: Yes, you do.


Jack Spirko: Instead of breaking them apart using two 10 amp chargers and bring them back together?


Steven Harris: Right, but if you did split them apart and used two 10 amp chargers you would be effectively changing at 20 amps. You would be charging them twice as fast.


Jack Spirko: Okay, gotcha. If we want a bigger charger. If I want something more than 30 amps. I'm going to go in there and I going knock out a big old battery bank, man. I am going to have a lot of reserved capacity. You talk about run silent run deep. I am going to put a submarine backup system in. I want to be able to not take a day and a half to charge them. Is there a bigger charger?


Steven Harris: Yeah, there is one from Schumaker that does 55 amps and it's a lot bigger charger. You just don't pick it up with one hand, you pick it up with two hands. The 30 amp one, you can pick up with one hand. It's like the size the lunch box. It cost about $100 and considering the 30 amp is $75 bucks, going to 55 amps for a $100 is not bad. It is even on the shelf of Walmart, for now. That could change as they change inventory. It is on Amazon and I'm on my websites. I only suggest you get this one if you want to have, lets say four marine batteries or more. Or you're going to go with golf cart batteries. Then I might say, only if you have four golf cart batteries or more, then go with the 55 amp charger. If you're going to go for a really big battery bank, get the 55 amp charger. It's called the Schumacher SE 1555. If you want to go higher than 55 A, now you're starting to really get into the world of renewable energy with smart chargers and everything else. You are going to go from a $100 all the way up $300, $400, $500, or $600. That is why everything I try to teach you, especially as you are starting out, I don't use $400 renewable energy chargers because those are not affordable. If it's not affordable you can't buy it. If you don't but it, you don't you don't have it. If you don't have it, you can't use it when you need it. That's why am using all these consumer level things for you.


Jack Spirko: If you did have the money for it and you want the stuff to work and you had $400 for a charger. Verses $100 for the charger, you would be better off with three more batteries and $100 charger. That is another way look at it.


Steven Harris: Yeah, you would. You would be better off with two Schumacher's at consumer prices, than you would be with one fancy one at $400.


Jack Spirko: Absolutely. How about golf cart batteries versus marine batteries? Especially as we start to increased size of the system. What's your preference?


Steven Harris: Yeah. If you can't see what we are doing. We're starting the most basic simple and we are working our way up. A little more complicated every time for you. I talk a lot about the golf cart batteries in the battery bank show number one. If you not heard it yet, do go back and listen to it. Marine batteries, you can move around. They have a handle on them. Golf cart batteries are 6 V each, so you got to put two of them together to make 12 V. Then you string them together as if they were 12 V batteries. Which means you have one 12 V battery effectively by putting two of them together. You're connecting negative to negative and positive to positive, when you are doing 12 V. The golf cart batteries weight at least 64 pounds each for the GC2 golf cart batteries. That's most common size. That is what my UPS scale say they weigh, 64 pounds. Boy, they really are. My personal preference for home battery bank is to go with golf cart batteries. I'm probably go with at least 4 of them. That would be over be over 300 ampere hours of energy storage. Again I talk about what ampere hour is in show number one. If I did get two golf cart batteries, I would probably stick with the 30 amp charger we just mentioned. If I went 4, 6, 8, or more golf cart batteries I would go with the 55 amp charger.


Jack Spirko: What about an inverter? What size of an inverter are you going to put on these larger battery banks. Let's say 2 to 4 marine batteries, or 2 to 8 golf cart batteries?


Steven Harris: The answer to that, Jack, is several inverters. I am going to have more than on for two reason. One reason is "Two is one. One is none. Three is for me." The other is that if it's night time and I'm just running some LED lights, a small TV, and a fan or little things like that. It's more energy-efficient for me to these low-power device is off of the 200 W or 400 W inverter then it is off the 1500 W or 2500 W inverter. I might be running only 10 W of LED  lights at night and charging up a few phones. Heck, I do that off of a 200 W inverter and I would just leave the 1600 W inverter off. Or I would leave the 1600 W dedicated just to the sump pump.


Jack Spirko: If you did have that 1600 W inverter setting there running and you are running 10 W of lights off it, you are probably running more than 10 W of power to keep the daggon thing cooled down.


Steven Harris: About that.


Jack Spirko: Ok


Steven Harris: It really is in that order of magnitude. The big 1600 W, 2000 W, or 2500 W inverter it literally does draw 5 or 10 W. It is not 200 W or anything like that. They are really pretty smart and they're pretty efficient. Your little 200 W inverter just sitting there on its own, it might only draw 1 W with everything going. That makes sense to power your bunch of 2 W LEDs off of a 200 W one. To answer you, Jack, I  would have at least one 1500 W or larger inverter. Then I would have a 800 W inverter and then I would have a 200 W or 400 W smaller inverter. The reason I have a 1500 W inverter is not that I can pull that much power off all the time, off my battery bank. Remember this is a battery bank, it's not a light saber of infinite power. The reason I'm doing this, is for large loads running for a small time. My sump pump might be 1/2 horsepower and need a little more starting current for two or three seconds. Thus the bigger inverter does this easier. I might want to run the microwave for a few minutes to heat something up and that takes 1500 W. Heck, we might want to brew some peppermint tea in the microwave, Jack. Heck, you might want to get 2500 W inverter, it just handle surges even better than 1500 W. The 2500 W inverter is about $65 bucks more than the 1500 W inverter. If $65 is not much of a problem, get the larger inverter. Again I don't want you to think about running things for hours and hours at high current off your battery bank. Even a refrigerator would kill one marine battery pretty quickly. I know you're just saying to me, "Can I plug my refrigerator into it? Can I plug my refrigerator into it?" If you had one group 29, 88 amp hour, deep cycle battery and a refrigerator that drew only 200 W. Then that battery would power the refrigerator for a grand total of about five hours. One battery is not the light saber you thought it was Luke, did you? The four golf cart batteries at about 300 ampere hours would run the refrigerator constantly for 17 hours, but then again you might only be running it for an hour in the morning and an hour night. Plus, I have a whole TSP show with Jack, on how to keep your refrigerator and your freezer cold without power in a disaster. It is on for you. It's funny the refrigerator has about two days worth of food in it and it'll stay cool for yourself for about two days. So why are people overly concerned with powering it? What is the bigger inverter good for? Boy, I had a lot of people email me about this. That bigger inverter is good for your coffee maker. Your coffee maker draws a lot of power. People don't think it draws a lot of power, it does. It draws up to 1100 W or more. Luckily it does this in about 10 minutes. That about right Jack? 10 minutes will make a pot of coffee?


Jack Spirko: Yeah, that is about right. I bought us a Coffee Mate Mr. Coffee with the carafe so that after it is done It doesn't any heat it is sealed up in there. Not just for backup power, just for energy usage. You get one with the carafe that is no heater underneath them. As soon as it is done making coffee you are not drawing any more power.


Steven Harris: Yeah. After the coffee is brewed, you want to unplug it from the inverter because it does have that feature to keep the pot warm. It will suck down the power and your battery faster when you're sucking down your morning cup of Joe.


Jack Spirko: And if you don't have the carafe like I'm talking about, get a thermos. It is not hard to keep coffee hot for a few hours.


Steven Harris: Brew your coffee and fill up the thermoses. You will make a lot of friends. Especially if it is cold outside and there is a blizzard. You see those lineman down the street, coming down to fix the power. You go out to those guys with coffee and donuts. You can pretty much bet your house to be back up in a couple hours.


Jack Spirko: Either that or hot chocolate.


Steven Harris: Hot chocolate and something. Those guys working 18 hour days. They would probably really appreciate it. Now, let me give really good example. Jack, you are just going to absolutely love this. I am going to give you guys some real energy numbers, so you really get an idea in your head about how much energy is in that battery bank. If you took the energy to run your 1100 W coffee maker for 10 minutes and you use that energy in a battery to run a single 2 W 120 V LED light from Walmart. That light bulb would run for over 100 hours. You can either have 10 minutes for your coffee or you can have 100 hours of light. Since you only run the LED light for 8 hours a day, that would mean you got 12 days of light or 10 minute pot of coffee. 10 minutes of coffee. 12 day of light. Your single marine battery will make about five pots of coffee.


Jack Spirko: I'll tell you what that is a good case for, it's called the percolator and gas stove. That is a good case for that.


Steven Harris: Shortly on Zello uses the French press. He loves using french press.


Jack Spirko: We used to sell those in the gear shop. With the old shop closing down and going into the new shop we don't have any in there right now. I don't think you ever saw these, Steve. We had these really awesome french presses. They are branded for TSP, but you can get them... I can't think of it. It's a big hiking outdoor store sells a unbranded version of them. They have even a little hidden compartment in the bottom. You keep enough coffee inside the mug to make about three cups. Each cup is like a big 16 ounce cup of coffee. We will have those back soon. The french presses are definitely the way to go. I use them in the office all the time. I have in my office one of those electric kettles to boil water here. I've never made a cup coffee in a coffee maker here once. That's another great idea. French press or a percolator.


Steven Harris: You see what I mean. I'm probably gotten 100 emails about coffee maker. You get people talking about coffee and they just go and go on it, because they love the coffee and they got to have it.


Jack Spirko: If you can make hot water and if you got a french press. Then you can make all the coffee want. You can make mom's coffee nice and weak, and dad's coffee nice and strong, and things like that. When we look at it being a single marine battery to make 5 pots of coffee. It puts things in perspective to us and we can laugh about a lot of things there.


Steven Harris: Yeah. I mean, 10 minutes for your coffee or 12 days worth of light. 5 times 12, that would be 60 days of light off one marine battery or 5 cups coffee. I had people write to me from Sandy and say one of the biggest hardships was they had stand in line at Starbucks for over an hour for a cup of coffee. Let's put the nail in the coffin and get everyone to understand how much energy is really in the battery. This is important for you to really understand. Jack, you consider one quart of the gasoline a lot of energy?


Jack Spirko: Yeah I do. I think it's a lot more energy than most people realize. If you want to see how much energy it is, don't do this for real, but imagine tossing it into a fire and watching what happens.


Steven Harris: Well, I am better example for you on how much energy is in one quart of gasoline. Your truck let's say weighs 6,000 pounds and it gets 20 miles to the gallon. A quart is a quarter of a gallon. Imagine hooking up a rope and pulling a 6,000 pound pick up truck down the road for 5 miles. Ask yourself if you wouldn't trade that one quarter gasoline. That is is how much energy there is in a quart of gasoline.


Jack Spirko: Yeah. Another way to look at, is it a run a generator for a fairly good period of time as well and put out a lot of power out of that generator.

« Last Edit: May 25, 2013, 04:10:53 PM by Hootie »

Offline Hootie

  • Written Word Wrangler
  • Dedicated Contributor
  • ******
  • Posts: 1190
  • Karma: 43
  • Just another day gardening in the heat of texas
    • Frozen Gardener
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2013, 06:13:50 PM »

Steven Harris: Yeah, it depends. Depending on the generator, a quarter gasoline will last about an hour. That's about how much electrical energy is in your standard group 29 size marine battery. About the same amount of energy as if you put only a quart of gasoline in the generator, then captured all the electricity coming out of it. Let me repeat that, your battery has about the same energy in it as one quart of gasoline going through a generator. Let's put a few things in perspective. Never mind. Heck, I'm going to give you a technical term for once it's called a turndown ratio. It means what is the maximum and minimum something to put out. If you have a 2 kW generator, what's the maximum it can output? 2 kW. 2000 W, right? Let's say you wanted to run a little 2 W LED light bulb off 2000 W generator. 2000 divided by 2 is 1000. Would the generator use 1/1000 of the gasoline to run the little 2 W light? No, it would not. It does not have a turndown ratio of 1000 to 1. It has a Turn down to ratio of maybe 5 to 1. A generator actually has a turndown ratio probably closer 4 to 1. You're 2000 W is full load. A quarter of that is 500 W or quarter load. It's going to keep spinning there, able to supply 500 W. No matter if you're drawing 2 W, 4 W, 20 W, or 100 W. A generator is going to burn the same amount of fuel as if it was providing 500 W all the time every minute that it's running. That is what turndown ratio of 4 to 1 is. This will really clear a few things up in your head of why the battery is so good at low power. I take the 12 V marine deep cycle battery and I put it in my car and I crank the engine when it is cold. How many amps was I drawing? I was drawing up to about 500 amps or more. Only for a few seconds but that battery is outputting 500 A to start my car. Let's say that is its maximum. Now let’s say I take my same 12 V battery out of the car and put it on the kitchen table. I put on the little LED to draws 20 mA. Just the small one, bright enough that you can see what you're doing and you won't trip over anything. That is 0.020 amps. 500 maximum divided by 0.02 minimum is 25,000. A generator 4. A battery 25,000. Your battery of turndown ratio of 25,000 to 1.  The generator has turndown ratio of 4 to 1. The battery is only going to supply the exact amount of current needs for the load. It has to, it's called 'Ohms Law'. The generator is running on something called the 'Carnot Cycle' and that is not 'Ohm's Law'. That is why I tell you to run silent run deep with your battery because it is so darn good at giving you a little bit of energy when you need it, when the power fails. When the power fails your cell phone, on your TV, your radio those all just become useless. That marine battery makes those things that were useless useful again. Cell phones to not take up much energy. A radio doesn't take up much energy. Small LED lights do not take up much energy in comparison to the amount of energy that is stored in the battery. Your sump pump might draw 500 W or 800 W but it's only doing it for 30 seconds of time. A sump pump is a real high priority item. How much would you want to spend on backup batteries after lunging water from your sump from downstairs to upstairs and throwing out 5 gallons at a time outside at 3 AM in the morning? Boy, you'll be buying batteries and a generator next day pretty darn quickly.


Jack Spirko: It really it becomes cleared. There are certain things that are ideal to run on battery power. Certain things that maybe we do without or run on generator power. What else have you seen people put on a battery that they really should not put on a battery?


Steven Harris: My point is, a lot of power for a short time is good. Little power for a long time is good. A lot of power for a long time is very bad. What people put on things? They are trying to put very big things on for long period of time and they have gotten really burned. I had this guy write to me and said "He has given up on using battery to keep his house warm because the 1500 W electric heater he puts on the 2500 W inverter was not last very long." Apparently he thought he had a 2500 W inverter and it magically multiplied what was in the battery. It's what I call the light saber mentality. An electric space heater is 1500 W. 1500 W load would last 15 to 30 minutes on a good marine battery. Probably closer to 15 minutes. He thought he was going house 15 minutes at a time on a battery. Now we are all laughing at this. I hear all of you doing that. He was in the right church with his ideas, just in the wrong pew. You don't try to heat the house and then let the house heat you. You heat yourself and only yourself. You don't heat the house with the battery. I slept my camper when its  15 below outside. I was sleeping my T-shirt underwear. I was warm I could want be. This is because I had a electric blanket on me. Not the old types with the click click click type of control on it. I mean one of the new modern one, like one from Biddeford. Its got a little digital temperature controller on it. Its got a little computer in it. What it's going to do is it is only going to let the blanket heat up to a certain temperature and then it turns itself off. You can't burn yourself with it. What I did was I crawled into my bed in my trailer. It was a good six inch futon mattress filled with foam, that is insulation. I went on top of the futon, that's me. On top of me was Biddeford electric blanket. It would be foolish for me just have an electric blanket by itself and the electric blanket be expose to the minus 15 in the trainer. All of the heat would have gone to inside trailer and none of it to me. I want that heat to myself. That's why I put two very big and thick quilts over the electric blankets insulate it. You could do the same thing with some really good sleeping bags. You never use the old electric blanket under those blankets. Those just regulate the power going to the blanket. If you insulated it, it would heat up and burn you. Those days are gone with the temperature sensing modern digitally controlled electric blanket. It is impossible to get burned because the controller knows the temperature of blanket. I have happened to have had my watt meter with me. Do you know how much that electric blanket was drawing? It was drawing 60 W. It was not constant 60 W. It was 60 W for 10 seconds about every minute. That would be about same as drawing about 10 W all the time. You put 10 W electric heat all over your body, you make sure your body heat and that he cannot escape, you'll stay warm. The guy was in the right church, wrong pew with his idea. Instead of being in the right pew, wrong church. The idea is you heat the person, you don't heat space. You cool person too, not the space. That is why you have small fan blowing in your face from your battery power. That is why when you run your generator you don't run your AC for the whole house but just run one 5000 BTU window AC unit in your bedroom. Well, I just kind of contradicted myself because I did two shows on TSP on generators. Generator shows 1 and 2. You know where to listen to them. If you had a big generator running off natural gas and it was hooked up with a transfer switch into your entire electrical panel. You could run your whole house and your whole the system. Like I said, I talked about that on the two-part generator show I did on TSP. My point is when your energy is low; you heat or cool the person and not the place.


Jack Spirko: That is straight up, right what we teach a wilderness survival. People go to build wilderness shelters. They try to build it nice and big so they can stand up. We want to build the smallest shelter we can in the wilderness that will do the job because it's easiest to keep warm. It is exactly the same theory. Paul Wheaton we had on, where he did his experiment through winter in Montana. He kept his thermostat, I think at 55°, to see how low his electric bill could be. He did what you were talking about. He had an electric blanket. He had an electric heating pad for his feet for when he would work on a computer. He even had a heated keyboard. I think his electric bill in Montana with electric heat, was some stupid like $55 during the winter or something. Montana's cold but he was heating the person not that the space. That absolutely works. Is there anything you have forgotten to mention about home battery banks?


Steven Harris: Yeah, the voltmeter. It is one of the most important things in the battery bank. If you watch the video I have, you will see it all through the video on the battery banks. I have it on but you can get one at Walmart. It just plugs into the cigarette lighter and it tells you voltage. It also has a red, yellow, and green light on it so at a glance from across room you can see the voltage and you can see the green light. You then know your battery bank it's good to go. My battery bank is in a storage area in the furnace room. Anytime I'm in there I can see the green light and I can see the voltmeter, I know all is okay. If I see it turn yellow or something, I know something happened. The charger got turned off or something else failed. Like I said the charger will turn off after 24 hours if it can't charge battery. Maybe it fooled itself and it did that. I had battery chargers on for so many years, in some locations that fans in the battery chargers just died. The battery charger would only do 5 amps instead of 35 amps. Plugged in the battery voltage meter as a health indicator and you should have this on all of your battery banks. Last thing you need is going to your battery bank when you need it and it is dead. That gives you that horrible sinking feeling your legs, like when you look over the edge of a tall building.


Jack Spirko: I bet you been doing this for a while. How long you been doing this? Are there any other little Harris tricks you like to have running on your personal battery banks?


Steven Harris: I had a battery bank in my house on a 24/7 basis since about 1995. Boy, were inverters expensive back then. I've gone through several versions myself. I have had one of my mother’s house. There was a big storm at her place in the summer. She was outside with her neighbors. They all want to know while all the lights and TV were on in her house and they didn't hear a generator. It was funny. All my good close friends and preparedness students have battery banks. I personnel a few dozen people I have helped get battery banks. Now about maybe 55,000 of you, listening to all this and some fraction of you are going to have a battery bank. In fact if you make a battery bank from this show, please email the photos to me. I would love to see it. I would love to take those photos and share it with others, so we can spread the can-do attitude. If other people see you doing it they are more likely to go, "You know what? I can do that too." They'll be better prepared. One of the little tricks I like to have with my battery bank is I always like to have a light on in the house or on batter bank. For myself, I just a little 2 W LED lamp on all the time running off a small inverter. That way if the power fails, I have a light at the end of a tunnel can start moving towards. When the power fails, it is dark. The light will reflect around and you can move towards the light. For my mother I have an LED rope light at the edge of the ceiling in her main hallway. The LED rope light is on all the time and is powered off the battery bank and the battery chargers. If that light ever goes off, she knows something is wrong. Something did go wrong. The fan in the charger broke. Then the charger broke and it boiled all the water out the batteries. When the batteries got so low on water and acid they would not function any more. She called me and said, "Steven, the lights in the hallway went off." I had her check the battery bank in the basement the green light was not on. The voltmeter wasn't even on. The inverters were not on. Nothing was on and we knew we had a problem with the batteries. I had a guy come over and check the acid level in the batteries. They were almost dry. On one of my trips back to her house, I took some golf cart batteries with me and a new charger. I fixed her battery bank. That took a good six weeks happened but my point was that she had indicator in her everyday daily life, as a whether or not her emergency system was working. She sees the green light as well when she went to do laundry in the basement but he LED rope light with a solid daily indicator all the time that I was working. If she did not have LED rope light in hallway or the voltmeter on battery bank showing a green LED then she have no idea at all that her battery bank was dead, until the power failed during a thunderstorm or blizzard and she went to her battery bank and it would not work. Having an indicator light is very important.


Jack Spirko: I think that there's a lesson there beyond just having an indicator. For you or me a little meter and all, we are going to check it. We are tinkers. We do stuff like that. You set something up for your mother-in-law, dad-in-law, or your mother. You say, "Make sure, once a while take a look at this right here. If it changes you tell me and we will fix it." Then maybe or maybe not that is going to happen. Having that string of lights in that place, that was something that so obvious. Even the people not as attentive as you or I, was able to notice it. Yet, it took awhile to get it fixed but it did get fixed.


Steven Harris: Yep, it did get fixed. The power did fail that winter and snow storm. Her furnace doesn't have a fan and it because it's an old coal furnace with natural gas. It just has to turn on the relay. She had heat her house during the blizzard when no one else did because of that little battery.


Jack Spirko: That's awesome, man. I am going to ask you question I already know the answer to but I got to ask it. I bet you know what I'm going to ask when I say it that way. I know answer, you know the answer, but I get this question a few times a week. I think since you been on the show you probably get a hell of a lot more than I do. What about true sine wave inverters versus modified sine wave inverters? Is there really any difference? Do we need a true sine wave inverter for anything in our homes?


Steven Harris: For those of you who do not know what we're talking, a true sine wave is what comes from the huge spinning generator from a coal, nuclear, or natural gas power plant. It is a pure sine wave. If you want to know what a pure sine wave looks like, go to Wikipedia. They got a great article on it. All of the cheaper inverters or as I call them the affordable inverters are modified sine waves. Instead of it been a pure sine wave it's more like a stair step sine wave. That is easier to do with DC electronics for a lot less money. It accomplishes the same thing. But it is like people with bikes, clothes, purses, or wine. They get snobby about it. They got to have the best. Then you start getting all sorts of stories from them about how modified sine wave inverters won't work with this, and they won't work with that, and I heard this story from this person this person, and this person smoked this thing, and blah blah blah. In reality they work with everything except for synchronous AC motors. Before you ask all the electric motors in your refrigerator, freezer, sump pump, and anything else are our induction AC motors. They like modified sine wave just fine. You are not going to find a synchronous AC motor in your house. Maybe in the machine shop, not in your house. There is a horrible myth about electronics needing a pure sine wave inverter when nothing could be further from the truth. Most of these people with the solar generators, these things of Jack and I don't like because of pretty much scams. We are telling you how to make one right here for nothing. They want to charge you $2,000 bucks, but they say generator will hurt your electronics. No they won't. That is just because they want you to buy their thing. All electronics basically run on low voltage DC. There is a power supply in the electronics that converts any sine way coming into low voltage DC. Then it is filtered and it is regulated to very very precise 5 V or 12 V with DC electronic voltage regulators. They are in everything electronic. They regulate their own voltage. They don't want anything dirty coming in. They clean it up very good. The electronics really don't care if the AC coming in is a pure sine wave or a modified sine wave. On right now I have listed 1000 W modified sine wave inverter for less than $80. I just went and looked on Amazon before the show and the cheapest true sine wave inverter $192. That's over twice as expensive for some you do not need. Let me just say that I personally do not own a true sign waving inverter nor have I ever found the need for one. That is with two decades of me powering stuff with inverters. I had one of the first consumer inverters ever made by company. It cost $300 for 100 W inverter. It was in 1992. I bought it from a company Statpower. That was when I worked for Chrysler Corporation. They bought it for me so i could run my laptop in the vehicles while we were doing tests and collecting data. That's how far back I go with inverters. Just for fun that was 386 monochrome Compaq laptop, I still remember it.


Jack Spirko: Yeah. I just keep saying it, just so people will think the right way. Even if you had the money for the better, in your heads, sine waves or true sine wave inverter. Buy two of the other ones and have a redundancy. Or take the money and put into another part of your backup power system. Buy some daggon food with it. Or buy some daggon medical supplies with it. I I know there's people out there that they have to stretch to put together a basic system. There's also people out there that financially you can afford to build the best of the best. What Steve is always trying to say and what I am always trying to say is, I would rather build an adequate system with four redundancies in it than build what is by a technical spreadsheet the best with no redundancies because here's a key. The adequate system with the four redundancies is a better system because there is no way the other system is better without any redundancies in it. That can go into a Permaculture concept there. You always want to be building things with a web mentality so that one thing fail-safe’s back to another. Not so that once one component fails and the whole system goes down.


Steven Harris: So... Two is one, one is none, three is for me, four is to go.


Jack Spirko: Four is... I don't know we are going to find something on four. By the time we are done we'll be having six redundancies and everything. You know on that note, what about after hurricane Katrina and hurricane Sandy? There were a lot of abandoned cars. After the Fukushima tsunami there were cars littered everywhere. Are those batteries good?


Steven Harris: In part one of the show we cover the difference between the starting battery in the car and a marine deep cycle battery. If you keep that in mind, yes they are good. I think they would be a great source of improvise or expedient field harvesting of energy. The only question is the saltwater. Now, saltwater is conducted to electricity but it's not that conductive to 12 V. It is not like a short-circuit across the battery. It is a short-circuit if you have 120 V, 240 V or 22,500 V of AC running underground like they do in New York. The saltwater just shorts everything out. Then it is very damaging but we're only talking about 12 V. If the battery has not been submerged for too long, I think it will still have power in it. The most important thing is did salt water get inside the battery? If that happens it is shot, it is no good. Those caps on the batteries are on there pretty tight. They are very well sealed. I don't think the salt water is going to get in. Especially if there's only a few feet of water over the battery. I have some storm damage photos in the battery video. I suggest that this might be a good place to harvest some batteries. Especially after a big tornado. No salt water involved. All of those batteries are going to be fine, after a tornado. If anyone yells at you about removing them. Just tell the officer that you're removing the batteries so the vehicle doesn't catch on fire. He will probably believe you. I would not just use them as a source of battery energy but you can. But as a battery bank to recharge by your car. If your neighbors have evacuated his house, you can go to his place and rip some wire out of the wall. This will be 14 gauge solid wires. I would strip the wire and hook up all the battery to each other. Then I would pull my car up and put jumper cables on and charge up the battery bank. I put my inverter on it. Then I would run silent and run deep.


Jack Spirko: Do you think we have killed off home battery banks? How about mobile battery banks? How about something bigger, like you mentioned about mobile battery bank for TSP Disaster Response Team usage?


Steven Harris: Listen up. This is going to be fun. It is so flexible it is going to blow your mind. We are talking about a larger battery bank needed. It's going to be in the back of a pickup truck. It's going to be bouncing around, hitting bumps, etc.  Right away I'm going straight with golf cart batteries. I am of course going to used 2 of them because the GC2 golf to batteries are 6 V each and we need two of them to make 12 V. You could go four of them or six of them, but six or eight would really fill up the bottom of your toolbox in your pickup truck. I'm just going to go with two for now. That's enough because the truck is recharging them when you are driving. That will run electric chainsaw for long time. Two golf cart batteries is enough. You could go with four but two is enough. What I did, you can modify this anyway you want, is I went to tractor supply store I got a brand-new truck box the goes crossed the back of my Dodge diesel full size pickup truck. Then I put the two golf cart batteries in the truck box. This looks a lot better in the battery video. You will understand what I am saying more. I put the batteries in the box to see how they would fit. Then I push them up against the front of the box towards the cab. Then I went to Home Depot and got some 2 x 12 lumber. Some 2 x 12 inch floor joists from Home Depot. I measure and cut them. I built a wooden box all the way around the batteries. I didn't what the batteries to move. I use 2.5 inch long quarter inch hex lag bolt to go through the sheet-metal of the truck box and into all the wood. These things are in there tight, with those wood frames around them. If I get into an accident I don't want the 130 pounds of batteries moving and try to come up and visit me in the cab. Then I took what was left over of the 2 x 12 lumbar and I screwed it down to the inside lid of the truck box. When I open the lid up there is a 54 inch piece of 2 x 12 attached to the bottom of the lid. This gives me a place to screw down all the electronics.


Jack Spirko: You are going to screw the inverter down to the bottom inside of the lid of the truck box than right?


Steven Harris: Yeah I am. The inverters upside down but that's the best way. That way when I open the lid the inverter is easily exposed. It's coming up with a lid. I can now plug into easily. It’s got plenty of room up there for airflow and for the fans to suck in cool air. Plus, if it starts to rain I can lowered a little bit and I have a built-in rain shield that keep the inverter from getting wet. I'm screwed down all my electronics to the underside of the lid, to the underside of the wood that is screwed into the lid. Because I have a 2 x 12 there it is easy to take wood screws and screw everything down nice and tight. My inverter and other things are not going anywhere. Mounting to the metal the truck box would be a lot more involved, a lot more detailed, you got lots of little bolts, nuts, washers, lock washers, and Lock Tight. I would just rather screw it down to the wood.


Jack Spirko: Yeah. Makes me think of back when I used to build great big telecom closets. The first thing you did was put up a big three quarter-inch piece of plywood and everything then got mounted to that. Instead of trying to mount it to a wall, then worry about studs and everything. We got that done. We got everything ready to go. We got batteries back there. We want to charge those batteries every time we take a drive to get a loaf of bread or go to work, so we keep them topped off. How are you charging the batteries with this system.


Steven Harris: I'm charging the batteries from the alternator of the pickup truck.  First I need to isolate the batteries in the rear of the truck from electrical system in the front of the vehicle. There are things called battery isolators that are sold in the RV market and they do this. They are sold to keep the batteries that powers the RV separate from the battery that powers your starting system. Yet allows the front of the vehicle to charge the batteries in the back of the vehicle. These are nothing more than diode with a big heat sink and I did not want something that dumb. A single diode does not regulate the amount current flowing through the wire from the front of truck to the back of the truck. If the batteries in the back really down in charge and I started the vehicle, it would pull a lot of current from the front of the vehicle to the batteries in the back. It could pull 60, 80, 100 A at 12 V right there. If the battery was low enough. That would require something like two gauge wire. Two gage wire is the size of your finger. That's nearly over $3 a foot of Home Depot. I need to go a good 20 to 25 feet with that wire, times two. One for red. One for black. To run from the front of the vehicle to the back of the vehicle. Now I only wanted to run 30 amps, no more than 30 amps from the alternator underneath the hood to the batteries in the box. To do this all I needed was six gauge wire. That's $1.03 a foot at Home Depot in the year 2012. I got 30 feet of red, 30 feet of black; I twisted them together with a drill to make a twisted-pair. I show this in the video, incidentally, it looks better than sounds here. I ended up with using about 22 feet of wire to go from the front battery, down the front of the truck, zip-tied to the outside of the frame rail of the truck, and then back up between the cab and the bed of truck. Then through a hole with a grommet I put in, in the back of the toolbox and then to the batteries.


Jack Spirko: We’re getting to what I'm excited about because this was the entire reason that I brought this whole project to you in the first place. What did you put in there so it would only draw 30 amps and no more, and charge that battery and isolate it from our front battery banks? That was the X factor I was looking for from you in the first place.


Steven Harris: Wow. Gee, instead of doing a month’s worth of work I could have answered it for you in five seconds.


Jack Spirko: Yeah, but everybody else wouldn’t have gotten all this stuff.


Steven Harris: I know, and it's worth it. I love it really; it’s a labor of love. Jack, I looked high and low. I mean I really looked into all options for you guys. The best option was to use a smart, intelligent solar charge controller meant to charge a battery bank from solar panels. It’s a 30 amp solar charge controller from SunForce. I have it on the website so you can see it. Everything is there now. Can we say this all at once: The SunForce. It is a computer-controlled, intelligent, three stage battery charger. It’s as smart as a Schumacher battery charger is. When the truck is at idle or driving, the alternator is making between 13.8 and 14.7 volts. That is enough voltage for the solar charger to take up, and to precisely charge the batteries in the back of a pickup truck. When they’re full, the charger will maintain them and keep them at 100%. It works like a dream. Keep in mind this starts to add up in price. Assuming you already got the pickup box and I didn’t, I had to go buy one .Or you got one used off of craigslist and I did look on craigslist, couldn’t find one near me. You need the deepest one you can get. It’s got to go all the way from the rail to one inch off the bed, guys. The golf cart batteries take up a lot of height. Two GC2 golf cart batteries from Sam’s Club are $94 each plus $15 core charge each. The 30 amp SunForce controller is about $99. The 1600 W Whistler inverter I have on it is about $130. Heck, there’s $60 in wire just going from the front of the truck to the rear of it. Plus the wood and hex lag bolts, you’re now up to $500 and we’re not even finished yet. It can add up quickly.


Jack Spirko: Well, you know, we wanted to do something here. We wanted to make this thing cost less than a solar generator, do everything a solar generator doesn't do, and do what solar generators do which is actually continuously produce power even if we’re out of gas. What about solar energy? Can you recharge it with a solar panel?


Steven Harris: Well. What do you guys think my answer will be? You have a 300 horsepower diesel engine. You got 30 gallons of diesel fuel and it charges as you drive down the road. Yes!
Everyone wants a solar panel in the battery bank, so do you know what I put in the video? I put in a solar panel! I, Steve Harris, have a 100 W, solar panel, super light saber, and 30 feet of 12 gauge wire with nice little connectors on them going to my battery bank. The solar panel will go anywhere around the truck and you can lean the panel on any angle you so desire to get the best sun. I have enough wire that you can park the truck in the shade and put the solar panel in the sunshine. I could put in a double big, double pole, double throw switch and switch the wires from the front of the 30 amp controller over to the solar panel connector, however by the time you look at a 30 amp double pole, double throw switch, that’s $40 right there. And that’ll handle 30 amps continuously. And then you look at six huge connectors going to the switch and three splices in the wire, you’re going to have to make room for a switch. I just did not want to put that much stuff to go wrong in my main power line from the front of the truck to charge controller to the batteries. I want one smooth run with no interruptions, nothing to go wrong, and nothing to break. What I did was I got a $30 10 amp Sunforce solar charge controller. Again, it is a computer-controlled, three stage, intelligent charger. I use it for what it was really intended for:  I put the solar panel on it through 30 feet of 12 gauge stranded wire, and hooked it up directly to the batteries. You can have the 30 amp charge controller and the 10 amp charge controller on the same batteries at the same time. You don't need to switch one out. Someone told me they’d like to go hunting for two weeks at a time and that they would be 20 to 40 miles from the nearest town out hunting, and they would not run their truck even for those two weeks. And it’d be nice to have a little bit of sunshine putting energy into the batteries while they were out hunting because they wanted to use the battery bank in the back of the truck for some lights and other creature comforts while they were camping. I put a nice-sized, 100 W solar panel on it, and so there goes another $277 right there. Plus another $25 in 12 gauge wire, plus another $15 in connectors for the wires so you can plug and unplug it easily. I have one safety thing to mention about running the wires from the front of the truck to the back of the truck. I got two six gauge wires running from the front all the way to the back of the pickup truck to the solar charge controller. If I got in an accident, or I hit a big rock or a curb, and I smashed those two wires together and shorted them, all the energy in the front batteries would be a dead short and the wire would probably glow red with heat and the insulation would catch fire and I’d probably burn down my whole truck. What I did was on the positive six gauge wire going to the front battery up near the front battery – and I showed us in the video very, very detailed – I’ve put a 60 amp Minn Kota, that is a brand name, DC circuit breaker in the line. These are made for trolling motors. They’re about $30 each. I have 30 amps max running through the wire, and the circuit breaker is 60 amps. That circuit is never going to trip unless that wire gets dead shorted out somehow. No surge is going to do it, nothing like that. I show you how to do this with what's called ANL fuse, they’re for big car stereos, it is a bit cheaper than the Mini Kota circuit breaker. I put in a 60 amp slow blow fuse for protection, and it cost about $15 to do this. There is one safety item I put in my six gauge wire running directly from the batteries from the front of the truck to the charge controller in the back.


Jack Spirko: I'd say its money well spent too, because you're talking about quite a bit of power being dumped if you don't have that.


Steven Harris: Yeah, especially with the short circuit, it’s a good thing to put in there.


Jack Spirko: Now that you’ve capitulated. You got yourself a solar panel and hooked it up to the thing, does it work?


Steven Harris: I don't know. There’s not been a day of sunshine since I put it on it. I'm sure sun will shine soon enough but so far no sunshine.


Jack Spirko: I think one of the things people should look at, they do get how to put that solar panel into the system if they wanted to. They could use that information to use a solar panel system for a system in their house. It's all the same theory, right?


Steven Harris: True 100%.


Jack Spirko: That's good. Again, what Steve and I are trying to do is prevent you from spending $2500 for a so-called solar generator that isn’t a quarter of what we taught you to build for less than half the price.


Steven Harris: You can do it a lot cheaper because they don’t have two big golf cart batteries in there.


Jack Spirko: No.


Steven Harris: They have a small, sealed lead-acid battery like what’s in your UPS. I’m saying our batteries cost $200, but their battery literally cost $20.


Jack Spirko: Yeah, exactly. We want you to stay away from that. It just doesn't make sense. A mobile system like this, you add solar capability to it, if you don’t want to run the vehicle for whatever reason, or a long-term situation where you’re out of fuel or whatever it is, you’ve got that capability. But you've also got all this power every freaking day, every time you start the motor to go and get a quart of milk or go to work.


Steven Harris: Yep.


Jack Spirko: And then they just stay charged. I mean, how simple is that? What else do you add to the box? Because you’ve got all that space back there to work with and I know you.


Steven Harris: Lots of stuff, Jack. Stuff I mounted to the wood under lid. I went and got a round pull chain light socket from Home Depot and I mounted it on the wood and put in a 6 W, equal to a 40 W LED light bulb and ran a small 120 volt cable. Then plugged into one of the three outlets on the inverter. That way the instant I turned on the inverter the LED light comes on and I know for 100% that my inverter is working. The same thing is true if i am working out and about, and the truck is doing its miscellaneous power for me and other people. I see that the light is not on, it is like "Opps, the inverter is not working for some reason."


Jack Spirko: You know what, that son of a gun, you can see too.


Steven Harris: Yeah. Boy, it really lights up everything in the box just absolute perfectly. In fact what I have been doing when I go to the grocery store. Instead of putting my groceries in bed of the truck, I been putting them in a box of the truck. I open the lid and turn on the inverter and it lights everything up. I put the groceries in there and turn it off and shut it down. People looking at me like, "He just the whole place up with the back of his pickup truck."


Jack Spirko: That's awesome.


Steven Harris: I know something went wrong and I better go have a look at it. Again, I like putting light on things because you know they are working without a doubt when you turn them on. I also put in a four outlet metal wall box, like you would have in an industrial setting. It was only a few bucks at Home Depot. That way I got four quick easy outlets bolted to the back of the lid. I can plug 120 V into it real easy.


Jack Spirko: How is that hooked up to the inverter?


Steven Harris: It is on the same line as the LED light bulb.


Jack Spirko: Okay. Gotcha.


Steven Harris: It is not a high current outlet.


Jack Spirko: It is there and it is easy to access.


Steven Harris: Yeah. I went to plug in the LED light bulb to the inverter. I just went and got a $1.49 extension cord.  Which is two wires next each other, it is white. I just cut it in half, stripped the wires, crimped on some connectors, and screwed it on to the light mount. Then plugged it into the front of the truck.


Jack Spirko: All of that is in your video instructional?


 Steven Harris: All that is in the video instructional. You got it completely. Where was I?  I in the space between the side of the box and the wood holding the batteries. The batteries in the middle the box, so there is space to the left and to right of them. In the center the toolbox, I have the extension cords. I have bunch of my famous three-way outlet adapters that I just plug into each other to make any size outlet strip I could want. I have a regular jumper cables. I have another Schumacher 30 amp 120 V battery charger, just like the one I use on the home battery bank. I have a bunch other stuff in the back, just in case.


Jack Spirko: Hey you said jumper cables. What is up with those?


Steven Harris: Well, it is kind of fun. Several things. One, if someone has a dead battery I can jump them from the front of the truck. I can jump them the batteries in the back of the truck. Let's say the batteries in the front of my pickup truck died, after all they are five years older they are due for a replacement. I can jump the front of the pickup truck with the jumper cables from the batteries in the back of my pickup truck. Yes, my jumper cables a long enough to do that. Let's say my 30 amp battery charger takes a dump and dies and I need to charge the batteries in the back of the pickup truck with the truck at idle. I hook up the jumper cables from the front to the back, to charge the batteries that way. At the same time provide power to the inverter. There's no end of combinations of what you can do. You need all this flexibility for what I call, "self rescue." Again we're talking six different ways of doing stuff. You have two battery systems but you’re six times more reliable because of it.


Jack Spirko: Don't those solar generators have a six times more reliability. No, they don't do they.


Steven Harris: No. They have a single point of failure. This means, if one thing fails and you are done for.


Jack Spirko: What's up with the battery charger? You had 30 amp 120 V battery chargers there.


Steven Harris: Right, this is the same battery charger that I use for the house. It is for lots of things. Let's say I a home battery bank and I want to move energy from the truck batteries in the back of the truck to the battery bank inside the house. Or let's say I want to move energy to the top of a third-floor apartment. I turn on the inverter and I run 100 or 200 feet of a extension cord from the inverter in the truck up to the third-floor apartment... Actually I dropped the extension cord from the top of third-floor apartment. I don't run it up, I drop it down.


Jack Spirko: <laughs> I am laughing because I've seen people try to throw ropes and cords up to porches. I've seen it. I don't get it. "Try it again a little higher!" I am sorry go ahead.

« Last Edit: June 11, 2013, 08:12:52 PM by Hootie »

Offline Hootie

  • Written Word Wrangler
  • Dedicated Contributor
  • ******
  • Posts: 1190
  • Karma: 43
  • Just another day gardening in the heat of texas
    • Frozen Gardener
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2013, 08:13:05 PM »

Steven Harris: It's okay. Then I hook up the 30 amp 12 V Schumacher battery charger to the battery bank in the house. I let it charge the batteries in the house or the apartment. I can do this with or without the truck running. I might drain the batteries in the back of the truck a bit but if I'm going to start up the truck and drive someplace I'll be putting energy right back into them at a rate of 30 amps as I drive. Let’s say someone else needs to jump and they are not close to you. Or you just don't want to get out the thick heavy jumper cables and go from jumper from battery to battery and everything else. You just want to turn on the inverter, run extension cord to the battery charger, clamping on to their battery, and let it charge at 30 amps for about 15 minutes. Put some energy in his battery and then take your charger off and let him start his car. I can do the same thing with the batteries in front of my truck if I leave my lights on and they go dead I can charge batteries in the front of the truck with the battery charger from the 120 V in the back of the truck and start up after a good 15 minutes of charge. Sometimes this might be easier than trying to start the truck through 21 feet of jumper cables, running from the front of the truck to the back of truck. I got lots redundantly. I can do 110 and a 30 amp charger or I can do it straight wire jumper cables. Which have nothing to go wrong with them. Let's say the battery the back of the truck take a dump and my battery charger is not working either and I sustained some damage for some reason to the charger or the wires going from front to back. I have an extra 800 W inverter in the back of the box truck. After all two is one and one is none. If my 1600 W inverter died, I can hook it up and use the 800 W inverter from a 120 V. If the batteries in the back are dead and my wire is gone or damage. I can put the 800 W inverter on the front of the truck and I can run 120 V to the 120 V 30 amp battery charger in the back of the truck. This would be a good idea to have your truck at idle or at half the time when you are doing this. Two inverters, jumper cables, 120 V 30 amp charger, and a lot of extension cords give you a lot of flexibility and options. There has to be a combination of over 20 different things I could. That is a lot of two is one and one is none, redundantly.


Jack Spirko: I got another one for you. I got my little off grid bug out cabin. No, I will not tell anyone where it is. I go out there and instead of having a off grid solar powered system for my bug out cabin, that can be stolen, smashed, vandalized, and taken away while I'm not there. There's nothing there except you know the cabin itself. I pull my truck up. I run my power off my truck into my cabinet. I got my solar powered and truck powered battery backup system out in my truck. I got a redundancy that can't be stolen. Since I'm smart, also have my little inverter Honda or Yamaha generator that I use to run certain things that are higher draw requirements inside my cabin during peak usage time. There's a cord running from that out my battery charger out to my truck. Even though my trucks sitting there for a week while I piddle around out of my bug out location. I am not idling the truck, not only are the batteries being topped off by the solar whenever suns out. If I fire that generator up, I can go ahead and start charging those batteries up again. I got this system with all these redundancies in. The biggest reason I wanted it mobile is not just for things like DRT and my hunting and my fishing and my camping. If I'm out at a bug out location, I have got a redundant power system that uses alternative energy, trunk energy, generator energy, and frankly any other damn energy I put into it. When I leave it goes with me so they can't steal it or damage it. I'm telling you folks with remote properties, if you don't have a line of sight neighbor with a really good scoped rifle, somebody will find it eventually. When you leave something like that there, they'll break it or take it.


Steven Harris: Yep. You can put the solar panels in the truck. You can run the 120 V into the house and charge the battery banks in the house that why. You can out the solar panels on the cabin, go to your battery banks in the cabin, and you can run a 120 V out to the charger in the truck and in charge it that way. I mean it's so redundant and flexible it is beyond description.


Jack Spirko: It can add up into some pricing. If you want to do all these things to it, it still cost less than one of those stupid solar generators that I hope to God  none of you people ever consider spending your money on. I know I'm kicking this one but I care about the audience. I really do. I always try to protect you guys from things I see as predatory. I don't see anything more predatory than this. When you look at what you could build with a system here. Steve, if somebody wanted to build a system very similar to this and had passenger car they could scale it down. They could make it work. It might be quite as clean and powerful as putting it in a truck box. You in your "Bread from Gasoline" video, you basically had a scaled-down version of this system. That could come out of the truck go to another truck.


Steven Harris: Yes I did.


Jack Spirko: Then people could see that, because you are giving that for free.


Steven Harris: Yes, if you buy the three videos. There are three videos in the home battery emergency bank video series. There are three videos and I'm throwing in the fourth one on "Bread from Gasoline" for free. You have well over four hours of video for $24.95.


Jack Spirko: Awesome. What about monitoring the health of the batteries in the back of the truck? We talked about how important that was when those batteries were in our house. If I am going to have it as remote power it's even more important. How do we do that?


Steven Harris: I forgot to mention I attached one of those four way DC outlets that I have up on the website, on the back of the lid. I have four 12 V cigarette lighter power outlets. In one of those is sitting my favorite battery voltage meter. At a glance I can see the health of everything. The 30 A solar charge controller also has voltage and current readout on its LCD displays, so I can tell the voltage from there. More importantly if current is flowing and charging the batteries, that's always sign of health. Plus there is the voltmeter on the front of the inverter when it is on. Plus the inverter will squeal when the battery voltage gets too low. I have an LED light on all the time so my work area is light up. I have a positive indicator that I can see from a long ways away that the system is up and going and working okay. I can't tell you how important it is to have little different things like that, that always are telling the health of what you are working with is. It will save you from those "Oh shoot, darn, it does not work" moments. You always make sure your powder is dry.


Jack Spirko: Is there anything else in your video that you made, on making the home and mobile battery banks, that you did mention here?


Steven Harris: There is a lot of little things in the video that I can't do here. I show you how soldering your own thick battery cables together, so you can connect battery to battery with two gage wire. You use propane torch, solder, and use a hammer as a crimper. It works great. I am going into acid safety a lot. I show you how to use a battery hydrometer to check the acid of each cell in the battery. So you know the health of that cell and thus the health of the whole pack. You get a bad cell and the whole pack won't work. Acid hydrometers are like eyedropper with four balls in them, that float, that tell you the density of the battery acid. If the four balls are not all floating it is not charged. I show you how to strip and crimp large wires and how to do it right. And a bunch of other little things.


Jack Spirko: We mentioned the video but I would like you to go ahead here at the end. You have given people three hours information on the air here, in two days. Give us a sales pitch for what this product is. I think at $24.95 it is a steal. People know me, I do not turn my shows into infomercials. I refuse to let a guest do it. I don't think people even get how much your getting here because the price seems so stupid cheap.


Steven Harris: Yeah. Actually I went and asked the whole bunch of TSP people, what price do you think would be right for this? The number will came up with was $24.95. That is the price of the unit. Actually it is $34.95 is just $24.95 during December in 2012 for TSP people so come get it. guys, I love you all. I basically told you everything right here on how to do a home and mobile battery bank for free. I'm thrilled to do this. I love to do this. This is what I'm here for. Jack asked me if I could make a video that showed all the little details on how to do it step-by-step because this is an audio audience and this project needs a little visual assistance, so I did this. The videos are over four hours long so far.  I've been working on them every day for five weeks. If you watch the video I guarantee you will be standing in front of 50 different types of batteries at Wal-Mart and you won't have one question in your mind. You’ll know exactly which one you want. You'll know how to read them and you'll point to that group 29 deep cycle marine battery and you'll tell the clerk ”I want that one”. You'll see me hook up all the home battery banks. From the small DC one where you’re only using DC all the way up to the one with two golf cart batteries and the 55 amp charger in a 1600 W inverter and everything. You'll see me do the 120 W inverter as well. You'll see, like I said, I do everything step-by-step from the smallest to the biggest for you. You will see me build the battery box in the back of the pickup truck from 100% bare empty box all the way up to everything I described. I mean, I show you how I put in each piece of wood. It’s not just go, I go, “okay now you put a wooden box around the battery.”  I show you how I built the box. I don't leave that up to your imagination. You can have all this wisdom for less than $10 an hour. Heck, even McDonald's pays more than that. The price for the videos is $34.95 as I mentioned but just for all of you TSP people during the month of December 2012 you can come and have all three of the battery videos plus I’ll throw in my famous bread from gasoline video, for a grand total of $24.95. For $24.95 you will get instant access to the video. You'll get your own little access code and a link. You can go to the website where you can watch that video in 720 HD right now. No downloading needed. It is a HD video and by time you hear this I might even have it up in 1080 HD video. I use HD photographs and video for everything I did. You will be able to download the video to your computer if you so desire it, so you can watch it without a connection to internet. You can watch it as many times as you desire there is no limit. You can buy the video right now at These two TSP shows will be up on They’ll be available for instant streaming, no charge, no nothing, no sign-up. You just tap on them and they’ll play on your smart phone or computer. Please send your friends over. This show and all my past shows, as always, are listed on That is my radio show website. Thanks to all of you and thanks to Jack Spirko and his graciousness for allowing me the privilege of talking to all of you, that sight has grown a lot. This is why I made Battery1234, just for this one big subject. Every single item or tool I have talked about in this show and in every other show is 100% Steven Harris approved. That means I bought it, I’ve used it, I've beat it up, I love it, I've had it for months or for years and all of those items are listed up on You can go there you can see the pictures of them; you can click on the link and get them from Amazon. You can do whatever you so desire It does not matter to me. All of the new stuff for the battery show is listed on Battery1234. OK, all the past shows Solar1234, the battery show is on battery... Sorry, I did it again sorry; I’ve been talking for three hours. All the past shows are on, all of the battery stuff for the battery show is on Look at the photos; buy it from Wal-Mart. You can click on it and buy it right from Amazon. You can get it at RadioShack. I tell you in my text descriptions where you can get it everywhere. You are not forced to use my link. On Battery1234 and Solar1234 you can sign up for my email list. It's a big blue button. I don't even send out email once a week and I should be sending you an email once a week. You don't get that much for me but if you want to sign up. From that you’ll get my latest stuff I'm doing and if I have anything to offer, etc. Also separately, I have gotten a lot of emails from you guys who really love the stuff and you wanted to help so I'm giving you a way to help. Separately you'll see, if you really want to, you can sign up for what's called "Steve's Power Circle". It's just a small email list of people who can help me with different things. Sometimes I want to bounce stuff off you. What you think of this video snippet? Did I explain the idea good enough to you? Do I need to change it? What you think of this idea? How much should I price this for? You can help me with some Facebook posts or some tweets. Its small stuff like that but you get to see the stuff first and you get it for free. If you really want to help me a little bit you can go do that. Do you have some questions? Right now are you listening to this you got some questions for me you're yelling at your iPod “Steve I got this question.” You can ask me those questions live tonight I will be on Zello. It’s on your iPhone, Android, PC, and Mac. You sign-up and you go search for the channel or the group that's called "The Survival Podcast," three words. When that one pops up and says "Modern Survival" which is Jack. That's the one you want to join. I will be there at 8 PM eastern standard time tonight. I will also be there at 8 PM eastern standard time next Wednesday and next Thursday. I realize not everyone has listen to the show on the same day came out. You might have listened a few days later and you want to come and ask me some questions. I'll be there last night and tonight and in a week on Wednesday and Thursday at 8 PM. You can stop in and ask me questions live. This is all audio, no video. We can all talk to each other. It's like a party line. Everyone can listen to what everyone else is saying. It's great fun please come join us on Zello. It is bunch of great people and we would love to have you there. Anything else I missed, Jack?


Jack Spirko: No, I just want to say a couple things. Number one, just the two Zello appearances alone, twice is four hours of time Steve is dedicating to you guys. I know I let him go on about how great the product is that he put together, but it is because it's that damn good. And because I asked him build it and he did. That doesn't happen a lot with a lot of people. That's a huge thing. The Zello thing again, go to Get the app your smart phone or get the app for your PC. As long as have a microphone on your PC you can use that. If you don't have a microphone on your PC all you can do is listen but it's probably worth doing that as well. Join us on Zello because it is great. The product itself, the videos in HD quality are going to be awesome product and an awesome gift. Being able to download it and put it on multiple computers and look at it whenever you want to or take your laptop out to your truck while you're building your system, like I am going to do, is extremely valuable. Unlike a DVD won't gets scratched. Dude, thank you for putting this together and thank you for always doing such a great job for us.


Steven Harris: It is a labor of love, Jack. You really got me addicted to your audience. I do this because they are so great. They email me with questions. They show me pictures. When people take your advice and they actually do it, it just makes you want to do more. Other than saying something and fall down like a lead balloon. It's the quality of the people and its quality of the community. It is a labor of love for me. I just absolutely love doing it. I can't wait to supply you guys look even more stuff. Like I said everything on TSP is free. I'll tell you how to do everything for now.


Jack Spirko: Who know what I'll come up for you next. Anyways real quick guys, on the Zello stuff, just to throw some dates on this unless something you're drastically changes. These two shows should have aired the 12th and the 13th. The night of the 12th and the night of the 13th of December at 8 o'clock central time on Zello TSPN channel. Then the follow up on encore appearance the 19th and the 20th right before Christmas. Steve, thanks for taking the time to do that. With that folks, this has been a monster two episodes series. We could have made it three possibly four. Again Mr. Harris, thank you. With that this has been Jack Spirko today along with Steven Harris. Helping you figure out how to live that better life if times get tough, or even if they don't.