gonna buy a deep cycle battery & inverter. Recommendations?

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gonna buy a deep cycle battery & inverter. Recommendations?

Postby Kampy » Fri Aug 19, 2011 3:41 pm

:?:
Hello! I want to buy a deep cycle battery and an inverter that will be used to power mostly just small personal stuff at camp... LED lights, boombox, etc. I will have a little generator there too that has battery post leads, so I can recharge the battery with the genny if needed. Also going to be using some power tools (drill, circular saw) but I figure I'll plug directly into the running genny for that...

Any recommendations on where to buy an affordable yet capable deep cycle battery? Any minimum specs that I should be looking for?

Same with the inverter.... I don't have any experience with them so I appreciate any recommendations/advice.

My friends have recommended Wal-Mart for the battery and Radio Shack for the inverter, but I thought I'd ask here on ePlaya before I go out and buy anything... (I'm in the Los Angeles area)

THANKS!

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Re: gonna buy a deep cycle battery & inverter. Recommendatio

Postby teardropper » Fri Aug 19, 2011 3:57 pm

Last year I used a 64 w US solar panel, 2-6 volt Costco golf cart batteries and a Whisper 700 watt inverter. I checked it here in Oregon and all worked well. Got to the playa and the inverter would shut down after 20 minutes or so. Really never did figure it out. So this year I've gotten all 12 volt things, LED rope lights, boom box, etc. Used it very nicely at SOAK, all worked well. I just eliminated the, possibly, not very good inverter to keep it simple. YMMV, but that's how I'm going. And, if you can stand the weight, those 6 volt costco golf cart batteries have 225 ah, a very nice amount of power. Put them in a nice battery box for safety and cleanliness.

edit: The Batteries are about $75-85 each, you save by not having to buy an inverter.

another edit: I use a 150 watt Statpower ProWatt inverter for charging the small things, that also worked well.
Last edited by teardropper on Fri Aug 19, 2011 4:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: gonna buy a deep cycle battery & inverter. Recommendatio

Postby billvon » Fri Aug 19, 2011 3:58 pm

>Any recommendations on where to buy an affordable yet capable deep cycle battery?

Depends on your loads. Figure out how much each of your loads uses, multiply by the number of hours a day you will want to use it, add all of them together, and that will give you how many watt hours you need. For 100 watt-hours or less I'd go with one or two 7-10 amp hour gel cell alarm batteries. They are well sealed, easy to carry and readily available at hardware stores. USE FUSES! For a 150 watt inverter (should be all you need for the loads you describe) you're looking at a 15-20 amp fuse, or 2 10 amp fuses (one on each battery.) Connect fuses on the positive side.

http://www.google.com/products/catalog? ... CFgQ8wIwAQ

For bigger loads (up to 500 watt hours) I'd go with something like the Exide Orbital ORB34DC-36 deep cycle marine battery. More pricey ($200) but will last years, is maintenance free and is easy to lug - 40 pounds, no electrolyte to spill. Once again - USE A FUSE! If you short out a battery like this, the wire you short it with will become red-hot, burn through its insulation, burn through whatever it is resting on (your tent wall, plastic table, battery case etc) and then start a fire. All the while you will be standing there flapping your arms because the wire is now way too hot to touch and the connectors are burning your fingers. Don't ask me how I know this.

For an inverter, for SMALL loads you can go with a Radio Shack mod-sine inverter (the really cheap ones that plug into cigarette lighters.) They go up to about 150 watts. They sometimes create buzzing on radios but they're cheap. ($12!)

For larger loads I've had good luck with the Samlex true sine wave inverters. The PST- 30S is about $140 and is rated to 300 watts but will easily surge to 500 watts to start larger devices. They are also way quieter (electrically) than the cheapo Radio Shack inverters.
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Re: gonna buy a deep cycle battery & inverter. Recommendatio

Postby Kampy » Fri Aug 19, 2011 4:15 pm

billvon wrote:>Any recommendations on where to buy an affordable yet capable deep cycle battery?

USE FUSES! For a 150 watt inverter (should be all you need for the loads you describe) you're looking at a 15-20 amp fuse, or 2 10 amp fuses (one on each battery.) Connect fuses on the positive side.


Thanks for the advice... but not sure what you mean by "use a fuse" ...? some sort of inline fuse in the battery cable? Can you post a link to a photo of what you're describing?

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Re: gonna buy a deep cycle battery & inverter. Recommendatio

Postby Boijoy » Fri Aug 19, 2011 4:30 pm

I believe Alternative Energy Zone has simple guidelines for setting up a battery & inverter.

http://ae-zone.org/
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Re: gonna buy a deep cycle battery & inverter. Recommendatio

Postby FIGJAM » Fri Aug 19, 2011 4:46 pm

Costco has a 115ah deep cycle for $80.

Check graigs list for inverters.
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Re: gonna buy a deep cycle battery & inverter. Recommendatio

Postby billvon » Fri Aug 19, 2011 4:54 pm

Kampy wrote:Thanks for the advice... but not sure what you mean by "use a fuse" ...? some sort of inline fuse in the battery cable?


Yes. Radio Shack sells inline fuse holders. Generally you'll be using fairly thick (10-12 gauge) wires going to crimp-on connectors (or alligator clips if you like living dangerously) and there should be an in-line fuse in the + wire going to the battery.

I'll try to find a picture of this.
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Re: gonna buy a deep cycle battery & inverter. Recommendatio

Postby motskyroonmatick » Fri Aug 19, 2011 5:24 pm

Unless silence is required the $ for a battery will buy a shitload of regular fuel for the generator.
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Re: gonna buy a deep cycle battery & inverter. Recommendatio

Postby gyre » Sat Aug 20, 2011 12:28 am

Morningstar has a good sealed one.
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Re: gonna buy a deep cycle battery & inverter. Recommendatio

Postby Kampy » Mon Aug 22, 2011 1:30 pm

I ended up buying a 125 amp hr from Walmart for $85. Here's the link: http://www.walmart.com/ip/EverStart-MAX ... y/16795213

I still have to buy an inverter... I guess I will go by Radio Shack and check em out. Thanks for the advice re: the inline fuse
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Re: gonna buy a deep cycle battery & inverter. Recommendatio

Postby headquarters » Mon Aug 22, 2011 2:06 pm

Kampy wrote:I ended up buying a 125 amp hr from Walmart for $85. Here's the link: http://www.walmart.com/ip/EverStart-MAX ... y/16795213

I still have to buy an inverter... I guess I will go by Radio Shack and check em out. Thanks for the advice re: the inline fuse


That's the one that I got. I have tested it a little bit at home. I have a pretty nice home sony surround sound with powered sub. One of those home theatre deals. I also had 3 lengths of christmas lights plugged in and ran it for ~7 hours before the inverter told me the battery was dying.

I got a cobra 400w inverter from amazon and it runs all that just fine. I would think if you wanted a power tool you may get an 800w inverter.
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