portable batteries

Submitted: Sunday, Apr 14, 2002 at 00:00
ThreadID: 961 Views:1476 Replies:3 FollowUps:7
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has anyone had experience with those portable batteries (Ithink they have a gel electrolyte) that are used to start a motor or run 12volt appliances? I was thinking of getting one as an alternative to installing a second battery in my 2.8L Nissan GU.
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Reply By: Fred - Sunday, Apr 14, 2002 at 00:00

Sunday, Apr 14, 2002 at 00:00
Jim
I have one - it has jump leads and two outlets. It is a 17amp battery and will happily run fluoro lighting for many nights without charging. Can be charged on 240v or 12 volts. I run lighting and an "anti snore machine" (CPAP machine). Biggest pluses are cost about$150 and portability - lighting anywhere and vehicle doesn't have to be near the tent. Not sufficient power to run an Engel for very long though. Engel does make 2 sizes a 24amp/hour and a 48 and these are specifically designed for use with fridges. They alsp run lights of course. The smaller one is over twice the price of mine and don't know the price of the 48amp one.
Hope this is of some help. I run a gas fridge so find the small one adequate for my needs.
AnswerID: 2831

Follow Up By: Steve - Tuesday, Apr 16, 2002 at 00:00

Tuesday, Apr 16, 2002 at 00:00
Fred,

I too have a CPAP machine, and I have one of the Projecta brand 17 amp hour jobs. However, I find I only get about 6 hours out of it, slightly less than I care to sleep. What brand is yours? Must have a bigger 17 amp/hours :).
Steve
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FollowupID: 1103

Follow Up By: Fred - Tuesday, Apr 16, 2002 at 00:00

Tuesday, Apr 16, 2002 at 00:00
Steve maybe the difference is in our CPAPs. I let mine run for 12 hours and it was still going strong - that is it was strong enough to stop and restart. I have found in the past that if I run it from the car and the lead is too long the problem is always with the initial power for starting it. Checked it with an amp meter and found it draws about 2.8amps on start up and runs at about 1.2 amps - thus a 12 hour sleep is possible (if the tent isn't in the sun! LOL) The CPAP is a Solo Plus LX by the way
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FollowupID: 1107

Follow Up By: Fred - Tuesday, Apr 16, 2002 at 00:00

Tuesday, Apr 16, 2002 at 00:00
Steve my battery is the same as yours - forgot to tell you that. Paid $148 and now I read somewhere that the battery alone sells at about $50 ... isn't it always the way!!!
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FollowupID: 1108

Follow Up By: Steve - Wednesday, Apr 17, 2002 at 00:00

Wednesday, Apr 17, 2002 at 00:00
Fred, yup, my CPAP draws 2.5 on startup, but then draw 2 amp average. I hope I don't have to replace it (Bloody expensive) but I'll take my ammeter with me next time.
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FollowupID: 1117

Follow Up By: Fred - Wednesday, Apr 17, 2002 at 00:00

Wednesday, Apr 17, 2002 at 00:00
Yes Steve - that extra current would explain it. I ran it from the battery last night and it went from 11.20 till 7am and the lowlight isn't on yet. I'm going to try it again tonight - I'll probably wake up snoring! LOL Good things though aren't they? I used to be able to keep an entire campsite awake all night!
Cheers
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FollowupID: 1126

Follow Up By: Fred - Sunday, Apr 21, 2002 at 00:00

Sunday, Apr 21, 2002 at 00:00
Steve (Sorry to make your original question a Symposium on Snoring, Jim) I ran the CPAP for a second night on the battery and got another 8 hours. Total 15 hrs 20 min. It would still restart and run at that point but the low light came on during the start up. If yours needs replacing make sure you get one with a lower power usage. By the way the amps wasn't stated anywhere on mine - except to say max 3 amps and it has a 3amp fuse in the 12 volt lead. I just held an amp meter in line while I connected it to the car battery so determine that it draws 1.2amps.
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FollowupID: 1162

Reply By: paul - Monday, Apr 15, 2002 at 00:00

Monday, Apr 15, 2002 at 00:00
Fred is spot on Jim, the portable batteries are only good for low current drawing appliances. A common size is about 17 amps, a modern fridge uses around 2 - 4 amps per hour. That means you portable won't last more than a day at most, and will then take another full day of driving to recharge because the recharge so slowly. If you want the cheap option upgrade your single battery and use the portable to start your engine if you ever drain the battery under the bonnet. Though fully draining batteries is very bad for them so you would in any event be best to drive every day to assist your under bonnet battery.

That said, if you are only running a flouro (say average 1 amp per hour) and recharing you mobile or something then that uses bugger all power and a portable will be fine, but if you're thinking fridge then think again.
AnswerID: 2838

Follow Up By: Fred - Sunday, Apr 21, 2002 at 00:00

Sunday, Apr 21, 2002 at 00:00
Just a quick follow up Paul. Mine is slow to recharge on 240v (500milliamps) therefore 27hours from dead flat, but recharge from the car is 3-4 amps therefore about maybe a little over 4hours from dead flat. I charge from morning till lunch stop if touring. I think the slow charge is better for the battery though.
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FollowupID: 1163

Reply By: DennisN - Monday, Apr 15, 2002 at 00:00

Monday, Apr 15, 2002 at 00:00
G'day Jim, I agree in part with both the answers above, but I guess it all comes down to the old "horses for courses" principle. I run a Waeco Blue Apple "Thumper" 48 a/hour heavy industrial battery. From it I run a Waeco CF50 plus fluro lights, and am reasonably happy with the performance. Having said that, the longest I have tested it was 49 hours, with an ambient outside temperature between 26-30 degrees. The fridge maintained minus figures for all of that time and when I switched off, the battery idiot light was still showing "fully charged". This is good enough for my needs as I carry a Honda EU10i for a bit of backup AC power if ever needed. Like I said mate, horses for courses. Enjoy the bush.
AnswerID: 2843

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