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Old June 1st, 2010, 07:53 PM   #1
New Boot
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 9
Portable Power Sources

I shot on Location often so Id like to ask folks to list whatever links they find on portable lap top batteries surplus
power generators
solar power sources

as well as power generators that are wind and even bycycle related generators and Batteries and capacitors etc

I will be looking into setting up a car or van on location where crew can recharge cell phones or power up laptops and portable hard drives .

I recall stuff as strange as the old army hand cranked generators 12volts which probably can not be used with modern equipment due to the surges they create .

For my part I will contribute links to this little thread as I think it will be og general interest in production emergency .

Thanks for contributiong links to
power supplys for lap tops and hard drives and cell phones
Best regards
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Old June 1st, 2010, 08:52 PM   #2
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Location: Louisville, KY
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How many watts are you looking to power and for how long?

If I where doing this and wanted to do it as cheaply as possibly I would buy a ~600W continuous inverter and just hook it up to the cars battery. I wouldn't plan on running more than 3 laptops off of it and some cell phone and camera chargers. Keep your car turned on if your pulling that much power for more than 20mins.
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Old June 2nd, 2010, 10:24 PM   #3
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Location: Los Angeles
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Thanks A great Start

I am not sure on wattage
but the load to carry would be
1 two mac book pro computers
two terrabyte drives would run off the computers( portable hard drives )
two cellphone bays to recharge cell phones
two bays for recharging hvx200 battary needs

Thanks !
I assume the batteries would be car batteries
I have heard of deep cycle marine batteries being used

Ill get some links up soon on the where to buy issue .
I always assumed out here on the west cost that the store to go to would be Grangers ...
Any catalogue suggestions would be appreciated .

Last edited by Bruce Morgan; June 2nd, 2010 at 10:36 PM. Reason: first paragraph
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Old June 3rd, 2010, 12:47 AM   #4
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A Honda self-contained, almost unrealistically quiet 1000w or 2000w generator would do the deal easily. They're the size of a fat suit case...their gas consumption is stingy (unless you're running HMIs off them...which I've done).

Honda: Honda EU1000iA2 1000 Watt Lightweight Generator (EU1000iA2)

Honda: Honda EU2000i 2000 Watt Super Quiet Inverter Generator (EU2000i)
Kolb Productions
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Old June 3rd, 2010, 02:56 AM   #5
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Tim's suggestion is a good one.

Whenever I can I use an EU 1000 Honda generator. Very efficient on gas. More than enough power to charge batteries, power laptops, etc. I even ran our refrigerator during a power outage.
Dean Sensui
Exec Producer, Hawaii Goes Fishing
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Old June 3rd, 2010, 04:59 AM   #6
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Could you also power a pir of 500 watt lights with the 2000 model ( in addition to charging bayyeries)?
Bruce Yarock
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Old June 3rd, 2010, 01:49 PM   #7
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The eu2000i is rated for about a continuous load of 1600W so it can run two 500W lights along with other small loads. These inverter generators rev up faster and use more gas the higher the load so they will get louder with over 1000W running. If possible, more efficient light like fluorescent, LED or HMI would work better.
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Old June 3rd, 2010, 03:25 PM   #8
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If you're going to go with 12 volt batteries and inverters (etc.) -- which is not a bad way to go -- definitely get deep cycle batteries rather than the standard car batteries. Standard 12v batteries are not designed for continuous drainage beyond certain levels and can even be damaged by using them in these sorts of applications (hasn't happened to me yet, but never mind...). Deep cycle batteries can be charged from the normal car 12v system as long as you're gentle and patient :-).
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Old June 3rd, 2010, 06:38 PM   #9
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I'm not sure of the brand, but Ive seen backpacks with solar panels in them for laptops and other portable devices next time I'm at that store ill write down the brand for you.
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Old June 4th, 2010, 02:10 AM   #10
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the best guess is a mix of both.
portable gas generator gives a plenty of wattage, but you would not imagine to run them all day long (and night !)
Batteries are ok, but they need recharge very often and solar panel would take forever for this.
So you can use a battery for regular low power use (like recharging batteries or working on pc for several hours, getting light at night) and if you need more power, you can run the gas generator for 1 hour or two , while recharging the battery.
also try not to convert voltage. You got a 12V battery and transform into 110V with a converter. Then you plug all kind of charger that probably convert back to 12 or 7.5V. That is silly.
you can get car charger that runs directly from 12V.
Same for light. No need to convert 12V to 110V, there are plenty of cheap Led light running from 12V.
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Old June 4th, 2010, 02:17 AM   #11
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For quiet operation, an inverter running from a 12V battery can't be beat. Unfortunately, a big deep-cycle battery gives less energy than you would imagine. A couple of laptops and battery chargers put together might only run a couple of hours. The same problem can be found with a solar panel. A fairly large 60W solar panel can probably only run one laptop and a battery charger or two. A solar panel helping to keep a deep-cycle battery from discharging too fast would be optimal but it would cost about $500 to run a hundred watts for a few hours. If the laptops have their own batteries charged before the day begins this might be enough but it would be better to have more like a 100W solar panel. Costco sells 60W solar kits here in Hawaii for about $300 but two of these might be necessary and they wouldn't work in the shade.

I use a deep cycle Optima marine battery to run lights for events. I normally only run about 50W of fluorescent lights from one battery and it will last all evening. One of these batteries would only run a 500W light for less than an hour. Regardless, these absorbent glass mat sealed lead acid batteries are effective if you don't discharge them too fast. If you know how to wire them in parallel, two of these could produce about the 100W you need for 8 hours but they would together weigh 90 pounds.
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