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Old Jun 19, 2012, 08:30 PM
When pigs fly rc
rcrich's Avatar
USA, NY, Chester
Joined Apr 2008
2,428 Posts
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power source at field?

I sometimes have no power source at events and fields that I fly at.
I need some source of 12 volts. What are you guys using? I was looking into a 100 dollar harbour freight generator or a 12 volt marine battery. What would be better. I normally fly 2200 mah 3 cell batteries.
thanks Rich
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Old Jun 19, 2012, 08:33 PM
RC Helicopter Pilot
TheWoodCrafter's Avatar
United States, CA, Westminster
Joined Mar 2010
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Get a big ASS deep cycle battery or 2.

Don't waste your money on a cheap generator.
They are not good for our chargers and your neighbors will hate you for it.
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Old Jun 19, 2012, 09:03 PM
Expo/DualRates = Lack of Skill
typeRA's Avatar
San Diego, CA
Joined Mar 2009
789 Posts
I use a Honeywell 1400W inverter generator; it's quiet enough at the other end of a 50-foot extension cord.

A non-inverter generator is an option, but I would use a power conditioner with it to clean up the AC.
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Old Jun 19, 2012, 09:05 PM
DrV
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Joined Jan 2006
225 Posts
Get Big Deep cycle battery or spend more money for a quality generator like a Honda EU2000. Do not buy the cheap 2 cycle HF generator, you will ruin your power supplies. It does not have a clean 120AC output.
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Old Jun 19, 2012, 09:16 PM
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USA, TX, Trophy Club
Joined May 2002
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheWoodCrafter View Post
Get a big ASS deep cycle battery or 2.

Don't waste your money on a cheap generator.
They are not good for our chargers and your neighbors will hate you for it.
Could not disagree more.

I use the Harbor Freight - it works fine for chargers and have used it for many years. It is a bit loud and uses a 2 cycle engine - so no question it makes some noise. I use a good power supply and have no issue with voltage and zero issues with the chargers.

At the field nobody will care about the slight noise - the glow engines will drown this out. It works great for fly-in events and this use. Don't expect much else out of it - maybe a few lights or small appliances in a power outage. At events I have power 8 or 9 50-200w chargers.

I am not sure when my power supplies will be ruined but I am still going strong.

Deep cycle batteries last about 3 years here in the TX heat. And they are VERY expensive and VERY heavy. So save your money. Use a generator/inverter.

I would love to have a 2000w inverter but those run about $800-1k. But they are much more useful if you camp or have an RV or want to use it for appliances in a power outage. If you can hack the price the Honda is really tough to beat and puts out very clean AC power.

Mike
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Old Jun 19, 2012, 11:07 PM
Spoooooon!
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San Fernando Valley, California, United States
Joined May 2003
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pda4you View Post
Deep cycle batteries last about 3 years here in the TX heat. And they are VERY expensive and VERY heavy. So save your money. Use a generator/inverter.


Mike

I went with with 2 costco deep cycles. They are 45lbs each so need to watch the back when lifting them. I put them in a milkcrate and use a small fold away dolly. I never discharge them below 50% so I should get 3yrs no prob. AT $85 each and 3yr lifespan, it would take 15+ years to break even on a 2000 watt Honda so I'm pretty happy with my setup for now. Don't get me wrong though.. I would love one of those Honda's.
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Old Jun 19, 2012, 11:09 PM
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United States, MN, South St Paul
Joined Dec 2000
82 Posts
Check your local surplus stores for big lead acid batteries. I have a 100 amp hour battery that cost me $29.99. I've been using it for at least 7 years. The deep cycles I was using in the past would only last a year or so and cost much more.

If you can't find a surplus battery I have been happy enough with this battery that I would buy a new one at full retail.

A slightly different battery, but easily available would be the Optima deep cycles. Imthink you can even getnthese at Sam's club.
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Old Jun 19, 2012, 11:42 PM
Spoooooon!
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San Fernando Valley, California, United States
Joined May 2003
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Sealed lead acids rock! They are commonly used in power wheelchairs and very affordable if you get the smaller ones. Great for charging 3-4s 2000's.
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Old Jun 20, 2012, 12:32 AM
Expo/DualRates = Lack of Skill
typeRA's Avatar
San Diego, CA
Joined Mar 2009
789 Posts
I would go with LiFePO4 over lead-acid; if only for the huge weight advantage.
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Old Jun 20, 2012, 04:23 AM
Aeroplot
crashdaily's Avatar
Down Under
Joined Mar 2008
93 Posts
I use a 12 V Pb spare car battery. I know that many will disagree, but it depends what you are flying.
I fly el. gliders using 2200 mAh batteries and I have 3 packs. If I charge them at home I have 3x 30-60 min flights, then I can charge each at the field for another 3x 30-60 min. Enough for a day flying.
But if you can afford a deep cycle battery or a generator - it's definitly a better option.
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Old Jun 20, 2012, 07:17 AM
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pilotpete2's Avatar
The Northeast Kingdom, Vermont
Joined Jun 2004
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crashdaily View Post
I use a 12 V Pb spare car battery. I know that many will disagree, but it depends what you are flying.
I fly el. gliders using 2200 mAh batteries and I have 3 packs. If I charge them at home I have 3x 30-60 min flights, then I can charge each at the field for another 3x 30-60 min. Enough for a day flying.
But if you can afford a deep cycle battery or a generator - it's definitly a better option.
No argument here
My field charging requirements are similar to yours. I'm in my 3rd season using a NAPA garden tractor battery that after rebate, set me back about 22 bucks, and doesn't break my back As soon as I get back home, I hook it up to the little 1.5A Schummacher float charger and it's fully charged for my next trip to the field.
Pete
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Old Jun 20, 2012, 09:11 AM
jrb
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Edina, MN, USA
Joined Oct 1999
11,398 Posts
An alternator puts out a “pure” sine wave, an inverter does not! Better/expensive inverters get close and are called pure sine wave; most are modified sine wave.

The alternator in a cheap generator still puts out a “pure” sine wave whose frequency is directly proportional to the rpm! The problem is that they have poor/no control of rpm with changing loads.

I’m guessing that there something that make an Inverter Generator cheaper & lighter than one with an alternator. And the electronics maintain the frequency better. Also think that they get the DC off a magneto and inject that high into the block diagram shown below.

Maybe cheaper inverter generators are modified sine wave; pure from more $$?

The question really become – is modified good enough?

Most all of us take alternators to the field!

In my case 2007 Ford Explorer – it has a 120A unit.

Note – switching power supplies run just fine w/o issue off a modified sine wave!

So, go for a inverter and PS off your car.


I have been using my MasTech 5020 power supply with a Vector 2000W modified since wave inverter for quite. The engine doesn’t flinch or change rpm when doing a 1000W from the inverter .

Also use an extension cord from to get the power to the pits.
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Old Jun 20, 2012, 07:16 PM
Snappy Title On Backorder....
tsymonds's Avatar
United States, TX, Killeen
Joined Jun 2011
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Best piece of field gear I've ever had.
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Old Jun 20, 2012, 10:33 PM
When pigs fly rc
rcrich's Avatar
USA, NY, Chester
Joined Apr 2008
2,428 Posts
It's a Honda so I know it's good but it has a high price tag for me
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Old Jun 21, 2012, 07:39 AM
Snappy Title On Backorder....
tsymonds's Avatar
United States, TX, Killeen
Joined Jun 2011
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Got mine used. They can be found for a reasonable price if you go that route.
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