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Using a generator to charge in the field

Discussion in 'Inspire 1 Discussion' started by RaptorMan, Dec 29, 2015.

  1. RaptorMan

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    I'm looking at getting the SPC4500 4-battery charger to charge 4 batteries at the same time but if I'm in the field and away from power you either have to have a high power inverter of about 1000W or a generator of 1000W.

    The inverter approach would be nice but you either need high capacity deep cycle battery or you have to connect to your car battery and run your engine for the 1-2 hours needed for charging. An decent 1000W sign wave inverter will cost about $200 but you'd also need a deep cycle battery and a charger so you'd be looking at more like $400+ if you go the inverter route.

    The generator approach, though more expensive at first, would be less hassle in the field I would think.

    So, is anyone doing this and if so recommend me a generator.


    Brian
     
  2. mbundy

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  3. IrishSights

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    Brian, there are pros and cons both ways. I decided to go the inverter route as I could not run a generator while on the go, just my personal needs. I bought 2 leisure batteries in parallel wired back to a voltage sensitive relay. It will automatically switch from charging the vehicle battery to charging the leisure batteries protecting the vehicle battery as the priority.

    Here is a great article on it complete with wiring diagrams.Dual Battery Systems | Alternator charging, how it should be done. Can't remember who I got it from in the UK. I can look it up if any UKers are interested.

    I bought it as a kit and just hooked it into my Mitsubishi Warrior.
     
    WilsonFlyer and m00se like this.
  4. RaptorMan

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    Any reason for the 2200W version versus the 1000W version? I can see if you're in a group, but by myself 1000W is more than enough and would be smaller and use less fuel.


    Brian
     
  5. RaptorMan

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    Thanks for the feedback -- the inverter route would be nice if only for the lack of noise, but I have a small car (Ford Focus) so when I travel with the rest of my gear there isn't so much room for the extra gear needed for the dual battery + inverter + charger approach. A small inverter based generator with a fuel tank capable of 4+ hours operation is more portable when driving a small car.

    My family is from not far from you in Portaferry. Mom and Dad along with my two oldest brothers immigrated to the USA in 1947 and my only time in Ireland was a family trip in 1965. I would dearly love to make the trip back one day and perhaps combine it with a trip to northern Scotland and to the Isle of Man for the TT.


    Brian
     
  6. IrishSights

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    I have a Focus as well and used to use one leisure battery in the boot (truck) the auto voltage switch is small and goes under the bonnet (hood). I used to use a 300w inverter but even the current 1500w is not big.

    Love the Portaferry area. Here's a panorama over Audleys Castle (location used in Game of Thrones) with Portaferry in the distance. Irish Sights. The website is a bit rusty, in the throws of redoing it.
     
  7. mbundy

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    Valid point. The 1000W should work just fine for you. I use my 2000 for camping, etc, as well so can justify the extra wattage. Read the reviews regarding noise levels. The really cheap 1000W generators are often quite loud compared to their 'name brand' counterparts.

    Mike
     
  8. pixl45

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    How many batteries do you people carry/have? I've maxed out my hard case with 7 TB48s. Good for a couple hours of flying generally. I have the big charger and hub, which means that from fully discharged I have +/- 7 hours of charging to do after every session. I think if I do decide to get more batteries I'll have to pick up that SPC4500..
     
  9. mbundy

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    6 TB48's + SPC4500 for charging. I can fly for hours and hours.

    I'm not sure exactly how long my generator runs on a full tank, I'm guessing ~10 hours in 'eco mode'.
     
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  10. RaptorMan

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    Nice pano -- I can see Portaferry in the distance just left of Strangford in the video. A bit small to see much but I'd guess you were using a very wide angle lens (X3 or X5?).

    If I were to ever make my way back to NI would my use of a UAV be a problem -- would I need to get some form of permit?


    Brian
     
  11. IrishSights

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    Thanks Brian. No permit needed for recreational flying, just usual 400ft, 150m from congested areas, no closer than 50m of vehicles, structures, vessels etc. Commercial...yes, CAA permission needed.

    I was using the X3 and Dronepan
     
  12. benbecker

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    Hi RaptorMan.
    Well I know this is not in the $200 budget, but eventually for group of people this would be very interesting : efoy.com

    It's a fuel cell that make energy from methanol. I used to have one in an RV. Pretty silent and powerful !

    Ben
     
  13. sdschuetter

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    I use the same honda generator and couldnt be happier with it.
     
  14. Beverly Hills Aerials

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    can you plug a surge protector into these?

    I have 7 inspire pro batteries and 5 chargers, I like to charge them all at once when in a rush etc. I could see using these when out in desert with friends.
     
  15. m00se

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    Nice pano.
    how is dronepano working? Last I read on it it had some bugs and missed shots.
    I made a few panos manually with Kolor and about 120 photos taken, the results are almost perfect. but it takes an especially long time with that many photos
     
  16. Kilrah

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    The 1000W Honda generator is great, very small / light / silent, no comparison to the cheap things. Also is an inverter model, which means stable output.
     
  17. Richard Hurst

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    Hi. Been looking at one of these, would they do the job of running the SPC4500 charger in the boot for my inspire batteries - http://www.halfords.com/workshop-to...ower-packs/ring-professional-powerpack-rpp265
     
  18. m00se

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    Surely using a 12VDC battery to power an inverter to get 240VAC, then using a power brick to drop that to 24VDC again has to be a really inefficient use of power.

    Doesnt anyone know of a small OEM amperage regulated 24v power supply? There must be one that can be run directly from 12V somewhere..........
     
  19. IrishSights

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  20. m00se

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    a quick google search yields something like this :

    Car DC converter: 12 volt to 12V, 15V, 18V, 21V, or 24V DC/DC converter with 2.5 amp output, automotive DC/DC converter.

    sure, its only 50W and the original is 100W so it would take a while to charge, but I bet they have a 100W version somewhere.

    Surely you can chop of the connector on the original charger and solder something like an XT60 onto it to make it possible to remove the DJI connector and connect it into the car system when needed?

    Then, assuming that you dont want or need a generator and inverter for anything other than charging batteries, I would go for what IRISH suggested and stick a dual battery system in my vehicle, then tap straight off of it into the 12v to 24v power supply......... you could even lug a large solar panel around to allow you to trickle charge the system back up during downtime (not sure if that would be worth it or not)

    I would say that a nice beefy AGM battery in the back of the car would be the route I would go down if I really needed to charge things back up in the field.

    Infact, bugger that......................... forget the power supply I just linked, it just occured to me that you can use a normal "4 button" charger that can handle 24V in lead acid mode as a regulated power supply if you simply tell it to limit the amps to what is needed, I bet most people have one of those lying around. At most you will need to give it a bit of a boost to 15V input in order to charge at 24V