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Your Favorite 12V Accessories?

Discussion in 'Survival/Preparedness Forum' started by Bolster, May 9, 2012.


  1. Bolster

    Bolster
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    I'm looking to assemble a small solar system at home, maybe a 200w panel for starters, and maybe 220 Ah of batteries. Small, but a toe in the water.

    I'm going to keep it 12V, I won't be running an inverter. This would also mean any (small) accessories would also work in the car.

    Now trying to do the energy use calculations...started wondering, what are the best (or your favorite) 12V accessories? So far on the list are:

    A 12V fan (maybe the Fan-Tastic Vent Endless Breeze)
    12V LED lighting (brand unknown?)
    12V power for my laptop
    12V charger for AA batteries (Eneloops).
    12V charger for ham radio

    What else would you recommend, for starting with a small 12V system?

    What 12V items would you not want to be without?
     

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    #1 Bolster, May 9, 2012
    Last edited: May 9, 2012
  2. Babynine

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    Powerex Maha C-9000 NiMh battery charger/analyzer is something I'm really liking these days. You have to pay $8 extra for the cigarette lighter adapter(or wire it yourself). So far I have been using it with the included 120v wall plug, and have only plugged it in for a minute in my car just to make sure it works.

    I like that I can charge my Eneloops at 1Amp, and have them safely charged in about 90 min from fully discharged cells. I will test it more in my car later this month camping.
     

  3. Bolster

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    Babynine, you just answered one of my top questions, which charger. I was aware the Maha was top rated but I did not know it had a 12V option, I thought it was 110 only. So thank you thank you thank you.

    Regards battery charging speed you are probably already familiar with the "half" rule of thumb for rechargeable batteries. I just learned about it. Look at the mAh rating on your battery (take an Eneloop AA, it's 1900mAh). So rule of thumb says you can safely charge at .950 amps, ie, 1A, so that Maha setting should be good for your Eneloops.
     
    #3 Bolster, May 9, 2012
    Last edited: May 9, 2012
  4. G29Reload

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    Ham radio, for certain.

    Great that they mostly are 12v by default. Even most big base stations start that way, if you want to use them desktop, you get an AC power supply.

    Otherwise, you can hook it up to a car battery!

    I recall a story just after the last big Haiti earthquake, the only communication with the entire country were two different ham radio operators, running off car batteries, one was able to re-charge with a solar panel but it took a bit.

    The whole country was in ruins and its a s#$%hole to begin with in normal times. You want to talk SHTF, HAM can get it done with the right operator in some seriously bad conditions. On a car battery! 12v baby!

    And I don't mean just walkie talkies, this was getting on HF and making contacts in the US mainland from the carribean.
     
    #4 G29Reload, May 10, 2012
    Last edited: May 10, 2012
  5. Babynine

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    Im no Ham operator, but a couple months ago I dug my 18 year old Uniden Grant xl mobile sideband CB radio out of my folks basement. I bought a quick release Wilson 1000 trunk mount antenna and it installed in minutes, and worked well before I tuned it.

    My thoughts are that the somewhat trashy CB radio may be good bug out vehicle(or any highway travel) comms because every truck driver has one, and they can give worthwile advise about traffic jams, FUEL, detours, radar traps/checkpoints, directions, etc.

    It seems to get about 5-15 miles barefoot(no amp), and with 2012 being a active solar year, I am hearing "skip" from all over the world, including Jamaca, Puerto Rico, New Zealand, and even socialist California:tongueout: with my mobile radio up here in the Midwest. With an amp it is possible to reach those far off lands.

    CB radios are a dime a dozen at garage sales and resale shops, and almost all run 12vdc.
     
  6. cowboy1964

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    Subscribed. I've been thinking of a 12V system for home for awhile (for lighting and recharging batteries mostly). Solar is a tough thing here in Ohio though.
     
  7. Bolster

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    I was just reading about various areas in the US...page 2 of the book _A Solar Buyer's Guide_ and they show areas near you (Penn) at 1,082 kWh/year per kWh of PV. North of you in MI it's 1008. Here in sunny CA it's 1318. Seattle is 886.

    Here's the kicker: Germany is 739. And it has TEN TIMES more solar installed than the US. So a German would be thrilled to have your solar exposure!

    I also remember reading that the flexible type of PV panel ("thin film"), while less efficient than crystalline in bright light, does better in overcast conditions. Check me on this, just from memory.

    @BabyNine: I agree, good to get your CB running, and that model is a well respected model. People (especially hams) like to trash talk CB, but I can see them being very useful for local com in a bad event. Even though I'm a Ham, I recently got my Uniden XL sideband (same model as yours) tuned up and running. (With a small heater.) It's mounted in a wooden box and is ready to transfer to any vehicle or, with the new 12V system at home, to become a base station.

    I mostly stay to sideband when I'm on it. Sideband is a lot more like the Ham community and less like the trucker community.
     
    #7 Bolster, May 10, 2012
    Last edited: May 10, 2012
  8. DrSticky

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    We have a solar cooler for the car, but it is mostly junk.
    We have a solar water kettle which is really nice.
    Tire Inflator is okay. Not the best, but it works.
    I have a rocketfish universal laptop charging kit that has both a 110VAC plug and an alternate 12VDC plug. That is nice.

    Now that I think about it I am going to test it with my Goal Zero.
     
  9. DJ Niner

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    Tagged.
     
  10. BORNGEARHEAD

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    I have a Coleman 12v cooler that my uncle gave me and it works great. I use it every time we go camping. I was looking at picking up a 12v coffee pot that I saw at one of the local truck stops.
     
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