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Portable Battery Charger

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Has anyone ever thought of a portable charger out in the field? I have thought about purchasing a portable generator but seems impractical and heavy. On the good note you can run it all day charging the batteries, that is you have enough batteries to use while the others are charging.
 
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Has anyone ever thought of a portable charger out in the field? I have thought about purchasing a portable generator but seems impractical and heavy. On the good note you can run it all day charging the batteries, that is you have enough batteries to use while the others are charging.
I just use the regular chargers plugged in to a 12V inverter in my vehicle. It works fine. You just have to be careful to not run the car battery down, otherwise you might be walking home!
 
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I use one of these http://paulcbuff.com/vm120.php

They're made to power photography strobes in the field but I can get at least a full charge of one inspire 1 battery from one too. They also make a larger higher capacity battery called the Vagabond Extreme. These things are pretty small and silent, unlike a generator. I charge on the go in my car via a power adapter too but I really like charging off the Vagabond because then I don't have to leave my car running, I can charge while I'm outside shooting something else...
 
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I use one of these http://paulcbuff.com/vm120.php

They're made to power photography strobes in the field but I can get at least a full charge of one inspire 1 battery from one too.
So you're using a $240 device to charge a single $150 battery? Better just buy an extra I1 battery, you also won't have to wait for it to charge at the field :)

Car + inverter or generator are pretty much the only valid solutions.
 
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So you're using a $240 device to charge a single $150 battery? Better just buy an extra I1 battery, you also won't have to wait for it to charge at the field :)

Car + inverter or generator are pretty much the only valid solutions.
Well I didn't buy this device specifically for charging the inspire battery, I happened to have a few of them already since I'm primarily a photographer and often use strobes on location...it's a good addition to my car inverter because then I don't have to only charge when my car is running...but you're correct it is a little expensive. I'm not advising everyone go out of their way to buy one. You could use it for charging laptops and other devices in the field too though...

I currently have 4 inspire batteries, the combination this extra inverter/battery pack and my car inverter makes me pretty comfortable shooting for a whole day with not much waiting around for charging between flights
 
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I'm working on making my own 3 battery charger and tried using the following PS.... http://www.circuitspecialists.com/320watt-24v-output-with-pfc.html

The specs say the voltage can be adjusted +/- 10%. 26.3 is on the very edge of this but I was able to set it for 26.3V.

I tested it using my 400W Programmable DC Load and tested it with 3.8A, 7.6A, and 11.4A and it works fine and provides the power with a very small drop in the 26.3V output. Don't have the pictures handy, but there was less than 0.2V drop at the 11.4A test.

Have had some strange results. I tested with an almost full 4500ma battery (maybe drained down to 90%). The power supply charged the battery find and the voltage at the power supply dropped very little. So I figured I was golden. Went out and flew some and ran both the 4500ma & 5700ma batteries down to about 25%. When I hooked them up to the supply the supply seemed to start short cycling on the current limiter. This would happen even on a single battery.

My guess is there is too much inrush current on a battery that is mostly discharged. I need to put this on my scope and see what the current draw really is on initial connection and the charging process. May need to find a power supply that has more initial Current capacity.

http://www.circuitspecialists.com/700w-24-volt-single-output-ps-hengfu.html This one may be a better choice. It has 3 times the inrush current capacity @ 60A. It would also charge up to 6-7 batteries at the same time.

I have also designed a 3D Printed plug for connecting the Inspire batteries if anyone is interested. It uses the plugs from a Traxxas R/C battery connector.. https://traxxas.com/products/parts/accessories/highcurrentconnector

I'll post some pictures in the next few days.
 
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Went out and flew some and ran both the 4500ma & 5700ma batteries down to about 25%. When I hooked them up to the supply the supply seemed to start short cycling on the current limiter. This would happen even on a single battery.

My guess is there is too much inrush current on a battery that is mostly discharged.
The batteries do NOT limit or regulate the current they draw. The power supply needs to be a CC/CV charger i.e. limit the current, to about 7A to respect the battery's rating.
You can NOT use a standard PSU without current limit nor charge batteries in parallel, each battery needs its independent current regulation.

There's a bunch of threads about this.
 
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The batteries do NOT limit or regulate the current they draw. The power supply needs to be a CC/CV charger i.e. limit the current, to about 7A to respect the battery's rating.
You can NOT use a standard PSU without current limit nor charge batteries in parallel, each battery needs its independent current regulation.

There's a bunch of threads about this.
I think at the end of the day, it may be cheaper and safer to just order a few more DJI chargers and call it a day.
 
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Seven batteries between TB47 & TB48s, purchased the below for in the field charging and then use an inverter in car between sites if not complete before leaving site. You can fly indefinitely in addition to powering a 27 inch display. It's a fun hobby and when I take time to fly I don't want to be hampered by not enough flight time.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Ryobi-2-200-Watt-Green-Gasoline-Powered-Digital-Inverter-Generator-RYI2200/203617901

I bought the Ryobi generator too. Love it! Thanks StupidGate. ;-)

 
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I have a Large Optima AGM Battery inside a battery box that sits in a Milk Crate. On top of the battery box I have a 1500w (3000peak) inverter. I can charge the battery with my 100w solar panel that sits on top of the tonneau cover of my truck bed. Since the Battery takes up 70% of the milk crate, I can put my charging cables in there. Milk crate is great because I can bungee it down and secure it no matter how its transported. Usually I take my Tacoma with me when I fly. I do want to work on a better portable solution because I know I am losing efficiency when I go from 12v --> 110v --> 22.6v
 
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Hi Guys,

I'm new to this site and I was hoping someone can help me out. I have a gas powered generator but the **** thing is way to noisy so I wanted to by a generator that is battery operated. I was looking into either the ArkPak http://www.amazon.com/ArkPak-Bundle-free-USB-light/dp/B00H81AVQM or a Duracell http://www.amazon.com/Duracell-852-1807-Outlet-Rechargeable-Source/dp/B000S0VFTM/ref=sr_1_2?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1436553062&sr=1-2&keywords=arkpak&pebp=1436553061505&perid=1WS3RYF9YRSJN7T3R648
Do you guys think that I will be able to charge two or three batteries at a time? I am only looking for a battery generator so if you know of any that are better than the one I listed please let me know.

Thanks Guys.
 
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Hi Guys,

I'm new to this site and I was hoping someone can help me out. I have a gas powered generator but the **** thing is way to noisy so I wanted to by a generator that is battery operated. I was looking into either the ArkPak http://www.amazon.com/ArkPak-Bundle-free-USB-light/dp/B00H81AVQM or a Duracell http://www.amazon.com/Duracell-852-1807-Outlet-Rechargeable-Source/dp/B000S0VFTM/ref=sr_1_2?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1436553062&sr=1-2&keywords=arkpak&pebp=1436553061505&perid=1WS3RYF9YRSJN7T3R648
Do you guys think that I will be able to charge two or three batteries at a time? I am only looking for a battery generator so if you know of any that are better than the one I listed please let me know.
Thanks Guys.
Not from the 150W inverter described. Only one battery at a time, and not even that if you have the 180 charger. That ARK PARK gadget is a total rip off at $400, not only that, a 100 AH battery (that weighs in around 70 Lb) you will need to buy, is another $300.

You can buy a standalone inverter capable of 400- 500 watts from Harbor Freight or Costco, for way less then $100, and hook it to your car battery. I personally use a 350 W brick I bought years ago from Radio Shack (RIP). I know it wasn't more than $40. Some even come with automobile accessory plugs o them. But be careful, even though the inverter might be rated for more, most accessory outlets cannot provide more than 10 amps, or 120 Watts.
 
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Not from the 150W inverter described. Only one battery at a time, and not even that if you have the 180 charger. That ARK PARK gadget is a total rip off at $400, not only that, a 100 AH battery (that weighs in around 70 Lb) you will need to buy, is another $300.

You can buy a standalone inverter capable of 400- 500 watts from Harbor Freight or Costco, for way less then $100, and hook it to your car battery. I personally use a 350 W brick I bought years ago from Radio Shack (RIP). I know it wasn't more than $40. Some even come with automobile accessory plugs o them. But be careful, even though the inverter might be rated for more, most accessory outlets cannot provide more than 10 amps, or 120 Watts.
I have a 450W inverter but I can't seem to charge two batteries at a time. That's probably due to the cigarette lighter not providing me with more than 10 amps. Do you have a suggestion of what inverter and what car battery I should get? Im thinking of just putting something together on my own. Thanks again for the info.
 
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I have a 450W inverter but I can't seem to charge two batteries at a time. That's probably due to the cigarette lighter not providing me with more than 10 amps. Do you have a suggestion of what inverter and what car battery I should get? Im thinking of just putting something together on my own. Thanks again for the info.
Here is one battery that would be appropriate: http://www.lifelinebatteries.com/rvflyer.php?id=2 The battery by itself is roughly US$400 and weighs over 60 LB. Plus you need a fairly specialized charger to keep it topped up (without damage), another $200.

If you haven't picked up on it, I do not recommend doing this at all. You would be better off spending the money buying additional flight batteries and charging them at home. If you want a backup provision, you will have to connect your inverter directly to your vehicle battery with a very short cable (no more than 2 feet or so). A 450 W inverter is going to pull nearly 40 amps from a 12V system. If that does not blow a fuse somewhere, it may start a fire. While this might provide some entertainment at the flying field, you will be walking home.
 

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