If you plan to get the advantage of electronics and electrical equipment after all hell breaks loose, there are a few basic gadgets that can allow for
a basic personal portable source of power. I am talking about a battery pack and a 100+ watts solar panel.
The battery pack can simply be a regular 12 volt car or battery or let's say I would like to use two more compact 6 volt motorcycle batteries with
added belt fittings or some other choice solution for portability and some sort of serial interface for making them work as 12 volts. Now I understand
that it's not as simple as to just connecting them together, but I hoped this thread could sort out these things.
To charge these batteries I'd need a charger of some kind, and since I am concentrating on a portable solar panel solution, I would need a Solar
Charge Controller, I found a page with a few to choose from below:
Searching around the net for a flexible and durable DIY 100+ watt solar panel I found the one below a winner. And before people start accusing me for
promoting some sales here, I am not, but it looks like a promising product that I might just go ahead and buy for myself one of these days to prep up
for the Day of Doom. I also found the same product on Amazon and complete DIY kits for up to three of these in a chain, but the link below seems to be
the company producing these panels (it's a web-store).
Below is a video I found showing a person demonstrating what looks to be the simplest version of the "Amazon-kit" I mentioned above:
Now, there are plenty of other more compact solutions out there, but you want some real power, not just waiting the whole day to being able to listen
to three songs before you go to bed on your iPod. You want to being able to use a computer and charge all your gadgets, so my main inquiry to you all
is, if you can please share any recommendations or experience with charging batteries in the field using a solar panel solution or similar. Working
solutions or plans to make one, or where to get battery packs like the ones photographers use while in the field and so on. Anything related to
portable battery packs and charging them, solar or otherwise. Play ball
I actually lived in Taos for a while. The radio station that puts the Solar festival on is actually completely powered by solar as well. I have also
looked into this and decided to build my own when time permits. I want something more for backpacking though so I'll be building each strip
independently and attaching them to a piece of ballistic nylon so it can be rolled up or hung from a pack so you can charge on the go. Your right
about the wattage though. Most laptops and such take less than 65watts and tablets and smart phones even less. This would be a must have for anyone
who'd like GPS and volumes of manuals to bolster their survivability.its also nice to be able to charge cameras and stuff for a regular hike.
Not just for shtf events but great for boats, Mt. cabins, camping, trailers and public events where there is no power.
Thanks, and yes, I suppose you could even fit it over your backpack to charge batteries while trekking. I mean, you have to carry the batteries around
anyway if you're on the move. Saw the specifications claim you can bend it a bit.
I use a solar charger to charge my video cameras and audio gear when on location.
Any particular brand or specifications you could recommend?
Taos New Mexico has a solar fest, concert way out in the boonies powered by all solar with bands cranked up to 11.
I guess they have to some pretty badass arrays of solar panels of quite another class and proportion to allow for power enough to run a festival. Then
again I've seen some of those solar harvesting parks out in the desert, they're huge and they can potentially produce gigawatts.
The array is in the form of a roof over their parking lot. Almost like a gas station covers their pumps but about 4x bigger. The fact that its sunny
about 80% of the year doesn't hurt. I'm more curious about their battery banks and how much they store aside from what's used daily. Either way its
gotta be pretty efficient considering its been that way for as long as I can remember and that's at least 8years.
Remember that's 65 watt per hour with your laptop example, so if you want a full battery on your laptop, power for radio, torchlight and
communications, you might look at nearly 100 W just keeping it all alive through the hour, without charging anything. And you might not be somewhere
you can charge for some reason. That's why you will soon learn that relying on the batteries that come packed with your gadgets gets you nowhere.
Your smartphone and computer eats plenty juice and need recharging up to several times a day with continual use, so getting a battery pack is a great
upgrade that will charge your gadgets many times in a portable solution. You can easily charge such a battery pack using a car engine or a power
outlet, and if there is none of that, that solar panel above ought to meet most basic needs, even stuff like running your shaver, playstation or for
that matter playing vinyl records. Could make the apocalypse a wee bit less apocalyptic I suppose.
And I can only imagine the lines of electroholics queuing up outside my tent willing to sell their darkened souls for a bit of juice to their phones
so they could reread the message they all received just before it said boom and the lights went out or so they could listen to the ringtone once again
to remind them of when the power outlet in your house once worked and there were fuels around to feed the generator.
Yes but should you find yourself in that situation you probably aren't playing candy crush and surfing Facebook. I would use a laptop rarely and tbh
my plan doesn't include one. But tablets and smart phones can carry all that one could possibly need as far as survival knowledge and maps and are
much more power efficient if you take a few steps to make them so. Laptops would be a comfort thing with a repository of movies and such that would
get pulled out when moral was low or it had been too long without some entertainment. but the weight just doesn't make it worth it. I do like using
it as a comparison for power though because it is bigger and more power using than those other devices mentioned so it's like the always round up
Well think of it this way, though this is not exactly a prophecy. You end up stranded in some ruin in NY after the Big One with a bunch of Hasidic
Jews being the only ones still around for some reason. Pretty soon they would need power for their accountant's calculators, and the cork screws would
be getting longer and straighter by the day, so they would pretty soon need power for their curling irons. And then perhaps a pack of drunk neo-nazis
would arrive and business is bad for a while until they realise you have power for their hair trimmers and an old vinyl player they use to play their
Hitler speeches on. Which eventually pisses off a passing motorcycle gang, who rounds them all up, and then they'll need power for their ink
pistons and a recharge for their bikes' batteries, before they're gone all gone and you thank the gods you are still alive to tell the tale. And then
the Hasidim comes back for the re-curl, and it just goes on and on....
If you're bushwacking it in an emergency SHTF scenario, what's wrong with just a good old fashioned paper map, compass, and a pencil ??
And for entertainment in the dead of night.... a deck of cards, a crossword puzzle book, and a survival handbook.... or if you're really desperate,
you can make shadow puppets on the side of your tarp tent by the firelight.
My plan involves a vast repository of manuals and maps and well it's a hell of a lot easier to carry a tablet and smartphone than a ton of books and
paper maps. Any other functions of those devices would be a luxury that would be seldom seen because I'd want to keep them as powered as I could in
case the sun was not out for a couple of days. Not everyone feels like they need that kind of stuff but I for sure want to have the ability to learn
the skills I need if the time comes to ever need them and you could spend a life time trying to keep all that in your head...I just don't have room.
That being said if your gonna rely on such things having a faraday cage for the device or devices in question wouldn't be a bad idea. An old
microwave works great for that
True, but when the shtf my book collection gets to get buried until the world settles again. If you have salt water I've heard you can draw quite a
bit of electricity straight from the sea by fitting empty beer cans around a copper snake and stick it into the salt-water. Works like a battery the
guy claimed, don't remember where I saw it, I guess it was on youtube somehow. Some guy growing himself an island somewhere. Sounds legit.
I use the roll-up panels I take with me whenever I go out and about. Just unfurl them on the ground, prop them up with some rocks, hook up to a charge
controller and battery. Plug in the inverter and I have power!
If you do decide to use 2 -6 volt batteries and you want to make 12 volts with them...you need to hook them in series which means you hook the
positive of one to the negative of the other. In this way you will be using the positive of one battery and the negative of the other battery to hook
to whatever you are powering. If you hook them parallel...meaning positive to positive and negative to negative you will still only have 6 volts but
you will have twice the available current/capacity. Of course you may have already known this. But it seemed as though you somewhat had posed that
question in the OP.
And for information's sake I will throw this out there. There is a little book published by Maine dept of inland fisheries and wildlife. It is
entitled You alone in the Maine woods. It is about 60 pages long and it could probably be printed right from their website it is at the maine.gov
website. Some of the information in the book is outdated ( such as the type of clothing to wear ) but all of the pertinent information necessary for
woods survival can be found in it and it is of a very compact size.
I will also add this. The clothing suggested in the book is mostly made of wool. Wool seems like an outdated fiber and yet I think one would find
that it's wet/cold weather performance may remain unmatched. My grandfather chummed with many fishermen in his young days in Lubec, Maine. He said
they would always dunk their mittens in the water as soon as they put them on. He told me that there is nothing better then wool for keeping you warm
when it is wet even in the middle of winter.
Awesome!! I have never used them that way before but it is good to know, Thank you for that info....It's good to see the full spectrum of usages.
The purchase of CB radios should be widely considered imo. It would be a cheap and quite fail safe way to establish a communication network. Not sure
how easy citizens band is to scramble but it was developed for the very purpose that I mention.
Agreed, but if you're trekking, a car battery is heavy enough to be carrying around, a generator and enough fuel to run it would demand some sort of
transport or team. But yeah, a Cold War bunker with a diesel generator could come in handy, but if you (like the photon) are travelling light, a
lightweight solar panel you can roll up which would produce a few hundred watts each, enabling you to charge basic tools for instance. Just having a
drill or a bayonette would be a major tuneup. Perhaps a short day's work, but hey, just because it's Judgement Day doesn't mean we should exhaust
ourselves. But yeah, any source of power would be gold.
I'd rather figure out quick and reliable ways of turning salvaged car alternators than worry about solar panels. (And there are many options:
pedaling, water wheels, windmills, small engines, steam turbines, etc.) If SHTF, that option is going to be much more readily available than fragile
solar panels in a size or quantity to be of much use. The solar panel option is only good if you happen to have it available and ready before anything
And if you can't find alternators for some reason, if you can still manage to salvage some wheels, some considerable length of wires, and strong
magnets, you're likely going to have what you need to build a basic dynamo. (Thus large stereo speakers are probably worth scavenging, even if you
don't have a radio or audio system that can use them.) That can get you electricity if you know how to put them together in the right way.
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