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WalMart Portable Battery Pack?



 
 
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  #1  
Old February 22nd 04, 02:49 AM
Davoud
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default WalMart Portable Battery Pack?

I made my first-ever visit to a WalMart today to have a look at the
12V, 18AH battery power pack that some folks here have recommended. No
where on the packaging did I see an indication that this is a
deep-cycle battery. Is it? TIA!

Davoud

--
usenet *at* davidillig dawt com
  #2  
Old February 22nd 04, 09:25 AM
Thad Floryan
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Posts: n/a
Default WalMart Portable Battery Pack?

Davoud wrote in message ...
I made my first-ever visit to a WalMart today to have a look at the
12V, 18AH battery power pack that some folks here have recommended. No
where on the packaging did I see an indication that this is a
deep-cycle battery. Is it? TIA!


If you have the opportunity to pick up (i.e., lift) a deep-cycle battery, you
would know instantly it's "something different". The first one I attempted
to lift off a shelf at Costco really caught me by surprise; it was the same
physical size as a normal auto battery but weighs considerably more due to
the extra-thick lead plates used in its construction. Such deep-cycle batteries
are designed to be operated until they're nearly discharged, then simply charged
up again with no problems or reduced lifetime.

Though I haven't specifically seen a "WalMart 12V 18Ah" battery, just from those
specs I'd guess it's one of many similar auto "jump start" systems whose battery
is typically a gel-cell. All the deep-cycle batteries I've seen are rated
beginning around 80 or so Amp hours and go up from there. The ones I'm using
presently are 80+ Ah and weigh 44 pounds; I've placed them in marine cases I
purchased from Cabelas and you can see the cases he

http://thadlabs.com/ASTRO/POWER/Cabelas_cases+charger.jpg

I find I need to carry them two at a time (for balance) or put them on a hand
truck if a viewing site is a long distance from my vehicle.

I suspect what you saw at WalMart probably resembles what's in this picture
(the red, yellow and black jump-start systems at the left):

http://thadlabs.com/ASTRO/POWER/battery_packs.jpg

noting I've removed the jump-start cabling from most of them for safety in the
field. Those jump-start systems have 17Ah, 18Ah and 19Ah gel-cell batteries
with "Yuasa" (sp?) being the most common manufacturer of the actual batteries.
  #3  
Old February 22nd 04, 09:25 AM
Thad Floryan
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default WalMart Portable Battery Pack?

Davoud wrote in message ...
I made my first-ever visit to a WalMart today to have a look at the
12V, 18AH battery power pack that some folks here have recommended. No
where on the packaging did I see an indication that this is a
deep-cycle battery. Is it? TIA!


If you have the opportunity to pick up (i.e., lift) a deep-cycle battery, you
would know instantly it's "something different". The first one I attempted
to lift off a shelf at Costco really caught me by surprise; it was the same
physical size as a normal auto battery but weighs considerably more due to
the extra-thick lead plates used in its construction. Such deep-cycle batteries
are designed to be operated until they're nearly discharged, then simply charged
up again with no problems or reduced lifetime.

Though I haven't specifically seen a "WalMart 12V 18Ah" battery, just from those
specs I'd guess it's one of many similar auto "jump start" systems whose battery
is typically a gel-cell. All the deep-cycle batteries I've seen are rated
beginning around 80 or so Amp hours and go up from there. The ones I'm using
presently are 80+ Ah and weigh 44 pounds; I've placed them in marine cases I
purchased from Cabelas and you can see the cases he

http://thadlabs.com/ASTRO/POWER/Cabelas_cases+charger.jpg

I find I need to carry them two at a time (for balance) or put them on a hand
truck if a viewing site is a long distance from my vehicle.

I suspect what you saw at WalMart probably resembles what's in this picture
(the red, yellow and black jump-start systems at the left):

http://thadlabs.com/ASTRO/POWER/battery_packs.jpg

noting I've removed the jump-start cabling from most of them for safety in the
field. Those jump-start systems have 17Ah, 18Ah and 19Ah gel-cell batteries
with "Yuasa" (sp?) being the most common manufacturer of the actual batteries.
  #4  
Old February 22nd 04, 09:41 AM
Pat O'Connell
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default WalMart Portable Battery Pack?



Thad Floryan wrote:
Davoud wrote in message ...
I made my first-ever visit to a WalMart today to have a look at the
12V, 18AH battery power pack that some folks here have recommended. No
where on the packaging did I see an indication that this is a
deep-cycle battery. Is it? TIA!


If you have the opportunity to pick up (i.e., lift) a deep-cycle battery, you
would know instantly it's "something different". The first one I attempted
to lift off a shelf at Costco really caught me by surprise; it was the same
physical size as a normal auto battery but weighs considerably more due to
the extra-thick lead plates used in its construction. Such deep-cycle batteries
are designed to be operated until they're nearly discharged, then simply charged
up again with no problems or reduced lifetime.

Though I haven't specifically seen a "WalMart 12V 18Ah" battery, just from those
specs I'd guess it's one of many similar auto "jump start" systems whose battery
is typically a gel-cell. All the deep-cycle batteries I've seen are rated
beginning around 80 or so Amp hours and go up from there. The ones I'm using
presently are 80+ Ah and weigh 44 pounds; I've placed them in marine cases I
purchased from Cabelas and you can see the cases he

http://thadlabs.com/ASTRO/POWER/Cabelas_cases+charger.jpg

I find I need to carry them two at a time (for balance) or put them on a hand
truck if a viewing site is a long distance from my vehicle.

I suspect what you saw at WalMart probably resembles what's in this picture
(the red, yellow and black jump-start systems at the left):

http://thadlabs.com/ASTRO/POWER/battery_packs.jpg

noting I've removed the jump-start cabling from most of them for safety in the
field. Those jump-start systems have 17Ah, 18Ah and 19Ah gel-cell batteries
with "Yuasa" (sp?) being the most common manufacturer of the actual batteries.


In general, I would say everything you've said above is right. However,
I think that for the typically low current draws (.75-1.25 A) for
powering a go to telescope, the gel cell battery packs are OK (and I
have a Target Greatland 12 AH power tank for that purpose).

OTOH I suspect the deep cycle batteries might be better for higher
current drawing equipment, like a dew heater system.

I'm not sure whether a laptop PC would fall into the low current or high
current draw category, but I'll probably be trying that sometime in the
near to medium future with a new laptop (rated at 1.7 A at 120VAC) that
I own...
--
Pat O'Connell
[note munged EMail address]
Take nothing but pictures, Leave nothing but footprints,
Kill nothing but vandals...

  #5  
Old February 22nd 04, 09:41 AM
Pat O'Connell
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default WalMart Portable Battery Pack?



Thad Floryan wrote:
Davoud wrote in message ...
I made my first-ever visit to a WalMart today to have a look at the
12V, 18AH battery power pack that some folks here have recommended. No
where on the packaging did I see an indication that this is a
deep-cycle battery. Is it? TIA!


If you have the opportunity to pick up (i.e., lift) a deep-cycle battery, you
would know instantly it's "something different". The first one I attempted
to lift off a shelf at Costco really caught me by surprise; it was the same
physical size as a normal auto battery but weighs considerably more due to
the extra-thick lead plates used in its construction. Such deep-cycle batteries
are designed to be operated until they're nearly discharged, then simply charged
up again with no problems or reduced lifetime.

Though I haven't specifically seen a "WalMart 12V 18Ah" battery, just from those
specs I'd guess it's one of many similar auto "jump start" systems whose battery
is typically a gel-cell. All the deep-cycle batteries I've seen are rated
beginning around 80 or so Amp hours and go up from there. The ones I'm using
presently are 80+ Ah and weigh 44 pounds; I've placed them in marine cases I
purchased from Cabelas and you can see the cases he

http://thadlabs.com/ASTRO/POWER/Cabelas_cases+charger.jpg

I find I need to carry them two at a time (for balance) or put them on a hand
truck if a viewing site is a long distance from my vehicle.

I suspect what you saw at WalMart probably resembles what's in this picture
(the red, yellow and black jump-start systems at the left):

http://thadlabs.com/ASTRO/POWER/battery_packs.jpg

noting I've removed the jump-start cabling from most of them for safety in the
field. Those jump-start systems have 17Ah, 18Ah and 19Ah gel-cell batteries
with "Yuasa" (sp?) being the most common manufacturer of the actual batteries.


In general, I would say everything you've said above is right. However,
I think that for the typically low current draws (.75-1.25 A) for
powering a go to telescope, the gel cell battery packs are OK (and I
have a Target Greatland 12 AH power tank for that purpose).

OTOH I suspect the deep cycle batteries might be better for higher
current drawing equipment, like a dew heater system.

I'm not sure whether a laptop PC would fall into the low current or high
current draw category, but I'll probably be trying that sometime in the
near to medium future with a new laptop (rated at 1.7 A at 120VAC) that
I own...
--
Pat O'Connell
[note munged EMail address]
Take nothing but pictures, Leave nothing but footprints,
Kill nothing but vandals...

  #6  
Old February 22nd 04, 12:48 PM
Craig Levine
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default WalMart Portable Battery Pack?

On Sun, 22 Feb 2004 00:41:59 -0800, Pat O'Connell
wrote:



OTOH I suspect the deep cycle batteries might be better for higher
current drawing equipment, like a dew heater system.


Hi,

I have the Thousand Oaks "Digital Dew Heater" that lets you control
each of the four channels seperately. I picked up a Xantrex Xpower
Powerpack 400 (http://www.xantrex.com/products/product.asp?did=737)
last week, mostly for backup power for lighting in case the power went
out during the expected blizzzard (that dumped 40 inches on us
Thursday and Friday). Using two or three of the channels on the dew
heater, how long can I expect a fully charged battery to last? Here
are the DC specifications for the battery:

"Electrical Specifications

12 V DC Section
Internal battery type sealed, AGM (Absorbed
Glass Mat) lead acid
Internal battery voltage (nominal) 12 V DC
Internal battery capacity (minimum) 20 Ah
Internal battery CCA rating 200 CCA
DC Power Socket (maximum continuous load) 12 A with automatic reset
Built-in incandescent light (replaceable) 5 W bulb
Jump-start cable port 50 A
Jump-start fuse (external - user replaceable) 250 A"

Cheers,

- Craig

Craig Levine
Observing Chairman
RASC, Halifax Centre
www.halifax.rasc.ca
  #7  
Old February 22nd 04, 12:48 PM
Craig Levine
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default WalMart Portable Battery Pack?

On Sun, 22 Feb 2004 00:41:59 -0800, Pat O'Connell
wrote:



OTOH I suspect the deep cycle batteries might be better for higher
current drawing equipment, like a dew heater system.


Hi,

I have the Thousand Oaks "Digital Dew Heater" that lets you control
each of the four channels seperately. I picked up a Xantrex Xpower
Powerpack 400 (http://www.xantrex.com/products/product.asp?did=737)
last week, mostly for backup power for lighting in case the power went
out during the expected blizzzard (that dumped 40 inches on us
Thursday and Friday). Using two or three of the channels on the dew
heater, how long can I expect a fully charged battery to last? Here
are the DC specifications for the battery:

"Electrical Specifications

12 V DC Section
Internal battery type sealed, AGM (Absorbed
Glass Mat) lead acid
Internal battery voltage (nominal) 12 V DC
Internal battery capacity (minimum) 20 Ah
Internal battery CCA rating 200 CCA
DC Power Socket (maximum continuous load) 12 A with automatic reset
Built-in incandescent light (replaceable) 5 W bulb
Jump-start cable port 50 A
Jump-start fuse (external - user replaceable) 250 A"

Cheers,

- Craig

Craig Levine
Observing Chairman
RASC, Halifax Centre
www.halifax.rasc.ca
  #8  
Old February 22nd 04, 05:39 PM
Rod Mollise
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default WalMart Portable Battery Pack?

OTOH I suspect the deep cycle batteries might be better for higher
current drawing equipment, like a dew heater system.


Hi:

Or maybe not even then. I've been using one of the Walmart yellow "Prestone"
jump start packs for a couple of years to power a goto scope and a Dewbuster
heater system. Never have had a problem. I do recharge in the mornings, though,
and if the setup includes a CCD camera, computer, etc., a big deep-cycle
battery is definitely recommended.

Peace,
Rod Mollise
Author of _Choosing and Using a Schmidt Cassegrain Telescope_
Like SCTs and MCTs?
Check-out sct-user, the mailing list for CAT fanciers!
Goto http://members.aol.com/RMOLLISE/index.html
  #9  
Old February 22nd 04, 05:39 PM
Rod Mollise
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default WalMart Portable Battery Pack?

OTOH I suspect the deep cycle batteries might be better for higher
current drawing equipment, like a dew heater system.


Hi:

Or maybe not even then. I've been using one of the Walmart yellow "Prestone"
jump start packs for a couple of years to power a goto scope and a Dewbuster
heater system. Never have had a problem. I do recharge in the mornings, though,
and if the setup includes a CCD camera, computer, etc., a big deep-cycle
battery is definitely recommended.

Peace,
Rod Mollise
Author of _Choosing and Using a Schmidt Cassegrain Telescope_
Like SCTs and MCTs?
Check-out sct-user, the mailing list for CAT fanciers!
Goto http://members.aol.com/RMOLLISE/index.html
 




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