Need Deep Cycle/Inverter Recommendations

A place to discuss all things involving power and technology (including cameras). Generator tips, alternative energy, lighting your camp/bike/art/self, sound systems and more.
Post Reply
User avatar
Lightspeed
Posts: 33
Joined: Thu Sep 10, 2015 5:16 am
Burning Since: 2018
Camp Name: Journeylizm
Location: Kailua, Hawaii - Seattle, WA

Need Deep Cycle/Inverter Recommendations

Post by Lightspeed » Sat Jun 08, 2019 6:25 am

Hello! I am hoping I can get some help with a basic deep cycle batter and inverter setup. I have done quite a bit of reading and research but for some reason I can't wrap my head around it.

Last year I used a Honda EU2200i at times to run some fucking Christmas lights and it was ridiculous, a waste, and probably annoying to my neighbors. I'm still going to run the Honda for our AC, but at night just for camp lights and light use (phone/battery charing) I'd like to put together a setup using a deep cycle battery and inverter.

I'd be so grateful for any tips or suggestions on what to get.
----------------------------------------------------------
I love SilverGirl70's Modified Monkey Hut for Kodiak & Shiftpod!

User avatar
Sham
Moderator
Posts: 8491
Joined: Thu Oct 23, 2008 2:10 am
Location: The hidden mythical place.....

Re: Need Deep Cycle/Inverter Recommendations

Post by Sham » Sat Jun 08, 2019 7:01 am

There are many more adept than me on this, but I had a similar set up this past year. If your lights are LED's, you can use the smallest inverter--maybe 100 watts. The battery should be good for a few days. Harbor Freight actually has decent inverters. I never had one fail one me. As a test at home, I ran a dorm size refrigerator/freezer for about 5 hours on a 400 watt inverter and a deep cycle battery.. I was never expecting that kind of time.

User avatar
Lightspeed
Posts: 33
Joined: Thu Sep 10, 2015 5:16 am
Burning Since: 2018
Camp Name: Journeylizm
Location: Kailua, Hawaii - Seattle, WA

Re: Need Deep Cycle/Inverter Recommendations

Post by Lightspeed » Sat Jun 08, 2019 7:37 am

Sham wrote:
Sat Jun 08, 2019 7:01 am
There are many more adept than me on this, but I had a similar set up this past year. If your lights are LED's, you can use the smallest inverter--maybe 100 watts. The battery should be good for a few days. Harbor Freight actually has decent inverters. I never had one fail one me. As a test at home, I ran a dorm size refrigerator/freezer for about 5 hours on a 400 watt inverter and a deep cycle battery.. I was never expecting that kind of time.
Thanks Sham, those numbers give me a good idea of what to look for. And the Harbor Freight tip helps, looks like their prices are better than others. Thanks!
----------------------------------------------------------
I love SilverGirl70's Modified Monkey Hut for Kodiak & Shiftpod!

User avatar
FIGJAM
Posts: 10235
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 10:39 am
Location: apache junction az.

Re: Need Deep Cycle/Inverter Recommendations

Post by FIGJAM » Sat Jun 08, 2019 8:05 am

How many lights?

The solar strings of LEDs last all night.

If you get 12 volt lights, you won't need the inverter. :)
"Don't buy ur Burn...........Build ur Burn!"

"If I can't find an answer, I'll create one!!!"

Fuck Im Good Just Ask Me

User avatar
Jackass
Posts: 2089
Joined: Fri Jun 04, 2010 9:25 pm
Location: way out in left field

Re: Need Deep Cycle/Inverter Recommendations

Post by Jackass » Sat Jun 08, 2019 4:55 pm

I run quite a few strings of leds, and all I use is one of those "80 watt" harbor freight inverters that plug into a cigarette lighter socket ($18 I believe). I have an inverter on my trailer, but it uses a lot more juice just to idle than the lights themselves require... I don't charge this battery at all during the week, it's a back-up for my trailer and is used just for camp lighting, small electronics charging, and a bilge pump for my shower.
About ten years on it and it's a little slow to start sometimes (smack it), but always works. I split the one plug to multiples with a cord and it stays right in the dirt under my trailer all week long, so you know it's a damn robust unit.

Image
Sooner or later, it will get real strange...

11th Principle: Depussyfication - Keeping Burning Man potentially lethal. Token

User avatar
Lightspeed
Posts: 33
Joined: Thu Sep 10, 2015 5:16 am
Burning Since: 2018
Camp Name: Journeylizm
Location: Kailua, Hawaii - Seattle, WA

Re: Need Deep Cycle/Inverter Recommendations

Post by Lightspeed » Sat Jun 08, 2019 11:14 pm

Jackass wrote:
Sat Jun 08, 2019 4:55 pm
I run quite a few strings of leds, and all I use is one of those "80 watt" harbor freight inverters that plug into a cigarette lighter socket ($18 I believe). I have an inverter on my trailer, but it uses a lot more juice just to idle than the lights themselves require... I don't charge this battery at all during the week, it's a back-up for my trailer and is used just for camp lighting, small electronics charging, and a bilge pump for my shower.
About ten years on it and it's a little slow to start sometimes (smack it), but always works. I split the one plug to multiples with a cord and it stays right in the dirt under my trailer all week long, so you know it's a damn robust unit.

Image
Thanks! This is great to know that this things is usefull. I am also looking for an additional, even smaller solution for a van build I'm working on and had checked it out a couple times.
FIGJAM wrote:
Sat Jun 08, 2019 8:05 am
How many lights?

The solar strings of LEDs last all night.

If you get 12 volt lights, you won't need the inverter. :)
Whoa, FIGJAM! Huge fan! lol

I don't have a lot: 4x20' LED Christmas lights and a 4m strip of 5050 that I'm going to make into a camp beacon for the flagpole. Solar lights are good idea, I think I might throw $20 at some to try out this year.

Sort of trying to build onto the system that I already have with the eu2200i, as well as put together something that I can grow with into the future as I slowly expand my camp. So I'm thinking deep cycle with inverter is good approach for me; I'll be able to charge the battery with the Honda, and also via future solar panels. Just trying to find the right inverter/battery combo. I should have explained this in the beginning. I very much appreciate your tips!
----------------------------------------------------------
I love SilverGirl70's Modified Monkey Hut for Kodiak & Shiftpod!

User avatar
Jackass
Posts: 2089
Joined: Fri Jun 04, 2010 9:25 pm
Location: way out in left field

Re: Need Deep Cycle/Inverter Recommendations

Post by Jackass » Sun Jun 09, 2019 11:28 am

With the gennie, a deep cycle and an inverter or two, I really see no reason to add solar panels.
The gennie can produce several times the energy produced by the solar panels in a fraction of the time and with greater reliability, covered in dust, rain or shine...

Solar panels tend to be bulky, somewhat fragile, and need to be cleaned and aimed to maintain efficiency. Not so much for the rest of your system.
Sooner or later, it will get real strange...

11th Principle: Depussyfication - Keeping Burning Man potentially lethal. Token

User avatar
FIGJAM
Posts: 10235
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 10:39 am
Location: apache junction az.

Re: Need Deep Cycle/Inverter Recommendations

Post by FIGJAM » Sun Jun 09, 2019 12:43 pm

There are some really bright 12 volt sets out there, and if it was me, I'd bring a charger for the battery and not bother with an inverter.
"Don't buy ur Burn...........Build ur Burn!"

"If I can't find an answer, I'll create one!!!"

Fuck Im Good Just Ask Me

User avatar
Lightspeed
Posts: 33
Joined: Thu Sep 10, 2015 5:16 am
Burning Since: 2018
Camp Name: Journeylizm
Location: Kailua, Hawaii - Seattle, WA

Re: Need Deep Cycle/Inverter Recommendations

Post by Lightspeed » Wed Jun 12, 2019 3:16 am

Jackass wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 11:28 am
With the gennie, a deep cycle and an inverter or two, I really see no reason to add solar panels.
The gennie can produce several times the energy produced by the solar panels in a fraction of the time and with greater reliability, covered in dust, rain or shine...

Solar panels tend to be bulky, somewhat fragile, and need to be cleaned and aimed to maintain efficiency. Not so much for the rest of your system.
I had a neighbor that had a pretty great solar system going that powered his lights and whatnot. Seemed to work for him. It was inspiring, for sure. But I agree, it would be unnecessary. I think I just like the gadgetry! haha
FIGJAM wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 12:43 pm
There are some really bright 12 volt sets out there, and if it was me, I'd bring a charger for the battery and not bother with an inverter.
Any tips on what kind of battery I should look for?
----------------------------------------------------------
I love SilverGirl70's Modified Monkey Hut for Kodiak & Shiftpod!

User avatar
some seeing eye
Posts: 3172
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2008 12:06 pm
Burning Since: 1999
Camp Name: Woo
Location: The Oregon

Re: Need Deep Cycle/Inverter Recommendations

Post by some seeing eye » Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:39 am

The go-to deep cycle battery is from Costco. With wally-mart, you would have to do a lot of quality research. You will need a voltmeter or a battery charge meter for the type of battery to know when to charge.

Today many small inverters have USB charging ports to charge that phone you shouldn't be using! A sealed inverter would be better than a vented inverter, but they are really so cheap that they can be destroyed by playa dust.

The Alternative Energy Zone is a village worth a visit on playa. They have all the lore on batteries, along with the Solar Death RayTM!
increasing the signal to noise ratio with compassion

User avatar
FIGJAM
Posts: 10235
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 10:39 am
Location: apache junction az.

Re: Need Deep Cycle/Inverter Recommendations

Post by FIGJAM » Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:11 am

:?
Last edited by FIGJAM on Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
"Don't buy ur Burn...........Build ur Burn!"

"If I can't find an answer, I'll create one!!!"

Fuck Im Good Just Ask Me

User avatar
FIGJAM
Posts: 10235
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 10:39 am
Location: apache junction az.

Re: Need Deep Cycle/Inverter Recommendations

Post by FIGJAM » Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:12 am

I have these in all my vehicles and trailers.

101 amp hrs.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/EverStart-Le ... /180350522
"Don't buy ur Burn...........Build ur Burn!"

"If I can't find an answer, I'll create one!!!"

Fuck Im Good Just Ask Me

User avatar
Captain Goddammit
Posts: 8367
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2003 9:34 am
Burning Since: 2000
Camp Name: First Camp
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: Need Deep Cycle/Inverter Recommendations

Post by Captain Goddammit » Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:00 am

Since you’re planing on future expansion and also run a generator, I say skip the low powered junk you’ll waste your money on when you throw it away later.
Get at least a 1000 watt inverter, and whatever you do, get a pure sine wave inverter.
Don’t buy a super cheap shit box. Many things including a lot of LED lights won’t operate at full brightness, and will have an irritating high frequency flicker, unless you get a pure sine wave unit. Microwaves don’t like the cheapie sets either.
As far as the “idle” current a bigger unit has, forget it, you’re running a generator during the day, you can change the batteries, that tiny draw is insignificant.
GreyCoyote: "At this rate it wont be long before he is Admiral Fukkit."

LowePro
Posts: 653
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2012 2:58 pm

Re: Need Deep Cycle/Inverter Recommendations

Post by LowePro » Wed Jun 12, 2019 3:16 pm

Sent you a PM with some links. I have used an inexpensive Bestek 400w inverter from the "rain forest" for 5 yrs with good luck--for the basics (charge cameras, run LEDs and small stereo, etc). Didn't run A/C or any major appliances tho. But still going strong.
Inverter needs to be keep cool and out of the dust, so rig up a crate or bin system to store your power kit.
Deep Cycle battery: Get a 100 Amp-Hour battery and if fully charged, it should last all week if you're frugal and remember to turn lights off when you go to bed.

User avatar
Captain Goddammit
Posts: 8367
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2003 9:34 am
Burning Since: 2000
Camp Name: First Camp
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: Need Deep Cycle/Inverter Recommendations

Post by Captain Goddammit » Sat Jun 15, 2019 10:22 am

About dust: I shopped Target and such and found a plastic bin with a top that fit my inverter with some space around it. I screwed some pieces of wood through the bottom to provide a mounting surface and drilled holes to run the cables through.
I silicone-sealed the crap out of all the holes where the cables went through. I had this on my Mutant Vehicle in a place that would get a LOT of dust and it stayed clean, several years in a row. I still use that unit in another application, still like new.
Get one with a remote on/off so you never have to open the box at all.

I favor the Xantrex ProWatt SW series. They make a 600, a 1000, and a 2000. They’re not terribly expensive and really work well. Remote control is available for about $20.
GreyCoyote: "At this rate it wont be long before he is Admiral Fukkit."

Post Reply

Return to “Power & Electronics”