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I'm 39 years olds and I'm just trying to find my place in the world. I've had a few careers, owned a few businesses, and overcame a few challenges. Now, after an entire life-time of trying my hardest to be who and what I thought everybody else wanted me to be, I'm finally ready to be myself. The fun part is uncovering who that is.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Inverter, Battery Starter, Solar Panels - Oh My!

today has been somewhat slow and confusing. i woke up and got out of bed around 4pm which is late even for me; however, i partook of some thirst-quenching wine and wine coolers last night. considering that was combined with my medication, 4pm doesn't seem that bad.

i did come up with an awesome name for my minivan. his name is dude. i thought and thought and thought and it was the only name that fit. so now i can go "dude? dude." lol. i'm pretty happy and i think dude is pretty groovy himself.

i also stopped by my mechanic's shop and asked him to take the middle row seats out. he said ok for $20. he wanted to come by today but it didn't happen. i was at the gym later than i thought i would be - oh, i found a gym i liked and signed up today - so i called and rescheduled for tomorrow.  

then i started researching how i'm going to have power in dude. it left me so freaking clueless. my main needs are power my laptop, my printer (rarely), my camera, lights, a fan in the summer time, and maybe a heater in the winter.  right now, i think the simplest way may be to buy a battery starter and get some solar panels to recharge that.

i found a battery starter on walmart.com. it's the wagan power dome ex compact generator. below is the description walmart has for it. the only thing i understand is that it has 600 amps and they claim i can run and charge appliances:

Wagan's Power Dome EX EL-2454 is a portable power source so you can run and charge your appliances. It's powerful enough to jumpstart your car and inflate your tires in an emergency. Plus it includes 2 AC and 2 DC power outlets, 5 built-in LED utility lights, an AM/FM radio, USB port plus iPod / audio input socket.
  • 600 cranking amp jumpstarter
  • 260 PSI air compressor
  • two 18 amp hour DC power sources
  • two 400 watt AC power sources
  • 5 built-in LED utility lights
  • AM/FM radio with antenna
  • USB power port to charge your MP3 player, cell phone, digital camera, etc.
  • iPod / audio input socket allows you to listen to your tunes <18 AH sealed lead acid battery>
  • Heavy duty rust resistant booster clamps
  • Industrial quality #6 gauge cables
  • Safe storage for booster cables
  • Quick flow inflates 16'' tires in 5-10 minutes
  • Sports ball needles included
  • AC and DC charging adapters included
  • Quick and easy recharging time - AC: 34 hours, DC: 12 hours
  • Built-in safety features: overload and equipment protection
  • 18 amp hour sealed lead acid battery
  • Perfect for cars, vans, SUVs, trucks, bikes and rafts
  • Able to run TVs, laptops, CD players, DVD players, thermo-electric cooler/warmers, etc.
  • Recharge digital cameras, camcorders, cell phones, PDAs, tools, etc.

then i ran across a website where this guy said he put solar panels in his windshield and used them to charge his deep cycle battery. ok. my thing is, if a $100 generator can do what i need it to do, do i need a battery too? or do i just need one or the other? and where does the inverter come into play? do i need that for a battery starter as well as a battery?  and how do i connect the solar panel up to the generator? 

i found some solar panels i think might work but one of the reviewers said that the panels have surges that would fry your appliances so you needed to make sure and get a volt regulator. does that apply for panel to generator connections also? 

i have 1001 questions and i hate having questions.  which is just my $hit. i'm going to have to mosey on over to the vandwellers group and ask them for help cause there's no use in my recreating the wheel.  

below is a picture of the solar panels i was looking at: 

sunforce products folding solar panel -25 watt, model #22020

they're over $300 on amazon. before i spend that kind of money, i really need to know my electrical problems are forever a thing of the past.

in addition to all that frustration, i went ahead and purchased some more stuff for my virgin voyage.  i bought a heater and a chair. i'm on the fence about the chair. i don't need it now but i will need it for the rendezvous in january. i would hate for them to be out of that specific chair if i wait until december. anyway, below are pictures of that and some of the other stuff i purchased today and yesterday.

take care and be blessed.

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