Engel battpaks

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Engel battpaks

Postby Dettie » Thu Feb 11, 2010 10:17 pm

I saw some on display today but the sales guy didn't know much about them. Does anyone have one? At $400 they seem like a good way to use battery power to charge laptops and an indoor light.

I have an inverter to charge the laptop and watch DVD's at night but get paranoid that I'll flatten the car battery.

Are they any good?

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Re: Engel battpaks

Postby Bradd » Fri Feb 12, 2010 9:54 am

There seems to be 2 models, a 28 amp hour and a 56 amp hour

$400 would be a bit pricey if its only the 28

I use one of those Jump Starter battery pack things you can get from Super Cheap Auto (or other auto shops)
Cost me $129 for one with 38 amp hour battery (Lead acid), has Cigarette socket, light and can be charged from car or home.
Works great for charging batteries, ipods, mobile phones, portable DVD player and other 12 volt stuff.
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Re: Engel battpaks

Postby Dettie » Fri Feb 12, 2010 10:13 am

Thanks so much Bradd... great tip! Is it ok to attach an inverter to one of those for charging 240 volt leads ie laptop?

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Re: Engel battpaks

Postby Bradd » Fri Feb 12, 2010 1:18 pm

I have used a 120 watt and a 300 watt inverter to charge things like mobiles, iPods etc but have not tried a laptop (as I do not have one).
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When you have to wait a year to sleep next to a tree, something is wrong. ~George Carlin
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Re: Engel battpaks

Postby snake_dr » Mon Feb 15, 2010 2:28 pm

A friend of mine has a thumper battery pack (http://www.homeof12volt.com/shop/index. ... 6b4701844a). I guess they are all the same in essence.

Its awesome. They arent cheap but if you dont want to go to the trouble of getting a dual battery kit fitted they are great. A dual battery system will set you back quite a good deal more as well depending on sizes and if your doing it yourself.

You can charge them off your car, they can be charged inside your car unlike a normal battery pack and have good plugs and connections included.

I think they are a good idea and if you want some peace of mind in the situations your talking about Id be going for one.
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Re: Engel battpaks

Postby Dettie » Mon Feb 15, 2010 6:52 pm

Snake, thanks for that link. I went to Repco this morning and sussed them out a bit and I think if I just spend $130 like Bradd's one, it'll keep me out of trouble. Having said that, they do look powerful and good value for the extra power!! I'm *trying* (lol) to keep my costs down as much as possible, seeing as my hubby just isn't really into it the way I am. I'll keep one of those in mind for down the track.

Cheers
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Re: Engel battpaks

Postby snake_dr » Mon Feb 15, 2010 11:49 pm

Damn lack of money, its always getting in the way of life!

/me heads out the back to make sure the 80mm of rain we got in the last 3 hours hasnt washed my money tree it away, well at least the wife tells me that i seem to think we have one :-)

whatever does the job though, the packs arent cheap. Actually aldi have one on sale coming up this week i saw, might be cheaper than the jobs at repco. www.aldi.com.au not sure if you have one close by

http://www.aldi.com.au/au/html/offers/2827_12012.htm
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Re: Engel battpaks

Postby snake_dr » Mon Feb 15, 2010 11:50 pm

actually just checked your location, i have a feeling they might have different specials for different states but check it out anyway if your interested.
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Re: Engel battpaks

Postby Dettie » Tue Feb 16, 2010 12:09 am

Guess where I'm heading on Thursday morning... thanks Snake!

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Re: Engel battpaks

Postby Bradd » Tue Feb 16, 2010 1:28 pm

The Aldi one has 17.2 amp hr battery, Although at $79 its a good by

Mine has 38 amp hr,
It is SCA brand from Super Cheap Auto and they often have specials on these.
http://www.supercheapauto.com.au/online ... 41#details

Only Half the capacity is really usable and the Recharge Me light will start flashing at 50%
You need to work out how much battery capacity you might need.
Charging from the 12 socket in the car is a very slow process and even the 240volt charger
is an overnight job.

Our recent 2 week trip we managed to barely get through the 2 weeks using it mostly
for low power stuff like iPods etc, heaviest use would have been the portable DVD player
We made sure we hooked it up to recarge in the car every where we went by the 10th day
and even had a 1.3 watt solar panel plugged into it :roll:

Other trips of a week or less we had plenty of capacity
Some national parks have long waiting lists for camping reservations.
When you have to wait a year to sleep next to a tree, something is wrong. ~George Carlin
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Re: Engel battpaks

Postby Dettie » Thu Mar 04, 2010 8:13 pm

Snake & Bradd, I ended up buying the Aldi one for $79 - the use is really just for laptop & portable DVD recharging so even though it's the 19 v 38, I think it should do the job.

Cheers guys!
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Re: Engel battpaks

Postby dea » Sat Mar 06, 2010 12:23 am

i wanna get one of them .. we are getting a battery put on camper soon & the car done but just dont have the $1000 to get it all done yet .. so think one of them might do the trick for easter
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Re: Engel battpaks

Postby Dettie » Sat Mar 06, 2010 12:23 pm

Dea, if I use mine before Easter, I'll definitely let you know how it goes. I probably should just try it out at home anyway... will get back to you on that one.

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Re: Engel battpaks

Postby Mandrake » Sat Mar 06, 2010 11:01 pm

It is far more electrically efficient to charge laptops and camera batteries from 12 volt rather than running an inverter to run a charger .. If you buy one of the jump start units it will pay you to buy a 12 volt charger cable for your laptop at the same time - Why convert DC to AC so that you can then turn that AC into DC ??

I have a small battery box for inside the tent - it has 3 X 7 aH batteries in it and some cigarette lighter plugs and a Blue LED triple light .. The blue light stays on at night so that us old folks can see the floor of the camper when climbing out of bed !! The batteries are used to charge camera batteries and phones .. Solar panel is used to re-charge that battery box ...

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Re: Engel battpaks

Postby Dettie » Sun Mar 07, 2010 12:41 pm

Yes, Mandrake I'm trying to find a solution for 12v for the laptop. I have an MacBook which is a bit tricky because Apple hasn't manufactured a 12v charger which is crazy, and I'm a bit weary of using a non-compliant charger.

I tested out my el-cheapo unit yesterday by way of the inverter and the batt-pack became a bit unhappy after 30 mins.

I've been sussing out solar panels and will probably end up going this route so we can camp independently. The whole battery pack thing really confuses me with working out wattage usage.

We will continue running the fridge on gas mode as it seems to be better for the fridge in gas mode, so really just need a battery to charge the laptop, DVD player and camera. If someone just waved a magic wand and told me what is best for that setup, I think I"d just do it! :armsup

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