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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone, We are looking to stay off the grid for roughly three days at a time. I've been really interested in the Arkpak for its portability... Just purchased a small 12volt Coleman cooler. Looking to buy a TV and some Led lights too. I don't think we need a full battery bank and inverter (cost), but would love to hear everyone's feedback on what they have, use, and why...
Thanks
 

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You can sort of drylab how well the Arkpak will work for you by calculating how much electricity each of your devices will draw.

The Arkpak does not come with a battery - you buy a battery with the capability of up to 130 amp/hours. Assuming you are using an AGM battery, you have access to approximately half of those amp hours to power your stuff.

In my experience (am currently on a month long road trip with an Arkpak) the LED lights take so little electricity that they barely register. The fans and winches take much more.

Your cooler should provide some information about how much current it draws. I have no idea about how much current a TV would take.



You can purchase a charger that works off your alternator if you are driving. I also use an solar panel. The Arkpak comes with a small inverter also USB charging port.
 

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Suggestion:

When shopping for a TV, if its not too big, go to Best Buy and look for TV's that have a wall wart power supply. Check the label to see if it provides 12V output.

If so, you can wire the TV directly to the aux battery, no inverter needed. Much more efficient! I have a 22" Insignia TV/DVD in my PM. Works great, picks up about 20 channels with a mag mount antenna. Hardly impacts the battery!

Cost me $129. It's just a regular house TV but uses a wall wart instead of a built in power supply.

A similar RV TV sells for about $299

Ed

Ps. my Coleman cooler uses about 5 amps continuous... not too good. I keep looking at a real 12V box refrigerator/freezer. Expensive, but I think it uses less power and gets a lot colder (maintains freezing temps if needed)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Absolutely great info, Thank you!

TV with the wall wart is a great idea...

Zwarte, Is there anything you don't like about your Arkpak?
Have you ever found that it is not enough?
 

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Suggestion:

When shopping for a TV, if its not too big, go to Best Buy and look for TV's that have a wall wart power supply. Check the label to see if it provides 12V output.

If so, you can wire the TV directly to the aux battery, no inverter needed. Much more efficient! I have a 22" Insignia TV/DVD in my PM. Works great, picks up about 20 channels with a mag mount antenna. Hardly impacts the battery!

Cost me $129. It's just a regular house TV but uses a wall wart instead of a built in power supply.

A similar RV TV sells for about $299

Ed

Ps. my Coleman cooler uses about 5 amps continuous... not too good. I keep looking at a real 12V box refrigerator/freezer. Expensive, but I think it uses less power and gets a lot colder (maintains freezing temps if needed)

I was looking to potentially eliminate wall warts and use DC. How do you wire those up and are you concerned with voltage regulation?
 

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I was looking to potentially eliminate wall warts and use DC. How do you wire those up and are you concerned with voltage regulation?
Hi,
If you carry a laptop already you might also consider using it for your TV. They sell gadgets that allow you to use your laptop for a TV.

This is one version of the gadget -- its a TV tuner that converts regular broadcast TV to something your laptop understands: [ame]http://www.amazon.com/Hauppauge-1191-WinTV-HVR-955Q-Tuner-Notebook/dp/B001DEYVXO/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1434765620&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=wintv+V7[/ame]



Gary
 

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Hi,
If you carry a laptop already you might also consider using it for your TV. They sell gadgets that allow you to use your laptop for a TV.

This is one version of the gadget -- its a TV tuner that converts regular broadcast TV to something your laptop understands: http://www.amazon.com/Hauppauge-119...qid=1434765620&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=wintv+V7



Gary

Some laptops take 60-65 watts. Some AC/DC TVs can go as low as 24-28 watts. I think laptops take more power when they are charging the battery as well. But my problem is that I like to use my laptop while I am watching TV :)
 

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I was looking to potentially eliminate wall warts and use DC. How do you wire those up and are you concerned with voltage regulation?
You buy a TV with a wall wart, but in the PM you use the aux battery INSTEAD OF the wall wart. The small wall warts are not regulated much, and the TV will prefer the clean DC a battery provides!

Just get a wire with a plug that matches the one on the wall wart (radio shack?). Be careful about which wire is + and which is -

Leave the wall wart at home in case you want to use the TV in the house someday...

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Excellent advice, Plus and minuses to Arkpak/onboard Inverter dual battery setup?
 

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Some laptops take 60-65 watts. Some AC/DC TVs can go as low as 24-28 watts. I think laptops take more power when they are charging the battery as well. But my problem is that I like to use my laptop while I am watching TV :)
Hi,
I guess that's true, but I've been looking for a new laptop lately, and the newer ones that use the Intel Hazwell or (better yet) Broadwell chips use a lot less power. The 14 inch ones I'm looking at have 50 watt-hr batteries and a claimed battery life of 6 or 8 hours -- even if they only do half that the power consumption would be less than 15 watts.

That TV software does let you watch TV in a window while doing other stuff with the laptop -- not sure how practical that is.

Not trying to push this solution at all, but we like it because we are going to have the laptop anyway, and using it for what little TV watching we are going to do just means we don't have to find a place to mount and/or store a TV.

Gary
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Lynnandj,

Had no idea there was a product out there like that... Thanks for the info
 

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In my experience 12v portable coolers are a waste of money. They consume way too much power and do not cool well at all. You would be well ahead of the game with a good quality picnic cooler and a bag of ice every day. Cheaper and better if you don't have or want a real fridge.
 
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