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Old 07-15-2020, 03:56 AM   #1
Paul Bennett
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Default Portable power for lightss, sm pwr equipt

Background: My 1950 Mercury is close to being driveable. An Engine swap and last minute wiring cleanup occupy most of the to-do-list items. Having to perform automotive work in a parking lot, toold in the out of the bed of my Ranger, I anticipate AC power needs for lights drills etc. I am in an 'independant living senior Apartment,' 1/2 mile from the location of the car. running. That should change in a few months, paying a mechanic for the engine swap at his exhaust shop.



I've replaced all rubber and fluids, and I converted the wiring to 12v while I still had a house/garage to work from. The car and my tool box is stuffed into a golf cart shed. for overnight storage. actual work can be done curbside, just don't need a bathroom. This is 1/2 mi from my apartment with no electrical power. Hence the topic of my thread. I need light.



The issue and providing a suitable work place:

I anticipate a 120vac need for 120v ac to power lights, soldering equipment, drill power, battery chargeretc. I think 500 watts would provide a quiet gasoline engine/ of equipment for this As there are always litle-olf-ladies who dislike noise, the size should be minimal.


What are you using or have used camping or at a buddies, which fits the bill, not overkill or too noisy.
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Old 07-15-2020, 06:10 AM   #2
PeteVS
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Default Re: Portable power for lightss, sm pwr equipt

A few years ago, I picked up a 1000 watt power inverter from Costco. It's a noiseless efficient electronic device that gets hooked up to a 12 volt battery and converts that power to 120 V AC. It's intended to be wired into the 12 V DC system of an RV or a boat but I got a pair of somewhat light jumper cables and cut both of the plugs off one end. I crimped terminals onto that end and connected them to the input of the inverter. I simply hook it up to a cars battery. (The one time I used it, it was with my pickup which, at the time, was my Ford Ranger.) It ran my 4" angle grinder very nicely but if I was grinding a bit too hard, it simply tripped out. I just turned the "power" switch to off, back to on and I was in business.
Only down side is that since the output voltage is 10 times the input voltage, the input current is going to be 10 times the output voltage. So, if you're drawing 8 amps with your tool or whatever, you'll be pulling 80 amps out of your battery. I'd suggest that you have your truck idling at least when you're pulling that kind of load so you won't wind up in a situation where you can't get your truck started again.
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Old 07-15-2020, 07:39 AM   #3
rich b
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Default Re: Portable power for lightss, sm pwr equipt

I would look at good battery tools (like the Milwaukee M18 line) and battery powered (or rechargeable) LED work lighting.

Less hassle than running a generator and quieter overall.
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Old 07-15-2020, 08:55 AM   #4
rotorwrench
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Default Re: Portable power for lightss, sm pwr equipt

I haven't used an inverter for a while. A person has to be certain what wattage they need since that is generally how the 12-volt to 115-volt inverters are rated. A company I worked for had 750 watt units that were good for lighting but they are limited and the truck had to be run every so often to keep the battery up. If battery powered hand power tools like drills or what have you are used then the inverter can be used for lighting only. If you need much more than that the a power generator would be the only way to get there.

The Honda generators I've used frequently are relatively quiet and will put out a pretty good wattage in a relatively small package. They are reliable but they are getting more expensive every year like everything else.

My brother drives a GM hybrid SUV and it has a 115-volt power receptacle in the rear compartment. The engine automatically starts up to charge the battery if it gets low on charge. He has used it for emergency power in his house during winter blackouts.

Last edited by rotorwrench; 07-15-2020 at 09:05 AM.
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Old 07-15-2020, 09:37 AM   #5
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Default Re: Portable power for lightss, sm pwr equipt

Buy a Honda or Yamaha generator. HF ones are cheaper but noisier. The quality Honda's or Yamaha's are always in demand so you can sell yours when you are down with your project.
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Old 07-15-2020, 09:43 AM   #6
earlyride
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Default Re: Portable power for lightss, sm pwr equipt

If you decide to go the battery route as rich b suggests, soldering can be done with a butane iron. I've used one out in the field where there wasn't any power. The iron is about the size of a cigar and works very well. I think we got it at grainger supply, but not sure.
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Old 07-15-2020, 09:54 AM   #7
joe 1950
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Default Re: Portable power for lightss, sm pwr equipt

for what’s going to cost maybe you’d be better off just to rent a place where you can work on it
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Old 07-15-2020, 04:49 PM   #8
Jack E/NJ
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Default Re: Portable power for lightss, sm pwr equipt

>>>Ranger>>>I am in an 'independant living senior Apartment,' 1/2 mile from the location of the car.>>>


Exchange Merc location with the Ranger. Use an extension cord from your apartment to work on the Merc. Shuffle, walk, jog or bike the 1/2 mile to get your Ranger and your daily exercise.


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Old 07-15-2020, 05:55 PM   #9
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Default Re: Portable power for lightss, sm pwr equipt

Hi Paul-my buddy here has a 1000 watt Yamaha generator that he uses for odd electrical needs on his acreage. It is the most quiet generator I have ever heard!!
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