Portable powerpack for playing synths etc 'off the grid'

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Portable powerpack for playing synths etc 'off the grid'

Post by iphoenix » Sat Jul 09, 2011 1:19 am

Im wondering if anyone has found a suitable way of powering synths ( hardware) & low wattage recording gear in remote areas.
Im thinking a synth or 2 & a hardware hard disc recorder in a tent, in some remote wild inspiring place.. great acoustics etc for vocal recording etc.. no one around for 20miles ..total focus..
There most be some sort of battery pack/ inverter device , like for film/ video cameras etc.
I have successfully used an inverter before for such situations in car or campervan /RV, but Im talking about trekking in to the wild with a rucksack/ tent/ basic supplies for a week or so.
I know a laptop/daw/ small firewire bus powered A/I & minikeyboard / etc would be ideal for this, but I dont have that sort setup.
A MicroKorg & one of those Zoom handy recorders & similar would also be ideal, but dont have those either.
Any ideas?

Oh , I just found the other similar thread from last February.. (sorry)
That "Schumacher PP-2200 Portable Outdoor Power Unit" looks interesting & quite possibly just what Im looking for albeit its probably quite heavy ..too heavy for lugging in a rucksack for 10 miles.

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Re: Portable powerpack for playing synths etc 'off the grid'

Post by hyphen nation » Sat Jul 09, 2011 6:31 am

I'd look and see what RealGoods has...last I looked, granted it was years ago, they had portable solar kits. I had a friend who lived out of a van on the San Juan islands for a year who powered their things [computer, cell, etc] with something from their....

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Re: Portable powerpack for playing synths etc 'off the grid'

Post by iphoenix » Tue Jul 19, 2011 2:26 am

Thanks for the RealGoods Solar link..Hyphen nation, good stuff for possible future home or portable electrical solutions.

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Re: Portable powerpack for playing synths etc 'off the grid'

Post by elphcoil » Tue Jul 19, 2011 4:32 am

iphoenix , I'm into this idea too and it becomes super expensive in a hurry. I bought a gas powered inverter that rocks but you wouldn't want to strap its 55lbs of goodness to your back.

I'm pro solar but you pay through the nose for the time being. :? It all depends on how dedicated you are to the photon cause. :idea:
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Re: Portable powerpack for playing synths etc 'off the grid'

Post by cartesia » Tue Jul 19, 2011 7:08 am

You could grab a deep-cycle battery - boats/etc use them (regular car batteries are designed to give a short pulse of energy, not long sustained power.. you could probably still use one thought it just wouldnt be as efficient)

Then just get a little 12V->whatever your country's wall voltage is Inverter..

My thoguhts though would just be to buy gear that takes DC power input (most wallwart stuff) and build a rechargeable battery pack for each piece of gear.. Then just get one of those battery powered speaker systems

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Re: Portable powerpack for playing synths etc 'off the grid'

Post by FX23 » Tue Jul 19, 2011 8:14 pm

if only roland had made a battery powered mc303!

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Re: Portable powerpack for playing synths etc 'off the grid'

Post by Ashe37 » Wed Jul 20, 2011 8:20 am

Film and video camera use fairly large battery packs, or even belts of said battery packs.

I'd look at using a computer UPS, the draw of many synths is low enough they could run for awhile off one.

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Re: Portable powerpack for playing synths etc 'off the grid'

Post by hyphen nation » Fri Jul 22, 2011 4:20 am

iphoenix wrote:Thanks for the RealGoods Solar link..Hyphen nation, good stuff for possible future home or portable electrical solutions.
Any time, they are good peeps and have been doing this longer than anyone else I've seen...I drool occasionally for a home solar set up. The neighborhoods in my area pooled their resources to get solor kits for their houses. I miss the group buy for my neighborhood by a few weeks, but with the discounted purchase price and tax incentives, after 5 years the systems ended up costing zero dollars. The people fronted the cash, and were paid back in tax rebates...Oregon has changed the rules since last year, but you can still do it, and get about 75% back in taxes: http://www.imagineenergy.net/solarizeportland.shtml

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Re: Portable powerpack for playing synths etc 'off the grid'

Post by elphcoil » Sun Jul 24, 2011 3:51 am

The deep cycle batteries will definitely work as far as juice is concerned. The potential issue is weight; most deep cycle batteries I've seen weigh somewhere between 45-70 lbs which probably precludes a back-packable scenario. A custom LiPo solution might be interesting.
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Re: Portable powerpack for playing synths etc 'off the grid'

Post by iphoenix » Mon Jul 25, 2011 3:06 am

Some really interesting technology & potential future solutions coming up here based on your comments, thanks a lot Cartesia, Elphcoil, Ashe37, Hyphennation etc
The Lithium-ion polymer battery design concepts especially & the gas powered inverter are fascinating to me . Great stuff. A gas powered inverter, who would have thought. It sounds like something from the industrial age or Jules Verne . When you say 'Gas' , do you mean what we refer to as Petrol in Europe, or gas as in Butane etc or Methane even?
I love this sort of technology & as I said the idea of getting some choice synths (1 anyway) & a multitrack recorder/ guitar / mics essential supplies etc to a really peaceful inspiring beautiful remote place for a week or two.
I must investigate further.
I built a battery pack for my old Yamaha MT1X portastudio back then , years ago, when I was doing some remote film work on a moor. That worked really well but it had a DC input for wall wart, which as already stated makes things easy to set up .
Some Tesla based technology would be perfect as well & to electrify the whole grid worldwide & power vehicles for virtual free, but then there would be assasinations probably as there have been just to keep us dependent on the bill paying grid system & controlled. Ill stop now.

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Re: Portable powerpack for playing synths etc 'off the grid'

Post by cartesia » Mon Jul 25, 2011 6:07 am

I love this sort of technology & as I said the idea of getting some choice synths (1 anyway) & a multitrack recorder/ guitar / mics essential supplies etc to a really peaceful inspiring beautiful remote place for a week or two.
Me too! You should definitely do it!

I planned out a backpack-rig for myself - no PA for other people to listen, just a way for me to create in amazing places..

The basics were SP-404 + xiosynth25 (that would be enough really), + a kaoss pad 3 with battery pack or more practical, a boss 2track looper pedal like the RC-30, so I could build up some layers live.

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Re: Portable powerpack for playing synths etc 'off the grid'

Post by StepLogik » Mon Jul 25, 2011 2:52 pm

Xantrex makes nice portable power packs

Image
IMG: http://www.xantrex.com/images-content/b ... ck-400.jpg (SFW)

http://www.xantrex.com

I've got one of their older models and they get the job done. Batteries are replaceable. Only downside is that they are a bit expensive.

If you use one, power your gear through the DC power outlet where possible. Don't use wall-warts and the AC outlet, you'll lose too much power in heat loss.

I've been working on a busking setup, and I use one of those DC power outlet splitters to power several automotive power adapters (cigarette lighter DC plug to DC barrel connector with selectable voltage output):

Image
IMG: http://www.slipperybrick.com/wp-content ... er-usb.jpg (SFW)

Image
IMG: http://www.ccrane.com/images/medium/cig ... dapter.jpg (SFW)

This setup will run a small rig for hours.

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Re: Portable powerpack for playing synths etc 'off the grid'

Post by elphcoil » Wed Jul 27, 2011 1:04 am

iphoenix, yeah sorry i was referring to petrol powered inverters. it might be possible to skip the petrol and use butanol in these small engines. the energy density of butanol is much closer to petrol than ethanol is. it may not be legal to use butanol as fuel in your area but it's interesting that it'll run in most engines without any sort of engine modifications.

propane and butane generators do exist. i believe honda makes a butane powered unit.

have a look at this petrol powered inverter. this type of approach is highly portable and it weighs in at 12 or 13 kilos.

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Re: Portable powerpack for playing synths etc 'off the grid'

Post by iphoenix » Wed Jul 27, 2011 5:54 am

Thanks folks..great info. That Xantrex Powerpack looks like just the thing Im looking for Steplogik, especially if using a car to recharge the unit when needed.

The generator looks good too Elphcoil, but its very expensive for a small generator. Ive seen similar for less than half that price albeit not a Yamaha, much cheaper & obviously not as good build.

Sometimes Aldi ( European chain store , I think its recently in America too) sell a similar sized generator for about 200 Euro= $290, not sure how long it would last though. I bought an inverter from them 5 years ago that still works well ( from car battery /in car dc socket)

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Re: Portable powerpack for playing synths etc 'off the grid'

Post by cartesia » Wed Jul 27, 2011 2:22 pm

some friends of mine run crappy hundred-dollar chinese generators, they always sound like they're gonna die at any moment, but theyve been going for probably 2 years now

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