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When I was studying photography, one of the things that created problems was remote power for strobes. There were factory made power paks that cost a small fortune. The power paks take the place of the electrical outlet to allow use of studio lights in an outdoor setting.

One of the readers decided to make his own. He took a deep cycle battery, a small inverter, a trickle charger, a standard electric outlet, and a small fan like those used for computers. He made a wooden box big enough to hold the battery and other components, wired the inverter to the battery, wired the trickle charger to the battery, wired the fan to the inverter, and wired the electrical outlet to the inverter. I suppose lots of holes in the box can take the place of the fan.

The end result was a power pak that cost less than $100 to build rather than a store bought unit for $600-$800.

When not in use, the power pak's trickle charger was charging the battery.

In our possible scenarios, a small solar panel and charge controller could be used to charge the battery.

This has been the crudest of descriptions of the device, but it has been almost a decade since I read the srticle. The end result was cheap portable power.

Just an idea.

David
 

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I have built a similar devices using a military 5.56 ammo can. I mounted a 5 watt solar panel on them, a on/off switch and a 12 volt light mounted on the side. I use old lawn tractor batteries that don't have quite enough cranking power to start the mower but more than enough for lighting. I put a small 150 watt inverter inside the ammo can also. I can charge batteries, radios etc... and it's renewable. Just don't totally drain the battery or it will take days to re-charge with a 5 watt solar panel.
 
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