Apr 29 2015

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12 Volt Power

Erich sez:

Under the chill dome and behind the cab are the 12v power distribution boxes.

Let’s call them PDB’s.

All the LED strips should be powered off these PDB’s, as well as any other 12v lights. (They can also handle phone chargers or other low power 12v toys.)

To turn them on.

1) Turn big battery switch in the triangle box to #1.

2) There is no second step. 



Totally separate issue:

Do you have 110?
(Generator or PG&E)

YES – Leave the plug in the triangle box with ORANGE tape in the plug with ORANGE tape.

That’s all
(This is the battery charger, it will keep the batteries charged from any 110 source)

NO – You have two options.

A) You ONLY want to run what’s plugged into the PDB’s

If so, do nothing. That’s all.

B) No 110 around and you want to run the lights that plug into the 110 sockets

1) UNplug the plug for the battery charger. (Orange tape)
2) PLUG in the inverter
3) Turn on the inverter

Now all the 110 sockets on the truck are running on battery power. (No halogen lights please, just led.)

Remember to reverse the plugs again when 110 is found so the batteries can recharge.  

How Long Will They Run?

We have 200Ah of battery power. 1Ah is equal to something using 1 amp for 1 hour. If you have 200 of those things, we have enough to run all 200 for 1 hour. Or, you could run 1 of those things for 200 hours. 

However, that is all theoretical. We like to incorporate a real world ‘safety factor’ into all calculations. Typically this means we double or half our calculations. For example, because we have 200Ah of battery, we will calculate using 100Ah just for safety. If something uses 1 amp, we calculate assuming it actually uses 2 amps. This keeps everything safe. 

Lets say you only want to turn on the comb lines. They use a total of 5 amps. This means we can run the comblines for 20 hours of constant use and still keep our batteries happy. 

5 amps x 20 hours = 100Ah.  

Lets say you want to run 6 of the rectangular “wash” lights that Boris put plugs on so they can be used for set up and tear down?

Theoreticaly they use only .6 amps, but lets fat double that for safety sake to 1.5 amps.

That means we can use them for 75 hours. The colored light bars also use .6 amps so we could run them alone for 75 hours. 

If we ran all the LED lights we have currently in the truck – the comblines, >>AND<< the wash lights >>AND<< the colored light bars – we could safely run them for 12 hours without damaging the batteries.

That’s comforting. 

Not so comforting is the fact that not all light is not generated equally. Halogen lights suck up a lot of power. A single 500w Halogen work light burns about 5 amps – by itself! If you need one for an hour or two… OK.. but not more. And to make matters worse, our utility inverter (total output of 7Amps, or 800W@110v) can only handle one of these beasts. In other words: Don’t use Halogens on battery power. 

Also on the “Not On Battery Power” list are:
*The sound system
*Heaters of any kind
*Fans, water pumps or electric motors

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