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Equipment Outfitting a serious gym. Vendors & suppliers. Devices & equipment

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Old 10-14-2008, 06:58 AM   #1
Eric Lester
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Battery Options

My garage gym is in a detached open air garage. There is no power. There is no where to run an extension cord from the house.

I would like to be able to power some lights, a cd player, possibly a heater this winter. Is there an economical situation to this? Like something that lets you plug electronics into a car battery? I don't really have any idea...
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Old 10-14-2008, 10:17 AM   #2
Henry Miller
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Re: Battery Options

http://www.otherpower.com/ (wfs) has a weath of information that may or may not be helpful. Mostly they are into generating your own power (they live miles from the grid), but there is plenty on running from batteris as well. I like to read the interesting stuff on this site once in a while, and they may inspire you.

Have you checked into running power to the garrage? After you look at your other costs, this could be more ecconomical than you thought, and then you have enough power for anything. Otherwise, you have several choices: generator, inverter/batteries, batteries with DC equipment, or self-contained systems. There are pros and cons to each.

A generator is easy, just fuel it up, start it up, and plug cords in. Downside is they are noisy. So long as the generator is big enough it will power everything you want. Most generators put out "dirty power" which is bad for CD players. After you add up the costs and headaches of the other systems this could be cheapest! (you can also wire the generator in so that latter you can run real lines to the garrage)

You can buy an inverter from most auto-parts store, though they are dirty power. You may be better off getting a more expensive one. Just make sure you figure how much power you will need so you get something the right size. There are books on this subject for good reason.

For batteries, just find an RV (or boat) place, and buy the 12 volt stuff you need. Then install it - you need to be somewhat handy, but this is safer than regular wiring. Make sure you have enough batteries, along with a way to get them to a charger (unless you put up solar or a windmill - $$$) Remember that batteries should not be run to less than 80% full, so buy extras.

For self contained systems, most boom-boxes will run for days on D cells (you can get rechargables as well). Coleman lanterns work well, and you can get them in gas, propane, or battery powered. Gas or propane lanters put out enough heat that if you start them early you may not need a heater - but make sure you get plenty of ventalation. I've also seen battery powered fans.

Forget about a heater from batteries. Buy something propane (oil, or anything else that burns). You can do this in theory, but you will be moving many tons of batteries to the garrage and back to make it work. If you do this for max effort moving the batteries to the garrage is a good WOD for 5-10 people. Even if you get a generator, you are better off not running electric heat from it - figgure using 3 times the fuel for electric heat over the same amount of heat from something else.

You can run from your car battery, but not for long - depending on how many lights you have you may end up with less than half an hour before the battery is too dead to start the car!
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