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About RattleSnake

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  • Birthday 09/10/1977


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    House builder

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  1. If you build it yourself from an inverter and your own batteries it will be WAY, WAY more cost effective than a portable power station. It is a good idea. It's mainly a cosmetic improvement but also is better if kids are around and you have the option of adding extra 12V outlets, USB, etc. I heard that the commercial ones often don't last. That's my experience as well. One thing to combat this is to always keep them charged. These things don't do well with full discharge. Kind of a design flaw considering people buy them to keep in the trunk of their car for some future need. But you have it exactly right; you're paying for "pretty" not for functionality. Most of the off-the-shelf ones have really cheap internals with low grade, low capacity batteries. Some of the vehicle jump starters now have inverters and 12VDC outlets. For a hundred bucks or so they'll give power but not for computers or other sensitive electronics or for heating elements (cheap, modified sine wave inverters). They are not even close to the power you'll get from a typical marine battery. But they do have 12VDC, USB, maybe a compressor and can jump your car. My brother in law carries a Stanley Fatmax power station in his car, both for emergency use and for his CPAP machine in case of power outage. He seems to like it and I know it's saved his bacon once or twice. Goal Zero seems to be pretty good stuff but it sure is pricey for the amount of power you get. One of the best commercially available stations is the Goal Zero Yeti 1250 but hold onto your wallet with both hands. If you know enough to hook up a marine battery to an inverter and you aren't worried about installing the battery in a box of some kind, you are handy enough to build a pretty capable power station. For that matter you are probably handy enough to replace the battery in a power station when it fails if you go the commercial route. Folks get pretty fancy building these. Look at some SHTF/preparedness sites, solar power forums and also CPAP forums. Folks with sleep apnea like to camp too, and CPAP batteries can be crazy expensive. There used to be a good write-up on how to build a power station on the cpap.com forum. The advantage of building your own is that you can choose how much capacity you need, number and type of outlets, inverter output type (square, modified sine or sine wave) and wattage. If you don't plan to carry it far you can make the power station pretty darn heavy. A wheeled toolbox, wooden box attached to a hand truck, or the largest battery box you can find will work. Whatever you use just has to have room inside for more than just the battery you're using. Going the other way, there are plenty of small AGM batteries that would fit in a battery box with room to spare for a 150w inverter. You can add marine grade 12VDC sockets, USB sockets and also SAE auto connectors to hook up a charger cable or solar panel. One reason to use SAE connectors is because you can install a Battery Tender inside the box so you can charge the battery (albeit slowly) from any outlet... the Battery Tender uses SAE connectors, so it would be plug and play. Keeping the battery on a maintenance charger means it's always charged and the battery will stay healthy. Mount an inverter in or on the box or better yet (if you can solder) mount the inverter's front plate on the side of the box and the remainder of the inverter where the cooling fans can get some air. Run separate cables to the battery so you can leave the inverter powered down if you don't need it and still have USB or 12VDC. This is important because inverters burn considerable power to operate. If you can run on DC you will run ~30% longer than the same output on inverter power. The bigger the inverter capacity, the higher the loss. If you want a head start, look at "marine power station" boxes. They are meant for trolling motors. You can find them with built in gauges, a 12VDC output and external posts to wire to the inverter of your choice. All you need to add is a battery, inverter and a car USB adapter and you're set. If somebody just interested to buy the portable power station, feel free to check this article and read about latest models on the market.
  2. On another subforum, poster posted about a Ryobi 700 running/900 peak watt propane generator, 25lbs, and $299 at HomeDepot: https://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=64614&highlight=Ryobi+propane https://www.ryobitools.com/products/details/900-watt-propane-inverter-generator Big advantages include use of propane fuel (can use the disposable canisters or hookup to Westy propane tank with proper hoses and attachments), light weight and small size, and relatively inexpensive. For those who got rid of the 100 lb or so Onan Generator as too noisy, too big and unnecessary if don't have rooftop air conditioner, etc., but still have propane tank--this Ryobi might be a good emergency generator to recharge batteries, etc. It might still be too big to fit inside the Westy. While the Honda and Yamaha generators are top-notch and have more output, they cost a lot more and need gas. Side Note: Westfalia once (and may still) offered a fuel cell option, which is good for recharging batteries like solar panels. http://www.efoy.com/
  3. I used this mower a little more today. Today I finished my lawn. After 1 full mow with it, I can definitely say that this is so far the best mower I have ever used. I was amazed at how this mower cut through tall grass. There was a patch of grass that had probably grown to about a foot tall. It was in the back yard near my neighbors garden. He waters it sometimes so the section of grass within about 3-4 feet of the garden always receives a little water. I don't usually water my lawn unless I put grass seed down. Every gas mower I have ever owned would have bogged down trying to cut it. If the grass is that tall, I used to raise the front of the mower and chop through part of the grass to get it down to something more manageable because grass that tall would have stalled a gas mower. Not this one. The motor automatically kicks up to a little higher speed, though still very quiet. It probably only took the mower a couple of seconds for it to realize that it had a bigger job to do and it sped up to take on the challenge. The mower appears to have more power than my old gas. I am guessing it has to do with the torque of the electric motor. Once it plowed through that it slowed back down again. Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised. That section of grass probably hadn't been mowed since sometime in October. I didn't start with a full battery because I wanted to see how far I got on what was left from my initial charge so I got the front done and part of mine and my neighbor's back yard. I saw a battery indicator come on, so I finished the pass I was on and came back. I put the batter on the charger and it took about 45 minutes to charge. When I took the battery off the charger, it was barely even warm. Took it out and finished the lawn. I am thoroughly impressed with how quiet it is, how much power it seems to have, and how easy it is to use. If this is the future of lawn mowers, count me in. The cut quality is exceptional. Definitely, recommend this mower. The way it folds up and stores vertically is truly a neat feature. Takes up very little floor space. I suspect this one could be hung on a wall too. I have really only mowed a one and a half times, but so far, I am extremely happy with my purchase.
  4. I use the LV ones. Worth every penny. You wont be disappointed.
  5. I may have some great advice, seriously, but first, its good to know how much area you need to keep clear of snow. Are you planning on managing the sidewalks/paths, as well as driveway? What kind of space do you have to store it away when it's not in use? I have two snow blowers I take with me in a pickup truck equipped with a lifting tailgate. I usually start clearing sidewalks at 2 AM and finish at 8 AM, throughout the winter. Because I am out there alone, I have learned to maintain my equipment myself, so I've developed a bit of knowledge over the past 10 years. The Ariens 5 hp 24" will do most of the jobs I have, but once in a while, I need something more substantial. That's when I unload the simplicity 8.5 hp 28". The simplicity has an electric start, but I don't have access to electricity when I'm out on the jobs, so I pull start and don't find it difficult, though the 5 HP is much easier.
  6. The best way to sharpen your chains is by hand. All the loggers in our area won't have an electric sharpener, it grinds too much off and if the chain damaged it will take even more. I use a chain sharpening jig, clamps onto a bar and you can set the depth, angle and control the amount that will be taken off. My chains last twice as long as the chains at the caravan park. My saw also cuts better and for longer than the caravan park's saw. They get their chains sharpened in town by machine. I make up my own chains, and always have a least 2 sharp chains with me plus a sharp chain on the saw. For the work we do, try using Sthil skip tooth chain it only has half the number of teeth to sharpen.
  7. I bought my parents a husky easy air last year and when I do demos at the home depot I use the easy air because it's small and portable and has sufficient air flow. It definitely has enough air to power 18ga brads, 18ga stapler, and 16ga finish nailer continuously because the amount of air it uses to push that small faster into the wood is very small and the tank can refill itself way before you ever make it drop enough in pressure to notice a difference. So for what you want to use it for I'm sure you'll never run out of the air. Heck even when I do framer and roofing nailer demos I use the easy air and I get around 5-8 nails in a row before the heads stop going all the way down.
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