Welcome to PhantomPilots.com

Sign up for a weekly email of the latest drone news & information

Charging off a generator while camping?

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Discussion' started by gcvt, Jun 24, 2014.

  1. gcvt

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2014
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    SF, CA
    Did a newbie search and didn't come up with much. I'll be flying my P2 quite often when I'm camping. I have a Honda EU2000i generator. Is it safe to charge the main P2 battery straight from the generator? Or is it better to do it through a surge protector connected to the generator? I plan on charging everything else using the inverter in my truck. Got a camping trip at Laguna Seca in three weeks for the motorcycle races...perhaps an epic opportunity for aerial racing footage...and then another camping trip in the Sierras for Labor Day on a lake.

    Any advice on charging batteries on a generator would be greatly appreciated! :)

    edit: I have used the generator to charge the deep cycle marine battery for the trolling motor on my boat and have observed the it doesn't appear to charge it fully. Perhaps Honda generators have a built-in deal to not "overcharge" but I'm getting about 85% at best?
     
  2. 4wd

    4wd

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2014
    Messages:
    2,532
    Likes Received:
    421
    Location:
    North York Moors
    I don't see that the AC from your generator will be much different by the time it goes through the charger?
    Unless you were planning to use some DC output direct.
    If concerned consider a small inverter they are cheap enough, or maybe get a 12V car charger.
    In any case it might be annoying running the generator while waiting for the charge cycle to finish (watched pot etc.)
     
  3. FASTFJR

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2013
    Messages:
    1,202
    Likes Received:
    169
    Location:
    South East PA
    If it were me I would purchase a line conditioner or a small battery backup with a line conditioner. Put that between the generator and the battery you are charging. The last thing you want is a surge or worse yet a drop in voltage from the generator.
     
  4. rudedog

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2014
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Central Florida, USA
    The generator should work, however forget the surge protector. A good pure sign wave inverter connected to your truck would be best as most inexpensive inverters are step approximated sign waves that have a lot of harmonic distortion. You could try it just keep a close eye on the dji charger to make sure it does not get too hot

    Note on the generator, the honda is a better generator but I have not tested any of their newer ones. A UPS/Battery backup/line condition, the cheap ones will not even turn on when connected to a generator. Again the more expensive (UPS/backup) ones can have their input sensitivity turned down so it works with a generator.

    In the long run a good DC to AC inverter connected to your truck would be best

    Disclaimer: I work for a UPS/Battery backup/Surge protector company
     
  5. gcvt

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2014
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    SF, CA
    I appreciate the thoughts and advice. Now that I think about it, I might not always take my generator with me, or want to hear it run just to charge small batteries. Not to mention the way gas prices may go in the near future.

    So, I'm considering a new inverter for my truck. My inverter is very old...like 15 years or so...can't remember. It's only 200w, no USB ports etc. Any recommendations on inverter brands/models I should be looking at?

    Thanks again!
     
  6. sar104

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2014
    Messages:
    1,265
    Likes Received:
    245
    Location:
    Los Alamos, NM.
    The Honda will be just fine - it puts out a well regulated sine wave. No need for surge protection or any other kind of line conditioner.
     
  7. rudedog

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2014
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Central Florida, USA
    Look for something that puts out a sign wave and has good fans to keep it cool. Do not get one that puts out a square wave, you're looking for something as close to 0% harmonic distortion
     
  8. Mako79

    Joined:
    May 16, 2014
    Messages:
    3,418
    Likes Received:
    568
    Location:
    Sydney Australia
    I have a $20AUD inverter in my car. Its a 150w
    [​IMG]

    What I do is I get a battery jumper pack with a built in cigarette lighter and use the inverter above with the standard DJI charger.
    makes sense?
     
  9. gcvt

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2014
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    SF, CA
    Thanks again for the help. Just "amazon'd" Pure sine wave inverters. Wow they are pricey! :shock:

    Using the search feature right now to do some research on pure VS. modified, etc.
     
  10. rudedog

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2014
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Central Florida, USA
    We don't make those anymore, so you would have to find someone still selling them. (Loved those things and have them in all my cars) Also my recommendations are what you should do, hell we use to plug surge protectors into our backups on our desks but would never recommend that because you can blow up the backups (lower end UPS that puts out a square wave)

    These batteries are $$$ I don't want to see anyone damaging them (it's slim but there is still a chance).