Nice. Isn’t too crazy expensive either. They need to put about 6 more anderson powerpoles (the thingies over the cigarette lighter plugs) and make the fuses more easily accessible if they want to sell this to amateur “ham” radio people. They could also use a few more USB power points.
A good addition to this would be a one amp smart charger, which would allow you to leave it plugged into 110AC power all the time while still keeping the batteries topped off (and it also includes a pass-through for the solar cells, such that if the solar was producing the wattage it would use that as a source first)
cost breakdown for a DIY kit.
$20 ammo can
$80 2x 12 Ah gel lead-acid batteries
$40 charge/solar controller, self-built ($100 off the shelf)
$10 cutting board front panel
$20 power poles, cig plugs, fuses, switches, etc
$20 front panel meter
$20 12 v to 5v switching step-down power supply
$40 400 watt Inverter (800 watts surge)
$99? roll up solar power panel
$350 total for a roll-your-own kit, $585.00 retail turn-key
I already said it wasn’t too crazy expensive. Then I got to the nuts and bolts of analyzing things. I’d add a few more power plugs, change a few things, but the maker isn’t overcharging by any means. This is well worth it to me.
He’s only charging maybe $130 over my DIY budget and the thing looks solid under the hood, (with heavy duty 10 gauge wiring no less.)
Yea, I would want everything individually fused, more power polls, and I’d probably would not want to fire up the inverter (with the efficiency loss) just to charge my cell phone off the USB plug (if you wired things that way), I’d also want a momentary pushbutton on the voltmeter, and an option to switch the backlight off (though the vacuum florescent display voltmeter in the prototype looked sweet.)
Don’t think of me as the average consumer though. Looks like a great product that’s well make too.
Sure enough, Don. I prefer the taste of the percolater coffee anyway. Reminds me of growing up on the farm, when I felt privileged to be allowed to have a cup as a young boy.
Heating is a pretty poor use of electrical energy… it is amazing how many people immediately ask if the JuiceBox or ToughPUP will run a curling iron or a blowdryer. Oy. We have been so spoiled by abundant (cheap) electricity!
The JuiceBox will handle a brief 110 volt load of 800 watts or a sustained load of 400 watts. Where it really performs well is in the realm of radio, laptop, cellphone, room lighting, car jumping, ham radio, etc.
It would be co$tly one way or another, but first thing I’d do is swap out some other battery chem for those crappy lead-acids. LiFePo seems most promising, there are battery packs designed to swap directly into standard SLA applications. About $250-400 added cost. Source your own cells, gets cheaper but you design and build the asssociated charge/discharge circuitry.
Advantages: lighter weight and better energy-weight ratio, and far less picky about state of charge; lead-acids don’t like being discharged, and will sulfate (degrade) if they sit around below 80% charge. LiFePo is rated to 2000 cycles, better than anything else on market.
LiFePo does seem the most promising, but large lithium banks of batteries tend to get all incendiary or explody when something goes wrong with a charger of good design (or just a charger of bad design.) This tends to increase the cost of liability insurance for the product.
I believe this is the reason why lead-acid batteries are still used for everything from consumer grade to data center sized UPS (uninterrupted power supplies)
A quick search-fu seems to indicate that the CPAP machine will draw less than 150 watts, which should work with the inverter. I need the actual wattage used to calculate the run time. It also looks like there are CPAP machines that run off of 12volts, possibly for use in a car which would mean that 14.4 to 12.0 volts would be OK. One of the 12 volt units would save you from losing efficiency from powering up the 110v. AC inverter, which should give a longer run time.
It looks like the same company sells something called a “JuiceBrick” as an add-on if the 2x 12 Ah batteries won’t do it for long enough.