Projector while camping power consumption question

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  #1  
Old 07-20-13, 01:24 PM
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Projector while camping power consumption question

Hey Guys,
I have a vision of being able to use a projector while camping to watch movies and play snes games etc.. Here is the set up I am going to run.

I am going to run a Raspberry Pi (Raspberry Pi | An ARM GNU/Linux box for $25. Take a byte!) with RaspBMC running on it as my media player coupled with a usb hub and external 2.5" hdd for media storage.

I am going to use a M2 Micro Projector (M2 Micro Projector 2013 - TopTenREVIEWS) for my display projecting on to a screen hung up in between trees.

I am going to run a Bosch PB360D (PB360D Power Box) as a portable sound system for this set up.

I want to get a small quiet power generator for this set up to be able to run it all night (8-10 hours) I want to know how much power I will need to be able to do this, and also if I would be able to charge up a car battery or something similar and just run everything off a battery for the duration of the night.

any suggestions?

Thanks in advance!
 

Last edited by PJmax; 07-20-13 at 04:02 PM. Reason: corrected Bosch link
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  #2  
Old 07-20-13, 02:17 PM
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For a quiet portable generator, Honda makes the best, IMO. You probably wouldn't need a big one, since the electronics most likely don't pull that much amperage. You can set it behind an insulated blind or off in the woods if you wanted to.
 
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Old 07-20-13, 02:28 PM
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I would look at inverter style generators. These are the most modern of generators and do not rely on the engine speed for the frequency output so they run at a slow quiet speed when the load is low and the engine only comes up to full power when needed.

If quiet is you're #1 priority I would get an inverter generator with about twice the capacity of what you will need. When at about half power the generator will run at a very quiet fast idle with very low fuel consumption. Then if want to run a vacuum or microwave you have the power reserve to do so.

To figure out what size generator you need add up the wattage of everything you want to operate simultaneously. Things like your projector and a computer can be figured at their stated wattage while things with motors like vacuums and refrigerators need considerably more power for starting the motor.

I have three of the Honda brand EU generators and love them. They are not the cheapest brand but all of mine have performed reliably for years. There are other brands and I would not hesitate to try a brand name generator like; Honda or Yamaha.
 
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Old 07-20-13, 02:55 PM
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I'm guessing, too, you'll be running this through a UPS, since generators do put out dirty current. I'd want something to stabilize things.
 
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Old 07-20-13, 03:17 PM
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thank you guys for the replies!

yes i didnt even think about an UPS.
that is a great idea! thanks for the tip!
i guess i'll just have to add up my wattage and get a generator that can supply twice my needs.

what about running everything off a car battery?
could that work?

thanks again you guys!

--techno-shaman
 
  #6  
Old 07-20-13, 04:12 PM
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what about running everything off a car battery?
For a few minutes, yes. Longer off a deep cycle battery. All night? The inverter generator and the UPS, which, after all is a battery in a box with receptacles.
 
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Old 07-20-13, 04:19 PM
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The projector uses 50 watts and has it's own built in 1 watt audio amp to drive external speakers.
The Bosch unit doesn't list it's actual current draw but I would approximate 100 watts for it.

No idea on the Pi. It's going to depend what you use for a power supply to run it and your hd.
 
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Old 07-20-13, 05:10 PM
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I checked my inverter generators against grid power (during peak summer) with an oscilloscope and the power from the generator was cleaner. My power at home varies by 2 volts pretty regularly so I don't consider the grid as the best source. With a generator you don't have surges or lightening strikes to worry about so if you get a quality generator I would not worry about the quality of the juice.
 
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Old 07-20-13, 07:27 PM
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I checked my inverter generators against grid power (during peak summer) with an oscilloscope and...
Did your oscilloscope show you the same sine wave pattern for both the utility power and the generator power?
 
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Old 07-20-13, 08:39 PM
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I often take the tree farm's Honda EU2000i with me out to the lake, running a radio and some CFL's you can't hear it at all. For my parties at my dad's land, I'll either use my Generac 4000EXL, LP3250, or my grandpa's Generac XG8000E. I run my computer, mixer, and a projector through a UPS. With 275' between where we are and the generator, you can barely hear it.


Edit: Disclaimer: I have no affiliation to the mentioned companies other than owning or using their products.
 
  #11  
Old 07-20-13, 09:21 PM
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Can the projector run video media direct from the SD card? If so you could save the cool mini Linux machine for something else and store your vid files on the SD card. You could probably run for hours on a deep cycle marine battery without the need for a generator (except for a means to re-charge the battery)

If you are all decked out with projector and sound at 150 Watts you're in the realm of 12.5 Amps at 12 Volts so a 100 amp-hour battery will last you 8 hours (probably closer to 6 in reality).

If you could drop the speaker to a 50 Watt setup, now you're talking about 10-12 hours of run time. Without the generator you won't need to blast the speakers so loud!
 
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Old 07-21-13, 04:43 AM
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Did your oscilloscope show you the same sine wave pattern for both the utility power and the generator power?
Yes, the Honda EU 2000i output was squeaky clean. It was a boring and really hot summer's day when I checked so the grid power was probably dirtier than normal.

This is not my picture but someone else posted a picture of the EU's output. The person who posted the picture mentioned that while the AC power was clean it's DC output was poorly regulated.
 
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