Battery charging on the move

oldracer

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Sure. At least for Panny batteries. For example, https://www.ebay.com/itm/WASABI-POW...048520?hash=item2afb32fa48:g:xqwAAOSwl69fOdR- That battery charger is sold under many brand names, some with the 12 charging option and some without. When I have bought them I always get the 12v option but I don't recall that I have ever used it. I usually travel with four or more charged batteries and recharge in the evening wherever I am lodging. You may be better off in the MH to charge when you are plugged in at a campsite; your charging times will probably tell you..
 

BDR-529

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Good point ... so you are saying an inverter with the battery charger plugged in, would use more battery power than a charger plugged directly into the 12v plug with cigarette adapter ?
The less devices you daisy chain between 12V car battery and Li-Ion Battery charger, the better as far as power consumption is concerned. That being said, if a mere camera battery charger connected to Inverter will drain a, say, 90Ah motorhome battery, then the inverter is broken.

Note that practically all these no-brand battery chargers have only two pins: "+" and "-". This is all you really need to charge Li-pol cells with a dedicated charging chip but...

They don't communicate with the build-in battery management chip which could tell the exact moment when cell becomes full (usually "C" terminal in battery pack). In addition to that they don't even read the "T" pin which is typically connected to thermistor and would indicate overheating.

It's annoyingly easy to destroy expensive li-pol battery packs with even slightly incorrect charging so I would think again before ordering $9 neverheardof-chargers from China or even Amazon which is nowadays pretty close to Wish when it comes to checking the quality of the stuff which is sold through them.
 
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PacNWMike

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I just used the usb in our rental when visiting your beautiful country. Or get a usb>>12v cig adapter if the motorhome doesn't have the usb one. Note that not all adapters are created equal. Get one that puts out enough amps for a fast charge or supports charging two devices simultaneously. Another thing to have is a battery pack which should hold enough poop for several charges and doesn't make noise nor have to worry about running down the main batteries. Fits in a pocket or rucksack. Charge while driving or whenever you have shore power.

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Bushboy

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Yes. 12v to 240 then back to 7v😩
12v to 7v 😁
Ideally, only use your inverter when your battery is being charged. Small petrol generator or decent solar array.
 

Bushboy

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I’ve used the cheap USB chargers quite a bit.
Never had a problem. Just wait for the light to change from red to blue and they’re good to go.
 

mfturner

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Our 3kw inverter has a strong phantom draw, and seems to have a "floor" of current which is very inefficient for small electronic loads like this, so I'm probably going to get a mid sized Jackery or equivalent for this seasons travels. That way we can leave the big inverter to big tasks and use the portable battery bank for camera, phone, laptop recharging when the big inverter is off.
 

BosseBe

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Using the original charger I don't mind leaving the battery in the charger overnight, with a cheap 2 pin charger (USB) I want to monitor the progress myself so I don't leave it unattended.
Better to be safe then sorry!
But the USB charger can be used beside the drivers seat while you are driving so it has uses.
 

mfturner

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+1 on using 12v to 5v USB chargers if you have them, that was one of the attractions to the m5.3 for me because we do have usb A charging ports in our rv. But we also take my work laptop and our iPad, so that's why USB charging alone won't do everything I need.
 

c12402

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I use car‘s usb output with an usb adapter to Olympus battery. I use the same adapter during trips connected to a 4 output usb charger, thus not carrying anything else and is valid for mobile phone, iPad, camera and lantern/flash simultaneously.

I had not experienced any problem after many days of intensive usage, although now with the EM1X, I also use the camera as a charger connected to the same usb charger.
 

John King

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Make sure that your cigarette lighter socket is rated for high amperage draw (~10 amps). Many modern vehicles have a "cigarette lighter" socket that only has wiring for 2-3 amps, then the wiring loom fries. If that sounds expensive, you're right - it is.

Most (all?) Subarus have a 10A front socket and a 10A cargo bay socket, but the one feeding the rear seat area is only about 5A total.

If in doubt, have an auto electrician run a rated cable to the outlet(s) involved. That's cheaper than a new wiring loom ...

I have car chargers for all my camera batteries from a reputable supplier.
 

PacNWMike

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10A ! Wow you Aussies must need to keep the tinnies in the eskie cold when it's 40C ;)

FWIW 2 usb outlets won't exceed 5A draw. Besides there is a fusible link protecting the circuit.
 

John King

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10A ! Wow you Aussies must need to keep the tinnies in the eskie cold when it's 40C ;)

FWIW 2 usb outlets won't exceed 5A draw. Besides there is a fusible link protecting the circuit.
Some people in this thread are talking about multiple outlet boxes. I have one of these myself. It has three 'cigarette lighter' type outlets, and two USB outlets. One needs to be careful about what one plugs into this! Very easy to exceed maximum load for both the device, and the car's wiring loom.

My UHF radio draws over 5A, and really needs its own fused circuit from the battery, not the car's wiring loom.
 

Apollo T.

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There are devices called power banks. Their sole function is to store power to provide a ready source of power to recharge your batteries ANYWHERE; ANYTIME!!!. These units are charged at home then connected to your battery via USB cable. That's it. You can carry a PB hooked up to your battery in your pocket or daypack.
These can be quite useful since they store ALOT of power for rechargeable batteries. For example my Lumix G6 batteries are rated for ~1100 mAh. A 10,000 mAh bank can store about the equivalent of 8 battery charges. You can also charge your telephone or a tablet at the same time.
The chief downside is they are slow. They take a long time to take a charge and give their charge to your battery slowly.
As I recall Mophie and RAV were brands I saw most often among the 'top' rated PB.
 

Bushboy

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I’ve got a 20,000 m/a mophie. Very handy. Takes about 2 days to charge. I’ve charged my camera batteries 🔋 untold times with it.
Three USB plugs in it. 1.0A 2.1A 2.1A
 

PakkyT

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Some people in this thread are talking about multiple outlet boxes.
Ya, but you are still talking about rating your ciggy outlet so you can pull ~24 amps on the +5V side. Unless you are running a dozen+ battery chargers in your car, no one needs that for simple battery charging.
 

mawz

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There's a number of options, and it depends on exactly what you are looking for.

Powerbanks and a cheap USB charger are great for hiking, and work well on the go as well.

Inverters and 12V-based options all work well when the vehicle is running, but will drain your battery when it's not.

Portable power stations like the Jackery's are probably ideal for motorhome use, as they charge off solar or your 12V socket when the vehicle is running, but have enough capacity to run a lot of stuff when the vehicle is not running. They're cheaper than multiple battery setups and portable. You can use USB or AC charge off of these. But while cheaper than multiple batteries for your RV, the good ones are not cheap. You can also build your own, Nick Page has been documenting his home-brew setup recently, he's primarily powering heaters for his roof tent, but can also charge USB or 12V off his setup.

I'd really love for Olympus to release USB-C PD chargers for the BLH-1 and BLS-50. They're just much more flexible than regular AC chargers, and allow use of a lot of different power sources.
 
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