That’s my big old Ford charging my laptop battery for me.
Tangent: I love Apple, I am a diehard Mac user, but I swear they program their computers to break the day after Apple Care runs out. A year or two ago, my laptop, which is about five years old, stopped being able to gain a charge when plugged into the wall. The little port on the side of the laptop finked out. But I refused to get a new laptop, primarily because of this:
Those are Charlie’s baby teeth marks. When Charlie was a tiny pup, I left both him and my open laptop on my bed and caught him teething on the corner.
When the charging issue began, I searched high and low and finally found an external battery charger on ebay for about $30. This means I have to take the battery out to charge it, which is kind of a pain, but it’s way better than buying a new computer and the system is perfect for the mountain.
I got a nifty power inverter (pictured above, found here) which connects the laptop battery charger to my truck battery. My camera battery chargers plug into the power inverter as well. Then I run my truck every now and then to keep my truck battery charged.
So, technically, my laptop has been powered by gasoline, but you do what you gotta do.
For Charlie’s fence, I have a marine battery + solar panel connected to the fence. Charlie’s fence uses a very small amount of electricity so I could get away with using a little 1.5 watt solar panel that Mike had sitting in his basement. The solar panel slowly charges the battery all day as the fence slowly draws energy.
A larger solar panel would allow me to use the power inverter with the marine battery to charge my laptop and camera batteries (instead of using my truck battery), but the bottom line was the bottom line ~ I didn’t want to shell out for a larger solar panel. But if I lived like this permanently, I would.« go back — keep looking »