How to charge during power outage

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by stasha7, Nov 18, 2015.

  1. stasha7 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2015
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    #1
    During extended power outages, how can you recharge the Macbook? I've looked at the "Rally 7471 Portable 8 in 1 Power Source and Jumpstart Unit with Hand Generator" on Amazon, which seems like a possibility. Can someone let me know if this would be a good option, or if there is a better option? Thanks very much!
     
  2. Gav2k, Nov 18, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2015

    Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

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    Jul 24, 2009
    #2
  3. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

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    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #3
    For a short outage I just run on battery and have a UPS that runs my DSL modem and Time Capsule. For anything longer, I fire up my 7000 watt generator. :D Using my Mac is a minor concern during a long power outage since I don't have even have water if the well pump doesn't run.
     
  4. stasha7 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 18, 2015
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    #4
    Thanks for your comments. As far as I can see, battery packs need to be charged from electric power and so they wouldn’t serve long for an extended power outage. A big UPS would last longer and I might end up with that or maybe a gas generator. But I’m talking about long-term power outages, and was hoping to find something that can be hand-cranked like the Rally 7471. Solar might work but my area does not get much sun. Also, the Magsafe plugs into an AC outlet and I would need a source with an AC outlet. All ideas are welcome! Thanks!
     
  5. kohlson macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    #5
    Sounds like you're looking for something more than a casual solution for infrequent outages. I've used a 1500VA UPS for all-day use (though I had to connect at the end of an extension cord because the UPS insists on beeping). So it seems like bigger batteries are the issue. Figure out the requirements for a UPS and start connecting lead-acid batteries until you reach the desired state. You're not trying to connect to a network, right? Just use the MB?
     
  6. stasha7 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 18, 2015
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    #6
    Not trying to connect to a network, just for using the MB. So I'll continue to check into whatever options I can find for "the big blackout" and in the meantime just get a battery pack.
     
  7. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #7
    How long an outage are you talking about? What other things would be affected by such an outage? Would your heating system work without electricity? Phones? Refrigerator? My home is rather isolated and I would not be comfortable without a generator. Long outages are not common, but we did have a 5 day outage in 2013, and neighboring areas have had several even longer ones recently.

    The MBA can run perhaps 10 hours on a single charge. I suspect one of the large UPS models could charge it several times. I don't know how many hours a day you need to use your computer, but I'd think you could get through two or three days that way. If you have no internet connectivity, that probably limits the uses of your computer anyway. :)
     
  8. stasha7 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2015
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    #8
    While I’m not in doomsday panic mode, I do believe “the bad guys” (interpret that as you will) may succeed relatively soon in disabling our energy sources on a major scale that would last for many weeks before our public agencies can restore them. So I am preparing for “disaster survival” for a few months if and when needed. Water, food, heating, etc. are already taken care of, and I can live without the internet and telecommunications, but I want continued access to all my stored data (no clouds for me) and the practical applications on my Macbook.

    So I really just want a way to keep the MB running even if only a few hours a day. That’s why I’m looking for something simple and human-powered e.g. the Rally 7471 - see:

    http://www.amazon.com/Rally-7471-Po...TF8&qid=1447971367&sr=8-1&keywords=rally+7471

    or the K-Tor “pedal your power” but I don’t know if 25W would do for the MB. See:

    http://www.amazon.com/Generator-Eme...?ie=UTF8&qid=1447971342&sr=8-1&keywords=k-tor

    Does anyone think either of these would work for me? Thanks very much.
     
  9. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

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    Feb 21, 2012
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    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #9
    Well if that is what you believe, then I think you should be in doomsday panic mode. :D
     
  10. cerberusss macrumors 6502a

    cerberusss

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2013
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #10
    Mike Gyver has good solutions:
    http://www.mikegyver.com/products/

    HyperMac also has similar external batteries:
    http://www.hypershop.com/collections/power

    If you want to be able to charge for multiple weeks, your best option is definitely solar.

    Oh and when the zombies come, first rule is: fill your bathtub with water while the supply lasts. Then get on the first floor and destroy the stairs. They're pretty dumb.
     
  11. dwig macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2015
    Location:
    Key West FL
    #11
    There are a lot of good suggestions here. In general, you need some sort of "generator", either fuel powered (portable generator or a car's accessory outlet (nee "cigarette lighter socket")), or human/solar/water/wind powered.

    The first step, though, is to seriously inventory EXACTLY what you need the computer for. Then review what lower power options may exist. A tablet may do fine during the "interruption" and while it may not give a longer run time per charge, its lower power needs mean less load on whatever recharging system you employ.
     
  12. takeshi74 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2011
    #12
    You're not going to find a hand generator to be of any use for a Macbook. Have you ever used one? They can work for low consumption items like LED lights and radios but a Macbook is going to require far too much.
     
  13. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2012
    Location:
    Between the coasts
    #13
    I'm surprised the computer is the only electrical device on your list of must-haves. Granted that "old tech" still works well enough for heat and light, but then again, printing-out your documents and images onto old-fashioned paper, slide rules, an abacus (or mechanical comptometer), and other lower-tech solutions could reduce your need for the computer to far less than a few hours a day.

    Since your scenario anticipates just weeks of power disruption, rather than an eternity, you can probably get by without a computer for that time as well. Buy a deck of cards, a checkerboard, some accountant's ledger books and a stack of nice, thick used books and you'll probably survive quite nicely.
     
  14. stasha7 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2015
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    #14
    Thanks for all the suggestions (and funny comments) and links which I’ve checked out, and I've also looked at other items. I think I’ll go with the K-TOR pedal powered generator mentioned above (www.k-tor.com) for charging a battery pack from which the MB can run a few hours every day. That should keep me happy and let me get some work (writing) done for as many weeks as needed.

    It will probably take a week or more for the K-TOR to arrive, and once things are functioning, I’ll give a report on how it works.
     
  15. 960design macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2012
    Location:
    Destin, FL
    #15
    Buy a sailboat. 600watt solar panels and recharge through the propeller while sailing (http://oceanvolt.com/). That way you can get offshore for the zombie apocalypse. Stay away from Île Amsterdam, that's where I'll be. :)
     
  16. cincygolfgrrl macrumors 6502

    cincygolfgrrl

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    Apr 2, 2012
    Location:
    Somewhere In Time
    #16
    Most importantly, keep a supply of tin foil. You never know when you'll need a hat.

    Sorry, I couldn't resist.
     
  17. cerberusss macrumors 6502a

    cerberusss

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2013
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #17
    Just came back here in this topic to mention the X-mas sale at Mike Gyver. They posted the following on their blog:
    Going on now Christmas Sale!
    Pleas use coupon code MCTChristmas for 10% off!

    Already have something to update? :)
     
  18. stasha7 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2015
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    #18
    SUCCESS! Sorry I forgot to update this thread sooner! I bought a small Duracell 12V 10Ah deep cycle battery, plus a Samlex DC-AC 450W Inverter with two regular AC 3-prong outlets and a USB outlet. With these connected, I can power and charge my Macbook plus other items. I’ll periodically use the set-up and recharge the 12V battery from the electric company.

    Then to recharge the battery during "the big blackout” I bought a K-TOR Power Box that generates electricity by pedal power and can charge the 12V battery. Set the K-TOR on the floor (best to screw it onto a wooden board to keep it from shimmying around), connect the K-TOR to the battery with a 12V charger, set yourself on a chair, and pedal away! Once you get the pedaling rhythm smooth, it’s quite easy, and as an added bonus it will build up the leg muscles!

    You can check out the K-TOR at www.k-tor.com, and through January 31 they have a 10% off sale. The website has some videos, and you can also check the reviews on Amazon.
     

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