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Thread: 12 volt supply for shop

  1. #1
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    Default 12 volt supply for shop

    What is a cheap and simple way to have a 12v source in my shop for testing boat stuff? I use to have an old car battery, but it had to go away, plus it needs a way to keep it charged. Is there a little transformer one could buy at a hardware or auto store?

  2. #2
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: 12 volt supply for shop

    Thanks, but that says "for devices up to 2 amps." Not sure that would do it. For instance right now I am rebuilding the old roof mounted search light. Pretty sure it would draw more than 2 amps.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: 12 volt supply for shop

    I just grab a 12 volt battery charger most of the time. Another alternative is a "wall wart," one of those black blocks that plug into a 120 VAC wall socket and provide power to 12 VDC small appliances. I put a 12 volt car cigarette lighter receptacle in the boat so I could charge phones, etc., and got a plug for it from Radio Shack to which I attached a couple of alligator clips for use on the boat. My new GMC pickup has cigarette lighter receptacles, a 120 VAC grounded plug (Mmmm... I wonder what it's grounded to?) and USB receptacles. The USB receptacles wouldn't be a bad idea on a boat, come to think of it.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: 12 volt supply for shop

    Cheapest solution is a car battery charger. Problem is it's a fluctuating current, so some things don't like it. Filtered, high-amperage supplies are at the local electronics store, but the price goes up with the amperage. A cheap car battery works fine, but then you need at least a small charger as well.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: 12 volt supply for shop

    Drive up to the shop and open the hood of your car?

  7. #7

    Default Re: 12 volt supply for shop

    Check Amazon or Harbor Freight if there's one near you for battery packs/jumpers.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: 12 volt supply for shop

    Starting to think this isn't as simple as I thought it was going to be. Maybe the best long range solution is one of those car starting jumper packs, tho they aren't as cheap as they used to be. But if I understand correctly, they are a small battery with an integrated smart charger. It would also serve as an emergency car starter if ever needed.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: 12 volt supply for shop

    Quote Originally Posted by Illinois Switzer View Post
    Check Amazon or Harbor Freight if there's one near you for battery packs/jumpers.
    Cross posted with you, but I think you are right. $50 -$100.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: 12 volt supply for shop

    I have an 80w solar panel & a 110ah Leisure battery, it also runs a 12v security PIR system & lights. Low wattage solar stuff is not expensive & is ideal for this sort of thing.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: 12 volt supply for shop

    The HF cheapies can be had for under 40 with coupon. 17ah Motorcycle size battery inside.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: 12 volt supply for shop

    One inexpensive and small solution is to use a voltage convertor such as

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Universal-5-10-20-30A-12V-AC-DC-Voltage-Converter-Regulated-Switch-Power-Supply-/152174049566?var=&hash=item236e47b91e:m:mdoqetyzEb ggoXoCW3cxWFQ


    I have used a lot of these for various projects and have about fifty new 12V 8.5A ones in my parts bin right now.

    Alan
    https://sites.google.com/site/helium12sofsailboat/

  13. #13
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    Default Re: 12 volt supply for shop

    Most battery chargers these days seem to need some power in the battery before they will do anything. So,if your car battery is dead flat they don't charge it. And they won't run an electrical appliance unless you put a battery in the circuit. You can get very tiny jump starters now, search Amazon or eBay. I'd go for one of them just because they are cool.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: 12 volt supply for shop

    Just bought this, Harbor Freight, $49. Should be what I need and I would have spent more than that trying to put other systems together. Thanks for the input.


  15. #15
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    Default Re: 12 volt supply for shop

    Jump box yes, as it can act as just a battery Battery charger, no; current limited supply, and usually not steady DC. Roll-around booster, nope -- likely not too regulated. 12V 5 or 10 amp benchtop supply would do nicely.

    This one would do nicely, is versatile, and costs about as much as a decent battery.
    http://www.mcmelectronics.com/produc...-8141-/72-8141

    On edit: Oh no, too late! Should do nicely, and is useful elsewhere, as well.

    Chip
    Last edited by Chip Chester; 03-17-2017 at 07:21 PM.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: 12 volt supply for shop

    An old car battery with a cheapo 1A charger to keep it topped off would work for an awful lot of stuff. Heck you could probably even scare up an old wall wart 13-14V 1+A for nothing. Doesn't take much for simple testing, especially if you're not drawing any large amount of amps for a long time.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: 12 volt supply for shop

    The jump box is the simplest solution, plus it will start your car should you ever forget the lights on.
    I have one and a small solar panel as the entire electrical system on my boat.
    Quote Originally Posted by Yeadon View Post
    Probably the greatest thread in the history of the WoodenBoat Forum.
    Quote Originally Posted by Duncan Gibbs View Post
    Probably the greatest post in the history of the WoodenBoat Forum.
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