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Old 03-17-2008, 07:40 AM   #1
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Anyone seen this? I saw it on an HGTV show and looked it up. I am not wild about the gas generators and this seems like a viable alternative especially if you use it in conjunction with solar panels. Granted you are not going to be able to run TV's microwaves and such with it but if you are off grid you can certianly run your lights and water pump with it.

http://www.freeplayenergy.com/product/weza



I found it here on sale for $199
http://batteryjunction.com/frwefrfopoge.html
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Old 03-17-2008, 08:53 AM   #2
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thats cool but i think its way to pricey!
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Old 03-17-2008, 09:09 AM   #3
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Don't you love manufacturers statements like this one? "Charging to full power takes modest dedication."

Translation, you better get your kids or grandkids to pump this thing to prevent a heart attack.
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Old 03-17-2008, 09:46 AM   #4
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Altho I can see a rare emergency where one would need to resort to running on a treadmill like that, the key word is "rare".

We all travel with a giant emergency generator for use when we need short bursts of energy, but often over look it. It's our cars. You can plug junk into your ciggy socket to recharge, or even hook up to your trailer and run a bit for short charges when needed. Running out of gas.. well, that would be the rarity where the freeplay would come in handy.

The Freeplay has a 7aH battery which could be used to run lights (And not much else, especially if you have incandescents) for a short bit, but ... so will a Jump it, which often have a larger battery.. and hopefully you have one already and keep it charged.

A Jump it will do all that this will, (Rechargeable by solar or car etc) except the human charging part, at a much lesser price.

I DO like this product Dynamo charger from Freeplay, however. It seems to be priced nicely and seems a bit better sized for the items we carry with us.

I think I will pop by REI tonite and pick one up. For 30 bones, it seems a reasonable thing to experiment with.
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Old 03-17-2008, 12:20 PM   #5
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You know, I often thought that if you made all computer games only operable by "self generated" power, treadmill, stationary bike, stairmaster, or some such appliance, it would solve the problem of childhood obesity.

It might even work on adult obesity if we couldn't watch Soap Operas without peddling away on our bikes to create electrical energy to run our TVs.
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Old 03-17-2008, 01:06 PM   #6
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Has anyone considered using a wind driven generator to recharge batteries?
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Old 03-17-2008, 01:24 PM   #7
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I have done some half hearted looking and so far have only been able to determine that such a system would not be feasible because of the physical size required. Those turbines take a LOT to be turned, and structure for the blades has to be pretty substantial.

There are RV systems, but they are very expensive and have all looked cumbersome.

Like I mentioned, my research has only been half hearted, mostly curiosity and I haven't drilled down to exact nuts and bolts.
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Old 03-17-2008, 01:32 PM   #8
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I have done some half hearted looking and so far have only been able to determine that such a system would not be feasible because of the physical size required. Those turbines take a LOT to be turned, and structure for the blades has to be pretty substantial.

There are RV systems, but they are very expensive and have all looked cumbersome.

Like I mentioned, my research has only been half hearted, mostly curiosity and I haven't drilled down to exact nuts and bolts.

Wind generator at West Marine for $1115

Lots of sailboats use 'em! While they're normally a permanent installation on the stern of a sailboat, there's no reason you couldn't mount one on a portable tripod mast or some other such fixture.

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Old 03-17-2008, 01:48 PM   #9
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the wind at the stern of a sailboat is probably a little more substantial than it would be in your average campsite.

I am not sure it would be more practical than solar. Sunlight is *usually* a constant. Wind.. on land anyway, is unpredictable.

That is an interesting system tho, much smaller than what I have seen in the past. Might be worth looking at further
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Old 03-17-2008, 02:01 PM   #10
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I tried a wind generator for a while but it was a bit too cumbersome, even just the smaller one on the bumper. Plus, I kept having to plan my trips to avoid low bridges.


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Old 03-17-2008, 02:24 PM   #11
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Old 03-17-2008, 03:01 PM   #12
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[quote]I tried a wind generator for a while but it was a bit too cumbersome, even just the smaller one on the bumper. Plus, I kept having to plan my trips to avoid low bridges.


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So, Pete... did you use the chimney foundation when you installed the wind generators?

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Old 03-17-2008, 08:09 PM   #13
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. . . f you use it in conjunction with solar panels. Granted you are not going to be able to run TV's microwaves and such with it but if you are off grid you can certianly run your lights and water pump with it . . .
If you're going solar anyway and are willing to forgo the microwave and TV, all you need to do is convert your lighting to LEDs and installing a hand-pump at the sink you'll never an extra generator.
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Old 03-17-2008, 09:02 PM   #14
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If you're going solar anyway and are willing to forgo the microwave and TV, all you need to do is convert your lighting to LEDs and installing a hand-pump at the sink you'll never an extra generator.

If you move every two or three days you might not even need the LEDs and Solar Panel. Let the Tow Vehicle charge line keep the battery charged.
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Old 03-17-2008, 10:14 PM   #15
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I was sometimes moving every few weeks and not needing external power. I was going to make a wiring harness to plug into truck to charge egg battery (removed and put in truck bed) while touring or shopping away from camp, but never really needed it, so didn't make it.

However, I didn't have refridge or RV funace or water pump or much beyond lights. I ran computer on inverter plugged into truck battery so that recharged when driving it solo.
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Old 03-17-2008, 10:40 PM   #16
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When I went up to the Oregon Rally last summer, my battery decided to take a.. hiatus. For two days (I should say nites) I was basically running without a house battery. Since I couldn't even charge with the car while driving, I didn't have much of a choice but to rely on the car battery when I parked.

I left the pigtail plugged in and was very careful about my lights. I would only have one LED fixture on at a time, and I used the WC in the dark (Hey, I don't need to see what I am doing ), didn't watch TV, and I relied on my solar panels to provide power to my fantastic fan the one afternoon I really really needed it.

When shower time came, I started the car to run the water pump. That was the only time I used the pump. I used bottled water to flush and wash dishes with.

I picked up a new battery and was back in business. Never did figure out why the battery wouldn't charge. I kept it to return it to camping world as it was quite new, but when I put it on a "Big" 7 amp charger, it charged up and has worked fine since. Could have been a connection was contaminated.. could have discharged it so deeply that it was taking a ton to recharge.. have no clue.

I keep that battery fully charged and if I run into a problem with the other, I just swap them out. I boondocked for 5 days during thanksgiving in less than stellar weather, so my solar was not keeping up as well as I would have liked and thats what I did. I charged one while the other was being used and just kept swapping.

But.. thats not why I am posting ... I stopped at REI tonite and they did NOT have one of the small cranky chargers. So I was a small cranky shopper...
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Old 03-18-2008, 05:50 AM   #17
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[quote]I tried a wind generator for a while but it was a bit too cumbersome, even just the smaller one on the bumper. Plus, I kept having to plan my trips to avoid low bridges.


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I see the problem. You've got it oriented backwards, so it's in propulsion mode. It was probably a drain on the battery, but you must have improved your mileage.

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Old 03-18-2008, 05:52 AM   #18
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Has anyone considered using a wind driven generator to recharge batteries?
Ahem, not to toot my own horn but I did invent a solar wind mill! Still working the bugs out.Solar Wind Mill
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Old 03-18-2008, 11:34 AM   #19
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So I'm sensing the Weza is a NO?
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Old 03-18-2008, 02:58 PM   #20
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It looks like it may be a viable alternative for a smaller battery/source as an alternative to carrying the "Traditional" items.

It's up to you to decide what your needs are and if this fits, then get one. It certainly would work anywhere anytime and bypass the limitations of wind and sun availability.

I personally would think it's a lot of work for little return however, for regular use.

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