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Thread: Help Me Select A Power Bank

  1. #1
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Help Me Select A Power Bank

    I am an amateur radio operator. I want to keep both a Nex-Gen amateur radio Digital Hotspot and AT&T Netgear Nighthawk MR1100 powered up in my Ram 1500 pickup when it is parked. I don't want to come back to a dead vehicle battery, so I am considering leaving a power bank in the vehicle to power up the devices when it is parked and charge it when the vehicle is running. How can I determine what size power bank to get? I can't seem to find specifications online to determine how much power either one uses.


    https://hamradio1.com/rugged/

    https://www.netgear.com/home/product...rs/MR1100.aspx

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* Keitho's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help Me Select A Power Bank

    Looks like the Netgear has a battery rated at just shy of 20 Wh. Charging from a USB-C charger, it should go from empty to full in somewhere around an hour; but, you might have to test how much current the device allows from your car adapter. I couldn't find how much power it consumes, but if people get "all day" from 20 Wh, then it probably averages less than 1 W most of the time.

    The Raspberry Pi draws a peak of 3W, the BLE up to .5W if in use. But, I bet total current will be sub-1-W most of the time.

    You might want to play with a little device that you can get around $10--there are many brands of "USB C power meter," to see actual power use. But, if you wanted to run your two sub-1-W devices for a day without recharging, a 20 Wh power bank will probably be plenty, and probably overkill.

  3. #3
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    Default Help Me Select A Power Bank

    Last edited by JAS; 02-10-2020 at 08:49 PM.

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    *Flashaholic* StarHalo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help Me Select A Power Bank

    The Nighthawk charges via USB-C, so you'll want a power pack with a USB-C/18 watt out. As far as I know, any power pack that will do 18 watts out will only do it for one connection at a time, so you wouldn't be able to charge both devices simultaneously at full speed; not a big deal for charging over time, but it might make a difference if you're charging while in use or don't have time for more thorough charging.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Help Me Select A Power Bank

    Quote Originally Posted by StarHalo View Post
    The Nighthawk charges via USB-C, so you'll want a power pack with a USB-C/18 watt out. As far as I know, any power pack that will do 18 watts out will only do it for one connection at a time, so you wouldn't be able to charge both devices simultaneously at full speed; not a big deal for charging over time, but it might make a difference if you're charging while in use or don't have time for more thorough charging.
    I might even just go with a portable jump starter. They are not all that much more than a plain power bank and it might be good to keep that in my pickup truck anyway.


    https://ruggedgeek.com/products/rugg...00-safety-gen2

  6. #6
    *Flashaholic* StarHalo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help Me Select A Power Bank

    Quote Originally Posted by JAS View Post
    I might even just go with a portable jump starter. They are not all that much more than a plain power bank and it might be good to keep that in my pickup truck anyway.
    That bank doesn't have a USB-C out, so you'd only get a 12W charge per outlet [and you'd have to check the specs to know if it could do 12W to both simultaneously, something else to look out for with power banks]; but again, how important this is depends on how well the device works with less-than-top-speed charging, it may not be an issue at all with something that doesn't drain hard, but would be a no go with something like a laptop.

  7. #7
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    Default Help Me Select A Power Bank

    I think one of the reasons I am having trouble selecting one is it is hard to compare them. Should I compare based on the peak current, cold cranking amps, starting current, how many mAh the power bank offers or something else?

  8. #8
    *Flashaholic* StarHalo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help Me Select A Power Bank

    I don't have experience with jump packs (not a lot of use for those owning a Honda in Southern California..) I only know people buy them by cylinder count, basically as long as your engine isn't too large for the jump determines if it'll work or not. But unless you have to jump your car constantly, the more important specs are how well it'll charge your devices, since that's how the device will spend nearly all its life.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Help Me Select A Power Bank

    I personally like Milwaukee tool USB adaptors as I am heavily invested in their platforms. The 18 v 12 amp hr battery gives a load of recharges for USB devices. Recently ordered the Ecoflow Delta 1300 but have yet to receive it from China

  10. #10
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    Default Help Me Select A Power Bank

    I am also aware that TSA has rules for battery packs that go on aircraft.



    https://www.cnn.com/2019/03/15/cnn-u...cks/index.html

    https://www.faa.gov/hazmat/packsafe/more_info/?hazmat=7

  11. #11

    Default Re: Help Me Select A Power Bank

    Quote Originally Posted by JAS View Post
    I am also aware that TSA has rules for battery packs that go on aircraft.



    https://www.cnn.com/2019/03/15/cnn-u...cks/index.html

    https://www.faa.gov/hazmat/packsafe/more_info/?hazmat=7
    Under 100 watt is ok to fly with. If your looking for a permanent truck only power bank this one is good. Has AC/DC option.

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