March 22nd, 2018

Power to the People — Battery Solutions for Range Trips

LabRadar FosPower USB Battery pack charnging LED

Today’s precision shooter is connected. He or she is likely to bring a number of electronic items to the range, such as a smartphone, tablet computer, Kestrel, LabRadar chronograph, and more. These digital devices all require electricity to operate. Unfortunately, most ranges don’t include convenient charging stations for your gadgets. Therefore you need to bring battery back-up. Here are three good options, with storage capacities from 10200 mAh to 42000 mAh. The first unit is fully weather-proof, so it is good for hunters and tactical shooters exposed to the elements. The largest power pack, with AC outlet, is quite versatile and works well on car-camping trips.

1. FosPower 10200 mAh Waterproof Charger, $26.99

FosPower USB Battery pack waterproof shockproof LED

When you’re at the range or on a hunt, it’s smart to have a USB-output battery pack for smart phone, target-cam monitor, even a LabRadar. There are many battery packs available, but most are fairly fragile, with exposed ports. This “ruggedized” FosPower 10200 mAh charger is different. It is waterproof, dust-proof, and shock-proof. (IP67 certified: dust and water resistance for up to 3ft/1m for 30 minutes under water.) It can handle all that a PRS competitor or hunter can dish out. It even has a handy LED light. Right now it’s priced at $26.99 with FREE Shipping (on orders over $25.00).

2. EasyAcc 20000 mAh Battery Pack with Fast Charging, $35.99

USB

If you want to charge multiple devices, such as a tablet and a LabRadar, you need serious capacity. The EasyAcc 20000 mAh battery pack can charge up to four devices simultaneously. Notably, this $35.99 Battery Pack charges faster than most other 20K packs. It has two power input ports, allowing it to fully charge in 6-7 hours. (We have another 20000 mAh battery unit that takes over 16 hours to fully charge!). This unit will charge an iPhone 7 six times, a Samsung S8 four times or an iPad Mini two times. Note, 77% of Amazon purchasers rated this unit Five Stars (with 13% Four-Star reviews).

3. Webetop 42000 mAh USB, 12v DC, 110v AC Power Station, $143.88

USB

Many folks have asked us “How can I use a laptop, chronograph, or electronic powder dispenser that requires 110 volt AC power when I’m at the range?” Sure you can take power from your car’s 12 volt cigarette lighter jack, but you’ll still need a very long cable and a 12 volt to 110 volt step-up transformer. If you run a cable from the parking lot to the bench or shooting bay you’ll have to leave a window open in your vehicle and fellow shooters can trip over the long cord.

A better solution is to get a portable, combo 12 volt + 110 volt power unit. This versatile 42000 mAh Webetop Power Station will drive a 110v device, plus charge a tablet and cellphone, all at the same time. You can run a LabRadar for days with this power-pack. It will also power CPAP machines and other 12V devices. One nice feature is rapid charging. Before your range session or camping trip, plug this into the wall. It will get fully charged in 7-8 hours.

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February 10th, 2010

Affordable Inverters Provide Power at the Range

These days, it’s not uncommon for shooters to bring electrical gadgets to the shooting range, particularly when testing loads. You’ll see guys running chronos with laptop computers, or loading with electronic powder dispensers (such as the RCBS ChargeMaster). If your favorite range doesn’t have AC outlets, how do you keep all that stuff powered up? You can get one of those portable 120v power supplies (basically a big battery with inverter and carry handle), but they are heavy and fairly expensive.

Another option, for those needing 120v AC to drive powder dispensers, laptops etc., is to use your car battery. Compact, affordable, and reliable inverters are now available that let you draw current from your car/truck’s cigarette lighter or accessory jack. Yes, it would be possible to run-down your battery, but if you start with a healthy vehicle battery, you’re not going to drain it by throwing a couple dozen charges with a ChargeMaster.

DC to AC 120v converter Black Decker

Black & Decker makes a rugged 100-Watt Inverter that converts your vehicle’s 12-volt DC power into 115-volt AC power. The unit has a single AC outlet, with an accessory plug that adjusts 45 degrees for convenience. An automatic low battery shutdown prevents draining the vehicle battery, and an LED indicator shows charging status. Black & Decker backs its inverter with a 2-year warranty. The Black & Decker 100-Watt Inverter costs $22.96 at Amazon.com.

Duracell has a similar Pocket Power Inverter fitted with a cord on the 12V end. (The cord is much longer than shown in picture). The cord can be helpful if your power take-off or cigarette lighter jack is hard to access. The Duracell unit has been popular, but, unlike the Black & Decker, the Duracell only delivers 100 Watts for for 5 minutes, after that it delivers 80 watts. That’s still enough to drive most of the gadgets you’ll use for load testing at the range. Duracells Pocket Power Inverter sells for $19.99 on Amazon.com. A more powerful 175 watt version sells for $48.75.

DC to AC 120v converter

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