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

Permalink New Product, Reloading 6 Comments »
July 3rd, 2009

High-Tech Game Cams Aid Hunters

A remote game camera lets you monitor the presence of deer and other game on your favorite hunting grounds. The camera is like a silent sentry, activating only when game animals trigger the heat-in-motion sensor. Here’s a shot recorded by Forum Member Preacher’s camera:

Cuddeback Deer Cam

Cuddeback NoFlash Deer CamCuddeback No-Flash Deer Cam on Sale
The Cuddeback cameras are very sophisticated. The premium Cuddeback units trigger in 0.75 seconds. Cuddeback’s No-Flash IR unit works ’round-the-clock, using invisible infrared illumination at night so the game is not spooked. In daytime you record full-color 3.0 megapixel photos, and you can even set the unit to shoot short videos. The good news is that Cabelas.com has the Cuddeback® No-Flash Infrared Scouting Camera on sale right now for $299.88, marked down from $449.00. The cheapest price we’ve found elsewhere on the web is $319.99 at Amazon.com for the Cuddeback NoFlash Deercam.

Bushnell Releases New IR Trophy Cam
For 2009, Bushnell has introduced an impressive new Trophy Cam. Priced at about $199.00 for the basic model, the new Bushnell IR Trophy Cam offers most of the features of the more expensive Cuddeback IR No-Flash model, but at a much more affordable price. With impressive battery life of up to 6 months, video capability, and an IR flash range up to 45 feet, the new Bushnell has already become very popular with hunters. Independent tests show the Trophy Cam triggers in 1.21 seconds, with a recovery time of 7-11 seconds (depending on picture resolution). The compact (6″x4″) Bushnell is easy to program (no remote required) and the Trophy Cam offers a choice of 3 mp or 5 mp photos. With the deluxe “viewer” version ($249.00 at Digital Photo) you can preview your photos via the camera’s built-in color viewscreen (a feature not offered on the Cuddeback).

Bushnell Trophy Cam

CLICK HERE to Read Bushnell Trophy Cam Review.

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, New Product 1 Comment »