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by signgrap on Mon Dec 09, 2019 11:15 pm
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Slightly off topic question.  I need a good quality, highly reliable Portable Battery Charger for charging my wife's USB chargeable Insulin Pump.  The pump needs to be charged daily.  In the last 2 weeks we've had 2 power failures (1st lasting two days and the 2nd a day, last year we were w/o power for 8 straight days) creating the problem of how to keep her pump charged each night.  We've gotten it charged by going to our neighbor who has a generator (we live in a rural area).  So I thought that a portable battery charger might be a good solution.  Or if anyone has a better solution I'm open to any good solution, as always keeping the charger charged can be problematic over time, when something is used once in a blue moon.  It appears that climate change has made what use to be snow change to ice, sleet and wet snow followed by rain which downs trees left and right.  Made worse by a utility which is not keeping up with the tree trimming.  Thanks,
Dick Ludwig
 

by SantaFeJoe on Tue Dec 10, 2019 12:29 am
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There are several high capacity battery packs available. This is one:

https://www.bestbuy.com/site/insignia-20000-mah-portable-charger-for-most-usb-enabled-devices-black/6362533.p?skuId=6362533

More here:

More

The larger the better, but read the reviews.

Joe
Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.  -Pablo Picasso
 

by E.J. Peiker on Tue Dec 10, 2019 6:47 am
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You will want something with a ton of capacity.  Many of the car battery jump-start batteries have USB ports and the capacity of those batteries is 10-20x the normal USB battery packs and have lots of uses.  I use this one:
https://www.amazon.com/GOOLOO-Upgraded-18000mAh-SuperSafe-Protection/dp/B07MLHPGY9
 

by signgrap on Tue Dec 10, 2019 10:57 am
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E.J. Peiker wrote:
You will want something with a ton of capacity.  Many of the car battery jump-start batteries have USB ports and the capacity of those batteries is 10-20x the normal USB battery packs and have lots of uses.  I use this one:
https://www.amazon.com/GOOLOO-Upgraded-18000mAh-SuperSafe-Protection/dp/B07MLHPGY9

E.J.  Looks interesting but I have one concern - is it too powerful?  Gooloo mentions very fast charge through USB 3.0 port.  This is the pump: https://www.tandemdiabetes.com/docs/default-source/product-documents/t-slim-x2-insulin-pump/patient_pack_tslimx2_basal-iq48455a9775426a79a519ff0500a9fd39.pdf?sfvrsn=41a83ed7_38
Unfortunately I can't find the charging and battery specs.  The AC charger that came with the pump is pretty similar to a phone charger i.e. Output 0.5V = 1A with a micro-USB plug.  My concern is too fast charging which might shorten battery life due to heat buildup from the fast charging.  [Backup Portable Charger]: With 18000mAh capacity and smart Dual USB port, the quick charge 3.0 USB port not only charge faster than usual, but also compatible with almost all USB charging specifications of products and devices.  The expected life for the pump battery is 4 years (can't be user replaced) which Medicare will cover.  But if it needs to be replaced sooner Medicare won't cover the cost ($7,500).  The pump along with the integrated Dexcom CGM (Continuous Glucose Monitor) is the next best thing to a fully functioning pancreas.  
Dick Ludwig
 

by E.J. Peiker on Tue Dec 10, 2019 4:03 pm
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Note that an iPad charger, which you can also charge your phone with is 2.5A. My Gooloo, the one I linked, has one USB port at 1A and the other at 2A. Note also that most USB chargeable devices are designed such that the device being charged determines the current draw. BTW, it's not 0.5V, it's 5V for any USB device ;)
 

by nc_killie on Wed Dec 11, 2019 4:12 pm
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May I suggest that you contact the pump manufacturer. They may have an answer / recommendation - or if not they may investigate. Your situation cannot be unique. I work for a medical device company (who have diabetes products) and they like to try and go the extra mile for their customers / patients.
Good luck
 

by Wade Thorson on Wed Dec 11, 2019 6:19 pm
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How much do you want to spend?  The Goal Zero line of products are the go-to in the outdoor industry.

Goal Zero at REI
"One touch of nature makes the whole world kin."
                 -Shakespeare Troilus and Cressida


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by SantaFeJoe on Wed Dec 11, 2019 8:10 pm
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These are available, as well:

https://www.batteriesplus.com/productdetails/drjs30c

Question: Why not use your cars cigarette lighter charger in an emergency? If necessary, you could make an extension cord with a cigarette lighter charger plug that could reach your house. You could also charge the device off of a laptop.

Joe
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by ChrisRoss on Fri Dec 13, 2019 2:27 am
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Just looking at the pump it is quite tiny which means the battery will be quite small and capacity correspondingly small. I would guess 1-2 amp-hr range. So you probaly don't need a huge bank to recharge it. The problem you will run into is whatever solution you use it will be used several times a year at most and have to sit there on charge the rest of the year, which is also not great for batteries. Better to get something that has a dual function like a computer UPS, combine that with a phone power bank, something with maybe 6-10 amp-hr capacity and you'll have several options to charge your device. Many computer UPS will happly charge USB devices without beeping their heads off and have the capacity to do it quite a few times.

The posts I saw seem to imply it only needs to be topped off each day while showering or driving or something - again indicating the daily power draw is relatively small.
Chris Ross
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by Jeff Pearl on Fri Dec 13, 2019 7:32 am
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Battery Warehouse might have something that will work for you? https://batterywarehouseva.com/?s=charger&post_type=product
 

by signgrap on Fri Dec 13, 2019 10:27 am
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ChrisRoss wrote:
Just looking at the pump it is quite tiny which means the battery will be quite small and capacity correspondingly small.  I would guess 1-2 amp-hr range.  So you probably don't need a huge bank to recharge it.  The problem you will run into is whatever solution you use it will be used several times a year at most and have to sit there on charge the rest of the year, which is also not great for batteries. . . . Better to get something that has a dual function like a computer UPS, combine that with a phone power bank, something with maybe 6-10 amp-hr capacity and you'll have several options to charge your device.  Many computer UPS will happily charge USB devices without beeping their heads off and have the capacity to do it quite a few times.

The posts I saw seem to imply it only needs to be topped off each day while showering or driving or something - again indicating the daily power draw is relatively small.

Chris, you've hit the nail on the head!  
Constantly charging a backup battery and rarely using it just kills the backup over time.  Your suggestion of using a USP sounds interesting and I will need to explore this.  I would assume you just need to plug the pump charger into one of the receptacles on the USP and your in business.  When I shut down the computer tonight I'll try it out.  I have no idea how long the USB charge will last - first step will be to see if it will charge the pump first thing in the morning before turning the computer back on (I always turn my computers off every night). 
Your correct that the battery is small and that in one days use on average it will have used about 35-50% of the charge.  Its power consumption depends on how often you look at the screen.  It is just like a smartphone - the more you look at it the faster you drain the battery.  On a good day (about a 1/3 of the time) when her blood glucose (BG) is under control she may only draw down the battery 25-30%.  On a bad day (again about a 1/3 of the time) when no matter what she does the glucose just stays high - then she is constantly getting high BG alerts and looking at  her pump continuously she may use 70% of her battery charge.  Insulin dependant diabetes is a horrible disease as there are 42 things that can trigger low and/or high BG and food is just one of the 42 things.  A lot of these are automatic reactions in the body where the liver injects stored glucose into the blood as a reaction to things like stress, fear, adrenaline, fever, exercise and the list goes on.   
You mention a small power bank, I've been looking at something like this:  https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B07X7WCJ38/?coliid=I3VDUOADYPKYY7&colid=3HW8FKCSH1A86&psc=1&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it
I like this one because it has a read out of the remaining power, powerful 25,000mAh and that it is small enough that she can carry it with her whenever her pump charge is low and she needs to be someplace other than home.  I like solutions where she can lead a relatively normal life.
Dick Ludwig
 

by Anthony Medici on Fri Dec 13, 2019 7:16 pm
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I am a co-leader for a group that will be traveling to Botswana next April where most of the time we will be off grid. We're using inverters in the vehicle to charge most items but that means always having to find a spot in a vehicle to charge your various devices which include laptops, camera batteries and various usb charging items during the middle of the day which isn't always convenient. As part of the prep for that trip, we recommended the participants also look into bringing portable batteries that can power their AC devices as well as there USB ones as it is much easier to charge a spare battery during the middle of the day rather than your laptop or usb devices sine the middle of the day is the most likely time they would be using those devices.

The ones I recommend as I've been using their products for years, is the Chargetech Omni series as well as other Chargetech batteries. I personally own a number of these as they are generally useful to have laying around when the power goes out.

Of the Omni series, we recommended the latest version of the Omni 20+ for the participants of our trip since it travels well as it has a small enough capacity that the airlines don't give it a second look. If you don't care about airline travel and you want good power for your wife's pump and various other devices when the power is on the fritz, I recommend the Omni Ultimate. Besides having a 38,400 mAh capacity, you can buy spare batteries for it which means you can decide just how much power you want sitting around for when it's needed. Both of those you can see specs for using the first link I provided and they can generate up to a 120W AC output. Or they will power usb devices with the AC shut off. (100W AC for the 20+ and 120W AC for the Ultimate)

In the general Chargetech products, the Plug 42K or Plug 54K units are even bigger than the ultimate though you can't get spare batteries for those. The neat thing about them is that they will power 250W devices using the AC plugs. And they sell bigger devices if you really want something even bigger than those.

My guess is that the smallest of what I'm listing here would charge your wife's device for a week or more without getting down to the last 5% on the batteries. That means you can decide just when you want to charge the battery again rather than keeping it topped off. I've found that they hold there charges quite well. (I have 5 different ones. I just check them after months of inactivity most still showed 100% charge with the only one not at 100% showing 98% charge.)

BTW, they even sell a solar panel for emergency charging of the battery though I have never used it since I live in an apartment and you can't just leave things laying around outside in an apartment.
Tony
 

by ChrisRoss on Sat Dec 14, 2019 2:12 am
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signgrap wrote:
ChrisRoss wrote:
Just looking at the pump it is quite tiny which means the battery will be quite small and capacity correspondingly small.  I would guess 1-2 amp-hr range.  So you probably don't need a huge bank to recharge it.  The problem you will run into is whatever solution you use it will be used several times a year at most and have to sit there on charge the rest of the year, which is also not great for batteries. . . . Better to get something that has a dual function like a computer UPS, combine that with a phone power bank, something with maybe 6-10 amp-hr capacity and you'll have several options to charge your device.  Many computer UPS will happily charge USB devices without beeping their heads off and have the capacity to do it quite a few times.

The posts I saw seem to imply it only needs to be topped off each day while showering or driving or something - again indicating the daily power draw is relatively small.

Chris, you've hit the nail on the head!  
Constantly charging a backup battery and rarely using it just kills the backup over time.  Your suggestion of using a USP sounds interesting and I will need to explore this.  I would assume you just need to plug the pump charger into one of the receptacles on the USP and your in business.  When I shut down the computer tonight I'll try it out.  I have no idea how long the USB charge will last - first step will be to see if it will charge the pump first thing in the morning before turning the computer back on (I always turn my computers off every night). 
Your correct that the battery is small and that in one days use on average it will have used about 35-50% of the charge.  Its power consumption depends on how often you look at the screen.  It is just like a smartphone - the more you look at it the faster you drain the battery.  On a good day (about a 1/3 of the time) when her blood glucose (BG) is under control she may only draw down the battery 25-30%.  On a bad day (again about a 1/3 of the time) when no matter what she does the glucose just stays high - then she is constantly getting high BG alerts and looking at  her pump continuously she may use 70% of her battery charge.  Insulin dependant diabetes is a horrible disease as there are 42 things that can trigger low and/or high BG and food is just one of the 42 things.  A lot of these are automatic reactions in the body where the liver injects stored glucose into the blood as a reaction to things like stress, fear, adrenaline, fever, exercise and the list goes on.   
You mention a small power bank, I've been looking at something like this:  https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B07X7WCJ38/?coliid=I3VDUOADYPKYY7&colid=3HW8FKCSH1A86&psc=1&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it
I like this one because it has a read out of the remaining power, powerful 25,000mAh and that it is small enough that she can carry it with her whenever her pump charge is low and she needs to be someplace other than home.  I like solutions where she can lead a relatively normal life.



Agree. the UPS needs to be switched on and it may beep at you if it draws enough current but it should have enough capacity for several charges.  There is normally a mute button and you should be able to monitor how much capacity it consumes to charge as most have minutes of power display on them.  They normally use sealed lead acid batteries which are probably the best type of battery to keep on a trickle charge - what they don't like is deep discharge.

A power bank can be a portable solution - just use it to boost charge things like the pump or your phones regularly and keep it exercised - get one for yourself as well which can be more backup, if you are concerned about long outages get a solar USB charger of some sort - it can be left to charge one of your banks even if it's intermittently cloudy it'll slowly charge over the course of the day on anything but the worst conditions.  That would be for after the storm when you are waiting for power to come back.  It all depends on how many layers of protection you want to provide.
Chris Ross
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Australia
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by signgrap on Sun Dec 15, 2019 5:15 pm
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I'd like to thank everyone for their insights and great suggestions. They've been very helpful in clarifying my action plan. One thing that I have been putting off because of it's great expense is looking into a generator, not a whole house generator but a smaller one that is capable of running, the water pump, refrigerator, chest freezer, and minimal baseboard electric heat and some lights. We normally heat with a heat pump but a generator big enough to run that will cost more than I want to spend for an occasional blackout. Thanks again.
Dick Ludwig
 

by photoman4343 on Mon Dec 16, 2019 9:12 am
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Dick, Some additional thoughts. Regarding UPS devices, go to APC's website and look at FAQ and yo might see some info as to which of their products might work for you. Or contact them and see what they recommend for the insulin pump device.

Here along the Texas coast where power outages can occur , many homes have generators to power things like refrigerators and freezers. Natural Gas ones are far safer than those fueled by gasoline as fuel storage is not a requirement. Safe storage of gasoline for the generator has to be factored into the system design. If natural gas is in your area, your power company may have a special program for you.
Joe Smith
 

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