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Camping with AC only CPAP Machine
#1
Hello all,

The more and more I research, the more I realize that I may need to pay out of pocket for a new CPAP machine...

I have a Fisher & Paykel HC234 machine. It does not work with DC power, only AC. The manufacturer states that it works with 110-120V at 1.2A (max of 1.3A).

I did some research and people were recommending using a deep cycle motorcycle (or jetski) battery. The deep cycle allegedly handles being ran down better than a traditional battery.

Next, I was going to use a modified sine wave inverter that I have (400W continuous, 800W max) to go from the battery and output to a standard AC plug. Then, I was going to plug the CPAP machine into the inverter.

One issue I have run into is that I hear people talking about using pure sine wave inverters, rather than modified. I can't find any info about whether the HC234 requires a pure sine wave. Judging by the reviews on Amazon, I will have to spend almost $150 for a good pure sine wave inverter.

Anyone know if I can get away with using the modified sine wave inverter I have now? Anybody see any "issues" with my proposed setup?

We have a Honda EU2000i generator that we will be using intermittently, but I'm trying to prevent having to use the generator all night long to run my CPAP.

Thanks in advance! Thanks
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#2
Quote:The more and more I research, the more I realize that I may need to pay out of pocket for a new CPAP machine...

I'm not sure what you mean by your opening statement. Are you considering getting a second machine that is more camping friendly and works on DC? If you are, make sure that the humidifier is not integrated into the system like your Fisher & Paykel HC234. That way you can choose whether or not you humidify the air. Most other machines will work on DC, but not with the humidifier, as it draws too much power.

If you do decide to use an inverter, your manual suggests that 200W/300W Surge should be sufficient. I'm just not too sure how long the battery would last. As for the modified sine versus pure sine wave question, I would suggest that if you are attaching unstable power to a $1000 machine, it may as well be as good as it can be. The money that you spend now will likely pay off in the long run. A DC power cable for any other CPAP machine would cost you close to $100 anyway.

Good luck with your decision.
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#3
Go to Supplier #2 on the Supplier's list. Then their "accessories". They have a lithium ion back up system for just over 200.

And if you are going to pay out of pocket for a machine, like Eyes said, you want one where you can disengage or completely remove the humidifier. It pulls a lot of power.
PaulaO2
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#4
Hi zzzZZZzzz, WELCOME! to the forum.! as far as your quiry, what Paula and EyesWideOpen said. Best of luck to you.
trish6hundred
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#5
In my experience when car camping the vehicle battery works fine. Saves hauling a generator, just start the car to recharge. A good deep cycle battery should handle several nights without a recharge. If you are using camp sites, even the ones in national forests often have sites with AC power for campers.

The real challenge is wilderness camping. Being a huge fan of it and absolutely refusing to give it up has resulted in a variety of methods. A shirt with a pocket sown in the back for a tennis ball, to keep me off of my back, has proven the most effective.

Keep camping! Don't stop living just because of sleep apnea.
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#6
I had an issue a few months ago when our power was out for several days. I used a regular cheap 400W inverter and it did great. Only had one issue. I had one of those battery self contained booster jump start batteries with 900 Amps, I had put the amp meter on my inverter with the CPAP on and verified it pulled just 3.5 amps per hour. so figgured I would get a hundred hours or so use. It lasted just 1 night. talked to some battery people and you have to look at the AH (amp hour) rating NOT the advertised amps. This battery only had 32 AH so the charge lasted just under 10 hours. 32 AH seems to be pretty typical but some do have more.
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#7
I've successfully used a deep cycle marine battery and a lithium ion (LIB) CPAP battery with my old Respironics fixed pressure CPAP. When I bought the LIB battery (designed for CPAP use), I also purchased the inverter they recommended. If interested in the supplier, send me a PM and I'll pass that info on.

When I first started using the LIB, it would give me about 2.5 nights of CPAP power. Now it has deteriorated to provide only about 10 hours of usage. I've found that the park rangers in the US have all been willing to recharge the battery. I just explain the battery is for a piece of medical equipment and they are happy to help.

I don't know how much usage one could get out of a deep cycle battery. Would obviously depend on the AH rating. I used one during a raft trip and we re-charged the battery during the day on the guide's boat. It worked fine except for one evening when I re-charged my camera battery before using the CPAP. As a result, I ran out of power for the CPAP about halfway through the night.

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#8
(09-07-2012, 06:41 AM)bbod Wrote: In my experience when car camping the vehicle battery works fine. Saves hauling a generator, just start the car to recharge.

That's assuming somebody lets me use their car battery.
I don't have a car so I'll have to get a ride. Luckily the cabins (we're not pitching tents in the snow) have electricity. My idea of roughing it <g> I told them that it was mandatory if I were to take part in the excursion.
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#9
Just in my experience, I would avoid using inverters whenever possible and stick with straight DC.
When you are running on battery power the amps are valuable. An inverter *wastes* HALF the battery energy to heat loss in converting the DC to 115v AC.
this can make a difference in your CPAP running twice as long...or not.
Investing in a DC friendly CPAP will save you a load of cash in that you wont need to buy an expensive inverter AND you will be able to live with a
smaller, lighter and less expensive battery.
If you can wrangle some solar panels and a charge controller, that will get you even more run time out in the wilds. (sunshine permitting)
Smile
Cheers!

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