Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Power Inverter for "Powerless" Treatments

This past 4th of July weekend the family and I took off up north to escape the 100+ degree heat here in beautiful Phoenix. We camped about 10 miles north of Strawberry, AZ at 7800 feet complete with tents, shelter for eating, propane, camp fires (kind of), s'mores, no bathrooms and no electricity. No electricity generally makes it tough to live the CF life as power is generally required for most of our treatment regiment. I use a inCourage Vest system and a Mobilare 50psi compressor for all 3 or 4 of my treatment sets, so for me, electricity is a must. I haven't been camping for years and years without a cabin full of 120v outlets, so I've never needed to come up with a solution for electricity before. That is, until we decided to "rough it" this past weekend.

Here was my solution:

Pictured above is the Wagan 1500W Power Inverter. I purchased it from Fry's Electronics and if you're interested in ordering one for yourself, you can see more info by clicking here

A brief rundown of the nitty gritty...
Price: 179.99
Continuous Use: 1500W
Peak Surge Power: 3600W
AC Voltage Output: 110V
Optimum Efficiency: 90.00%
No Load Current Draw: less than 0.95A
Input Voltage Range: 10V to 15V
Low Battery Alarm: DC 10.5 +/- 0.5V
Auto Low Battery Shutdown: DC 9.5 +/- 0.5V
Cooling Fan: Yes
AC Receptacles: Triple

Now, I bought the 1500W which was way more wattage than required to run my Vest and neb compressor. My Vest requires 500W and I'm assuming that my compressor requires much less than that. A step down to the 1000W inverter only provides two AC receptacles and I wanted the third in case I had to charge my phone or make a cup of coffee while I did my treatments :) Plus, having 1500W gave me the option to use the power inverter for a variety of other things...

Options are good
I had the inverter installed at a local shop called Direct Audio and the job was done in less than 3 hours and cost me 85 bucks out the door. They installed it under the driver's side seat with the AC outlets facing the backseat. I usually had my Vest and compressor plugged in and sitting on the ground near me while I sat in a chair. When it was raining, I simply sat in the front seat and left the equipment in the backseat. (I've also already done a full treatment set on the way to the airport while I was driving. Talk about a time saver!!)

Surrounded by pines!

Nice view during treatment time
When I did my treatments I always had the car running as to not run the chance of draining my battery (you also must turn the power to the inverter off when not in use). That was recommended to me by the guy who installed the inverter and it certainly made sense to me. So, as long as I had fuel in the tank, I was in the clear to do my treatments whenever I felt like it. Having the freedom to go camping and not have the worry about keeping my health as the number one priority was definitely worth the price tag of 264.99+tax.

Mckenna loves treatment time with Daddy

A couple other answers to questions I have been asked:

I didn't worry about sterilizing my neb cups in between treatment sets. I figured it would do no more harm than the 10+ years I washed them in the dishwasher about once a month. If I was worried about it however, I could have boiled water or plugged in my baby bottle sterilizer.

You can keep your Pulmozyme cold in the same place you keep your food cold. Ours was in a cooler full of ice.

I wasn't worried about disturbing other campers. We were very secluded. Even so, it wouldn't have bothered me and would have given me the opportunity for a little CF awareness ;)

I went to the bathroom in a hole that I dug by a tree. It was glorious.

I didn't feel a major difference in the power supplied to my Vest or compressor. I could possibly be convinced that my Vest was a bit weaker, but it wasn't super apparent. 

Final Thoughts:

The inverter did it's job and I would give it two big thumbs up. It will certainly provide more freedom and options down the road and I am very pleased with my decision to pull the trigger and pay the money. I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Mckenna even got in on the picture taking action!
Please leave me any questions you may have about the power inverter and I will do my best to answer them.