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OT: Band power


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So this new electric Ford truck - says when fully charged it will power your house for 3 days (in the case of a blackout).  That sounds like it would have enough juice to power a full band + PA, yes?  Sounds kinda cool (if you wanted to play a gig where power is not readily available).  This thing has something like a dozen outlets throughout the truck.

 

 

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Some music I've recorded and played over the years with a few different bands

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We've been thinking seriously about getting one.  We don't have a reservation down, so there will be tens of thousands of folks in front of us in line.  Being able to power an outdoor gig without a noisy, unreliable generator is a benefit I hadn't even considered.

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Can it power the band gig? is the wrong question to ask.  A better question would be: can it power the band gig and drive back home afterwards?

 

Now when the technology allows the user to swap out batteries as quickly and easily as putting a new tank of propane under the barbie, then we can use an electric pick-up for gigging without reservation.

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1 hour ago, JamPro said:

Can it power the band gig? is the wrong question to ask.  A better question would be: can it power the band gig and drive back home afterwards?

 

Maybe or maybe not, but you should be able to figure that out ahead of time.  It's just math.

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Despite me not needing a pickup--the last two I owned were used a lot more by friends moving something than by me!--I have some (electric) GAS for this.   This and other electric pickups may do a ton for pushing electric forward in this country.  

Kia is apparently planning an electric version of the Telluride, that or an electric version of their Carnival would be exactly what I'd want.   

Lots and lots of new electrics coming out in the next few years.  I hope they can overcome the issues with rare earths needed in batteries etc.   The gas, oil and radiator past can't disappear fast enough over the rearview horizon for my taste.

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1 hour ago, JamPro said:

…Now when the technology allows the user to swap out batteries as quickly and easily as putting a new tank of propane under the barbie, then we can use an electric pick-up for gigging without reservation.

I agree, that would be great, but it’s not likely to become reality. In order to maximize range, cars are built around the battery. The battery becomes an oddly shaped structural component of the car. Making it swappable would require a rectangular battery that could slide into and out of a separate frame, adding weight and reducing range. Pity, as it would certainly seem to make sense. 
 

Think about early laptops with removable battery packs. Heavier, bulkier, and less run time. Now the laptops are designed around the built in battery. 

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41 minutes ago, stillearning said:

In order to maximize range, cars are built around the battery. The battery becomes an oddly shaped structural component of the car.

 

Yeah, pretty much in the same way e-cigarettes are built around the battery. 85% of the weight and size of an e-cigarette is the battery alone. It's only that small tank/enclosure at the tip of the device that does all the work.

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I can only imagine how much better electric cars/batteries are going to get if we don't climate change and fake news our way back to the stone age :)  internal combustion saw improvements over 100 years plus, so today's electrics are likely to look pretty quaint a few decades from now.

Range isn't a big deal to me (though it would if I was powering gigs!).   I work from home and my only excursions of any distance are to gigs--the longest of these being a hour's drive or so.   300 miles is more than good enough in my current situation provided I can charge at home, which I can.   Not sure what our family will do if we all go electric, there are four cars and the garage is pretty full of stuff!  Problem for another day.


Interesting idea though, using a truck for power....we definitely play a couple places with dodgy power.

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More than battery electric, I'm interested in the viability of Hydrogen Fuel Cell cars like the Toyota Mirai.  Right now, the Hydrogen network is basically non existent outside of San Francisco and LA, but being able to drive an electric car the same way as a gas car with short fill ups would be awesome.  Sure they are less efficient than a battery electric vehicle, but BEVs aren't the most efficient either if you are not in the perfect temperature all the time.  BEVs also run into the issues of battery degradation, which is already a problem on phones and laptops, but requires much more rare metals that can't be recycled or mined easily, which doesn't fix the pollution problem, just pushes it off.  At the point where we are now, the viability of electric cars for the average American is very low.  If you live in an apartment without a garage, where are you supposed to charge it?  If you live anywhere outside a semi-urban area, the charging network and range of EVs makes range anxiety even worse, so how do we fix that?  If you don't have the income to purchase an EV new, where do you buy one from?  The battery degradation of an EV means that even a used EV doesn't make sense, because it isn't going to last as long.  In my opinion, these are the questions we need to be asking, not 'what new gadget can we put in an EV that makes it less reliable and more expensive?'

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3 hours ago, JamPro said:

Can it power the band gig? is the wrong question to ask.  A better question would be: can it power the band gig and drive back home afterwards?

That's when the band will definitely need a KB player.  Somebody capable of figuring out how many minutes the band can play considering their power requirement and still have enough juice left to get to a charging station in order to make the trek back home. 😁😎

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29 minutes ago, JohnH said:

The beds are annoyingly small even on big trucks like this so they seem to be absolutely useless for me with my S90ES and the rest of my gear . CRV for me is next. 

 

I'm a little confused: the bed on a truck is too small for you, so you're going with a CR-V? That said, my main gear hauler is a '16 CR-V. I've carried my S70XS, Jupiter-80, and SK Pro 73 (all in road cases), our band's 12-space SKB monitor rack, two X stands, two cable bags, and a small mixer case. It's a little cramped -- my overnight bag usually rides in the passenger seat -- but with gas prices what they are these days, it's nice when you can tote your stuff at over 30 mpg. I also have an old Ford Supercrew for times when I need to haul even more gear or gear and people.

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The SUV's like the CRV and RAV4 have the same amount of room as my Escort Wagons actually they have more. The Escort is 65 cubic feet and the SUVs are 70 plus so there will be more room for me. There's no way these small truck beds come close to that. It seems like a lot of potential storage room for the bed is taken up by the second row of seats on the trucks.  The CRV has 75.8 cubic feet behind the front seats with the back seats folded down and the RAV4 about 70.

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The best band, and family, vehicle I've owned has been an Odyssey minivan and it isn't close.  The sliding side doors are great for loading gear and kids (not together!), though we did have a few issues with them so a point off for that.  It had way more room than our Pilot and it was lower so easier to load stuff in.

Minivans aren't cool (or so I've been told, and by a couple other soccer dads ironically) though I find it hilarious that big SUVs now mostly resemble them as people look for better gas mileage, ride and functionality.

Two problems to overcome with truck beds: weather, and the gear sliding around.  Solutions for the weather--assuming you don't just put all gear in weatherproof cases--mean more hassle if you want to use your truck for say moving appliances (which we do occasionally, my wife is a property manager).   I'm in Florida so if the sun has risen today there's a chance of rain, and unfortunately usually around the time I'm getting to a gig.

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It seems like the basic auto configuration is ripe for innovative / creative disruption. The "4+" config of the sedan / station wagon has been only occasionally changed over the years (cut out the back seat for a pickup, or bolt them in different locations into a cargo van with windows to make the minivan). An SUV is essentially an expensive station wagon, isn't it, just as a 5-door hatchback is a truncated station wagon. For musicians, it's difficult to argue against a minivan as the most practical, flexible solution (flexible rear seat config - you can even pull them out entirely, sliding doors on the side, low deck height, tall rectangular enclosed cargo area, ad hoc green room for groupie meet and greets). 

 

But if we're evolving in the industry to where the automobile is essentially a big mobile frame for the battery, one wonders where we might end up if we answered the "where do we put the people and stuff" as a fresh, new question unfettered from past thinking.

 

And re: the original question about a car powering a band - I wonder if the amperage requirements of a full PA would render the comparison to "power my house in a blackout" somewhat apples to oranges?

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Interesting questions.  I'd guess all the safety standards etc might make it hard to think too far outside the box.

Really dumb question: can any electric charge, even if slowly, from regular power?  If so, and if it could both charge and power things at the same time, have the venue's power be charging your car while your car powers the PA  :)   (assuming Tim's question about amperage is answered positively)   

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1 minute ago, JohnH said:

I stand corrected as it depends on how you order the truck.  Found this. I am not sure if the Lightning will have the longer bed options. But then you still have to get the top for it so you aren't driving the gear around unprotected.

 

https://www.greggyoungford.com/ford-f-150-bed-size.htm#dimensions

 

Yeah, that's the thing with any truck: you need a shell to protect your gear. The cool thing with the Lightning is that it also has a trunk in front that would hold a lot of smaller items (cable bags, etc.).

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Live: Roland Jupiter-80; Yamaha S70XS (#1); Mackie 1202VLZ4, IEMs or Traynor K4

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Interesting questions.  I'd guess all the safety standards etc might make it hard to think too far outside the box.

Really dumb question: can any electric charge, even if slowly, from regular power?  If so, and if it could both charge and power things at the same time, have the venue's power be charging your car while your car powers the PA  :)   (assuming Tim's question about amperage is answered positively)   

I'll admit I'm way more interested in the "frunk" than I should be.   My impression is that it's quite large, possibly enough to hold some keyboards like my MODX7 (?)   I'm guessing they could have made it more aerodynamic and not a big blocky front but then it wouldn't look like the traditional f150 and so wouldn't sell that well.  Of course I could be way off base and streamlining the front perhaps doesn't do much for mileage.

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Like many, I'm finally moving in the direction of getting an EV.

 

A drummer I work with is a rep for one of the big solar companies, and he's writing up a proposal for my house as we speak. I'm lucky to be in SoCal when it comes to solar on houses, and once installed I'll be waiting to see the 2023 offerings when they hit this fall. I figure the payment will be around the same or less than I'm currently paying per month for gas....

 

My only problem is, to me at least, many of the EV options look like cars that would have been on the movie Tron......muy fugly. 

Hoping some of the new ones might be more appealing on the looks?

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1 hour ago, JohnH said:

The SUV's like the CRV and RAV4 have the same amount of room as my Escort Wagons actually they have more. The Escort is 65 cubic feet and the SUVs are 70 plus so there will be more room for me. There's no way these small truck beds come close to that. It seems like a lot of potential storage room for the bed is taken up by the second row of seats on the trucks.  The CRV has 75.8 cubic feet behind the front seats with the back seats folded down and the RAV4 about 70.

For my money, the best gear hauler is the Subaru Outback. Perfect size, easy to load, AWD, and 30 MPGs. I’m on my third. Hoping for it to be available as a PHEV soon, eventually all electric. 

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I recently saw the video that the OP posted. I've been looking at electric trucks and SUVs for a while. There will be more models being produced in the next couple of years. I can wait. But this F-150 Lightning caught my attention. There are outlet plugs all over the dang thing, in the bed and other places. If I remember correctly, there's even a 220 outlet somewhere so you can plug in your clothes dryer. What really caught my attention was that you can use the truck like a storage battery to power your house if the power goes out. That happens to my house occasionally. This feature of the truck makes me think of it as dual purpose. The idea of powering a band is new. I like it. I think it's a question that needs to be answered -- especially the part about having enough juice to drive 100 miles home after the 4-hour gig running full PA, guitar, bass, keys, etc. That may be too much. But the video shows all the ways this truck has been engineered to be feature-heavy (including fake sound of of engine running), so it's something that Ford should engineer and advertise for next generation: "Ford F-150 Lightning can get you to the gig, power a full rock band for a 4-hour show, then get you home again!"

 

There's also enough storage for all your gear -- the bed, the front trunk (the "frunk") and the 2nd row behind the driver. The drummer in my main band has a truck with that 2nd row and it's roomy enough that he puts all his drum gear in that space, nothing in the bed. It looks to me that the Lightning would have lots of space for gear. 

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The way I see it, Ford's mild-hybrid F-150 PowerBoost is the truck I would use to power a gig: it can still supply an astonishing amount of power (including 220v) to other devices, but can also charge itself if necessary and will definitely make it all the way back home.

 

A crew cab 4x4 F-150 PowerBoost hybrid will set you back $50k including delivery.  Not cheap, but certainly not super expensive, although keep in mind this is with cloth bench seats and no options aside from 4WD and the PowerBoost engine.

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The Subaru outback mentioned above (the larger wagon, there is a smaller thing that may share the same name) is indeed a very handy vehicle, my brother owned one.

The problem:  It's back hatch has absolutely perfect forehead-bashing height.   The Odyssey I mentioned did too.  I drew blood probably five times over the years we owned it, and had at least 40 painful bashes.  Because I obviously am not capable of overcoming this, I will only buy cars that pass the moron forehead test (ie, must go over my head if I lean in.) 

Kinda sucks being both tall and stupid at times.  

I've decided to avoid hybrids simply because it has two complicated systems that may eventually have problems, instead of one.  That, and as I mentioned the range on electrics seems good enough for me.  I could see someone taking frequent longer trips to differ.   My wife wants to get a Tesla and for several reasons I've ruled them out--their founder being one, nuff said--I'd prefer to wait and see what Kia, Hyundai and others bring to the table.

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21 minutes ago, Stokely said:

The Subaru outback mentioned above (the larger wagon, there is a smaller thing that may share the same name) is indeed a very handy vehicle, my brother owned one…

…My wife wants to get a Tesla and for several reasons I've ruled them out--their founder being one, nuff said--I'd prefer to wait and see what Kia, Hyundai and others bring to the table.

The smaller Subaru you’re thinking of is likely the Crosstrek. Similar to an Outback, but noticeably shorter.

 

At one time I also wanted a Tesla, even test drove a Model S P100D, damn fast car, and declined for the same reason.

 

Hyundai makes great vehicles imo. Engines are well made. 

 

 

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This one goes into more detail on how much power you can get from the outlets.  For the base model, it appears it will have 2 kilowatts (not sure what that means), but it also says you should not exceed a combined total of 2,400 watts from all the outlets.  That doesn't seem like enough to power a band?  (NOTE:  the process to power your house is different - called Intelligent Backup Power -and you need to purchase/install this $4,000 system at your home.  The outlets to use power tools and amps and stuff is called Pro Power Onboard - no extra stuff needed)

 

 

Some music I've recorded and played over the years with a few different bands

Tommy Rude Soundcloud

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So, that ford's a hybrid, and when fully charged will allow you a 7kW 240Volts output. Ok, that's a decent P.A. with some LED lights...

 

Suppose you'd be able to use fulltime power from a 100kWh fully electric car, that would power 3 hours of a 10kW PA and 20kW of lights!

 

I would not mind using an Audi etron-2 with trailer for the purpose...

 

T.

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