Powering the pyrography outfit from a battery
Method 1 - use an inverterAn inverter connects to a battery - usually a 12 volt leisure battery or car battery. It converts the power to mains voltage electricity and has a 13 amp socket. You just plug your pyrography outfit into the inverter and away you go. A small inverter is adequate. 50 watts or more is fine.
It will work from a car battery but this is not ideal. Car batteries are not designed for deep discharge. That is they do not like being run right down to a "flat" battery. Of course if this is your flat car battery you would then not be able to get home! However if you are careful to use around half the battery capacity and you do not need it to start your car, you would be OK. If your battery is 40 amp hour and you only use half of it you could run your pyrography machine for approximately 8 hours continuously and that would be enough for many occasions.
Leisure batteries are much better as they are designed for the job. They do not spill and are robust and reliable. However they are quite expensive. Boat chandlers and caravan accessory shops are a good source. A 40 amp hour one should be enough for most purposes
You will need a 12 volt battery charger to recharge it when you get home.
Lead-acid Leisure batteries and car batteries gradually degrade if discharged below 50%. Leisure batteries are more robust but you should avoid running a battery flat. So if you bought a 50 amp hour leisure battery, you should ideally only use half of it - 25 amp hour.
Lithium leisure batteries are available and can be fully discharged and will last much longer than a lead-acid battery. They are desirable but expensive.
Can I run a pyrography outfit from torch batteries or lantern batteries?
No - there is only enough capacity there to run for a few minutes.
How long will a battery last?
Multiply voltage x amp-hours to get watt-hours. Then divide by about 24 - the typical power consumption, to calculate hours of use. So a 12 volt 40 amp-hour battery is 480 watt-hours giving 480/24 equals 20 hours non stop woodburning.
Can I connect a pyrography pen directly to a 12 volt car battery?
No - 12 volts is far too much and the pen nib would immediately burn out. Maximum for the pen is around 2 volts at 8 amps.
Can I run a pyrography outfit from a solar panel?
Yes you can! Suitable panels are available cheaper than buying an inverter plus battery charger plus battery. The output from the panel will be very variable and some electronics will have to be added to make the setup work.
The conventional way is to charge a 12 volt battery and use an inverter as described above. However if you have electronics knowledge you will know how to use a buck converter to get a constant 2.5 volts D.C. directly from the panel. Simply connect the 2.5 volt output in series with the pen and the output sockets of the pyrography kit. You can then control the heat with the control knob as usual.
|Click here to buy a pyrography outfit with UK 13 amp plug|
For customers outside the U.K.Machines are available for most countries complete with the appropriate power cord and plug and with a transformer suited to the electrical supply voltage. UK, European, American, Canadian, Australian and Japanese versions are made.
Robert Sorby is the manufacturer now and machines are available from most Robert Sorby retail outlets. See the Robert-Sorby.co.uk website for a list of dealers in your country.