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Touring with a CPAP

Old 03-28-23, 07:48 PM
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Touring with a CPAP

I'm planning a bike tour this summer, my first. I need to take a CPAP machine. There are a few good very portable models available, that's not the issue. A few of them run on battery power also, a good thing.

My question for those of you who may travel with a CPAP is power. How do you manage to get a "relatively" full night's sleep from battery power? There are some really robust battery banks that may make it through the night but charging the next day is an issue and they are large-ish and heavy. What solution have you found that seems to work?

The guy at the CPAP store wasn't much help and actually asked me to come back in and tell him what battery and charging solution I find that works.
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Old 03-28-23, 09:12 PM
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Will campsite electricity not be an option?
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Old 03-28-23, 09:22 PM
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I know nothing about these machines. This being said I'd ask three questions:
(1) how much energy does a CPAP machine require for one night? I suppose that models have different degree of efficiency, perhaps related to the price. I'd get data and select hypotheticals.

(2) how many successive nights might you be off grid?

You can then figure what minimum battery size you need. Adding the safety margin you deem appropriate

(3) how fast can you recharge a battery pack? Some graphene batteries can ingest a surprisingly large amount of power in no time. (up to 100W).

[A quick search suggests that you can get several days from a single charge from a 40 000 mAh battery. Fast charging (graphene) batteries are available in larger size if desired)]

Last edited by gauvins; 03-28-23 at 09:26 PM.
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Old 03-28-23, 09:46 PM
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Indyfabz:
Will campsite electricity not be an option?
I can't count on it and I generally don't like hook-up type camp areas.

gauvins:
I hear what you are explaining and I agree but I really need somebody who has direct experience to chime in. These machines are very expensive and the guy in the store did tell me that "low voltage batteries", I think he meant batteries without high sustained power umph. can damage the machine.
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Old 03-28-23, 10:15 PM
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The portable C-Pap systems really don't offer much savings in Watt Hours / Amperage demands then a regular unit. Consider taking your regular unit and spending the money you would use buying a travel unit on your power supply. You can save the majority of amperage used by turning off the pre-heating mode. There are other adjustments that can be made by your respiratory therapist or your unit supplier that can save even more power.

So, saving the money you would use to buy travel C-Pap you can now use to buy your power supply. There are many! Even some that solar charge as you ride through the day. Take your time. Be selective. You may only need 7 watts over 6 hours for your power on some units. For my wife's Bi-Pap I set up a system that uses two car batteries when the power goes out. At 24 volts she gets a full 6 hours use with out humidifier preheating. And that's just a regular unit.

OK... Now remember... You should have already figured all this stuff out stud!

We fight the way we train...

Further Note: Man... I wish I had the guts to do a tour!
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Old 03-29-23, 05:31 AM
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I sleep with CPAP at home using a battery back up to sustain operation through the occasional power outage. I won't be aware of a nighttime outage until the battery dies in the wee hours of the morning and I wake up gasping. If I turn off hose heater and humidifier ahead of time the battery might get me through one night.

If you are using motels you could make it work. Bike camping with CPAP would be a challenge. If the site has electricity you'd need a cord long enough to reach your tent. If using battery power you'd have to bring the charger, perhaps extra batteries and alot time in the morning or subsequent evening to recharge. Recharge may take several hours.

Yes, there are small nasal devices on the market that replace the CPAP machine. The one I tried a few years ago did not work.
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Old 03-29-23, 07:46 AM
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One of the support rides I was on (Cycle Greater Yellowstone, RIP!) had provisions for campers on CPAP. They ran a small generator off on the edge of the camp for a few campers, and extension cords to power the CPAP. I'm not sure how many other riders or support crew stayed in motels en route.
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Old 03-29-23, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by drlogik
I'm planning a bike tour this summer, my first. I need to take a CPAP machine. There are a few good very portable models available, that's not the issue. A few of them run on battery power also, a good thing.

My question for those of you who may travel with a CPAP is power. How do you manage to get a "relatively" full night's sleep from battery power? There are some really robust battery banks that may make it through the night but charging the next day is an issue and they are large-ish and heavy. What solution have you found that seems to work?

The guy at the CPAP store wasn't much help and actually asked me to come back in and tell him what battery and charging solution I find that works.
A guy I tour and sail with uses this machine and he gets this trigger cable from Amazon which connects directly to a USB-C PD battery that provides the full PD voltage set. The cable provides the 15V supply for the CPAP machine and it works well. You can find a smaller battery but it needs to be capable of at least the 15V outs and an appropriate wattage. I think he also has a smaller 34Wh battery too. There's any number of cheaper and smaller batteries on Amazon, you just need to make sure that it supplies the wattage at 15V to make it work.
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Old 03-29-23, 10:14 AM
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JohnJ80,

Bingo! I'll look in to that. Thanks to those that replied. I can't take my main unit as it's just to big and bulky. I'm also looking at a SON Dynamo wheel to see if it has the output to trickle-charge a powerful battery unit like the one JohnJ80 linked to above. If I figure this out and get through this tour, I'll post my findings here for others to ponder if they run a CPAP also.

Please keep posting!
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Old 03-29-23, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by drlogik
JohnJ80,

Bingo! I'll look in to that. Thanks to those that replied. I can't take my main unit as it's just to big and bulky. I'm also looking at a SON Dynamo wheel to see if it has the output to trickle-charge a powerful battery unit like the one JohnJ80 linked to above. If I figure this out and get through this tour, I'll post my findings here for others to ponder if they run a CPAP also.

Please keep posting!
I estimate I get about 2 watts on fairly flat ground out of my Sinewave Revolution, less in hilly terrain where I spend more time going slow and not much time going fast. I bought a Cycle2Charge USB charger to replace the Sinewave, I think it puts out about 50 percent more power than the Sinewave. Let me know if you need more info on that. I am guessing that a dynohub would not be enough.

Edit: I forgot to say that these chargers are powered by a dynohub like the Son.
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Old 03-29-23, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by drlogik
JohnJ80,

Bingo! I'll look in to that. Thanks to those that replied. I can't take my main unit as it's just to big and bulky. I'm also looking at a SON Dynamo wheel to see if it has the output to trickle-charge a powerful battery unit like the one JohnJ80 linked to above. If I figure this out and get through this tour, I'll post my findings here for others to ponder if they run a CPAP also.

Please keep posting!
Glad to help.

The dynamo hub is too low power - it's more aimed at keeping a phone charged as opposed to a 100Wh battery (or a 50Wh one if that works). Best thing to do is find a battery that will charge at 100W USB-C PD power level and then get a GaN charger that will support that. I have this one from Invzi/Mopoint and it works super well. Basically, you'll be able to charge that whole battery up in about an hour and from what I understand, that 100Wh battery will do pretty much 2-3 nights of a CPAP depending on usage. You can find an occasional outlet and be good to go quite fast. If you find an outlet daily, you can keep all your electronics and that of your riding buddy topped off too.

USB-C PD is pretty handy. With the various voltage levels and power up to 100W available, you can really get some serious utility out of a good battery, the 100W ready USB-C PD cable (make sure you have one rated for 100W), and a tiny GaN 100W charger.

J.
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Old 03-29-23, 04:42 PM
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If you are trying to run that device on a Li Ion battery, keep in mind that such batteries are best used at the temperatures that us humans like. If it dips into the 40s (F) at night, your battery will be weaker and may run down faster. If there is a way you could keep your battery warm, that would help.

The battery manufacturer may have more info on that.
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Old 03-30-23, 06:03 AM
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This is the 95 watt hour, 1.3 pound battery I use at home for backup. Mfr says 2-3 hours to recharge using full size home power supply, 7-9 hours using "mini" travel size power supply. Again, turn off any powered heater/humidifier accessories to extend range.

At $339 I would not feel comfortable leaving it unsupervised at a campground facility (bath house? laundry room? camp store?) Whichever battery you choose, be sure to weatherproof it well if you charge it at an on-site outdoor receptacle.

Last edited by BobG; 03-30-23 at 07:02 AM. Reason: fix link
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Old 03-30-23, 06:35 PM
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There are a lot of batteries out there that support an effective USB-C PD output to power a device like a CPAP and more are coming every day. Anker has some big ones that are around $150 or so. My friend has used this one that's a 47WH battery that gets him through a night. It's a smaller battery, lightweight but you'd probably need to charge it daily. It's $99 and supports the full USB-C PD spec. My understanding is that a lot of CPAPs are sort of breathing demand driven so I'd guess that the power consumption over a night varies by person. So you'd need to test it. Amazon is loaded with them so it would take some worthwhile study to sort through ones that work. You won't have to spend $300 to get one that works. That said, the best batteries are some of those with graphene based Li-ion cells and can charge at 100W in. With that and a tiny GaN charger capable of 100W, you'd be able to charge that big battery up in an hour or less - which is kind of a big deal.

I have this battery that I carry for my traveling. It can charge everything I have at its max speed - watch, phone, laptop, tablet. It also accepts charging at 100W in and I can use it to charge the battery and as a charging hub while it's charging. It's about $249 on sale right now. That's a full featured battery hence the price.

Here's what you need to do:
1. Figure out the power consumption in Watt hours of your device.
2 Figure out how many watts it will dray at peak.
3. Figure out what voltage it runs at and get one that matches up with USB-C voltage specs (5, 9, 12, 15, 20V) and the power delivered at the voltage.
4. Get the right trigger cable that tells the battery to give you the voltage you want for your device.

Then it all will work. You have to do a little homework first and investigate the right batteries. You can figure out the voltage and max power the device will need by looking at the wall mount power adaptor for its output on the CPAP side. It will list it like something as 15V, 3A or something like that. Watts are volts times amp so in that case, 15V at 3A is 45W.

I helped get this set up for this buddy since I'm an electrical engineer. The biggest issues was finding one that meets the USB-C PD voltages. The power in watts wasn't an issue. The next issue is getting the right connector to fit the device. So the links for the CPAP, the trigger cable and the battery will all be a system that works with no transposer type cables to adapt connectors etc... That CPAP, my understanding, is one of the smallest available and is routinely used by those who camp or are off grid.

If you need help with this, just PM me and I'll help you through it.

J.

Last edited by JohnJ80; 03-30-23 at 06:38 PM.
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Old 03-30-23, 06:47 PM
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This guy:

https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/...id=23455&v=2YR

toured all the way around the US perimeter with a cpap.
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Old 04-01-23, 08:51 AM
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toured all the way around the US perimeter with a cpap.
Thanks for posting that, Thulsadoom!

Wow, what am I whining about? This guy had a lot of obstacles to deal with and the CPAP, at nine pounds? Oof....

My guess is most of that was the weight in batteries. I'll probably reach out to this fellow and get some advice.

​​​​​​​Thanks again.
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Old 04-02-23, 09:20 PM
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I bought the Resmed Air Mini and the battery that was offered with it. I can get three nights off the battery. I can usually get her charged up along the way. The Air Mini is ridiculously small,it fits in the palm of my hand. I use it when i travel as well.
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Old 04-03-23, 04:55 AM
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Originally Posted by garryg
I bought the Resmed Air Mini and the battery that was offered with it. I can get three nights off the battery
That's the same battery I use mentioned above at posts 6 and 13. To clarify, my 1-2 day use range between charges was based upon home use with the full size Resmed Air Sense 10 after power outage. I've never taken mine on the road with the "mini" travel size machine.
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Old 04-07-23, 06:16 PM
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Twenty-two years ago I was diagnosed as having severe sleep apnea and I would stop breathing 90 times each hour. The throat surgeon recommended a uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP or UP3) which he thought might help. As I was not overweight he was not sure if it would help.

I used a CPAP machine the week before the operation and it confirmed that I did not want to be using one for the rest of my life. I was in intense pain for 7 days after the surgery but on the 8th day the pain went away. I stopped snoring and have learned to avoid foods that have wheat flour and cheese that result in sinus congestion and have zero issues with sleeping.
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Old 04-09-23, 06:13 AM
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I did a lot of research last year on power consumption and battery capacity. I didn’t get a lot of straight answers. Buying a ready made system was about the same function and cost as putting something together. I bought a Transcend3 from Somnetics, along with its recommended battery and charger. I liked its small size, and they went out of their way to answer technical questions. The nice thing about their charger is that you can charge while running. The battery gave about 1.5 nights use per charge. If I was away from power more, I skipped therapy, my apnea is only moderate.

Personally, I need to humidify. If I use CPAP without, I have sneezing fits, at night or in the morning. Alternatively I can take Zirtek, that worked too.

Most insurance plans cover only one CPAP system. This one set me back about $950.

I was on a challenging 90 day trip. I was always sleep deprived. I found that if I was anxious, I did not sleep well. Not anxious, I did sleep well. It didn’t make any difference if I used my CPAP. After 60 days I sent it home. I do plan to take it on my shorter, less challenging trips this year.
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