Cpap for extended wilderness camping?

General Discussion on any topic relating to CPAP and/or Sleep Apnea.
Rob K
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Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2017 5:22 pm

Cpap for extended wilderness camping?

Post by Rob K » Thu Mar 24, 2022 2:39 pm

I've been using my Phillips cpap which runs off of 12v directly. It has worked just fine for car camping for quite a few years. I'm getting tired of hauling large deep cycle lead acid batteries around which can only be discharged to around 50% for longevity. I'm driving in and camping in the wilderness for up to two weeks at at time and not in electrified campgrounds. That's a lot of battery power, weight and space taken up in my vehicle. Also would love to do some kayak camping. Looking to upgrade to a compact lightweight system that will run for weeks at a time or indefinitely.

It appears there are 4 options right now for machines. Breas Z2, Airmini, Transcend, Dreamstation Go. Unfortunately I don't think any of these work with the Oscar software that we use here a lot on the forum. Out of these a Z2 Auto seems to make the most sense. Small, light and relatively quite. Has a display so no phone is needed. Can be operated as a stand alone device. Can use any mask with the unit.

Does the Z2 Auto make the most sense to purchase? Are there other options on the market that I have missed. Someone really needs to step up and build a unit for extended time off grid in the wilderness.

For camping I would set the machine for minimum therapy at 8cm and cpap mode for longest run time. Anyone know how much battery power a Z2 Auto uses for 8hrs at 8cm or a setting close to that?

For batteries, obviously lithium ion is going to be the lightest. Follow by Lithium iron phosphate batteries. These bridge the gap between lithium ion and lead acid batteries. These fall in the middle with weight, durability, safety and price. Will be getting lithium ions though.

Sounds like the Z2 requires 14-15vdc. Wish they would have made it 12vdc so you can easily use any battery in an emergency. Thinking of getting two batteries of the same capacity. Wondering if a 3 night battery would be sufficient. One can be used for several days while the other is left out to be charged by a solar panel. Obviously things will need to be waterproof because I won't be in camp watching for rain and waiting for batteries to charge.

Then I would need to figure out a solar panel. Probably one of the waterproof, lightweight, roll up or fold up variety. These are less efficient but much more convenient for transport. I'm guessing around 20-50w range depending on battery size and amount of time needed for charging.

Any insight would be appreciated.

_________________
Machine: AirCurve™ 10 VAuto BiLevel Machine with HumidAir™ Heated Humidifier
Mask: AirFit™ N10 Nasal CPAP Mask with Headgear
Additional Comments: Resmed F10 Mask for colds. When camping on battery power I use P10 mask and PR 560p machine.
Last edited by Rob K on Thu Mar 24, 2022 3:40 pm, edited 4 times in total.

Rob K
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Re: Cpap for extended wilderness camping?

Post by Rob K » Thu Mar 24, 2022 2:47 pm

On a side note my Phillips machine uses around 5ah per 8-9hr night at 8cm. So my 100ah battery typically gets me around 9-10 nights of therapy for a total of around 50ah used during that time. For two weeks camping I need to bring my second battery.

_________________
Machine: AirCurve™ 10 VAuto BiLevel Machine with HumidAir™ Heated Humidifier
Mask: AirFit™ N10 Nasal CPAP Mask with Headgear
Additional Comments: Resmed F10 Mask for colds. When camping on battery power I use P10 mask and PR 560p machine.

dkf435
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Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 10:53 pm

Re: Cpap for extended wilderness camping?

Post by dkf435 » Thu Mar 24, 2022 9:14 pm

Used in ham radio hobby, solar panels and MPPT chargers available. More available capacity little lighter also. https://www.bioennopower.com/collection ... -batteries

Rob K
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Re: Cpap for extended wilderness camping?

Post by Rob K » Fri Mar 25, 2022 1:43 pm

Thanks for the post but thinking I'm going to skip the lithium iron phosphates and go with lighter weight lithium ion.

_________________
Machine: AirCurve™ 10 VAuto BiLevel Machine with HumidAir™ Heated Humidifier
Mask: AirFit™ N10 Nasal CPAP Mask with Headgear
Additional Comments: Resmed F10 Mask for colds. When camping on battery power I use P10 mask and PR 560p machine.

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Dog Slobber
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Location: Ontario, Canada

Re: Cpap for extended wilderness camping?

Post by Dog Slobber » Fri Mar 25, 2022 5:11 pm

The DreamStation Go has a micro-SD slot and is supported by OSCAR.

https://www.apneaboard.com/wiki/index.p ... s_Machines

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cub4bearin
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Re: Cpap for extended wilderness camping?

Post by cub4bearin » Fri Mar 25, 2022 7:51 pm

Just to let you know….. I had one major problem with Breas Z2. Ordered from directhomemedical due to their excellent return policy.
I got it and set it to my APAP numbers 8-12 and Breas was awful with some sort of chirping noise during exhale. I couldn’t deal with that and contacted DHM and they sent me replacement. Well, same thing unfortunately.
So once again sent it back for refund this time. In meantime I got resmed Airmini.
Airmini is sure loud. I’m awaiting Q Lite hose muffler to arrive to hopefully lower some of the hose air noise - it’s pretty bad! Also, no way to pull any data from Airmini and in my case I need reports for my yearly CDL DOT physicals.
All in all portable machines leave a lot to desire imho.

Here is link to my Breas Z2 and that annoying noise:
https://youtu.be/VtBWE35vFaY

Rob K
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Re: Cpap for extended wilderness camping?

Post by Rob K » Fri Mar 25, 2022 8:17 pm

Thanks everyone, that is some useful info.

I wear ear plugs all the time so I don't have to listen to my masks and machines, they are all annoying. I can't believe the sound of that Z2. That can't be normal. :shock:

_________________
Machine: AirCurve™ 10 VAuto BiLevel Machine with HumidAir™ Heated Humidifier
Mask: AirFit™ N10 Nasal CPAP Mask with Headgear
Additional Comments: Resmed F10 Mask for colds. When camping on battery power I use P10 mask and PR 560p machine.
Last edited by Rob K on Sat Mar 26, 2022 7:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Rob K
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Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2017 5:22 pm

Re: Cpap for extended wilderness camping?

Post by Rob K » Sat Mar 26, 2022 10:26 am

This a good video showing the difference in noise levels between Z2, Airmini and DS Go.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a89y63T-eKI

I did some research and it sounds like there are several things that effect noise level quite a bit. The mask you are using, the hose, muffler or no muffler, pressure settings, exhale relief settings. And likely other things that I haven't learned about.

In the video I didn't hear the chirping from the Z2 until he ran it at 15cm. I did not hear it at 10cm. He was using the muffler and a P10 mask. I'll be using a P10 at 8cm so I think I will be alright. The Z2 was also the quietest of the three in the lower and mid pressure settings. I don't like the sound but it seems like there are things you can do to reduce it.

Now that I think about it the test in the video is not fair because the Z2 had the muffler. He should have done all of them with and without a muffler.

_________________
Machine: AirCurve™ 10 VAuto BiLevel Machine with HumidAir™ Heated Humidifier
Mask: AirFit™ N10 Nasal CPAP Mask with Headgear
Additional Comments: Resmed F10 Mask for colds. When camping on battery power I use P10 mask and PR 560p machine.
Last edited by Rob K on Sat Mar 26, 2022 7:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Rob K
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Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2017 5:22 pm

Re: Cpap for extended wilderness camping?

Post by Rob K » Sat Mar 26, 2022 6:17 pm

Did some studying on general purpose lithium batteries. Not the expensive batteries that are sold for cpap purposes.


The basic battery form has been around a long time. Just a battery in which you would need to have a charger, charge controller, cables and cable adapters. The attached photo is a lithium iron phosphate. Pretty large and heavy compared to lithium ion batteries, but lighter and smaller than a lead acid battery which most of us have in our vehicles and boats. These bridge the gap between lightweight lithium ion and heavy lead acid batteries. Fine for car camping.

https://www.amazon.com/ECO-WORTHY-Recha ... NrPXRydWU=
Image



Another option is a power station. These can be purchased in smallish to large capacities depending on what you need. For running mainly just a cpap you would be looking at a smaller capacity one. These have a lot of jacks for a multitude of devices built right into the unit which is very convenient. They also have charge controllers and safety features built right in. They typically have a handle for carrying since they do have some size and weight to them.

https://www.amazon.com/Jackery-Portable ... 494&sr=8-3
Image



A third option is a usb power bank. These are compact lightweight lithium battery packs for recharging and running your devices. Charge controllers and safety features are built right in. It sounds like the larger ones will run a cpap for around 2-4 nights depending on your settings. A large portion of them are not waterproof, but there are quite a few that are and built for people on the move in the outdoors. I'll be looking at the ones that are waterproof and rugged. This is the form I'll be studying in detail since I'll be wanting to do some kayak camping. Not likely to do backpack trips but will have that option with these batteries. Since they are small with lower capacities I'll be getting two or three of them. That way I can adjust for however many days I'll be gone. If I'm using one of the units I can work on getting the others charged. Multiple small packs will offer the most versatility.

https://www.amazon.com/Goal-Zero-SHERPA ... NrPXRydWU=
Image

_________________
Machine: AirCurve™ 10 VAuto BiLevel Machine with HumidAir™ Heated Humidifier
Mask: AirFit™ N10 Nasal CPAP Mask with Headgear
Additional Comments: Resmed F10 Mask for colds. When camping on battery power I use P10 mask and PR 560p machine.
Last edited by Rob K on Thu May 19, 2022 11:30 am, edited 5 times in total.

Rob K
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Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2017 5:22 pm

Re: Cpap for extended wilderness camping?

Post by Rob K » Sat Mar 26, 2022 6:40 pm

Studied usb battery banks and they seem to have lithium ion or lithium polymer batteries inside. Lithium ion are pretty common and store a lot of energy. These are ones that have liquid inside and can have overheating and stability problems if not managed correctly. A lot of the rugged power banks have lithium polymer batteries which are not quite as efficient as lithium ion but they are more rugged and stable. The internals are gel which are less likely to leak out. Lithium polymer bridges the gap between lithium ion and lithium iron phosphate. Maybe not quite as energy efficient as lithium ion but more rugged and safe. That sounds good to me.

Some of the key features to consider with usb power banks are:
battery capacity - 25,000mah to 50,000mah range are the bigger ones ideal for cpap usage and laptop computers.
max battery capacity for air travel if you plan to fly
how long they take to charge - do you want to wait around all day or have it charged in an hour or two.
how fast they will charge your devices
ruggedness
waterproof
can the battery be used and charged at the same time
how many things can you charge at once if your using for things other than cpap
does it do wireless charging if you want that feature

Some of the more popular brands right now are:(Most of these are leaning toward the better quality more rugged side but not all of these are waterproof and they are higher capacity units)
Goal Zero
Anker
Maxoak
Zendure
RavPower
Nitecore

_________________
Machine: AirCurve™ 10 VAuto BiLevel Machine with HumidAir™ Heated Humidifier
Mask: AirFit™ N10 Nasal CPAP Mask with Headgear
Additional Comments: Resmed F10 Mask for colds. When camping on battery power I use P10 mask and PR 560p machine.
Last edited by Rob K on Sat Apr 02, 2022 1:11 pm, edited 3 times in total.

Rob K
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Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2017 5:22 pm

Re: Cpap for extended wilderness camping?

Post by Rob K » Tue Mar 29, 2022 10:23 am

Have been studying batteries this week and it appears the majority of the waterproof power banks are 20,000mah and under. Maybe not sufficient unless I have several of them. Something else that I came across as a fourth option is a jump starter power bank. These can jump your vehicle battery and many have usb ports for charging devices. Some have 12v or 15v outputs also. A lot of these seem to have IP65 waterproof ratings unlike a lot of power banks. They tend to be larger in size than your standard power bank but can be a handy multipurpose unit if you are away from civilization with your vehicle.

Edit: I thought these were going to be a great idea until I read the fine print. Your not suppose to store them in temperatures above something like 120-140F just like anything lithium. An interior of a vehicle can get hotter than that in the summer. These are not something you would want to leave in your vehicle in the summer. That sort of defeats the purpose of what they are designed for. The technology has a way to go since the batteries can't handle the heat.

https://www.amazon.com/HULKMAN-Alpha85S ... 573&sr=8-5
Image

_________________
Machine: AirCurve™ 10 VAuto BiLevel Machine with HumidAir™ Heated Humidifier
Mask: AirFit™ N10 Nasal CPAP Mask with Headgear
Additional Comments: Resmed F10 Mask for colds. When camping on battery power I use P10 mask and PR 560p machine.
Last edited by Rob K on Thu May 19, 2022 11:33 am, edited 4 times in total.

Rob K
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Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2017 5:22 pm

Re: Cpap for extended wilderness camping?

Post by Rob K » Tue Mar 29, 2022 5:34 pm

For several years I've been watching the ultra thin lightweight flexible etfe solar panels. They are the most portable and waterproof. For the longest time I only seen them as single panels but I'm now seeing them as folding panels. The problem is that not one of them I looked at had a waterproof controller. They don't even have a waterproof pocket for the controller and the device your charging. Everything is exposed so it's pointless to have a waterproof panel. The only ones that are completely waterproof are the larger panels with mc4 connectors and would need a waterproof box for your battery and charge controller.

https://www.amazon.com/Charger-Anker-Po ... 565&sr=8-1
Image

_________________
Machine: AirCurve™ 10 VAuto BiLevel Machine with HumidAir™ Heated Humidifier
Mask: AirFit™ N10 Nasal CPAP Mask with Headgear
Additional Comments: Resmed F10 Mask for colds. When camping on battery power I use P10 mask and PR 560p machine.
Last edited by Rob K on Thu May 19, 2022 11:34 am, edited 3 times in total.

Rob K
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Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2017 5:22 pm

Re: Cpap for extended wilderness camping?

Post by Rob K » Tue Mar 29, 2022 5:50 pm

I've wanted to get outfitted for 5 years now and it's been a painful wait. Obviously the technology still has a way to go for small cpaps, batteries and solar panels. Things have improved in that time but still not ideal. Looks like I will still need to assemble my own equipment for it to be completely waterproof.

_________________
Machine: AirCurve™ 10 VAuto BiLevel Machine with HumidAir™ Heated Humidifier
Mask: AirFit™ N10 Nasal CPAP Mask with Headgear
Additional Comments: Resmed F10 Mask for colds. When camping on battery power I use P10 mask and PR 560p machine.

Rob K
Posts: 598
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2017 5:22 pm

Re: Cpap for extended wilderness camping?

Post by Rob K » Thu Mar 31, 2022 7:12 pm

The devil is in the details.

A lot of the capacity specs on power banks are misleading. It's important to find what voltage they are using to determine their capacity specifications. Lithium batteries typically measure around 3.7 volts dc and I found this is often the voltage they use when listing the capacity of the power bank. And I believe they are trying to sound impressive when they list the capacity in milliamp hours instead of just amp hours. 50,000mah vs 50ah. :roll:

If you will be running your cpap on one of these you will need to know the cpap voltage requirements and then do the math to figure out the power bank capacity at the voltage you will actually be using it at.




Here's some math conversion examples.

If you are going to be using the 5 volt usb-a output for charging devices like your phone, then you also have to do the math.
Lets say the power bank you want is rated for 50,000mah@3.7vdc.
First lets convert that to amp hours. 50,000/1000 = 50ah@3.7vdc
If you use the 5v usb-a output than do this calculation for the approximate capacity. 50ah x 3.7vdc/5vdc = 37ah@5vdc

Power banks often have other output jacks. They're typically 12vdc or a usb-c or both. The usb-c can output a number of voltages depending on what you plug into it. The device will sense what is plugged in and output the proper voltage. Let's say you need 12vdc to run your device. You can plug into the 12vdc jack or you can use the usb-c jack with the proper cable. With the right 12v usb-c cable the power bank will output 12vdc to your device.

Figuring the capacity of the power bank at 12vdc do this math. 50ah x 3.7vdc/12vdc = 15.4ah@12vdc
My Phillips machine runs on 12vdc and at my setting of 8cm I use about 5ah per 8 hour night. You would think with a 15ah capacity it would run my machine for 3 nights, but it will not because there will be loss of energy when the device converts to the needed 12v. Also you cannot drain the battery to nothing otherwise it will not last long. In reality a 50,000mah power bank would last 2 nights using my full size Phillips machine.

Say you want to use the Z2 Auto machine. The battery for that machine is 14.4vdc so lets do the math.
The power bank you bought and want to use is 50,000mah@3.7vdc
This is the math to figure out the approximate power bank capacity. 50ah x 3.7vdc/14.4vdc = 12.85ah@14.4vdc
So 12.85ah is the capacity of the power bank when using the Z2 Auto cpap)
I don't know how much the Z2 machine uses so I can't speculate on how many nights the power bank would last. Wish I knew that before buying one.





If you made it through all this I congratulate you. As you can see you need to do the math to convert the specs listed on these power banks when you buy them. Which will allow you to figure out the approximate capacity of the power bank when used with a specific device like your cpap machine.

_________________
Machine: AirCurve™ 10 VAuto BiLevel Machine with HumidAir™ Heated Humidifier
Mask: AirFit™ N10 Nasal CPAP Mask with Headgear
Additional Comments: Resmed F10 Mask for colds. When camping on battery power I use P10 mask and PR 560p machine.

Rob K
Posts: 598
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2017 5:22 pm

Re: Cpap for extended wilderness camping?

Post by Rob K » Sat Apr 02, 2022 12:54 pm

I got this info for the Z2 Auto on Brea's website. Their Extended Life battery is 99.4wh
"The Extended Life Battery has twice the battery capacity of the original Overnight Battery, so even at the highest settings (20 cmH2O, Z-Breathe 3) cpap therapy should last 8.9 hours.* With lower pressure settings you should get even longer therapy."

A rough calculation tells me at 10cm maybe get a couple nights from a 100wh power bank. Maybe a little more at my 8cm pressure. That falls in line with what one user said. They got 19hrs at 8cm with their Z1 machine and a 25,600mah(92wh) battery.

So a 100wh battery will be good for a couple nights with my settings. Setting up the solar panel and recharging every other day would be pretty annoying. Plus there may be no sun for several days. I think a recharge every 4 days would be reasonable and with two power banks one could potentially go a week without having to recharge. That would be good if it's a particularly cloudy and rainy week.

Something like the Maxoak 50,000mah power bank makes the most sense. Or something of similar size. That should get me around 4 nights of therapy. Another option would be to get four 25,000mah banks and charge two at the same time every four days.

Being able to get the 50,000mah power bank charged in a day would be ideal. I'd hate to have a panel set out for several days. So a power bank that can be fast charged along with a decent sized folding solar panel would seem to be the best solution. It's not going to be something a person would backpack with though because it would be to much weight. It would be a good lightweight car camping setup and maybe decent for a long kayak/canoe camping trip.

_________________
Machine: AirCurve™ 10 VAuto BiLevel Machine with HumidAir™ Heated Humidifier
Mask: AirFit™ N10 Nasal CPAP Mask with Headgear
Additional Comments: Resmed F10 Mask for colds. When camping on battery power I use P10 mask and PR 560p machine.
Last edited by Rob K on Sat Apr 02, 2022 2:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.