If anyone knows of any particularly informative websites please post them up. I'm interested in the research, but it seems too complicated for what I am trying to achieve.
If I can get away with just a 12v motor, a prop, and a diode and that will keep the battery charged enough to run my 3 relatively low powered devices then I'll take your word for it.
Airizona Wind and Sun has a forum here http://forum.solar-electric.com/forum.php that has good info. That forum, like many forums, has a few strong opinions (their way and the wrong way) but there is also good info there.
I built one of the generators in Hugh Piggott's book. Or one of H.Piggott's books. His site here: http://scoraigwind.com/. Good clear directions and also an open mind about the possibilities.
YOU HAVE TO GET THE GENERATOR UP HIGH IN CLEAN STRONG WIND. (Does it sound like my way or the wrong way? Sorry about that.) A rule of thumb that I have heard and believe is: if it's windy enough to be annoying then it's windy enough to generate electricity.
Even though I had modest expectations for my wind turbine, I was still underwhelmed. Solar is simpler, more reliable, and produces more energy for less cost almost everywhere. My latitude is high enough for short winter days, which is why I wanted to add wind. But the solar really works far better.
I never put a regulator or controller on my wind generator -- simply rectify and put into the batteries. (The generator is 3-phase AC.) H. Piggott's turbine designs all have "tilt-up" designs to swing the blades out of the wind to prevent over-reving the blades.
EDIT: Your pic looks like a sealed battery. Look at the mfr's spec sheet. Sealed batteries usually have less tolerance for high voltage -- i.e. at 14.4 volts the water electroloyses into hydrogen and oxygen. With my flooded batteries I simply replace with distilled water 4 times a year. A small, sealed battery will respond more quickly to high voltage and may not tolerate high voltage.
Also forgot OtherPower site and message board http://www.otherpower.com/. The site and forum has changed since I last looked.