"Backpacking" Solar Power Battery Charger
Bought this item for recharging AA batteries which are used in emergncy SW radio and some flashlights (like the great LED Mini Maglite) around here: the Goal Zero 19010 Guide 10 Adventure Kit. It is small enough and this latest only 1 lb. model is useful, well rated, and faster charging.
•Lightweight USB Solar Charging
•Power Pack & Battery Charger
•Fits in Your Pocket
•Charges Both AA (included) & AAA Batteries
•Recharges Cell Phones
•USB and 12V Output
•Built-In LED Flashlight
•2-10 Hours Charging Time
Being without power for almost two weeks except for what you can recharge offsite or from your car reminds you... I do have a solar panel to run and charge 12-Volt systems like car batteries and transceiver equipment that can all run off of the grid.
I also bought two sets of Sanyo Eneloop XX 2,500 mAh rechargeable AA batteries that are supposed to maintin 75% power still at one year (Ray-o-Vac proved poor) as well as a ballistic nylon eight-AA battery case and additional 4-cell battery charger, all nicely discounted from B&H Photo.
Haven't had time to play with it yet, but a buddy bought me this for Christmas...
Looking forward to a full report on that rig Seven.
Those work great as battery maintainers and can actually charge if your not too power hungry. The key is ultra low consumption at this point because PV Cells are still bulky, fragile and expensive. Their is a huge diff between like devices from diff manufactures, a standard cheepo cellphone with a 1.5" LED screen draws less than half than a smartphone; an Ipad about half of a typical laptop, a small survival radio, less than half of what a boom box draws and the survival radio will likely have an internal generator and flashlight.
Good batteries are a very important factor, they are not even close to created equal. Many C and d cells have the equivalent of a AA in the core and no more capacity than that. Weight matters, you can feel the difference, heavy, good, lightweight is just what the name implies. Ive found pound for pound that NMH (Nickle Metal Hydride) batts perform the best, the longest. They can be a little lower voltage than Lead Acid, Alk or others but they dont get a memory and give you the longest steady output of all of them. They are also the most expensive and just like any other battery, if you dont use them regularly and recharge them properly, they wont last half as long as they should.
Im not telling most of you anything new when I say the services you have engaged and standby time cost lots of watts and you can get 5 times the play time by turning them off or shutting down certain processor/ comm port intensive services when you dont need them.
I cant wait for the next generation of Flex cells that are starting to be produced en-mass. Makes embedding them into just about anything easy as pie. Clothing, Car bodies, roofing shingles and the shells of nearly any device indoor and outdoor. Flex cell Batteries are also in limited production, pair the two and now your cooking with Electricity!
Eneloops are the only choice in rechargeable batteries. Haven't played around with the XXs but the white original eneloops are rock solid
Good points... The "powerpack" is a) a recharger of batteries themselves (I only have what have been consideered best-of-breed in low-discharge rechargeable AA batteries) as well as b) a power-supply to run things like the 10-LED lightstick I also bought on Amazon, AND c) a smart device that recharges other devices from solar and/or ITS batteries such as cell-phones like my old-school Motorola Razor II and my Apple I-Pod Touch 4.
The light is pretty useless. I'd compare it to a LED you see on the checkout counter at a dollar store for $3 or $4. But...no reason not to have it. It's not gonna replace your flashlight, but would be OK for simple needs.
Following the instructions I made the initial charge using the USB on my pc. Charged it overnight to full. With a full charge, I was able to charge a dead Kindle to full power, a Samsung phone with one bar to full power, and a dead Garmin eTrex to full power...and the charger was still showing 33% battery charge. That's pretty awesome imo.
After charging three devices, I put the solar charger on the dash of my truck in direct sunlight without the "extra add-on panel." In a little less than 3 hours it was at full charge again.
Pretty awesome. IMO you could easily keep all your devices charged while your power was out during a storm. You could easily keep a Garmin, several phones, and a couple Kindles charged while camping.
I did notice it "leaks off" power while not in use. So, if you wanted to keep one of these around for emergencies I would suggest setting it in the sun every 3-4 days to bring it back to full charge. My idea is to leave mine in my truck and just take it out of the glovebox and put it on the dash while I'm at work every couple days or so.
TBH, I'd buy the ReVIVE $50 charger and save $20 over the one I posted above. I really don't think you'd need the extra panel. ymmv.
Let me just suggest that people read the buyers' reviews of that product on various sites before they hit the button to make that particular Revive purchase...
imo the negative reviews come from people who expect too much, or didn't understand what they were buying. It's designed to charge small devices, not tablets.
fwiw, the ReVIVE 4000mAH has better 'customer reviews' than the Goal Zero 12301. Reviews are subjective. You gotta read through them to see if they have merit.
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