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Thread: Recharging Devices
MicroTomSunday, January 30, 2011, 10:17:00 AM
Category: General Comment  Keyword:
Are any of you bringing "portable power" and/or solar recharging devices. I have a small one of day trips but was considering something more substanial for the EC.

The one I have is a JuiceBar http://juicebarsolarcharger.com/

It works but IMHO is not "expedition quality". It might charge one device for a couple hours but there are too many other considerations like bad weather/no sun, multiple devices to charge, camera & iphone (damn internal and proprietary batteries)

I have looked at a couple different options but was interested to hear from the tribe.





And then there is this solar chargeable speaker device that is just too cool so I though I would share......


BTW, it looks like I am not the only one thinking about this.



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Thread: Recharging Devices
HonuSailGoal Zero
Sunday, January 30, 2011, 10:58:00 AM
Category: General Comment  Keyword:

I am bringing a Goal Zero Sherpa 50. Brand new to me so the test will be during the EC. It will give me about 54 hours time on my iphone.


They also have foldable solar panels and other accessories. They do a lot of benefit work helping people in need so I decided to go with their product. I also like the fact that compared to the Brunton series, the Sherpa 50 at least "looked" rugged. Plus, it is expandable.


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Sunday, January 30, 2011, 10:10:00 PM
Category: General Comment  Keyword:
The original Solio takes waaaay too long to charge anything. It might be good if it were completely charged 1st but to recharge it takes 10hrs of complete sun to recharge...yikes! The brunton stuff looks great but only if you are independently wealthy or plan on doing the UFC. They are stackable as well which looks cool.
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MicroTomRecharging Devices
Wednesday, February 16, 2011, 8:53:00 AM
Category: General Comment  Keyword:
After looking at the commercially available options I started researching build your own articles on the Internet. The really cool one was this small AA battery charger kit. Unfortunately it was out of stock (and required a lot of soldering). Still a cool project. I may take it on after the EC.


One thing I noticed everywhere was that the USB output was 5 volts at around 550mA. The electronics to do the conversion from 12 volt to 5 volts are everywhere. You usually see them as cigarette lighter adapters.

I did a little searching around Orlando and found a shop that carried a suitable battery for $25. A small sealed AGM 12 volt battery used for UPS systems. Normally a bank of these batteries creates a UPS system in data center but one battery weighs under 6 lbs and will easily recharge all of my electronics during the race even if I am out there all 8 days.

Here is a link to the battery:
Werker 12V 7.5AH AGM Battery

I had already identified a dry box for my electronics on this trip. The battery only takes up about 1/5th of the box. I still have plenty of room for AA and AAA bateries and other devices. I put a 5 AMP fuse in line with a cigarette lighter adapter and plugged in the USB charger. I have successfully charged multiple devices without a noticeable decrease in the battery's charge. I have also successfully tested it on my 12 volt car battery charger using the 2 AMP setting. Since I had everything except the battery already my cost on this little project is only $25 for the battery.

Time permitting I may also build a solar charger too. I found this project that does it very inexpensively.

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Wednesday, February 16, 2011, 9:14:00 AM
Category: General Comment  Keyword:

Looks pretty cool.  I did something very similar to that for this year's EC, and it includes solar charging.  It is a bit thrown together, but I didn't have much time...

It starts with a 15W folding solar panel that I got from eBay.  The panel is designed for trickle charging a car battery, so the output voltage is approx 18V (open circuit).  I have the panel directly connected to a small set of lithium batteries (4 x 3.7V @ 2800mAh)  Connected "downstream" of the lithium batteries is a 12V to USB charger just like the one you use, except mine has two USB jacks.  I then can connect the device of my choice to the USB output.  I also have a couple NiHM battery chargers that take a USB input and charge my stash of AA and AAA NiHM batteries.

So... with my system, I can charge my phone, iPod, camera batteries, AA and AAA batteries.

I have a pic somewhere... will post when I can find it.

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Wednesday, February 16, 2011, 9:28:00 AM
Category: General Comment  Keyword:
Found them...

Here is the panel in what passes for sun here in Michigan this time of year...

Here are the "guts" which live in a Pelican case (the meter is just for verifying things, not part of the regular system):

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