solar usb chargers

Items to keep you alive in the event you must evacuate: discussions of basic Survival Kits commonly called "Bug Out Bags" or "Go Bags"

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Re: solar usb chargers

Post by Burncycle » Mon Oct 06, 2014 9:23 pm

I bring a solar charger, when space permits, for the same reason I bring a metal cup so I can boil water even though I have water purification tablets and filters. Sometimes the duration you plan for isn't the duration you end up facing.

It's not always needed and of course other options exist (battery packs, etc) and I incorporate those too.

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Re: solar usb chargers

Post by Brotherbadger » Tue Oct 07, 2014 5:19 am

Halfapint wrote:Just a thought, not sure if someone has already said it but I have a 10,000mah battery that I picked up on amazon for 50 bucks or so. It will charge my phone at least 6 times (from nearly dead to 100%). That may be your best bet, you wont need to worry about sun, it will last a really long damn time, and if you eventually get a solar set up you can charge it.

I carry mine in my ghb, hell I use the thing everyday, its a fast discharge it charges my phone faster than the wall. Just another idea for ya.
That would be my suggestion too. I have one about the same size and keep it in my GHB, as well as another one in my hiking pack. I have a Portable Solar panel, and i love it. It's an Instapark Mercury 10. It was around $45, has a really strong output and folds up relatively small. I use it to charge my Portable Battery, as well as my 18650 batteries at home/hunting camp. I wouldn't put it in my GHB, as i would not expect to need it(my work is 20 miles from my house. That's a 2 day max trip for me). The battery pack is smaller, lighter and will recharge my cell phone much faster(not to mention be able to recharge it at night/cloudy weather). A portable solar panel is great if you are going to be out for a week or more, or have a backwoods base camp. For just getting home from work, or being gone for less than 4 days? I'd go with the battery pack.

If you do get a Solar Panel, don't have it directly charge your Cell phone. Most of the time it will only provide a trickle charge(most smartphones require a 2.0 amps input, very few solar panels can provide that much power consistently). Use a battery pack and charge that, then use the battery pack to charge your phones/other devices.
moab wrote:Instapark 10 puts out 10 watts of power for $50:

http://www.outdoorgearlab.com/Solar-Cha ... Mercury-10
As mentioned above, I LOVE MINE. I bought mine early in 2013, and it has held up great so far. I've taken it camping/hiking/Hunting Camp. It puts out a legit 10 watts, and puts it out at 2 amps. This means that it will recharge your stuff faster. Most panels are 5 watts at 1amp. It works reasonably well in cloudy conditions as well. A great buy if you are in the market for a personal solar panel.
Doc Torr wrote:You forgot to add that birdshot only hurts badguys, so you can bounce it off the floor, walls, or even yourself for nonlethal takedowns. Load some beanbags and dragon's Breath too, because you shouldn't stop shooting until they're on fire.

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Re: solar usb chargers

Post by Rugger » Tue Oct 07, 2014 1:36 pm

I've gotta second the Anker battery packs. I carry a goal zero solar charger in my vehicle, but it'll stay there unless i truly need to carry it with me. I have the Anker Astro with me all of the time (in a satchel), which is 6400 mAh. It'll give me about 2.5+ charges on a dead iphone. It puts out 2 amps, and I think is 10 watts, so a really quick recharge. (phones will charge faster if put in airplane mode) It holds power for a long time with it's lithium ion batteries.

What's y'alls opinion on this solar charger? Is this right, at 14w and 2 amps?
http://www.amazon.com/Anker%C2%AE-Dual- ... ords=anker
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Re: solar usb chargers

Post by Brotherbadger » Wed Oct 08, 2014 4:14 am

Rugger wrote:I've gotta second the Anker battery packs. I carry a goal zero solar charger in my vehicle, but it'll stay there unless i truly need to carry it with me. I have the Anker Astro with me all of the time (in a satchel), which is 6400 mAh. It'll give me about 2.5+ charges on a dead iphone. It puts out 2 amps, and I think is 10 watts, so a really quick recharge. (phones will charge faster if put in airplane mode) It holds power for a long time with it's lithium ion batteries.

What's y'alls opinion on this solar charger? Is this right, at 14w and 2 amps?
http://www.amazon.com/Anker%C2%AE-Dual- ... ords=anker
Never used it, so i can't speak on that. From the specs it seems like an awesome buy. 14w @ 2 amps will get it done, and done quickly. It seems a little heavy at 1.5 lbs, but if you aren't planning on hiking with it for a super long distance, it shouldn't be a problem(or, just get used to a heavier pack :lol: ). Anker is a solid company. Their products seem to be pretty well made. If i was in the market for one, i'd pick that up.
Doc Torr wrote:You forgot to add that birdshot only hurts badguys, so you can bounce it off the floor, walls, or even yourself for nonlethal takedowns. Load some beanbags and dragon's Breath too, because you shouldn't stop shooting until they're on fire.

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Re: solar usb chargers

Post by calicojack » Thu Oct 23, 2014 4:58 am

i ended up getting an anker astro e3 10000mAh unit. it may be a little bigger than what i originally wanted, but my battery is 2800mAh on the galaxy s5. I wanted at least two charges out of the unit. there was a 6000mAh model available, but it was thicker than the 10000mAh model.

still thinking about a solar panel though.

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Re: solar usb chargers

Post by .milFox » Thu Oct 23, 2014 5:26 pm

calicojack wrote:i ended up getting an anker astro e3 10000mAh unit. it may be a little bigger than what i originally wanted, but my battery is 2800mAh on the galaxy s5. I wanted at least two charges out of the unit. there was a 6000mAh model available, but it was thicker than the 10000mAh model.

still thinking about a solar panel though.
FWIW, I have a kickstarter'd wakawaka unit that is the backup to my external battery pack.

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Re: solar usb chargers

Post by Dogan » Sun Oct 26, 2014 3:56 am

Tagged for later reading, as both my Solio clip solar panel/batt pack (which they don't make anymore) and my nameless solar charger for my Eton FR300 have both died. This has been an incredibly informative thread.
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Re: solar usb chargers

Post by CorpsmanUp » Sun Oct 26, 2014 10:46 am

Image

Fits in my backpack when I go on long trips out and about.

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Re: solar usb chargers

Post by Burncycle » Sun Oct 26, 2014 1:27 pm

Those white single bay 18650 chargers: have you actually been able to get them to charge off your solar?

I have two and won't seem to start charging with my Goal Zero or my Anker 14w

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Re: solar usb chargers

Post by ROCK6 » Sun Oct 26, 2014 2:42 pm

By far the best portable solar chargers I’ve used are from http://www.suntactics.com/; very robust and simple. No internal battery, but I prefer external batteries anyways.

A big consideration when debating the use of a solar charger is your plan. Solar chargers just aren’t effective when on the move unless you’re in desert; most wooded areas and of course elevation changes and changing terrain make it difficult to really get a good charge. Best uses are in a static base camp where you can monitor and adjust for most efficient positions. I rarely take a solar charger unless our planned backpacking allows us a few hours in the afternoon to take advantage of being static and getting the charger in the sun. From an emergency perspective, the Suntatics chargers can be used directly connected to your phone and I’ve been able to make a call on a dead battery after just a few minutes in the sun and it will charge while being used.

With that said I always pack an Anker charger and if I’m judicious with my phone use, the slim 6000mAh charger can keep me juiced 4-5 days. I carry a couple spare batteries for the headlamp/flashlight, but I get more juice for the weight with the Anker when used with electronics.

For any scenarios or plans that involve less than a week on the trail or bugging home, just rotating a couple Anker chargers is more cost effective and more dependable when it comes to weather.

ROCK6

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Re: solar usb chargers

Post by CorpsmanUp » Sun Nov 02, 2014 4:45 pm

Burncycle wrote:Those white single bay 18650 chargers: have you actually been able to get them to charge off your solar?

I have two and won't seem to start charging with my Goal Zero or my Anker 14w
Sorry.

Haven't checked this thread in a while.

Yes I have. They work very well.

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Re: solar usb chargers

Post by zero11010 » Mon Nov 03, 2014 2:46 pm

On the general topic of portable power generation:

The original post was really about power needs for a get home bag. Some of you are very much into the idea of having power generation for longer trips (2-6 days). This has lead many of you to solar power generators.

I would strongly suggest some of you consider the power generation of thermoelectric generators.

Why? How much good is your solar panel at night? How much good is your solar panel when it's overcast/raining? Does your specific solar panel(s) require you to chase the moving sun? How much weight are you carrying specifically for power generation?

Some thermoelectric power generators can mitigate most of these potentially negative points about solar chargers. Particularly, your ability to generate power when it isn't sunny - this can happen for days at a time if the weather is bad, this can potentially make a solar panel dead weight 24 hours a day for multiple days in a row. These devices all serve multiple roles as well. A solar panel is pretty much only ever going to be a solar panel. But, if your pot or stove also generate electricity, now you don't need to bring an extra thing.



This is a video that goes into a lot of detail about the power generation of the BioLite stove and a Power Cup.

The BioLite stove is a particularly heavy alternative to a regular good burning camp stove (at 32oz it weighs 20oz more than something like a stainless Emberlit).

The Cup Charger comes in at about 14oz. This could readily replace a cooking pot in a bag with only a very small amount of added weight (compared to 8oz weight for a 30 fluid oz stainless Solo Pot 900 cooking pot).


This is a SUPER detailed breakdown of the power generation of two thermoelectricity generators. The power pot (47oz fluid capacity) and the cup charger (27oz fluid capacity). Skip to 15 minutes if the nerdy stuff feels over the top.

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Re: solar usb chargers

Post by offcamber » Mon Nov 03, 2014 8:13 pm

zero11010 wrote: I would strongly suggest some of you consider the power generation of thermoelectric generators.
Thanks for this, I did not even know this technology existed, lol. One more thing on my wishlist. :D

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Re: solar usb chargers

Post by Brotherbadger » Tue Nov 04, 2014 5:02 am

zero11010 wrote:On the general topic of portable power generation:

The original post was really about power needs for a get home bag. Some of you are very much into the idea of having power generation for longer trips (2-6 days). This has lead many of you to solar power generators.

I would strongly suggest some of you consider the power generation of thermoelectric generators.

Why? How much good is your solar panel at night? How much good is your solar panel when it's overcast/raining? Does your specific solar panel(s) require you to chase the moving sun? How much weight are you carrying specifically for power generation?

Some thermoelectric power generators can mitigate most of these potentially negative points about solar chargers. Particularly, your ability to generate power when it isn't sunny - this can happen for days at a time if the weather is bad, this can potentially make a solar panel dead weight 24 hours a day for multiple days in a row. These devices all serve multiple roles as well. A solar panel is pretty much only ever going to be a solar panel. But, if your pot or stove also generate electricity, now you don't need to bring an extra thing.



This is a video that goes into a lot of detail about the power generation of the BioLite stove and a Power Cup.

The BioLite stove is a particularly heavy alternative to a regular good burning camp stove (at 32oz it weighs 20oz more than something like a stainless Emberlit).

The Cup Charger comes in at about 14oz. This could readily replace a cooking pot in a bag with only a very small amount of added weight (compared to 8oz weight for a 30 fluid oz stainless Solo Pot 900 cooking pot).


This is a SUPER detailed breakdown of the power generation of two thermoelectricity generators. The power pot (47oz fluid capacity) and the cup charger (27oz fluid capacity). Skip to 15 minutes if the nerdy stuff feels over the top.
Thermoelectric generators are a great option. You always need a fire. Cooking food? fire. Boiling water? Fire. Warmth at night? Fire. I think the Biolite is a bit bulky for my usage(could be a very solid option for basecamp setups though). I've been very interested in the Flamestower though. Pocket sized, cheaper($75 on amazon) and light.
Doc Torr wrote:You forgot to add that birdshot only hurts badguys, so you can bounce it off the floor, walls, or even yourself for nonlethal takedowns. Load some beanbags and dragon's Breath too, because you shouldn't stop shooting until they're on fire.

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Re: solar usb chargers

Post by Cephalotus » Sat Nov 08, 2014 11:15 am

Excuse me for beeing a smart-arse...
zero11010 wrote: All batteries lose charge over time, the rate depends on the chemical composition of the battery type - not the brand. You'll want to top of your rechargeable batteries every 6 months when you rotate clothing and/or food. There will still be roughly 30% charge in a Li-Ion battery at one year of storage.
A li-Ion cell without a BMS (battery managment system) sucking on it dicharges at around 1%/month, but this depends on cell chemistry (there are dozends of types of Li-Ion cell types) and also temperature. The hotter the higher the self discharge rate.
Li-ion batteries hold their charge 75% longer than NiMH batteries, but a Li-ion battery should still be charged at least once a year,
Some NiMh system discrage to 0% in just three months, other ones (LSD) hold 70% charge for three years. I recommend Sanyo eneloop.
Also keep in mind that Li-Ion batteries chemically cannot last forever (no battery can). Regardless of usage a Li-Ion battery is done after roughly 3 years.
This is an urban legend. If true, electric cars would stop running after just three years.

I have a consumer grade Li-Ion cell that is 14 years old now and still holds around 90% of its capacity (internal resistance is difficult to say because I do not have the data for a fresh cell).
Storing Li-Ion cells hot and fully charged kills them quickly, storing them half full (not very practica, I know) and cold lets them live much, much longer.

If you want something just for emergency you could use and USB charger that uses primary cells. Take some AA from Energizer with LiFeS2 chemistry (1,5V, 3000mAh each) and those will be good for more than 15 years and work under almost any condition and are super lightweight. They are single use only.

best regards

PS: I think that the biolite stove is pure fail for electricity generation. If you would take its massive weight and price and buy Energizer Lithium batteries instead you would have to burn a tree for many, many days and will end up with less energy created than what you could have had easily available stored in those batteries.
It's a nonsense technology (for charging), because in real world scenarios the power generated vs. the wood and time consumed and the weight and price of that device is far, far away from any positive relation.
It's very noisy, people will see and smell the fire from miles away and I doubt that all those electronics will last very long.

The electrical efficiency of the Biolite is a lousy 0,10% (the powerpot V was 0,26%, which is also very unsatisfying):
http://www.pocketnavigation.de/2013/01/ ... s-feuer/2/ (text in German)

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