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Old 07-31-2013, 02:01 PM   #1
thesurvivalist OP
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Location: Colorado Springs
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Goal Zero or other compact solar panels

I need a compact robust solar panel to charge my galaxy s3 smartphone. Id like some feedback from those that actually own one and a timescale on how long it takes to charge a battery from empty.
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Old 07-31-2013, 02:54 PM   #2
gozirra
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I have the Nomad 7 and the optional Switch 8.
Nomad 7 panel only in sunlight can charge my phone (Iphone) or friends phone (samsung something within the last year) within 1 - 1.5 hours at most. The switch 8 is just a little battery thing that can hold a charge for one cellphone, it charges using the Nomad.

This is in direct light in so. Cal, not really cloudy and not through a window or anything. I can use the phone and have it charging for light duty like a simple lookup but if I have bluetooth, wifi, web app etc running it does not pull enough to keep charging (seems to just kick off and on with the vibration feature telling me charging).

Friend has the Larger panel attached to his jeep when offroading and it keeps his gps and spot fully charged, or so i was told.
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Old 07-31-2013, 04:13 PM   #3
Racerman27410
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I have had great success using the sunlinq flexible solar panels....

i have the 25 watt version and use it to keep my 10,000 mah portable battery pack charged up.

Dang best 40 bucks i ever spent....

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...9SIA1PP0FR0405

i can charge my phone 3 times off the portable battery pack. (which is a good option to a solar panel for just keeping a cell phone charged)

i usually recharge the battery pack with the solar panel... never really timed it but 1 day out in the sun had the battery pack fully charged from empty when i went to pack things up. Since its a li-po battery i now recharge it when it is half empty as this keeps recharge times to 1/2 day or less.

i do recommend the use of the 44 dollar charge controller/ regulator as these solar panels are capable of some high voltages in bright sunlight which could easily damage electronics and or batterys. I learned this the hard way as the unregulated panel cooked my DRZ battery.

good price on the panel and charge controller here....

http://www.21st-century-goods.com/su...e-solar-panel/

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Old 07-31-2013, 08:17 PM   #4
Nwrider206
2012 Triumph Bonnie
 
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Goal Zero

I use a Nomad 7 panel with the Guide 10 plus battery pack. Works awesome for me. using an Iphone 4s. The panel will charge the battery pack and my phone at the same time if needed. It will also charge my Ipad. Which means it puts out 2amps. And the battery pack is 4 AA batteries. So I can use those in a headlamp.

Charge time depends on a lot of different factors. With some blazing sun it seems to charge very fast. Possibly under an hour. Normally I strap it to top of luggage, charging the battery pack. Then I can tie in to that at any time. If it convenient (such as sitting around camp while it is bright out) I will direct charge the phone, ipad or whatever. I just try to always be charging something since you do not know how long the sun might list perhaps.

I see they also make small battery cables that will attach to it. I have considered that. So if you are in the middle of nowhere and get a dead battery, at least you have a shot (my bike is EFI so cant bump start). Not sure how long it would take though. But it would eventually work.

There are a ton of other accessories.

I would recommend them. Very portable. Like a small notepad.
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Old 08-01-2013, 10:16 AM   #5
MightyMouse
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Why solar? If you want a battery charger that has huge capacity in a very small package, you can't do better than this one for less than 12 bucks shipped. It will charge your phone or GPS ten times before needing to be recharged. I have one. It takes a few weeks to get here from China, but it works well. I have seen the same model selling for 3 to 10 times the price of this one, so it really pays to shop around online.

Be aware you will need a standard 110v charger with a mini USB connector on the end (very common for charging cell phones and GPS devices), since this does not include one. You can also charge it on your bike using a standard 12v cell phone charger with mini-USB connector on the end, assuming you put a 12v outlet on your bike.

This was a great find!

http://www.ebay.com/itm/12000mAh-Pow.../360666037788?
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Old 08-01-2013, 04:24 PM   #6
Nwrider206
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12,000 mAh. That is a lot. They are really packing the juice in. I might order one of those. Wow, just found a 50,000mAh
http://www.ebay.com/itm/50000mAh-Dua...item1e7d112ccb


I have various chargers (like Proporta's etc). And they all work fine. I really like my Goal Zero for the utilitarian aspect of it. I backpack and hike a lot, so then I just strap it to the outside of my pack. Bring it on the bike. Even car camping I bring it along. It allows me to keep my phone and wireless bluetooth speaker charged thru the day or whatever I am doing.
so it works well for me just all around.
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Old 08-27-2013, 09:52 PM   #7
thesurvivalist OP
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I went with the 50000mah power bank. Chinese pos. It works sometimes and then it stops.Im going to leave it charging for 2 days, maybe due to its very large capacity it requires a long time to charge.
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The way that you wander is the way that you choose.
The day that you tarry is the day that you lose.
Sunshine or thunder, a man will always wonder where the fair wind blows.
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Old 08-28-2013, 07:25 AM   #8
Smoke Eater 3
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My gear charges in my tank bag off the stock charging system. Easy peasy.
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Old 08-28-2013, 09:03 AM   #9
SgtDuster
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nwrider206 View Post
12,000 mAh. That is a lot. They are really packing the juice in. I might order one of those. Wow, just found a 50,000mAh
http://www.ebay.com/itm/50000mAh-Dua...item1e7d112ccb
Be aware that these Chinese packs are:

1. Highly overrated
2. Using the total cells capacity as the claimed pack capacity. But the cells voltage is 3.7v, not 5v. So it's 50000(overrated)mAh @ 3.7v
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Old 08-28-2013, 12:19 PM   #10
L.B.S.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MightyMouse View Post
Why solar? If you want a battery charger that has huge capacity in a very small package, you can't do better than this one for less than 12 bucks shipped. It will charge your phone or GPS ten times before needing to be recharged. I have one. It takes a few weeks to get here from China, but it works well. I have seen the same model selling for 3 to 10 times the price of this one, so it really pays to shop around online.

Be aware you will need a standard 110v charger with a mini USB connector on the end (very common for charging cell phones and GPS devices), since this does not include one. You can also charge it on your bike using a standard 12v cell phone charger with mini-USB connector on the end, assuming you put a 12v outlet on your bike.

This was a great find!

http://www.ebay.com/itm/12000mAh-Pow.../360666037788?

Awesome, I just bought one, thanks!
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Old 08-28-2013, 12:30 PM   #11
L.B.S.
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Originally Posted by Smoke Eater 3 View Post
My gear charges in my tank bag off the stock charging system. Easy peasy.
Many years ago I rigged up a bulkhead 12v connector through my Wolfman Rainier tankbag for doing just that, and it works most efficaciously. But I'm both lazy and forgetful, so occasionally I will discover the particular device I happen to want to use first thing, was of course the one I neglected to charge while riding during the day, before last stop...

It's when I'm all comfy in the tent and it's pouring outside or I fear for my life due to the bloodthirsty mosquito hordes, that I imagine being able to simply plug in the chargee to the charger, and not have to go out to the bike and fiddle with hooking up stuff, that sounds very appealing to me.

For 10.00 dollars, I'm more than willing to see if this works.
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Old 08-28-2013, 12:47 PM   #12
SgtDuster
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In addition to the USB thingy plugged into the 12v lighter plug on the bike, I always carry this nice little kit with me on vacation/travel.



I have a lot of 18650 cells around (some new cells and some more salvaged from broken laptops) so this kit is perfect for me.

I removed the foam insert inside and discarded the useless adapters (Nokia proprietary plug and the like) to only keep the iPod, mini-UBS and male USB (to recharge the cells). I also bought a lilliputian mini-to-micro USB adapter so now I can charge every gadgets I have. Cellphone, GPS, iPod, video cam, tablet, name it.

I too threw a UBS/lighter adapter and 2x 18650 cases (case for 2 = 4 cells + the one inside the charger), a spare cellphone battery and a spare digicam battery (both inside the net portion of the case) inside so I have plenty of power to play with now.



Oh, there also has a neat flashlight adapter included in the kit. Nice to have a(nother) backup light.

It's interesting to not have to stay near the bike switched on with the headlights shinning because you forgot to charge the cellphone during the day.
I won't go the solar panel way unless I have to spend weeks in the wood.
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Old 08-28-2013, 02:04 PM   #13
L.B.S.
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Originally Posted by SgtDuster View Post
I won't go the solar panel way unless I have to spend weeks in the wood.

Suitable ooohs and ahhhs, that's a pretty nice little kit of goodies there!
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Old 08-28-2013, 03:18 PM   #14
GSBS
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I used the Goal Zero...

...on a solo (with two golden retrievers) canoe trip for 45 days and 650 miles last year.

I had the basic kit, plus another of the battery packs and it kept my iPhone, iPad and camera charged when I wasn't around power. During the most remote part of the trip we went seven days camping primitive on sandbars and didn't see water or power and the Goal Zero stuff worked as advertised. It was a good thing too as I used the iPhone maps to navigate the entire way.

Be advised that the charging falls off exponentially on cloudy days. Fortunately we had sunshine when needed and the trip was in May and June so I had long days. Typically I'd charge one battery pack before lunch, then the other in the afternoon, and recharge the phone, pad and camera at night.

A full charge on the battery pack would do 2-3 phone or camera charges, one of the iPad (but it didn't run down as fast either).

I tied a lanyard to the solar panels and would hang them over the guitar case behind me during charging. That way when it rained I could easily pull it off and put it into a dry bag until the shower passed. It did get wet a few times though with no harm done.

Recommended.

My crew and kit - solar panel on (carbon fiber) guitar case neck in rear of canoe:



Another showing charging the phone:



And one showing the panels (*here getting the last sun of the day at camp):


GSBS screwed with this post 08-28-2013 at 03:24 PM
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Old 08-28-2013, 07:53 PM   #15
mefly2
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Location: Big Sky Country
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Goal Zero +++1
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