Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Electronics, Lighting, & Gadgets HRM, GPS, MP3, HID. Whether it's got an acronym or not, here's where you'll find discussions on all sorts of tools, toys and gadgets.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 06-08-13, 10:03 PM   #1
Robert C
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Robert C's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Salt lake, UT
Bikes: This list got too long: several ‘bents, an urban utility e-bike, and a dahon D7 that my daughter has absconded with.
Posts: 1,633
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 65 Post(s)
Question Do solar chargers really work?

I am considering a long ride this summer which will leave my outside for several days. I will be relying on a GPS as I will be in China. I need some way to keep the GPS working.

This brings me to the question, do those battery / solar cell combos, like the one pictured, actually work?

I intend to put it on the top of the stuff on my rear rack on a recumbent and use it on a GPS like this one.




General

Product Name
Portable Mobile Solar Power Charger

Brand/Model
NA

Color
Black

Basic Specification

Battery Type
Lithium Battery

Capacity
2600MAH

Input Voltage
5.5V/300-500mA

Output Voltage
4.2V,5.5V,9V /400-800mA

Charger Time
Around 2 hours

Charging Mode
USB or Adapter

Port
1 x USB Slot

Dimension(L x W x H)
120 x 65 x 11 mm

Suitable For
iPhone/iPad/PDA/PSP/MP3/Mp4/Laptop/Notebook

Features
- Portable mobile charger for your item
- Easy to take and charge conveniently
- LED lights flash when charging the mobile.

Package Included
- 1 x Portable Mobile Charger
- 3 x Cables
- 1 x Charger
- 4 x Adapters
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 804422_4_s.jpg (3.2 KB, 157 views)
File Type: jpg 804422_1_s.jpg (2.6 KB, 161 views)
Robert C is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-13, 10:15 PM   #2
znomit
Zoom zoom zoom zoom bonk
 
znomit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: New Zealand
Bikes: Giant Defy Composite,Trek 1.7c, Specy Hardrock, Nishiki SL1, Jamis Commuter
Posts: 3,330
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert C View Post
I intend to put it on the top of the stuff on my rear rack on a recumbent and use it on a GPS like this one.
That things is Earthquake proof but not waterproof?

You're better off going for an AA powered GPS like an etrex.
znomit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-13, 10:39 PM   #3
Robert C
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Robert C's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Salt lake, UT
Bikes: This list got too long: several ‘bents, an urban utility e-bike, and a dahon D7 that my daughter has absconded with.
Posts: 1,633
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 65 Post(s)
etrex does not have China maps. Part of the trouble is that maps are a state secret. As such, GPS units that are offered outside of the Chinese market will not do what I want. Also, the batteries purchased in China are of very poor quality. You cannot plan on a battery in China lasting more than half as long as a similar battery purchased on the US.

I have a small GPS with good battery life; however, it does not display maps. I actually doubt that I need the maps display; but, The last time I made a similar trip I ran into trouble when the road detoured at one point.
Robert C is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-13, 10:50 PM   #4
rekmeyata
Senior Member
 
rekmeyata's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Bikes:
Posts: 7,901
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 256 Post(s)
Yes they work howbeit slowly and on sunny days.
rekmeyata is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-09-13, 12:40 AM   #5
znomit
Zoom zoom zoom zoom bonk
 
znomit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: New Zealand
Bikes: Giant Defy Composite,Trek 1.7c, Specy Hardrock, Nishiki SL1, Jamis Commuter
Posts: 3,330
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert C View Post
etrex does not have China maps. Part of the trouble is that maps are a state secret. As such, GPS units that are offered outside of the Chinese market will not do what I want.
Maybe the free open source ones?
http://garmin.openstreetmap.nl
znomit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-09-13, 08:08 AM   #6
jolly_ross
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Bikes:
Posts: 621
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I followed Mike's blog as he rode the Tour d'Afrique. His equipment page may be of interest - it mentions a Goal Zero charger.

http://www.bike2013.com/equipment/
jolly_ross is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-09-13, 09:17 AM   #7
Looigi
Senior Member
 
Looigi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Bikes:
Posts: 8,951
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
I like using an auxillary AA battery pack like this one:

http://www.gomadic.com/garmin-edge-7...-extender.html

More Gomadic chargers/accessories for the 705, solar too...

http://www.gomadic.com/manufacturers...ame=Edge%20705
Looigi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-13, 03:24 AM   #8
technoD
Senior Member
 
technoD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: not here very long...
Bikes: trek 820, schwinn highlander,hardtail 29er, Currie I-Zip 26" Electric bike
Posts: 84
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I just bought a Revolve Sol-sport 5 kit for $35. folding solar panel, cables & 2200mah lithium poly battery came with it.
Meijer.com has them on clearance.
technoD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-13, 06:13 PM   #9
Robert C
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Robert C's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Salt lake, UT
Bikes: This list got too long: several ‘bents, an urban utility e-bike, and a dahon D7 that my daughter has absconded with.
Posts: 1,633
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 65 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by technoD View Post
I just bought a Revolve Sol-sport 5 kit for $35. folding solar panel, cables & 2200mah lithium poly battery came with it.
Meijer.com has them on clearance.
I check

I checked, it appears that they don't have them anymore.
Robert C is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-13, 06:50 PM   #10
znomit
Zoom zoom zoom zoom bonk
 
znomit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: New Zealand
Bikes: Giant Defy Composite,Trek 1.7c, Specy Hardrock, Nishiki SL1, Jamis Commuter
Posts: 3,330
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Some of these things are battery packs that you charge from mains power, that also happen to have a fairly useless solar panel on them.
znomit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-13, 09:33 PM   #11
ttakata73
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Bangkok: it's hot
Bikes: 2013 Strida 5, 1998 GT Forte Ti, Custom Dahon Dove 14" (6kg)
Posts: 427
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Try to get a solar cell with a bigger output than your GPS' power requirements and maybe you can keep it running properly through cloudy conditions. You will want a battery in there to get you through the dark spots too. You need to do some math to decide how big a solar cell and battery you need.
ttakata73 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-13, 08:16 AM   #12
Looigi
Senior Member
 
Looigi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Bikes:
Posts: 8,951
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by ttakata73 View Post
Try to get a solar cell with a bigger output than your GPS' power requirements and maybe you can keep it running properly through cloudy conditions. You will want a battery in there to get you through the dark spots too. You need to do some math to decide how big a solar cell and battery you need.
Yes. You need a pretty large panel in the first place, and even larger to allow for non-ideal conditions (shade, clouds, not pointed directly at the sun). Check the spex of the Gomadic solar panel, 13" x 12" and weighs 4 lb. http://www.gomadic.com/garmin-edge-705-sunvolt.html



AAs are small, lightweight, universally available and can get you through periods where you can't charge from an electrical outlet. The 705 will run nearly 3 times as long on a set of 4 external AA batteries as it will off its internal battery.

Last edited by Looigi; 06-12-13 at 08:25 AM.
Looigi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-13, 06:45 PM   #13
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Bikes: 7
Posts: 20,369
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 640 Post(s)
Bigger the panel the better , bike trailer with a 4 square foot size perhaps?

I think the flexible brown cell is less efficient than the Rigid Blue ones.


maybe a Hub dynamo for juice when you are moving, the Panel for the campsite

Last edited by fietsbob; 06-12-13 at 06:49 PM.
fietsbob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-13, 09:30 PM   #14
njkayaker
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Bikes:
Posts: 9,539
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 96 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Bigger the panel the better , bike trailer with a 4 square foot size perhaps?

I think the flexible brown cell is less efficient than the Rigid Blue ones.


maybe a Hub dynamo for juice when you are moving, the Panel for the campsite
??? Typically, one is at the campsite at night.
njkayaker is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:12 PM.