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  1. #1
    Caffeinated. Camel's Avatar
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    Solar AA battery charger recomendations.

    Just wondering if anyone has used a Solar AA battery charger which they can recommend.

    I'd hope for one which can handle ~2500mAh AA's.

    Thanks!
    mmmm coffeee!

    email: jfoneg (_"a t symbol thing"_) yahoo (_"period or dot"_) com

  2. #2
    Touring senior
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    Hi Camel - I use an "Exponent" made by ICP Technologies and sold under the Coleman brand -- it is a foldable charger with a peak output of 300 mAmps @14.8V. It weighs 9.2 oz. You have to get a separate battery pack to hold the batteries while charging - mine is an "iSun" and can hold up to 10 batteries at once; AA or AAA. Both are made by ICP Technologies www.icpglobal.com . It's a bit slower than I'd like, but it does the job. The battery pack can also be used with plug in, or in a car - so it's quite versatile.

    Hope this helps.......Murray

  3. #3
    Caffeinated. Camel's Avatar
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    Thanks Murray!
    mmmm coffeee!

    email: jfoneg (_"a t symbol thing"_) yahoo (_"period or dot"_) com

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Camel, I'm also trying to find a light, easy and cheap way of recharging my batteries. Here's another device with some interesting features:

    http://batteryspace.com/index.asp?Pa...ROD&ProdID=795

    -Combination cell phone and AA/AAA solar charger.
    -Can charge the phone directly from the solar panels -or- from the batteries.
    -Only 5.6 oz.
    -$46.59

  5. #5
    370H-SSV-0773H linux_author's Avatar
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    - i use a $9 solar panel i bought at Harbor Freight... it has a front-panel switch for 3, 6, 9, and 12V output (specs say max 50ma at 12V, but i measured 75ma, and can chain a half-dozen of the panels together for more power [i bought 10 of 'em])...

    - the cool thing is that each panel comes with clips, four different connectors, and a reversable polarity plug (for those idiot devices, like the Grundig FR200 radio, which uses a negative center pole)..

    - additionally, there's a slot for two AAs, so while you're using the sun to power your device, you can also recharge a pair of batteries...

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by linux_author
    - i use a $9 solar panel i bought at Harbor Freight... it has a front-panel switch for 3, 6, 9, and 12V output (specs say max 50ma at 12V, but i measured 75ma, and can chain a half-dozen of the panels together for more power [i bought 10 of 'em])...

    - the cool thing is that each panel comes with clips, four different connectors, and a reversable polarity plug (for those idiot devices, like the Grundig FR200 radio, which uses a negative center pole)..

    - additionally, there's a slot for two AAs, so while you're using the sun to power your device, you can also recharge a pair of batteries...
    Do you mind providing a link for this product? All I could find was this for under $10:

    http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=44768

    thanks

  7. #7
    the commutor / tourer mcavana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rnagaoka
    Do you mind providing a link for this product? All I could find was this for under $10:

    http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=44768

    thanks
    +1 please provide link.. i am very interested in this!
    "Ready to retire, just can't afford it yet!"

  8. #8
    370H-SSV-0773H linux_author's Avatar
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    - bought mine locally at the Harbor Freight in Largo, Fla....

    - this is the *exact* unit i purchased:

    solar panel recharger

    (unfortunately, the site wants $23 for each unit!)

    :-(

  9. #9
    Caffeinated. Camel's Avatar
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    rnagaoka that batteryspace device looks interesting, but they don't show how the Solar panel connects to the charger.

    If it connects with a cable/wire, it could be rigged up to fit on my rack, handlebar bag or pack (for hiking). If the panel connects directly to the charger (so the panel is allways at an angle-as pictured), it would seem prone to breakage on a bike rack.

    I'd like to check out that Harborfreight one which linux_author suggested. Since it's no longer on there site it would seem discontinued though.
    mmmm coffeee!

    email: jfoneg (_"a t symbol thing"_) yahoo (_"period or dot"_) com

  10. #10
    Caffeinated. Camel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by linux_author
    - bought mine locally at the Harbor Freight in Largo, Fla....

    - this is the *exact* unit i purchased:

    solar panel recharger

    (unfortunately, the site wants $23 for each unit!)

    :-(
    Thanks for the link though!

    -Couple Questions:

    That site notes it recharges AA NiCads, can or do you use NIMH's? (I'd hope to use the 2500mAh NIMH I've allready got).

    Do you think it would be suitable for recharging on the go? (ie mounted/strapped/velcroed to a rack/barbag/pack)
    mmmm coffeee!

    email: jfoneg (_"a t symbol thing"_) yahoo (_"period or dot"_) com

  11. #11
    370H-SSV-0773H linux_author's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Camel
    Thanks for the link though!

    -Couple Questions:

    That site notes it recharges AA NiCads, can or do you use NIMH's? (I'd hope to use the 2500mAh NIMH I've allready got).

    Do you think it would be suitable for recharging on the go? (ie mounted/strapped/velcroed to a rack/barbag/pack)
    - went out to garage and pulled open a spare box for the specs... unit can be used to charge up to 9V batteries (i think 75ma is too low for typical 7.5Ah or greater gel cells), and a 9V connector is included...

    - the specs sheet specifically mentions Nicd support (most likely due to peak detection in the circuit), although quite frankly, you could probably use the unit to provide a charge to Nimh AAs...

    - according to the specs, the 3V 200mA setting should charge a 2200-2400mA AA with 8 hours sunlight (bright sun would be best)...

    - the panel is perfect for a top-mounted rack trunk (measures 3.5" wide x 6.5" long) and is very light...

    - note that this size panel will only run low-power devices... i did a test on the driveway a few months ago... in order to power and run my DC-to-daylight VHF/HF QRP transceiver (a Yaesu FT-817), i had to parallel eight of the panels... the transceiver requires 500mA for receive mode - forget about transmitting! however, i could easily have used four of the panels to transmit and receive a low-power continuous waveform transceiver, such as a 20M RockMite.

    - that said, i have been using a single panel for more than a year to power a wind up Radio Shack AM/FM radio... the panel provides enough juice to power the radio even in cloudy conditions...

  12. #12
    Caffeinated. Camel's Avatar
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    Thanks a lot for the feedback linux_author. May fit my needs to a T.

    I wouldn't need to run anything off the panel (that I can think of), just off the AA's-or use the AA's to recharge a PDA.
    mmmm coffeee!

    email: jfoneg (_"a t symbol thing"_) yahoo (_"period or dot"_) com

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