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


Go Back   > >

Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 05-12-10, 06:08 AM   #1
Crimson Fart
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Morgantown WV
Bikes: Jamis Aurora, Transition Dirtbag, Diamondback Sorento
Posts: 14
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Solar Pannel or Hand Crank?

On tour for charging a cell phone battery on the (sunny) West Coast
Crimson Fart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-10, 06:30 AM   #2
Road Fan
Senior Member
 
Road Fan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Bikes:
Posts: 12,265
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 14 Post(s)
There are some threads on this in the Electronics forum, and I think there's one buried here. Some solar chargers are available off the shelf. A solar panel's peak output only happens on a clear day with the sun at 12:00 relative to the solar cells, but you get very significant power in the shade, and throughout mid-day. And it's better than nothing whenever there's enough light to see by. But don't expect a recharge in 20 minutes - unless there's a battery that's a lot bigger than the cell phone battery, a solar panel that will do that will be pretty big and $$. And then how will that battery be maintained, if it can't get you through the whole trip?

Anyway, some sort of solar is possible, but will take some planning and trials, in the context of the tour plan.
Road Fan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-10, 07:02 AM   #3
staehpj1 
Senior Member
 
staehpj1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Bikes:
Posts: 8,838
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Just my opinion, but...

I tinkered with both when sailing and my impression is that neither would be worth the trouble for touring at least in a developed area like the west coast.

The hand crank charger I tried took a lot of cranking to up the charge by just enough to make a very short call. It was barely OK as an emergency item for on the boat.

Solar chargers need to be fairly large, expensive, and heavy to do any substantial amount of charging. I'd just turn the phone off when not in use and plug in when the opportunity presents itself.
staehpj1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-10, 07:38 AM   #4
Cyclebum 
Senior Member
 
Cyclebum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: NE Tx
Bikes: Tour Easy, Linear USS, Lightening Thunderbolt, custom DF, Raleigh hybrid, Felt time trial
Posts: 2,768
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My cell phone battery will last for several days with light use. Not many, if any, places in the US you could ride for several days with no AC power outlet available. Of course, if you're playing "green", then solar or hand crank are your options. As there is lots of down time on a bicycle tour, go with hand crank for the upper body exercise.

The most practical and wasteful way to keep gadgets charged in remote areas is with a device like this:

http://www.tekkeon.com/productcart/p...uct=13#details
__________________
The bicycle is one of the great inventions of mankind. Delights children, challenges young men to feats of daring, and turns old men into boys again.--Me
Cyclebum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-10, 09:46 AM   #5
Road Fan
Senior Member
 
Road Fan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Bikes:
Posts: 12,265
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 14 Post(s)
Yes, if you're going to carry a "tank of electricity" it's hard to beat primary cells. Sad but true, one of the "heartbreaks of power electronics." Plus it's a lot more likely that a convenience store or gas station in the middle of southeast Colorado will sell you some AA's than will let you plug in your cell phone and then cool it in the store for a while.
Road Fan 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 08:12 PM.