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How do ya'll charge your stuff?

Old 06-06-15, 09:17 PM
  #1  
apolloturner
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How do ya'll charge your stuff?

I am concerned about keeping phones and camera charged while in the middle of nowhere.... I can't pull the trigger on a Powerbank a solar system or Dynamo. Perhaps a solar system that charges a powerbank. Or a Dynamo with a powerbank?Any of you have better luck with one of the above mentioned options?
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Old 06-06-15, 09:49 PM
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Am/Fm radio? I buy AA batteries as I Travel. ....

tried a solar recharger , but in motion its not giving enough juice , not kept at best angle to the sun..
so I just bought, disposed , and Bought anew.

Other electronics were not needed... for me... I tried to be absorbed locally, as I went.. (other countries)
Brought My pocket Mandolin Instead..




You could Travel, postpone the phone fees... leave them Home , & travel save those costs .

some one will. always be happy to take your money upon your return to re connect again...

maybe let you pay for a call home occasionally.. without bringing yours.. ,



yea, I like Paper Maps, to...

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Old 06-07-15, 01:00 AM
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14W/2.5A portable folding solar panel. I can charge multiple things at once. I can even power some electronics directly, w/o charging.
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Old 06-07-15, 05:51 AM
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A big part of my charging strategy is to conserve battery usage.

The biggest part of that is turning off the phone except when using it. I typically only use the GPS a very small percentage of the time when I am looking for some particular thing like a bike shop or whatever. I make very few voice calls and keep them short. I try to replace most of the calls with text messages when possible. Phones really kill batteries fast when searching for a signal so especially when signals may be weak turn off the phone. If using the GPS or camera in the phone at least turn the cellular part off.

I use flashlights only sparingly. So I might use it for 5-10 seconds at a time and typically no more than a few times per day. So batteries last for a full tour, even a coast to coast one.

If I take a separate camera I have several batteries for it and can go a pretty long time between charging. I find that aftermarket batteries are cheap compared to ones from the camera manufacturer. It depends on the camera, but 2 ounces of batteries will let me take lots of pictures and last for weeks before they all need charging.

So given all of that I don't need to charge all that much, I carry the lightest chargers I can find and use them at stops. Stores, diners, and places of interest will all usually be opportunities to charge. Also small town picnic pavilions often have an outlet. If I think that consumption will be more than usual or charging opportunities less than usual I take a small power wallet that can charge the phone 3 or 4 times on a charge.
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Old 06-07-15, 06:36 AM
  #5  
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I run my radio and lights off AAA batteries. I carry spares and it's easy to buy more.

I use my iPhone for blogging, email, camera, music etc and keep it charged with an Anker 9600mAh battery

Anker 2nd Gen Astro2 9600mAh External Battery

It will recharge my iPhone4 over 5 times. I recharge at cafes, motels etc. I expect solar cells to keep getting cheaper and
more efficient so I look at them regularly, but so far an external battery is still the cheapest and simplest solution.
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Old 06-07-15, 07:25 AM
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Originally Posted by mijome07 View Post
14W/2.5A portable folding solar panel. I can charge multiple things at once. I can even power some electronics directly, w/o charging.
Which solar panel are you using?
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Old 06-07-15, 09:47 AM
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I just got a 7watt panel and a 10000 MAH battery. That should do fine I think. Its just her Ipod, my Iphone, and a Go PRo. If not, I will add a second 7 watt panel and battery to her bike I spent 36 bucks on both. Thank you Amazon. Oh I forgot about our lights they are USB too, but we wont use them much as we wont ride after dark. So only if low visibility.
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Old 06-07-15, 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by treebound View Post
Which solar panel are you using?
Forgot the name, but it's made by Renogy. They make the 100W panels people use for residential/commercial applications.

The unit I got has 4 panels, terminated to one USB @ 5V (obviously). I also got a PortaPow USB meter/monitor. This is real handy to get the proper angle and to monitor the load(s).

Also got some heavy-duty "charge-only" USB cables for a more efficient charge w/ the data pins disabled.

In the photo, I'm charging a Goal Zero Guide 10+. You can see it actually draws more than the standard USB 500 mA.

Edit: I like this small portable setup. Next setup will be with a portable 12V panel.
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Old 06-07-15, 05:18 PM
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I carry a portable battery and plug it or my phone in at every opportunity. The battery is nice because I can plug it in at a campground restroom, for instance, and not worry too much about theft if I have to leave it for a while to soak up a charge. If stolen, it'd be inconvenient, but nearly as much as losing my phone. I also have a dynamo hub and am trying to get a reliable charging solution based off of that. So far, though, the battery has gotten me through. There seem to be ample opportunities to recharge it.
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Old 06-07-15, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by apolloturner View Post
I just got a 7watt panel and a 10000 MAH battery. That should do fine I think. Its just her Ipod, my Iphone, and a Go PRo. If not, I will add a second 7 watt panel and battery to her bike I spent 36 bucks on both. Thank you Amazon. Oh I forgot about our lights they are USB too, but we wont use them much as we wont ride after dark. So only if low visibility.
Hang on, 10000 mega-amp-hour? How big is that 10GAh battery?! Bloody hell and I thought I was keen carrying a 10Ah pack with me everywhere.

Solar panels are a good option though. I have a 40W one that I plan to put on the trailer when I build it (it can become a "roof") and then it's a matter of do I use the 10Ah batteries or the bigger 40Ah pack I have.

Another option for all those USB devices, get yourself a set of 4 D-cells, a holder for them and wire it up in series with a rectifier diode (e.g. a 1N4004 will do) to a USB socket. The diode will drop about 0.7V which will bring the 6V to around 5.3V. The cells can be replaced when depleted.
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Old 06-07-15, 06:29 PM
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oh jeez mah that would be 10 amps total lol. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00..._detailpages00


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Old 06-07-15, 06:54 PM
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I'm using a dyno and either a LuxosU or an Exposure Revo with USBwerk. I also carry a small auxiliary battery.
Last 2 days did an overnight and got to camp with a full GoPro after shooting video off and on during the 6 hour ride. Ran the battery down to halfway after shooting a timelapse last night. Charged off and in today due to the climbing and shot another 1.5 hours of video. Battery was at half when I got home - so I was putting in what it was using.

For my phone - I usually keep it off or in airplane mode and top off at night with the auxiliary battery (which I can also charge from the dyno).
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Old 06-07-15, 09:19 PM
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small flashlight uses one AA battery, good for months. no camping, but
power often goes off in asian countries. digital camera uses a couple
AA's, good for around 400 or so pictures. i carry 4 spare batteries....one
set in the h-bar bag, one set in the panniers. recharge as needed, usually
overnight once every couple weeks. recharger weighs about an ounce.

cell phone (if not left in sock drawer) battery will last up to a week. turned
off wifi and blootoof and gps. mostly text messages or rare short call.
recharges in 2-3 hours. this recharger also weighs an ounce.

paper maps. no batteries required.
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Old 06-07-15, 10:55 PM
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Originally Posted by apolloturner View Post
oh jeez mah that would be 10 amps total lol. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00..._detailpages00


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Heh, I figured you probably meant 10000mAh (which would make it 10Ah like mine, except mine is a 14.4V pack, that one is probably closer to 7.2V). The pedant and electrical engineer made its presence known. :-)
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Old 06-07-15, 11:08 PM
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I have a Cutter Precision PV8 and a Sinewave Revolution. It's a fantastic combination thus far and has been able to easily charge any android device and even my iPhone 6 w/o any cache battery needed.

I have a Supernova ThePlug II+ as well and it can't do that. Plus, The Plug has a design flaw with the USB connections such that it's easy to break the usb interface by accidentally putting a rather small amount of weight on a plugged in cable such as a hand slipping when holding the top cap. (That's how I broke mine.)
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Old 06-11-15, 12:08 PM
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Bring the adapters and a three into one outlet adapter for when you have access to an outlet too.



Here I have a recharger for AA and AAA batteries, a Li Ion charger for a camera battery and a USB charger for my tablet (not shown) all plugged into an outlet. The three into one adapter helped to get all of them plugged in at once. The outlet was at an empty camping site about a hundred feet from my hiker biker site.
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Old 06-11-15, 09:07 PM
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Imagine not having stuff that needed charging. Like Staehpj1 said if you leave things on a lot you'll need to charge a lot. Control your use w/o a wall plug nearby, this is cycling after all, before trying to replicate domestic consumption on a bike.
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Old 06-11-15, 09:14 PM
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Originally Posted by LeeG View Post
Control your use w/o a wall plug nearby, this is cycling after all, before trying to replicate domestic consumption on a bike.
Who needs an outlet when you have a portable solar panel? Everything I have runs on AA's. The chargers I got even got an adapter for AAA's.
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Old 06-12-15, 04:32 AM
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Originally Posted by mijome07 View Post
Who needs an outlet when you have a portable solar panel?
It depends a lot on where and how you tour, but... Solar panels don't make sense for me for the places I have toured. I get enough chances to plug in on my tours and solar panels with much capacity are expensive, heavy, and large. Also they require clear weather and direct sun to work well.
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Old 06-12-15, 04:35 AM
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We travelled around the world for 8 months, and charged our notebook/laptops in airports, campground toilets, restaurants/cafes, and in hotels and B&Bs.
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Old 06-12-15, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
... solar panels with much capacity are expensive, heavy, and large. Also they require clear weather and direct sun to work well.
Not sure about which panels you're referring to. I got a portable one that folds out to four panels, rated at 14W/2.5A. That's plenty for me. It's under 1.4 lbs. and was under $50 shipped. Dimensions (folded) are 6.69 9.25 1.57 inches. Not "large" by any means, even when unfolded (32.28 9.06 0.12 inches).

Company is only 20 miles away. I say that because they are local and I got it quick. Plus they have great customer service.

I've tested with and w/o direct sunlight and determined the electronics I have do not need direct sunlight to charge or operate directly w/o charging. Also got a USB power meter/monitor to verify this.

Since this folds out to four panels, it's not something I'd attach to a backpack (I don't wear one) or strap to the top of a rear rack.
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Old 06-12-15, 10:09 AM
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As I've said many times already, I'm currently building a touring bike. On my next (expedition) bike build, I've thought about some bomb-proof custom wheels with a dynamo hub.
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Old 06-12-15, 10:43 AM
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Ad in the ACA magazine for these USA made (in the shadow of MIT and Harvard U.) things

Chargers - Sinewave Cycles ..

no connection to them , don't own any things I need to charge..

do like my Dynamo hub powered lights..
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Old 06-12-15, 10:56 AM
  #24  
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I recently spent $23.15 to buy this:


Generator Bicycle Bike Dynamo w USB Charge for Cellphone Mobile 12V | eBay

If that link doesn't work, I'll tell you it's an ebay sale consisting of :

1. a 12v sidewall dynamo with mounting hardware
2. a short coaxial wire with bare wires at one end and a 3mm plug at the other, that connects the dynamo to
3. an aluminum box with a standard USB outlet
4. a truly frightening adapter with a standard USB plug at one end and ten different plugs at the other.

Of these, I have no use for either no. 1 or 4, but the other two are neat. No. 2 connects No. 3 to the dynamo hub.

I have not used it much, yet, so can't really comment much, but initial tests show that it will definitely charge my phone.
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Old 06-12-15, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by mijome07 View Post
Not sure about which panels you're referring to. I got a portable one that folds out to four panels, rated at 14W/2.5A. That's plenty for me. It's under 1.4 lbs. and was under $50 shipped. Dimensions (folded) are 6.69 9.25 1.57 inches. Not "large" by any means, even when unfolded (32.28 9.06 0.12 inches).
I guess that what is expensive, heavy, or large are all subjective. I consider 1.4 pounds to be quite heavy and over 32 inches long to be large given my particular use and preferences. I pack really light (9-14 pounds of bags, camping and cooking gear, and clothing) so 1.4 pounds is pretty heavy to me. I use very little power so carrying an ac charger and enough battery to make it from one outlet to the next typically is a good bit lighter than a solar panel.

I can see where a solar panel would work out well for some usage, but it certainly isn't a slam dunk for everyone myself included.

When I can rely on fairly frequent charging I only take a 1.8 oz. charger. If I need to be able to go a week without charging I add a 4.6 oz. 5200 mAh battery pack and/or a couple <2 oz. each phone batteries. Since most of my touring is road touring I can usually get by fine without the battery pack.
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