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#95669 - 05/04/08 12:11 PM Chargers for electronics?!
altadude Offline

Registered: 11/16/03
Posts: 524
I received the new mountaingear catalogue and clearly the ad people who make these catalogues know how to get me thinking to buy <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" />

Anyway, just wondering if anyone has any experience with any of these three electronic chargers?

1. Sidewinder Cell Phone Charger (SW technology)-two minutes of hand cranking gets you 6 minutes or airtime (even if your signal is weak?)........clearly the least expensive and most appealing to me.....

2. Portable Solar Charger (also from SW technology)........more expensive and more powerful and doesn't require any cranking by hand-just sun.....

3. Hybrid 100 Solar Charger (Solio)-either solar or wall plug.....

they all claim to fit many phone port types.........I don't know but each time we get a new cell phone the previous charger doesn't fit into the port to charge the phone..

Just wondering.......

Yes, I am aware of not relying on technology to save my life........thinking more of travelling rather than backpacking though at 2 ozs the first option seems the most appealing (also the cheapest)


#95670 - 05/04/08 12:33 PM Re: Chargers for electronics?! [Re: altadude]
Trailrunner Offline

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 1835
Loc: Los Angeles
A quick TLB search for "solar charging" will give you lots of info. Be sure to include the quotation marks and set the date range well beyond the default of 1 week.

#95671 - 05/04/08 01:30 PM Re: Chargers for electronics?! [Re: altadude]
Dryer Offline

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 3583
Loc: Texas
....thinking more of travelling rather than backpacking ...

If you a traveling, you usually have a place to plug something into the wall. I've always found that faster and simpler than any crank/solar option, plus you get full charges and much more time between them.
paul, texas KD5IVP

#95672 - 05/04/08 04:28 PM Re: Chargers for electronics?! [Re: Trailrunner]
altadude Offline

Registered: 11/16/03
Posts: 524
A quick TLB search for "solar charging" will give you lots of info. Be sure to include the quotation marks and set the date range well beyond the default of 1 week.


#95673 - 06/08/08 12:58 PM Re: Chargers for electronics?! [Re: altadude]
scottyb Offline

Registered: 05/28/08
Posts: 278
Loc: Texas Hill Country
Later this year, I will be rafting / hiking the upper half of the Grand Canyon, ending with a hike out with my personal gear. I needed a new camera, more compact than my DSLR, and one that has a waterproof housing available. I found what I wanted in the Canon Powershot G9 and Canon WP-DC21 underwater housing. The camera and housing together weigh less than 2 lbs and is waterproof to 130'. It will also become my wife's underwater camera on our next dive trip.

The next dilemma was batteries. I intend to fire away like crazy for the whole trip including running rapids and side hikes. In my search, I ran across a portable battery charger by Promaster XtraPower GO It will supposedly fully charge a camera battery five times with it's on-board battery.
They offer one that's compatible with most cameras and it will also charge many other items like cell phones, MP3's, Blackberrys, etc, through it's USB port.

Just curious if anybody has tried the XtraPower GO. If not, I will report back after I acquire one and use it.

Edited by scottyb (06/08/08 01:03 PM)
Just because you don't take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you.... Pericles (430 B.C)

#95674 - 06/30/08 10:45 AM Re: Chargers for electronics?! [Re: scottyb]
bulrush Offline

Registered: 04/19/07
Posts: 132
Loc: Michigan
Keep in mind that solar chargers, while they work, have some caveats. They only work in full sun and the charge times are likely the times in "full sun". What if you have a series of days that are overcast, cloudy, or rainy? Then charge times are 2-3 times what is normal. I have used a solar powered flashlight, it charges but only in full sun. It plain does not work in the Michigan winters. There is not enough solar energy coming through the thick clouds to make it work.

So, with my experience, I would say a crank charger is the best thing: it works no matter what the weather is like. And if you want more charging, you just crank it some more. I have a crank-charged flashlight, and it works well. The only issue is, the battery wears out after a while. A super capacitor would work even better for a flashlight.

I have a hand cranked radio with built-in rechargable batteries. The crank broke a few years ago but the batteries work fine, which is weird since I've had the radio about 8 years and the batteries are from China (notoriously bad quality, especially in the battery department).

Anyway, there's my solar and cranking experience. I much prefer the cranking.


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