More new toys – staying off the grid

DSC_0244I’ll be camping as much as I can during the cycle, and whilst modern technology like my smartphone and tablet will be great to have with me, they’re not the best when it comes to battery life. Charging batteries on the go is a challenge, especially when you’re camping a lot, so I did some research and found that there are viable portable solar panels for exactly this purpose. This page on CrazyGuyonaBike.com is excellent and I pretty much followed his advice to the letter and bought myself:

The key thing here is that the Solar Panel puts out 5 volts @ 1 amp. The 1 amp is really important. Anything lower and the Lithium Ion batteries in my phone, tablet, GoPro and SLR won’t charge. I’m also taking an old-school Nokia phone as a backup and that’ll charge off this too. Anything that can charge from USB can charge using either the solar panel’s USB port or the battery charger. Of course I can also charge the batteries for my bike lights and headlamp too, so this will save me a lot of hassle. It probably won’t be of great use during the earlier stages in January and February, but once the weather improves as I get further east I should make good use of it. That will of course when I’ll be camping much more and have much less access to electricity. I think I’ll get a backup battery too so when everything’s charged up and the sun light is good I can have a backup battery just in case.DSC_0249

DSC_0247 You can connect any Lithium Ion battery directly to the PIXO charger as it has two adjustable terminals to connect to any sized battery.  You can see the battery from my GoPro connected in that way below.

You can see the small adjustable terminals in the middle.

You can see the small adjustable terminals in the middle.

All Lithium Ion batteries have little connections like this with the + and - clearly marked. The PIXO detects the +/- terminals anyway.

All Lithium Ion batteries have little connections like this with the + and – clearly marked. The PIXO detects the +/- terminals anyway.

The PIXO charger's spring mounts hold the battery securely in place.
The PIXO charger’s spring mounts hold the battery securely in place.

 

It’s pretty sunny here in Dublin today so thought I’d give it a shot – it’s hard to make out due to the lighting, but in the video below you can just about make out the power and charge light working away on the GoPro battery.

 

This entry was posted in Equipment, Power. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s