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Backpacking / Shtf Solar Gear
#1
[Image: 20330965660_4205629ac0_b.jpg]



I've had this setup for a little over a month now, and did an experiment on vacation to see if I could make due with only solar based power to keep my phone charged for over a week. I managed about 13 days before I went back to plugging in at night at home, and was pretty happy with the overall capacity of this configuration.



The panels are a 5W variety, putting out 1000mA @ 5v dc through a standard USB connector. The kit includes a 3800mAh battery pack, which the panel is able to fully charge in about 5 hours of good sunlight.



Additionally, I had a portable 2200mAh battery pack that I was topping off and using throughout my tests. Between the 2 packs I estimated I had about 4 or 5 full charge cycles with my phone under normal usage conditions for me. That gave me a lot of confidence in this setup for longer term uses, because I think that having about 5 days of reserve would be enough to keep things topped off in stormy or overcast conditions.



The Eton radio was an impulse buy, and is OK for what it is. The tuner doesn't hold a match to similar sized Grundig radios, but at around $25 it's not really in the same price category either.



There's a lot of reviews stating that the dyno burns out on these radios rather easily. I don't really look to the dyno as a means of primary power so that was of little concern to me. The main drawing feature was that this radio charges over USB, and has a flashlight and weather bands. The tuner is pretty sensitive and the dial is small so it can be tricky to dial in a favorite station in a radio congested area such as Grand Rapids where I live.



- Jesse
Welcome to the internet, you're probably taking it too seriously.

What you see is the result of the perspective you choose.

"Knowledge isn't wisdom unless it's empirical." - My own damn self.

Grand Rapids Michigan
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#2
Nice.









Minus the radio, what did the rig run you?









Some mornings it's just not worth chewing through the leather straps!


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#3
[quote name='ddennis2' timestamp='1439403441' post='603290']

Minus the radio, what did the rig run you?

[/quote]



I picked it up in the Meijer sporting goods section on sale for $99 plus tax. I found it online Here for about $80 but I'd imagine with tax and shipping you'd net out about par. In looking, I seem to have misremembered the power pack's capacity, it says on this site it's 3200mAh Confusedhrug:



- Jesse
Welcome to the internet, you're probably taking it too seriously.

What you see is the result of the perspective you choose.

"Knowledge isn't wisdom unless it's empirical." - My own damn self.

Grand Rapids Michigan
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#4
In my shopping about, 80-119 bucks seems to be the range.......









I think my decision is now solidified.









Thanks Bro!









Some mornings it's just not worth chewing through the leather straps!


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#5
Scottman has the Goal Zero Guide 7, which is a higher power output, but this one packs a bit smaller and I think has a better warranty.
Welcome to the internet, you're probably taking it too seriously.

What you see is the result of the perspective you choose.

"Knowledge isn't wisdom unless it's empirical." - My own damn self.

Grand Rapids Michigan
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#6
Great idea thanks Jesse.

It might bme just the thing for my trip next May.



<img src='http://hoodswoods.net/IVB/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/thumbsup.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':thumbsup:' />



Griz
Hopefully the S won't HTF and I pray every day that it won't. It would not be fun.



I have a high art..I wound with cruelty, all who wound me...Archillocus; 650 B.C.
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#7
I've been giving a long hard look at the options in the market for USB powered gear, and honestly there's a lot of cool stuff out there that makes something like this Brunton compelling to me.



Aside from the great stuff Goal Zero has for rechargeable batteries which really extend the utility of normal devices, things like this are becoming more common place: http://www.steripen.com/freedom/



- Jesse
Welcome to the internet, you're probably taking it too seriously.

What you see is the result of the perspective you choose.

"Knowledge isn't wisdom unless it's empirical." - My own damn self.

Grand Rapids Michigan
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#8
I have several different solar packages i use in my "Storm Kits". My primary flashlight is a Black Diamond ReVolt headlamp. My pocket light is a Nitecore tube,

my UV purifier is a CamelBack bottle topper and my solar charger is a Brunton Freedom. In all of my kitsI have a couple of different charging cables (USB to Micro, USB to mini and USB to USB as well as a cheap little AA/AAA USB battery charger). Other devices in my rechargeable box include several Motorolla Talkabout radios and a charger bank/flashlight of unknown origin that I picked up off Amazon. My radio is still either the CountyComm.com or Grundig AA AM/FM/SW.

This is a great time for solar devices, there is a whole raft of different types at reasonable prices so you can experiment without breaking the bank. And for us gear hoarders, that means that you can have a variety of options available to use at any given time.
"...Bond reflected that good Americans were fine people and that most

of them seemed to come from Texas."

Casino Royale. Chapter VII
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#9
Just added another arrow to the quiver for going off grid for a while.



https://www.gaiagps.com/gallery/



A lot of folks know that most smart phones have GPS capabilities. Whats less well known, is that the GPS still works in airplane mode on iPhones. Airplane mode lets you use the phone but not the radios built into it. WiFi is disabled, bluetooth is disabled, and cellular is disabled. The result is a MASSIVE increase in battery life, since all these transmitters are now powered off. The way GPS works, doesn't require any transmitters, unlike all the previously mentioned radios. GPS is RX only, and works by calculating position against the signals of a constellation of satellites. Airplane mode has no affect on the GPS, and because of this, you can use Topo map software that supports offline mode, and use your smart phone as a very capable GPS device.



Gaia GPS seemed to have the best reviews, although for an app store app the $20 price tag is somewhat staggering. I'll post a more thorough review once I've had time to use it a bit, but I thought I'd share this info <img src='http://hoodswoods.net/IVB/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Smile' />



- Jesse
Welcome to the internet, you're probably taking it too seriously.

What you see is the result of the perspective you choose.

"Knowledge isn't wisdom unless it's empirical." - My own damn self.

Grand Rapids Michigan
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#10
[quote name='dravine' timestamp='1439405147' post='603296']

Scottman has the Goal Zero Guide 7, which is a higher power output, but this one packs a bit smaller and I think has a better warranty.

[/quote]





yeah if woot runs a sale on the goal zero nomad one could buy two at that price to this new brunton (they were on sale for $35).... I htink I'll buy anohter one if they run that sale.



Weight is 1 pound.



The kozzy handwarmer battery packs I use are 7.125 ounces
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#11
My solar gear is a bit different than most others, since I refuse to carry a cellphone. It consists of a black plastic bag that heats up my shower water, a evacuated solar heater tube that boils my cooking water, and a solar rechargeable flashlight. I have a hunch that when machines take over the world, cellphones will lead the charge.

Bill
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#12
what is your solar flashlight?



right now my goal zero is charging my kozzy and my solar shower is being heated.
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#13
[quote name='Scottman' timestamp='1439748761' post='603401']

what is your solar flashlight?



right now my goal zero is charging my kozzy and my solar shower is being heated.

[/quote]





I believe it is called a Nokero. Looks like this. http://www.amazon.com/Nokero-N202-Solar-...B00WL4LNUY I have another solar recharging flashlight, different design, that I purchase prior to Y2K, and it still works! Although the charge does not last as long now.
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#14
Looks like a pretty decent setup! I run a goal zero Nomad 15 with a Sherpa 50 battery pack. works well to keep my ham radio functioning, as well as my laptop if i have it with me. also recharge camera batteries and top off the cell phone.
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older picture, it's still the same, just cleaner than in this shot. :-D



Dan
"For in order to find that utter peace, the ripple would have to return to the ocean, dissolve back into radiant infinity, forget itself and remember the absolute. But to do so, the ripple would have to die-it would have to accept the death of its separate self sense. And it is terrified of this."



Ken Wilber
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#15
How much does the solar array weigh?



Looks like 1-2 pounds maybe 5 on the outside. I'm wondering how handy it would be if someone decided they needed two? For what I can't say…





….RVM45
There are only Two Types of People in the World:



A.} People who are After My Guns;



and;



B.} People who are Not After My Guns.



Though I am forced to live in exile, in the Twenty-First century; I am still proud to be a Citizen of the Twentieth Century.



RVM45
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