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Solar/Crank Battery Charger

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#1
I'm looking for a device that would store power from a solar panel or crank so that I can spend weeks/months off the grid while using my Nexus tablet for terrain mapping with offline maps (or to keep my ham radio powered when the power goes out)

Something portable

Does such a thing exist with a crank besides the emergency radios?

(Sorry if this is the wrong section)

Also looking for a cheap, high capacity USB battery to keep my smart brick powered.

 
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#2
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#3
All that really is is a high capacity lithium ion battery that allows up to 3 charges, maybe only one or two on a larger screen device like a tablet. A suitable solar charger would cost considerably more, and I've not seen such a device with crank power, except for ones built into radios or flashlights.

It's hard to advise on this without knowing your max budget. For the duration of time you're talking about it's conceivable lots of cranking or long wait times with lower wattage solar panels would get annoying or even restrictive to how much work you could get done.

I've seen small cranks for cell phones, but none recommended for larger screen devices such as tablets. Reputable high wattage (15w or more) panels easily run over $200, but I'm sure their convenience would pay off before long.
 
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newtekie1

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#4
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#5
Eh, carefully read the reviews and product descriptions on such devices. It's described as an emergency cell phone charger. The very first review probably describes it pretty well. 10 minutes of cranking to get just 2 emergency calls made, which were most likely of very short duration. We're also talking about a device that uses far less power than a tablet. Buyer beware.

Again, you simply can't buy such devices cheap if you expect them to work with what most would consider an acceptable level of convenience for the scenario you're describing.
 
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newtekie1

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#6
Thats the downfall of any crank device like this, you can only charge the device as fast as it charges via USB normally. So if your tablet takes 2 hours to charge normally, it will take 2 hours of cranking to charge with a crank charger. It doesn't matter how much you pay for it, that is just the way it is.

So if you are going to be stationary for a while, solar is the way to go. Or even better, just go buy a small cheap generator...
 
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#7
There are quite a few options... What are your weight and price requirements.
Prices can go into the thousands and weight can go from backpacking to towed.

A little faq page: http://www.ctsolar.com/solarpowerforamateurradiofaq.aspx

A couple of examples:
http://www.21st-century-goods.com/solar-generator-and-solar-laptop-kit-sunlinq-25-watt-solar-panel-and-duracell-600-watt-power-pack/
http://www.ctsolar.com/expeditionsolarpowerpackages.aspx

It is best to figure out your needs; and, then shop around. Maybe, put together your own personalized kit.
 

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#8
The only system i know is not really light and potable but you use a car battery and a setup to recharge it.
 
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#9
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#11
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#12
No sweat. The nice thing about it is you could pick up another pack of rechargeable AA batteries and always have a set charged.

I have something similar to the charge pack that uses 9 AA batteries:
http://ecsys.us/index.php
 
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#13
This makes me want to go out and rough it hardcore, like in Far Cry 3, but with an iPad.
 
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#14
No sweat. The nice thing about it is you could pick up another pack of rechargeable AA batteries and always have a set charged.

I have something similar to the charge pack that uses 9 AA batteries:
http://ecsys.us/index.php
Do enerloops put out enough voltage?
This makes me want to go out and rough it hardcore, like in Far Cry 3, but with an iPad.
How about a real tablet with a real OS? :laugh:
 
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#15
This is a job i actually did...I used Fujitsu tablet with a Trimble GPS. The tab used Li packs, while the gps used camcorder (full sized, VHS) sealed lead acid (SLA).

That is the battery that has the best in field workability...you can use almost anything to charge it, just dont let it go over 15v. drawback...heavy.

Also, look at actual power needed to charge your setup now, in a controlled environment. If that power is not good enough, your charging circuit in the tab might work too hard to regulate. Not knowing exactly what it needs, I would recommend AT LEAST 18000 mAhr capacity (most laptop packs are around 7000). This pack will suit, but recommend at least three of them...one in use, one charging, one for reserve http://californiapc.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=11512

edit and this to charge http://www.personalpowerstore.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=44_54&product_id=79

Where is the area that needs mapping? You are going to need mega sun to charge your stuff.

Major question>>Will you have transportation?

Found more. http://www.ctsolar.com/expeditionsolarpowerpackages.aspx
 
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#16
This is a job i actually did...I used Fujitsu tablet with a Trimble GPS. The tab used Li packs, while the gps used camcorder (full sized, VHS) sealed lead acid (SLA).

That is the battery that has the best in field workability...you can use almost anything to charge it, just dont let it go over 15v. drawback...heavy.

Also, look at actual power needed to charge your setup now, in a controlled environment. If that power is not good enough, your charging circuit in the tab might work too hard to regulate. Not knowing exactly what it needs, I would recommend AT LEAST 18000 mAhr capacity (most laptop packs are around 7000). This pack will suit, but recommend at least three of them...one in use, one charging, one for reserve http://californiapc.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=11512

edit and this to charge http://www.personalpowerstore.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=44_54&product_id=79
While that is a mighty good looking setup it would have to wait a LONG time. That'd be something I'd want for a SHTF cache.

Right now I'm just looking for something small/medium to maintain GPS and radio power (Don't think I'd need more than 5v)

I would hate to go lugging around $800 worth of panels and batteries only to get clocked in the back of the head with a padlock on a chain and have everything stolen.
Where is the area that needs mapping? You are going to need mega sun to charge your stuff.
Already have them saved to the tablet, they take up most of the internal storage but I can get a high capacity flash drive to store them on.
Major question>>Will you have transportation?


Underemployed and annoyed at all the buereaucratic BS involved with being able to drive and own a motor vehicle. So probably not for a long time.

Mounting those afformentioned panels on a cargo rack would be great.
 
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#17
LOL, something told me this was a "fly by night" covert op.
 
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#18
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#19
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#20
new aged firewire! make a fire and charge your shit
 

Frick

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#22
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#23
In Aussieland they call them "Walkabouts"

Some of which can last up to a couple weeks!

Make a wind generator and use LiPo batteries from model cars, prolly your best solution. You dirty hippy :p
 
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#24
In Aussieland they call them "Walkabouts"

Some of which can last up to a couple weeks!

Make a wind generator and use LiPo batteries from model cars, prolly your best solution. You dirty hippy :p
Odd, since the most common use of the word elsewhere is regarding survive in the wilderness rites of passages by Aborigines.