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clowd
02-06-2012, 15:40
Does anyone carry a solar charger for their cell phone?...or a regular plug in charger?...but where do you plug it in?...library?...restaurants?

lush242000
02-06-2012, 16:15
I have not seen a solar charger that I would consider being useful. If you want to sit around all day in a sunny spot to get a 1/4 charge, then sure they work. I just take the regular wall charger. Every few days you will be either resupplying or eating at a gas station / restaurant / hotel. Just charge it then. It only takes about an hour to charge most phones from dead to full.

stonedflea
02-06-2012, 17:20
what kind of phone do you have?

i have a motorola razr and i was able to carry an extra battery. i realize iphones don't have that perk (+1 for androids).

i carried two batteries and simply charged them with the regular wall charger while i was in town. you can usually find electrical outlets in libraries, laundromats, fast food restaurants, etc. it's polite to ask before you charge your phone. i was never told, "no, you can't."

i started at springer with a solar charger, but it rained so much in georgia that i was hardly able to keep it outside of my pack, and it needs direct sunlight, which you will very rarely get on the trail. unless you find a product review that says, "i hiked the entire AT with this and it held up wonderfully," i would say skip a solar charger altogether. i sent mine home in hiawassee.

i DID, however, run into a guy in the shenandoahs who let me use his phone charger. i believe it was made specifically for motorola phones, but it was basically a device that held up to 7 charges at a time. it took a long time to charge my phone, but if you could find one of these, i would say it would be worth having. it was about the same size/weight as the phone (so relatively heavy), but you'd pretty much be guaranteed a charge the entire time you were out in the woods.

even with two batteries and using airplane mode for most of the powered-up life, it was more often than not that both of my batteries went dead in between towns.

eatapeach
02-06-2012, 17:31
what kind of phone do you have? i have a motorola razr and i was able to carry an extra battery. i realize iphones don't have that perk (+1 for androids). i carried two batteries and simply charged them with the regular wall charger while i was in town. you can usually find electrical outlets in libraries, laundromats, fast food restaurants, etc. it's polite to ask before you charge your phone. i was never told, "no, you can't." i started at springer with a solar charger, but it rained so much in georgia that i was hardly able to keep it outside of my pack, and it needs direct sunlight, which you will very rarely get on the trail. unless you find a product review that says, "i hiked the entire AT with this and it held up wonderfully," i would say skip a solar charger altogether. i sent mine home in hiawassee. i DID, however, run into a guy in the shenandoahs who let me use his phone charger. i believe it was made specifically for motorola phones, but it was basically a device that held up to 7 charges at a time. it took a long time to charge my phone, but if you could find one of these, i would say it would be worth having. it was about the same size/weight as the phone (so relatively heavy), but you'd pretty much be guaranteed a charge the entire time you were out in the woods. even with two batteries and using airplane mode for most of the powered-up life, it was more often than not that both of my batteries went dead in between towns. How much did you use it each day? In hours? Did your phone just cache outgoing email till you got to town, or did you save as drafts?

Lone Wolf
02-06-2012, 17:41
Does anyone carry a solar charger for their cell phone?...or a regular plug in charger?...but where do you plug it in?...library?...restaurants?always ask permission

Six-Six
02-06-2012, 17:51
I just bought a wall charger from Staples that has two USB outlets on it - that will let me charge both my phone and my camera at the same time if I need to, instead of one at a time with my old charger. And will always ask permission first.

attroll
02-06-2012, 19:29
When I was on the trail. I carried a blackberry with four extra batteries. You can find batteries on ebay at a good price sometimes. I never went through all four batteries while on any stretch of the trail. I would turn my phone off or put it in airplane mode until I needed to use it. This saved tremendously on the battery life. I would charge my batteries when ever I was in a hostel, motel room or any place that had an outlet. The main thing is, do not forget and leave you phone or battery plugged in and hike off.

Grits
02-06-2012, 20:38
I have been using the http://www.igo.com/ charger and am messing around with the http://www.npowerpeg.com/ which weighs in at 11 oz. which uses the igo adaptors for mp3 players and phone. No need to connect to the grid.

DeerPath
02-07-2012, 07:52
I just received two batteries for my LG phone for $5.42 each including shipping. I shopped around and found prices from $30.00 to $5.42. Batteries aer new and charged with no problem. http://www.tmart.com/search.html?q=BL-44JN

RETCW4
02-07-2012, 14:49
I have been using the http://www.igo.com/ charger and am messing around with the http://www.npowerpeg.com/ which weighs in at 11 oz. which uses the igo adaptors for mp3 players and phone. No need to connect to the grid.

I too use the IGo powerxtender charger. It runs on two AA batteries and comes with a free tip for you device. Online it's $15.99. It can clso be bought at Radio Shack.

Tumbleweed

LDog
02-07-2012, 15:16
Does anyone carry a solar charger for their cell phone?...or a regular plug in charger?...but where do you plug it in?...library?...restaurants?

I intend to use my droid quite a bit between town visits, and bought a New Trent external battery pack that will recharge my phone, and my camera several times. Add a couple of the little Apple USP chargers and a pair of short USB cables and I'm set to recharge when I get to town. Those batteries ain't light, so you really have to figure how often you'll need to recharge in a five day period, multiply that times the mAh of your phone battery to determine the size battery you really need. Here's my write up on it:
http://www.laughingdog.com/2011/08/keeping-electronics-alive-when-theres.html

mkmangold
02-08-2012, 00:31
Maybe you could try this http://biolitestove.com/BioLite_HomeStove.html and let us know how well it works. We're all interested in multi-use equipment. The best advice is to turn off your phone until you absolutely have to use it.

stonedflea
02-18-2012, 18:25
How much did you use it each day? In hours? Did your phone just cache outgoing email till you got to town, or did you save as drafts?

sorry for the late response. i didn't use it daily... there were some days i wouldn't even turn it on. when i did turn it on, i would mainly keep it on airplane mode so it wouldn't search for signal (if i wanted to take a picture or see what time/day it was [i didn't carry a watch]). if i got to the top of a mountain and thought i might have service/3G, i'd turn airplane mode off and use my phone until i was ready to hike down.

one of my batteries was brand new... bought it right before i hit the trail. my other battery was 1+ yrs old. the newer battery held a charge much better than the older one, even when not in use. if i charged the old one to 100% before i left town and then switched the batteries out, it was a gamble that it would even turn the phone on when the newer battery would die.

BigHodag
02-19-2012, 00:15
I use an LG Incite on the trail and carry a single USB charger. I turn my phone off, not airplane mode - OFF. I only turn on to give a position update to my ground control (my wife is deaf, so I use TrailPhone.net and a friend transcribes to TrailJournals.com)

By keeping the phone off, I can usually go 4-5 days between charges which equals resupply-in-town day. Never had a problem finding electricity at picnic pavilions, park restrooms, ranger stations, hostels, etc. Greyhound now offers electric plugs for each seat so I now hit the trail fully charged after using my phone on the trip. Like the idea of a dual USB charger from Staples.

Wise Old Owl
02-19-2012, 00:36
4-5 days in off? Just thinking should have lasted much more than that. -

FYI folks if you are going to use multiple batteries - and your regular phone is 2 years old or more replace the primary and label the dates on them.

To get back to the original first post - Click here<<<<<<solar answer

Bob McCaw
02-20-2012, 18:37
If you have a phone that is USB compatible, Newegg puts out a pretty nifty device. It weighs about 8 ounces and will give an iPhone three full charges. You can plug it in when in town (and simultaneously give your phone a fourth charge).

If your phone is off, or even in airplane mode, four charges will keep your phone alive for a couple of weeks at least.

NuAgeDesigns
02-20-2012, 19:43
What is the name of this multi charger on new egg?


---
I am here: http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=41.387601,-73.077040

Bob McCaw
02-20-2012, 22:41
I have a Cellion MP-4000. It may be that this particular brand is no longer available. Newegg does, however, carry products with very similar specifications, namely 5000 mAh battery packs with USB output.

Kookork
02-20-2012, 23:34
Maybe you could try this http://biolitestove.com/BioLite_HomeStove.html and let us know how well it works. We're all interested in multi-use equipment. The best advice is to turn off your phone until you absolutely have to use it.

That is my intention to carry on my long distant hiking if it turns out good. I love to drink hot milk a lot( by mixing coffee whitener and hot water) and tea .so I have another excuse to stop and make a fire since I want to charge my phone after all,,,,:)

fins1838
02-21-2012, 14:02
I have an I-phone & Coleman makes a battery operated charger that claims to fit most phones & mp3's. Paid about $30 for it. Its a little bit longer then a bic lighter & cylinder shaped.

Hawkwind61
02-24-2012, 20:41
I have an I-phone & Coleman makes a battery operated charger that claims to fit most phones & mp3's. Paid about $30 for it. Its a little bit longer then a bic lighter & cylinder shaped.

I tried the Coleman last year for a week in MA on the AT...tried the charger pack and the battery pack. Neither were worth the experiment. This year I plan to do the Long Trail. I just ordered an 'extended' battery for my LG Optimus. The battery I ordered is supposed to get about 44 hours running GPS and staying on. If it gets near that during my pre-hike trip to test new gear at Mt Greylock in May I will buy a second one. Charge them both and take them on the Long Trail with me. I do plan to shut off my phone between check-in calls/texts to my family. Side-note: Extended batteries are sold with a back to fit. Bought an extended last year for my Samsung Alias. iPhone users may want to invest ina battery pack that you pre-charge...there are others out there...but skip the Coleman.

Wise Old Owl
02-24-2012, 20:47
what kind of phone do you have?

i have a motorola razr and i was able to carry an extra battery. i realize iphones don't have that perk (+1 for androids).

i carried two batteries and simply charged them with the regular wall charger while i was in town. you can usually find electrical outlets in libraries, laundromats, fast food restaurants, etc. it's polite to ask before you charge your phone. i was never told, "no, you can't."

i started at springer with a solar charger, but it rained so much in georgia that i was hardly able to keep it outside of my pack, and it needs direct sunlight, which you will very rarely get on the trail. unless you find a product review that says, "i hiked the entire AT with this and it held up wonderfully," i would say skip a solar charger altogether. i sent mine home in hiawassee.

i DID, however, run into a guy in the shenandoahs who let me use his phone charger. i believe it was made specifically for motorola phones, but it was basically a device that held up to 7 charges at a time. it took a long time to charge my phone, but if you could find one of these, i would say it would be worth having. it was about the same size/weight as the phone (so relatively heavy), but you'd pretty much be guaranteed a charge the entire time you were out in the woods.

even with two batteries and using airplane mode for most of the powered-up life, it was more often than not that both of my batteries went dead in between towns.

Not any more - we are several generations later with Goal 0 "Plus" and they claim solar is 1 hour for Android & 2 hours for I phone ( quirky)* 4 hours for the video camera - Hero - thats a 7 watt panel in direct sulight - but will work on a cloudy day on your backpack while hiking... when raining - put it away...

Wise Old Owl
02-24-2012, 20:50
I tried the Coleman last year for a week in MA on the AT...tried the charger pack and the battery pack. Neither were worth the experiment. This year I plan to do the Long Trail. I just ordered an 'extended' battery for my LG Optimus. The battery I ordered is supposed to get about 44 hours running GPS and staying on. If it gets near that during my pre-hike trip to test new gear at Mt Greylock in May I will buy a second one. Charge them both and take them on the Long Trail with me. I do plan to shut off my phone between check-in calls/texts to my family. Side-note: Extended batteries are sold with a back to fit. Bought an extended last year for my Samsung Alias. iPhone users may want to invest ina battery pack that you pre-charge...there are others out there...but skip the Coleman.

I would have skipped it... better to have two batteries that fit into the phone... On the internet the Lithium is cheap.. holds a month of juice when outside the product & stays charged what 1oz? go for it.

Hawkwind61
02-24-2012, 20:50
I was looking into the goal 0's...but would rather get input from someone with experience with the latest model before commiting.

Hawkwind61
02-24-2012, 20:52
Exactly Wise...which is why this year I plan to take two (at the very least) brand new fresh batteries when I head out.

Wise Old Owl
02-24-2012, 21:02
I just bought it Goal 0 plus yesterday from REI and I have been using a self built 1.5 watt panel before this ... The Goal is awesome I will be conducting tests on the new product with dead phones over the next week.

I have a background of years in Electronics and Amateur Radio. I have built from scratch a solar home ten years ago... Mine would work during a power fail, today modern ones wont.

Hawkwind61
02-25-2012, 09:56
I just bought it Goal 0 plus yesterday from REI and I have been using a self built 1.5 watt panel before this ... The Goal is awesome I will be conducting tests on the new product with dead phones over the next week.

I have a background of years in Electronics and Amateur Radio. I have built from scratch a solar home ten years ago... Mine would work during a power fail, today modern ones wont.
Excellent! With your expertise and background I look forward to hearing your results.

Wise Old Owl
02-25-2012, 10:53
darkage is ahead of me and has had it a few weeks. (http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/member.php?15185-darkage)

http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/images/Eloquent/statusicongreen/user-offline.png

Hawkwind61
02-25-2012, 11:10
:sun Very cool. The more experience the better. :)

Wise Old Owl
02-26-2012, 16:30
Getting back to cell phones here is some info I found about I phone claims....( I don't have one - my boss does)

I phone


Built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery
Charging via USB to computer system or power adapter
Talk time: Up to 8 hours on 3G, up to 14 hours on 2G (GSM)
Standby time: Up to 200 hours
Internet use: Up to 6 hours on 3G, up to 9 hours on Wi-Fi
Video playback: Up to 10 hours
Audio playback: Up to 40 hours
Use iPhone Regularly

For proper maintenance of a lithium-based battery, itís important to keep the electrons in it moving occasionally. Be sure to go through at least one charge cycle per month (charging the battery to 100% and then completely running it down).

The biggest secret is proformance of a Lith ion battery....
For the Motorola Android Atrix

I have to charge every 2.5 days.... Based on moderate activity. ( can't live without it.)

My guess from the wall at .5 watts is 4-5 hours. Instead I charge every other day and really never look... (now I have too)

At night the app kicks in and drops power consumption for 6 hours ever night...

Danl
02-27-2012, 00:20
If you have a phone that is USB compatible, Newegg puts out a pretty nifty device. It weighs about 8 ounces and will give an iPhone three full charges. You can plug it in when in town (and simultaneously give your phone a fourth charge).

If your phone is off, or even in airplane mode, four charges will keep your phone alive for a couple of weeks at least.

http://www.hypershop.com/HyperJuice-Micro-3600mAh-iPad-iPhone-USB-Battery-p/hj36-black.htm The micro will add 5 hours to an I-Pad, 3 full charges to an I-phone, other devices ? all - via USB. 2-3 hours to recharge It weighs 4.7 oz.

http://www.hypershop.com/HyperJuice-Mini-7200mAh-iPad-iPhone-USB-Battery-p/hj72-black.htm The Mini will add 10 hours to an I-Pad and 6 full charges to an I-Phone, etc... Takes 8 full hours to recharge It weighs 8.4 oz

Kind of pricey but...

Drybones
02-27-2012, 11:57
I got a power pack that weighs 3 oz to recharge on the trail. The phone and charger can be plugged together to charge at the same time when a recepticle is available...I'll ask for a table next to one when at restraunts.

Joker4ink
03-01-2012, 01:06
Have you seen where people have make their own charger with a 9V or two AA batteries? Here's one you can make for for cheap. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VBAY_j_4CJc

dornstar
03-02-2012, 16:53
The New Trent iCruiser 11,000mah (http://www.amazon.com/New-Trent-iCruiser-IMP1000-Blackberry/dp/B003ZBZ64Q/ref=wl_it_dp_o_npd?ie=UTF8&coliid=IUOK2MUATZ4MN&colid=25I3I8ZMDWO06) is the way to go. Gives you 50 hours of movie time on an iPhone/Android device and weighs 11 ounces. Same amount of juice as 6 of my Droid Bionic batteries and only 2 ounces heavier, but in one nice little package that you can use to charge any USB based item like an iPad.

Zipper
03-02-2012, 22:52
I kept my phone off except for once or twice a day and it lasted usually 5 or 6 days. I rarely ran out of battery completely. I would recharge it in hostels or hotels or occasionally in a restaurant or library where I would ask first. I had a Blackberry, and this was in 2009.

Wise Old Owl
03-04-2012, 10:15
The Panel stores at a higher watt rate to 4 high end batteries in a small package with other inputs and outputs. Unfortunately my Android phone only needs charging every two and a half days so this has been slow process. We just got away from several days of rain... The claim of charging in direct sunlight in an hour for an Android is true. Direct from the panel to the phone... The Battery pack is slower and the claim that it can carry three charges to Android has not been complete. I did do one slow charge - Its plausible.

I Also have a company Blackberry. - Here is where the system falls down. I have had trouble with two different Blackberry's 1 one take a charge from the battery pack and at .5 watts wont charge from the panel...all recent phones have a lot of incoming power sensing, analizing & notification while turned on. Some phones have a App for it. Even as you juice them if the incoming power goes down (Direct from Panel) You get a warning. If the Battery Pack is on its second output charge the Blackberry won't accept. So it appears that shutting off the phone is sometimes necessary during the charge.

On the Android - it happened once where I took it below 30% on the internal battery. - Connected it to the Panel on a cloudy day and the phone had a heart attack of notifications to disconnect. - Some how it triggered the phone to refresh the battery - the phone appeared to discharge the battery and shut down, later it accepted the charge from the battery pack and came back up over night. I still do not fully understand what happened that day....

Best test ever

Yesterday I took the panel out after the storm and jammed a light into the output, it only lights at 5 volts. The Light remains on regardless of how the panel is pointed both direct and indirect. It can remain on when the panel is rotated 180 out. So when hiking its still pushing power when on the backpack, Just not as much. In fact it appears I won't need to have it on the pack at all if it works in one hour!

scooterdogma
03-05-2012, 09:41
I have been using the http://www.igo.com/ charger and am messing around with the http://www.npowerpeg.com/ which weighs in at 11 oz. which uses the igo adaptors for mp3 players and phone. No need to connect to the grid.

Hey Grits, how is the npowerpeg working for you? It looks interesting ...

Fetter
03-06-2012, 11:02
I got a Voltaic Amp Solar Panel a few months ago and its great for if you don't want to sit on one place and charge from a wall. I just jerry rig it to my pack and walk around and if my battery goes dead or low I hook it up and charge off the panels external battery. Its great because I'm planning on using my iPhone for music on the trail, camera, WB updates, and, oh yea, the phone function. Might want to put it in the drysack in case of rain.

bamboo bob
03-06-2012, 13:33
I kept my phone off except for once or twice a day and it lasted usually 5 or 6 days. I rarely ran out of battery completely. I would recharge it in hostels or hotels or occasionally in a restaurant or library where I would ask first. I had a Blackberry, and this was in 2009.

Exactly! I really don't get what all the fuss is about. How much phone is wanted on the trail? Do people hike and chat all day. Turn it on for a few minutes to check the weather twice a day. Or call my wife to say hi. Maybe ten minutes total a day at the most. My old blackberry also in 2009 never died on the PCT. I have an HTC droid now but expect it to last plenty enough. I must be missing something. Are people using turm by turn maps or gps 100% of the time on their phone? I've done the AT with no phone and it was fine. It is easier with a phone though.

BrianLe
03-06-2012, 18:47
"Exactly! I really don't get what all the fuss is about."

Since this is in the 'general gear talk' area, I can only surmise it's about somewhere away from the AT --- which IMO is in general a pretty lousy place to use solar.
I used solar for the southern chunk of my PCT trip, and it helped, but if doing it again I would go the route I did on the AT and CDT: just bring one or two extra batteries for my phone and recharge them all in town. Worked great, I never ran out of power. For the CDT it helped a lot that I used a separate GPS, and carried separate batteries for this; spare lithium AA's were pretty light to carry, however, and easy enough to either get in a larger trail town or in a resupply box.

For someone doing more than, say, a week between trail towns, and in fairly open land in southern states, and who uses a fair bit of electricity each day in some way or another, solar might make sense, but --- my feeling is that for most folks it's either a kind of fun thing to try out, or it's an inefficient use of money, added weight, and "fiddle factor".

Note, however, that my comments are from the perspective of someone who most typically spends all day hiking; folks that spend more time in camp, or can setup solar at a base camp type of situation, might be very useful there.