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Thread: camera battery chargers and solar panels - Help!

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    camera battery chargers and solar panels - Help!

    not sure if this is the right forum, or if anyone has any experince, but am seeking a way to charge camera battery form portable solar panels. I'm doing a ten day kayak/camp/photo trip in an area with no access to power. We have a flexible solar panel, but I have no idea how to adapt that to a camera battery - on land trips, use the solar panel to charge the car battery and then charge the camera battery from the car battery via an inverter. I've been asking people, searching the internet etc, but it seems that most systems require an inverter (which aren't that portable on a kayak)... so I figured there is possibly someone on this forum who might have an ideal solution
    rick

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    99.9% sure that it won't charge the camera batter to a usable state(if the battery drains deeply).

    What is the power specs of the solar panel you have?

    Probably a better solution is to be cautious when using the camera, have a spare battery, and maybe the acquisition of a battery bank which is charged prior to leaving, and should have enough reserve for at least 1, most likely 2 or 3 top ups of an average DSLR battery.

    Things that are important to note, are voltages. power(Watts) and amp/hour ratings.

    What sort of end lead does the solar panel have.
    You should be able to charge a 12v source with a solar panel, so if you had a 12v camera battery charger, the connection to the battery should be easy.
    You must already have a 12v battery charger for the camera, so all you need to do is rig up a lead to connect the lead from the solar panel to the 12v camera charger..

    I'm assuming that you already have a 'cigarette' lighter plug on the battery charger, so all you need is the female plug on the end of the solar panel lead(wired correctly!) and you're done.
    These sorts of things can be easily made up(from parts) or easily bought ready wired from sources such as Supercheap, Dick Smith Electronics, or Jaycar.


    I remember doing the sums of a few solar panels for the purpose of charging various items of electrical worth, and a DSLR battery would usually require about 18-24hours of continuous charging using an average, easily (trans)portable solar panel.... but each solar panel brand type has different specs, so this needs to be known first.
    Nikon D800E, D300, D70s
    {Nikon} -> 50/1.2 : 500/8(CPU'd) : 105/2.8VR Micro : 180/2.8ais : 105mm f/1.8ais : 24mm/2ais
    {Sigma}; ->10-20/4-5.6 : 50/1.4 : 12-24/4.5-5.6II : 150-600mm|S
    {Tamron}; -> 17-50/2.8 : 28-75/2.8 : 70-200/2.8 : 300/2.8 SP MF : 24-70/2.8VC


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    Ausphotography Regular JimD's Avatar
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    There's lots of things on eBay that maybe suitable for your needs -

    http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/11200mAh-...item5d38967037

    The above is just one example.
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    f o t o w o r x

    People taking the time out to give me CC is always very much appreciated

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    I've also seen flip out solar versions of these devices .. and that's what I was referring too with the term battery bank.

    The battery bank works quite well .. my brother has one(he took on travels) and it doubled the life of his laptop(watching videos) from 4hrs to 8hrs ..and it more than tripled the life of his tablet to over 15 hours or more(he lost interest he said!) .. so it may have lasted longer than 15 hours.

    Can't remember exactly but his is a 12000mAh version and with a solar doodad, that just does nothing.
    he'd left it out all day, once and then for about 2 days another time, and it barely registers a micro volt of power.
    It charges ok in the car tho, off a 12 volt source.

    Note that the 12000mAh is rated for a 5v load tho, so if your battery is a 7.2v, then you need to account for this.
    But even with that accounted for, 8amps pumped into a 1500mAh 7.2v battery is still at least 3 or 4 charges worth of power for 'ya.

    Manufacturer claims will always be on the optimistic side of marketing guff .. I can't see 2W of charging power in them solar panels ... maybe for 1.8 volts!

    But these battery banks are a brilliant idea for travellers.

    You could hook up your own solar panel to keep a battery bank continuously topped up as conditions allowed, and then the battery bank would get a small enough boost to give you maybe a charge or two more for your camera battery .. and any other device that required it.

    this reminds me! .... I should chase down the brother and seconder the use of his battery bank for a more thorough testing session.

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    many thanks arthur and jim as this is very useful; your suggestion re the spare batterues for a one off trip is appealing also; especially given potential difficulty in deploying the panel and associated connections whilst actually at sea in a kayak (other than a purpose built boat with permanent set up) = means the time panel is in the sun on any given day might be pretty limited... lots to think about.
    rick

    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post
    I've also seen flip out solar versions of these devices .. and that's what I was referring too with the term battery bank.

    The battery bank works quite well .. my brother has one(he took on travels) and it doubled the life of his laptop(watching videos) from 4hrs to 8hrs ..and it more than tripled the life of his tablet to over 15 hours or more(he lost interest he said!) .. so it may have lasted longer than 15 hours.

    Can't remember exactly but his is a 12000mAh version and with a solar doodad, that just does nothing.
    he'd left it out all day, once and then for about 2 days another time, and it barely registers a micro volt of power.
    It charges ok in the car tho, off a 12 volt source.

    Note that the 12000mAh is rated for a 5v load tho, so if your battery is a 7.2v, then you need to account for this.
    But even with that accounted for, 8amps pumped into a 1500mAh 7.2v battery is still at least 3 or 4 charges worth of power for 'ya.

    Manufacturer claims will always be on the optimistic side of marketing guff .. I can't see 2W of charging power in them solar panels ... maybe for 1.8 volts!

    But these battery banks are a brilliant idea for travellers.

    You could hook up your own solar panel to keep a battery bank continuously topped up as conditions allowed, and then the battery bank would get a small enough boost to give you maybe a charge or two more for your camera battery .. and any other device that required it.

    this reminds me! .... I should chase down the brother and seconder the use of his battery bank for a more thorough testing session.

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