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Thread: Solar baterry charger info required......

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    Solar baterry charger info required......

    Hi all, going trekking later this year to Nepal and I am looking for a solar battery charger for my LP-E6 batteries. Anyone here have experience with solar chargers, do the work and are they practical or would it be better for me to buy extra batteries to take with me?

    I just noticed that I can't spell.........
    Last edited by rukva; 24-07-2013 at 11:35am. Reason: Cant spell

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    Not totally sure re. solar but I think you need to make sure the output (Wattage) of the solar panels is suitably greater than the battery capacity of the battery you are using.

    but definitely take some spares with you just go with the cheaper after market batteries but go to a camera shop that sells them as they will probably have ones they have found to be reliable but other AP members may have had success with some of the site advertisers who support this forum.

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    OK thanks, looks like the extra batteries are more feasible, I have since learnt that you can recharge batteries at Tea Houses on the trek.......

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    An alternative that is becoming more common nowadays is to purchase a 'battery bank' and recharge your batteries off that instead.

    A battery bank is a battery device that holds say 12000mA of power which is charged up wherever possible, and as your camera batteries usually have about 2000mA capacity, you can get up to 6 recharges for your camera battery with this one single device. Basically it beats carrying and charging 6 batteries!

    If your average camera battery takes about an hour to charge up, then imagine charging six of them .. ie. 6 hour wait .. etc, etc ...

    The battery bank usually takes about an hour or two to recharge, so as is obvious, they're kind'a pretty handy items to have.

    The bonus(I suppose) is that many of them have voltages that can also power laptops to, (ie. in the 19v range) .. so if you don't use it again for keeping your camera batteries charged, they double up as handy extra power for other devices.

    They're usually sold as an all inclusive package, with charging input cables of various types(voltages) and many have the common type of output connectors such as for iPhones or micro USB, and possibly various common laptop plugs too, but it's rare to see camera battery charge cables. So you have to get creative to pass the power of the battery bank into the camera's battery. Not hard to do really.

    My brother purchased one about a year back and he was more than happy with his(a 12000mA unit). They're very common on ebay and usually sell for about $70-100 that I've seen.

    Two points to note with this type of recharging system.
    1. don't rely on the retailers/manufacturers power rating specs .. expect about 75% of that power to be useful for many devices. A 12000mA power pack may have closer to 10000mA's of usable charge, and if your battery is a 2000mA type, you can probably expect about 4 camera battery recharges before it the power pack gives up.
    These are just rough guides as to figures to expect .. not rules of thumbs. The atmospheric conditions you experience along the way will also determine battery usefulness.
    2. It'd be handy to have at least one spare battery for your camera. This way, you have one charged battery in your camera which will be discharging over time. The other one will be either full and waiting to be used, or connected to the battery bank and charging as you hike along your merry way.

    OH! and if you chase up this sort of device as an option and come across any solar powered type .. pass them by especially if they cost any more than a non solar rechargeable type). The solar recharging option is totally useless.

    Hope this helps, if you need any more info just ask.
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    Wow, thanks Arthur that seems like a great option, I was thinking of getting a couple of extra batteries, I already have 3 but the battery bank would solve my possible problems and more.....

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Yeah, if you have or want to take a backup device of some kind, say a tablet/smartphone/ultra portable PC of any type .. the power pack is probably the best option in terms of re powering all of your devices.

    To recharge your camera batteries on the run, all you'd really need is a 12volt charger for them(I have one, and cost next to nothing!), and if need be, you can cut the cigarette lighter plug end and wire in a adapter to suit one of the power outlet connections on the powerpack.

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    I bought a 5000mA battery bank that has a built in solar charger panel on it for my son to charge his GoPro when he does the Kokoda Trail in Sept. Plus an extra 3 batteries so hopefully that will do the job. I'll report back when he's done it to see how he went. Ebay special about $25 delivered.

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    The main issue with solar charging whilst 'trekking' holidaying is the time factor. Solar charging is a very slow process, and if you were trekking ..... which usually means long days of walking .... during the day .. when the sun is most useful, you need to work out a way of deploying the solar cells as you are walking along. As most would understand this is a fairly difficult task to achieve.
    Very different to say driving, where solar cells can be deployed on the vehicle in some way.

    By the time you've stopped, or even during any rest periods with a trekking adventure ... the rest time during the day, or at the end of the day(when the sun is at it's least effective state for solar charging) is not enough to charge batteries effectively.

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