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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I searched the forums with ****** so sorry if this has been asked before. I thought this would be more pertinent here than the BOB forum. There is a lot of useful information here and I have looked through a few interesting threads and I found a few small scale outfits (small panel, battery, converter) which are pretty cool. I'm looking to build one but the problem is, when/if I decide to bail it will be a pain to huff it with a car battery/converter so they may not be worth their weight.

I am looking for a small, portable solar panel that I can re-charge maybe some AA batteries off of (for a small set of radios/flashlights etc) something that is small enough to fit in a BOB. I have looked online some and have found some but not many have reviews or they have poor reviews. Does anyone currently use a small panel/charger like this? if so please share!! thank you.
 

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What I use is the Solaris 52 and Impel both made by Burton. That give you a 52 watt folding CIGS solar panel and a 145 watt/hour lithium ion battery. The battery has a sub connector so you can charge many thing directly from it.

Review: A few days in the woods with the Brunton Solaris 52 solar panel and Solo 15 battery ? Boing Boing Gadgets
The Impel is a newer generation battery than the solo -15 and gives the same power in a 2 lb package instead of 4 and has a USB port that can charge most of my items, head lamp, ps-32 FLIR, i-hone and i-pad.
Amazon.com: Brunton Impel2-145Wh Rechargeable Battery, Black: Sports & Outdoors

 

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I have not yet clicked on Ricky's link and he usually gives good info so that might be a good system, but my advise is to research out each individual element
and put together your own.

Search solar panels - they are pretty darn affordable - down to $1.33/$1.60 per watt now in the 100 + watt range. I've even seen the flexible kind Ricky's
has for about $2 a watt.

Search out an inverter and controller to charge your battery with. You will likely want to get more than you need here so you can add panels and batteries
later if desired.

Finally batteries.

I'm not likely to carry a charger if I'm on foot. Just not in the cards for me; so I am free to place one in my BOVehicle which means I can go with a lot
more power, charging capacity, battery space etc because weight isn't as "big" an issue.
 

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In a pinch some of the solar yard lights make a good charger and they come with one AA battery
no USB port but they will charge a AA.

I wonder if a USB port could be wired in one of these?

 

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In a pinch some of the solar yard lights make a good charger and they come with one AA battery
no USB port but they will charge a AA.

I wonder if a USB port could be wired in one of these?

The garden light with one AA battery is only 1.2 volts, USB IS 5 volts.
They also use a very weak battery around 300 ma/h and you can buy 2300 ma/h NI-MH AA batteries at Walmart.
 

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I have not yet clicked on Ricky's link and he usually gives good info so that might be a good system, but my advise is to research out each individual element and put together your own.

I agree 100 % and I researched my self, I first checked to see what the Army uses. Then the most efficient solar panel construction , most efficient type of battery (power/weight), also the easiest set up to power what I need without a lot of adapters. The impel is great as a stand alone unit by its self as you can charge it at home an use it to charge things several times before it need charging.
If someone comes up with a better portable system I would like to know about it as I update things as new technologies become available.
I have an electrical background as do several others on this sight and we are always willing to help people with there questions or evaluating something they are looking at.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you too all, very good info (the roll up solar panel seems like it would be good on space) and I will begin looking for items tomorrow. I do like the solar lights idea, I never thought of that!

I'm not likely to carry a charger if I'm on foot. Just not in the cards for me; so I am free to place one in my BOVehicle which means I can go with a lot more power, charging capacity, battery space etc because weight isn't as "big" an issue.
Due to my location the routes I would have to take to my BOL would first take me away from it. I would have to double back making the trip 2x as long. The only way to get there straight would take me through one of 2 tunnels or a bridge, then another 2 bridges after that. All likely to be disabled during any event and I most likely would not be able to drive it if I did choose either of those, so I probably will have to go on foot. Maybe ill look into a canoe, that would honestly be the fastest and I presume safest route.
 

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Portable Solar Charger

Get an easy way to charge your iPhone, Android, Tablet, Headset & more! Our portable solar charger charges on-board battery when exposed to Sun or indoor lighting. Portable Solar Charger is an advanced portable charging system that can power any hand held device anywhere, anytime.
 

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I have 4 of the these,i forgot the name,but they're ebay specials that came with cheap chinese 300 ma/h batteries which I replaced with 2000 ma/h ones and these chargers do have the usb port.If I remember right,they was about $12 each for the charger plus the better batteries,lots of better batteries.

I also use the solar lights for both night lights in the house and recharging batteries and to be frankly honest,I prefer the yard light chargers over the ebay ones,the only reason for the ebay ones was the usb port.
 

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My cousin uses a Goal Zero 10 Plus Adventure Kit. It has a USB cord, he says at mid day it takes about 3-4 hours to fully charge his iPhone. This kit also comes with 4 rechargeable AA batteries (AAA are also available). I've never used it myself, but he speaks pretty highly of it. If I could get a good deal on something like this, I would get it.

Goal Zero 19010 Guide 10 Plus Solar Charging Kit : Amazon.com : Automotive
 

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My cousin uses a Goal Zero 10 Plus Adventure Kit. It has a USB cord, he says at mid day it takes about 3-4 hours to fully charge his iPhone. This kit also comes with 4 rechargeable AA batteries (AAA are also available). I've never used it myself, but he speaks pretty highly of it. If I could get a good deal on something like this, I would get it.

Goal Zero 19010 Guide 10 Plus Solar Charging Kit : Amazon.com : Automotive
Goal Zero just sent us one of these to review on our blog and radio show.. We have just started using ity and it seems to work excellent. You can charge directly from the solar panels or the panels charge a battery pack and then you can plug into that.. So far it is great and I would recommend it!! There is a female cigarette adapter where you can plug into also..
 
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