Sunday, August 8, 2010

Solar Stuff

Thought I'd put up a few pics of my dodgy old solar setup after a friend asked about charging gear.

I bought a cheap 12v solar panel from Jaycar, designed for boats and removed the outer hard cover leaving only the thin panel. It had battery clamps which were cut off and I reconnected a female car charge socket (also bought from Jaycar) which allows just about anything to be connected.

Most phones, ipods, camera battery chargers etc. have a coil section for added length but it's unnecessary. I have cut that section out on some of the longer ones and soldered them back together, then used heat shrink tube to keep it all neat and tidy.

It is a bulky kind of setup if your traveling light and there are plenty of better options sold for more serious applications but hey....I'm a hack and the cost was about $80 from memory. Having to carry multiple chargers can be a pain but if your out for a couple of weeks you will be hauling the mother load anyway.

As for charging times...I've never really timed it as I normally leave it out while melting snow or walking with it sitting on top of my pack.

Here's a few pics anyway, and a link for more serious operators.

....and another good site -

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