Author Topic: Solar Chargers for the wall..  (Read 2418 times)

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Offline hoipolloi

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Solar Chargers for the wall..
« on: January 23, 2010, 01:32:48 pm »
So I saw this discussion over on the Supertopo:

http://supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=1066939&tn=0#msg1067080


And I thought I would bring it over here, to a more discussable venue, to ask about what experience you guys have with any of these.


I had a little Solio one, single solar panel about 3"x5", I don't know what the stats on it were exactly (internal battery type, wattage, etc), but I found it to be fairly crappy and useless.

Anyone ever played with that kind that C-Mac uses?  Seems like that has a lot of panels to do your charging...fairly cheap too at $60...

Thoughts, comments, concerns?




BTW:  When is the weather going to clear, I have a new Kong Eagle Hammer on the way and I want to bend some copper!
« Last Edit: January 23, 2010, 04:03:36 pm by hoipolloi »

Offline mungeclimber

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Re: Solar Chargers for the wall..
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2010, 03:02:51 pm »
I keep looking at them, but never had the feedback I see online in mind when looking, so I never buy since there are some that total duds.

seems like they all have problems when reading the amazon reviews.

Offline Caz

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Re: Solar Chargers for the wall..
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2010, 09:41:45 pm »
I've got the Solio deal that folds out with 3 wings. It sucks... I never got it to work worth a shit. Now I use this deal that you put a 9v battery in and it charges my Ipod and Iphone... Done! I'll never take that piece of crap with me again.

I wouldn't waste your money. For those things to work there can't be a cloud in the sky and you need direct sun. Energizer makes battery chargers for most major phones and you can get one for a Ipod too, and if you have some other MP3 player, get with the times and buy a IPod... ;)

If I hear of one that is worth a damn I may get it...


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Offline Raaf

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Re: Solar Chargers for the wall..
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2010, 11:52:37 pm »
Photo or details on the 9volt thingie? Sounds more reliable. Thx

Offline hoipolloi

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Re: Solar Chargers for the wall..
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2010, 12:33:29 am »
Thats sorta what I ended up doing Caz.  I got this thing from the apple store that uses 4 AAA batteries.  It works really well on the new generation ipods, like super well, but it doesn't work so well on my older 30gig.  I think thats a personal problem though (that iPod is old and I think the battery is going out, it only lasts like ...4hours or something lame).

I think the battery backup things might be the way to go for ipods/music.


If you need to charge you sat phone and computer for your 'from the wall' blogs and video updates...well, I guess thats a different story, right?

Offline lambone

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Re: Solar Chargers for the wall..
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2010, 04:37:03 pm »
I had a Solio charger.

Tried it on the Muir wall and it was a real pain in the ass to manage at belays and didn't charge the ipod or phone very well. It really needs a lot of time in direct sunlight to get a full charge.

Since then i have used little battery pack  ipod/iphone chargers.

Offline Mike.

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Re: Solar Chargers for the wall..
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2010, 10:05:25 pm »
Same results for me with solar chargers. I had a Brunton (2.1v?). Too much work, didn't charge fast enough.

Non-rechargable batteries are my power pick. I bought some lithium AAs for my camera and it works better now. I imagine those might save weight and space on the wall (lighten your wallet, too). You might try those with your old iPod, hoi.


I have a 4 x AA external battery pack and a 2 x AAA which I've used extensively. More recently I wanted something iPhone compatible as well:

http://www.griffintechnology.com/products/tunejuice-for-iphone

Haven't used it, but it looks good...
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Offline lambone

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Re: Solar Chargers for the wall..
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2010, 05:49:07 pm »
The Iphone definately needs a charger that takes 4AAs. Don't buy one that only holds 2, they don't work for shit.

Offline mungeclimber

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Re: Solar Chargers for the wall..
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2013, 11:56:01 pm »
http://www.outdoorgearlab.com/portable-solar


So I'm looking at ways to recharge my Windows phone (new), and charge a music player on the wall.

The brunton roll up looks like the only one that would take a beating.


any new insights since the OP?

Offline Kevin Mokracek

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Re: Solar Chargers for the wall..
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2013, 10:52:12 am »
I have the Goal Zero Nomad 7M and a Brunton 4 panel charger.   I prefer the Brunton, it folds up smaller that the Goal Zero but has better charging ability and more attachment points and just seems higher quality all around.    Be advised that with the Goal Zero Nomad 7m it will charge your iPhone but if the panel gets covered even for a second it stops charging and yu must unplug and replug your phone to get it to charge again, it's a pain in the but.   

Offline JC5123

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Re: Solar Chargers for the wall..
« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2013, 11:58:51 am »
Seems everyone is having a hard time with the Solio. I found this to be the case in all the reviews also. I bought one anyway. So far I love the thing. One thing that I did notice in the reviews is that most people just pull it out of the box and toss it out in the sun. This is why people are having problems with the unit. You have to charge the unit via actual electricity FIRST before you ever use it, to initialize the battery. Otherwise, yea, you're never going to get a good charge on it.

If it has a full charge it will charge my phone completely. However I usually have my phone off while climbing. Only turn it on a couple times a day to check messages. (I go to get away from things like phones) But I digress. The only thing I really need to keep charged on the wall is my Ipod, and the solio is perfect. I tied a cord through the center hole and just hang it at the belay. twist it around a little so that it gets the best sun, and at the end of the day, plug in the Ipod, and I have a full charge the next morning.
I don't think it's gonna hold....BUT WE'RE GONNA USE IT ANYWAY!

Offline cobbledik

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Re: Solar Chargers for the wall..
« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2013, 03:12:04 pm »
Soar chargers are not worth it in my opinion. Unless you're doing a 4+ day wall, the power packs are the way to go.

I use the brunton inspire. It refills my iPhone to full  2 times on a single charge and weighs as much or less than a solar charger.
http://store.bruntonoutdoor.com/portable-power/portable-power-packs/inspire-trade-black/
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Offline Kevin Mokracek

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Re: Solar Chargers for the wall..
« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2013, 03:41:30 pm »
I also have something by Brunton similar to the Inspire except it has a small, very small solar panel on one side that recharges the power pack if you dont get back to a computer in time to recharge it.   I charge before the trip and have yet to use the solar panel.

Offline Gagner

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Re: Solar Chargers for the wall..
« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2013, 08:37:42 pm »
I have been using recently the brand new OtterBox Ion.  Doubles the battery life for an iPhone 4/4S, and provides good protection too.....

Offline cobbledik

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Re: Solar Chargers for the wall..
« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2013, 11:10:27 pm »
My exgirlfriend had the brunton with the charger. She could never get the solar charger to work well.
Sometimes the difference between a layman and a journeyman is simply what he is allowed to believe himself to be.

Offline YetAnotherDave

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Re: Solar Chargers for the wall..
« Reply #15 on: June 13, 2013, 10:27:40 am »
I just picked up one of these for this season:
http://www.mec.ca/product/5031-524/power-traveller-powermonkey-extreme-solar-charger/

In my balcony testing it charged the battery from 50% to full in 4 hours of indirect sun.  Battery is good for several charges of a smartphone, and could charge my android phone and ipad mini in parallel (not that I'd have the mini on the wall).
Comes with a pretty beefy case, too, and looks like it'd survive in a haulbag just fine.