Survivalist Forum banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,312 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi there

Had a small Eton wind-up /solar emergency radio/ usb-charger and after a month of being in almost full sun, the battery still did not charge up.

Not sure if this unit was just defective, or if they simply don't work well.

Just wondering, what brands you have tried and would recommend.

Would really like a small system with which I could run some basic lights and re-charge hand-held devices

Found some ultra small 0.5V Led light cards that slip into the USB port. So the lighting would be very minimal.

Any thoughts?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
800 Posts
I would recommend just getting a small 12 volt solar panel and charging a 12 volt battery with it.. Something around 30 watts or more.. Once you have that, there are all kinds of automobile accessories that can be used to charge other stuff. They sell 12 volt batteries that are the size of a pack of cigarettes all the way up to large marine deep cycle units.

Something like a motorcycle battery would go well with a small 12 volt panel.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,089 Posts
Hi there

Had a small Eton wind-up /solar emergency radio/ usb-charger and after a month of being in almost full sun, the battery still did not charge up.

Not sure if this unit was just defective, or if they simply don't work well.

Just wondering, what brands you have tried and would recommend.

Would really like a small system with which I could run some basic lights and re-charge hand-held devices

Found some ultra small 0.5V Led light cards that slip into the USB port. So the lighting would be very minimal.

Any thoughts?
My emergency radio also has the solar charge option and even the manufacturer says in the manual its ability to charge the battery is limited. They recommend the hand crank, which actually works fairly well.

It's got a USB port so I can charge the cell some, though I question the long term viability of cell service in a true SHTF situation.
 

·
Lux in Tenebris
Joined
·
6,759 Posts
i have a Vinsic 22Watt Portable and Foldable Dual-Port Solar Panel Charger that i take everywhere, works great....

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0107UJA62/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

i also have this handy power cell/light combo unit, works great too..

https://www.amazon.com/RAVPower-150...=1506635036&sr=8-13&keywords=solar+power+bank

these two devices help save our asses while in cabo san lucas and hurricane lidia, where we were w out power for 5 days....

i was able to keep all devices charged and had light to boot....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
808 Posts
I'm currently (no pun intended) setting up a 100 watt solar panel to charge a 100 AH, AGM battery. I know that eventually I'll run out of gas for my generator in a protracted emergency. The solar setup will allow me to keep my ham radio station on the air for a couple hours a day and charge up some of my other electronic gadgets. Generator is best reserved for pumping water - we have a 450 foot well.

-bob
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
8,064 Posts
i have a Vinsic 22Watt Portable and Foldable Dual-Port Solar Panel Charger that i take everywhere, works great....

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0107UJA62/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

i also have this handy power cell/light combo unit, works great too..

https://www.amazon.com/RAVPower-150...=1506635036&sr=8-13&keywords=solar+power+bank

these two devices help save our asses while in cabo san lucas and hurricane lidia, where we were w out power for 5 days....

i was able to keep all devices charged and had light to boot....
can you go into details about your experience? do you live there or where you on vacation?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,312 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Thanks everyone. This is an area where I feel very uneducated and everything seems foreign to me. Will see if I can find a simple setup.

I very much appreciate the suggestions.
 

·
Forum Administrator
Joined
·
16,843 Posts
My buddy has a goal zero solar panel that puts out a pretty good bit of power for its small package. I have a usb voltage meter, and his foldable solar panel puts out close to .9 amps in direct sunlight.

I have a Nekteck 21W solar panel that charges USB, and it does .9 amps in direct sunlight.

Related video

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,991 Posts
Had a small Eton wind-up /solar emergency radio/ usb-charger and after a month of being in almost full sun, the battery still did not charge up.
I've been telling people about this problem for years. All of these crank/solar radios have a rechargeable battery inside. Depending on the manufacturer and other factors, such as how long the radio sat in a warehouse or on a shelf before you got it, that battery has an effective lifespan of only 5-10 years, usually closer to five. Beyond that point, the battery will not hold a meaningful charge. You must be almost constantly cranking the radio for it to work. These batteries can often, but not always, be replaced, but that kind of seems to defeat the purpose of such a radio, and the replacement battery can cost as much as the radio itself.

That's why I heartily recommend radios that use AA batteries. You can get disposable AA batteries that will store 85% or more of their original charge for 20 years (Energizer lithium disposable). Plain old alkaline batteries will still have 85% of their original capacity for at least six years (the 'best used by' date on the package). And quality rechargeable AAs like Eneloops can be recharged up to 2,100 times. These can be recharged from a car, a generator, a solar panel, or any other means of power you can come up with.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,089 Posts
I don't know about his Eton, but my emergency radio also takes three AA batteries. It works just as well with the AA's as with the rechargeable.

As to the solar panels I posted above, I'm going to study it some more, but I'm seriously considering getting a couple of them. The spec's are pretty impressive.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
8,064 Posts
I've been telling people about this problem for years. All of these crank/solar radios have a rechargeable battery inside. Depending on the manufacturer and other factors, such as how long the radio sat in a warehouse or on a shelf before you got it, that battery has an effective lifespan of only 5-10 years, usually closer to five. Beyond that point, the battery will not hold a meaningful charge. You must be almost constantly cranking the radio for it to work. These batteries can often, but not always, be replaced, but that kind of seems to defeat the purpose of such a radio, and the replacement battery can cost as much as the radio itself.

That's why I heartily recommend radios that use AA batteries. You can get disposable AA batteries that will store 85% or more of their original charge for 20 years (Energizer lithium disposable). Plain old alkaline batteries will still have 85% of their original capacity for at least six years (the 'best used by' date on the package). And quality rechargeable AAs like Eneloops can be recharged up to 2,100 times. These can be recharged from a car, a generator, a solar panel, or any other means of power you can come up with.
I'd like to highlight this post.

I think it's a good idea to consolidate devices to one or few battery types. In addition, things like those ornamental garden solar lights can't possibly very good nor last very long.

If you go with something like AA eneloops (and a solar charger during shtf), then you can be sure you're using quality batteries and not having a few dozen separate devices that all charge on their own, but not very well.

I've switched as much of my devices to AA or USB chargeable because I have the goalzero nomad solar panels and charger as well as 20 rechargeable eneloops. And the new eneloop bulk package comes with a single-channel charger. Probably as good as the maha at a much lower cost.
 

·
Bushidoka
Joined
·
2,902 Posts
For Cell Phones...It's Gotta Be a Wind Up...

I loved my Sidewinder until I lost the little proprietary gizmo that carried the output. People complained that you coudn't fully charge a dead phone....but I could wind it enough to place a call and talk, and that was what it was for. And it was tiny enough to carry all the time.

Now I have a Clipray https://www.amazon.com/American-cra...coding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=HG49GHS5APBRZS2VQD5T

Bigger, better, but it stays in my GHB, though it could go in the glove box. Says it won't work with later model iPhones or Samsung Galaxy, so I guess its utility is limited.

I also keep an extra charged phone battery with me at all times. Funny thing is I use it most often, not for emergencies, but at big family events and multi-day meet-ups where I end up using the phone way more than usual and have little time to charge it.

For travel where airports may not have enough available charging stations, I have other power packs, some battery powered, some USB rechargeable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
958 Posts
I would recommend just getting a small 12 volt solar panel and charging a 12 volt battery with it.. Something around 30 watts or more.. Once you have that, there are all kinds of automobile accessories that can be used to charge other stuff. They sell 12 volt batteries that are the size of a pack of cigarettes all the way up to large marine deep cycle units.
Something like a motorcycle battery would go well with a small 12 volt panel.
You have more options if you go with a 12 volt battery pack as opposed to just recharging AA's or similar types of batteries. I have been experimenting with different solar/battery combinations for many years, used for canoe/car camping and for emergency backup. I would recommend a combination of this 30 watt crystalline folding solar panel from Northern tool, only $114: http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200660265_200660265
Then combine it with this battery pack from Harbor Freight $54.99:
https://www.harborfreight.com/3-in-1-portable-power-pack-with-jump-starter-62376.html. It has 17 ah of capacity, 2 12 volt outlets, and a usb port. To recharge the power pack from the solar panel just plug the male cigarette style plug into one of the female 12 volt outlets and set it in the sun. Otherwise the power pack can be plugged into any 110 volt outlet to recharge. I have a couple of small inverters that I plug in if I must have 110 volt power. I also built a 9 ah battery pack with a Radio Shack hobby box. It is not very difficult with just a little knowledge of basic electricity. All components are available online. Batteries can be bought from Battery Junction in whatever ah you desire. But the 9 ah had the correct dimensions.

 

·
Bushidoka
Joined
·
2,902 Posts
For ReCharging Cell Phones, There's No Battery...It's Just a Dynamo...

can you replace the batteries when they die?

If not, then problem with all of those types of devices is if they don't use batteries as good as eneloops, then you might be better off with something that's not proprietary?
As far as I can tell, the internal 80 mAh NiMh button battery is just for the flashlight, which I don't care about. For charging a cellphone or other device, the Clipray (and Sidewinder) is just a dynamo which doesn't rely on any battery.

To me, a hand crank may be a pain, but it is the ultimate backup.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
246 Posts
Hi there

Had a small Eton wind-up /solar emergency radio/ usb-charger and after a month of being in almost full sun, the battery still did not charge up.

Not sure if this unit was just defective, or if they simply don't work well.

Just wondering, what brands you have tried and would recommend.

Would really like a small system with which I could run some basic lights and re-charge hand-held devices

Found some ultra small 0.5V Led light cards that slip into the USB port. So the lighting would be very minimal.

Any thoughts?
im assuming this is the one,that your referring to.and apparently i have one..lol..the battery indicator for the 3AAA batteries don't always show fully charged like it's suppose to..but yet,i've also learned that i can remove them,and the batteries that came with it.and just let it set as is for a few minutes.then reinstall the batteries.problem solved for a few days.then i go through the removal steps again,when issue with battery indicator happens again..other then that.i don't have any real issues with it..


p.s. edit..i had the same issue as you.when i first got mine.as well..
 

Attachments

1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top