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  1. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,501

    might want to wait...

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    Looks like the next generation of solar charging systems will be here soon - at least some devices in time for your tour.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/31/bu...novel.html?hpw
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Melbourne Oz
    Posts
    174
    Good info alimey. Does anyone know if the powermonkey eXplorer will charge a Garmin Edge 500? The website only seems to mention things like the 305 and forerunner, and I'm not sure if the 500 has the same USB and voltage.

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    WA State
    Posts
    4,364
    The Edge 500 comes with a cable that is mini usb on one end and standard usb on the other - the mini end goes into the Edge The great thing about usb charging is that it is (as far as I know) all standard. My husband who is an electrical engineer tells me Europe has specified that hence forth all chargers for small electronics should be the same to cut down on waste of having 1000's of proprietary charging systems that are useless once you no longer have the original device, and they've standardized on usb. I've already used the wall charger that came with my (new!) Edge 500 to charge my Ipod with no ill effects, so if the solar charger you are looking at has a plug in for standard usb, I would think you should be in business.
    "Sharing the road means getting along, not getting ahead" - 1994 Washington State Driver's Guide

    visit my flickr stream http://flic.kr/ps/MMu5N

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Melbourne Oz
    Posts
    174
    Thanks Eden. Sounds like it should be right but I emailed the local distributor and got a quick response, so it sounds like 95% sure . It's on the way.

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Spokane, WA
    Posts
    818

    Up Date

    I FINALLY got to try out the solar charging system my DH but together for me. Three of us ladies did a 2 1/2 day bike tour over the weekend. The weather was kind of marginial, but a good trial for the solar panel because we did have more clouds than beating sun.

    Here's what my DH put together: He purchased a charging unit through Amazon, called "myPower All" from a company called Tekkeon. He got a Brunton solar charging panel at REI. The charging unit came with a bunch of different charging tips but all I need is the mini USB. The unit can be charged up with a regular wall plug or the solar panel.

    I rigged the panel across the top of my back panniers. The first night out I recharged two Garmins and my cell phone. The next night, one Garmin.

    I'm very happy with the set up and I think it will work fine for my upcoming trip. Two weeks camping in the Canadian Rockies. I should have taken a picture of the set-up, but I never think of that when I'm in the moment. If anyone wants more information, I'm sure my DH could tell you all you need to know. bikerHen

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    MD suburb of Washington, DC
    Posts
    1,832
    I want to hear every detail about your Canadian Rockies trip.
    2007 Rivendell Glorius/Trico gel with cutout (not made any more apparently)
    2005 Specialized Sequoia Comp/Specialized Dolce
    2006 Kona Cinder Cone/another Trico gel
    1986? Bridgestone mixte/Brooks B72
    1991 Bridgestone 300 Xtracycle/Terry Gelissimo

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    where the wind comes sweeping down the plain
    Posts
    5,251
    Quote Originally Posted by divingbiker View Post
    I want to hear every detail about your Canadian Rockies trip.
    me too!!!!!
    Check out my running blog: www.turtlepacing.blogspot.com

    Cervelo P2C (tri bike)
    Bianchi Eros (commuter/touring road bike)

    1983 Motobecane mixte (commuter/errand bike)
    Cannondale F5 mountain bike

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Spokane, WA
    Posts
    818
    OK, I'll keep notes and take pictures. But we don't leave until August 26. Our mini trip over the fourth was a good warm up. I think I'm ready. Just have to spend a little more quality time on pannier organization and packing. We're riding just over 500 miles and giving ourselves two weeks to really enjoy the journey. Well that and extra time to get over a couple of BIG mountain passes. bikerHen

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,889
    Quote Originally Posted by bikerHen View Post
    OK, I'll keep notes and take pictures. But we don't leave until August 26. Our mini trip over the fourth was a good warm up. I think I'm ready. Just have to spend a little more quality time on pannier organization and packing. We're riding just over 500 miles and giving ourselves two weeks to really enjoy the journey. Well that and extra time to get over a couple of BIG mountain passes. bikerHen
    This sounds like a lot of fun! Looking forward to reading your report after your return - every detail now, leave nothing out

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
    Posts
    6,984
    At a smaller, lower level, on alternative sources of energy: I had the opportunity to have bike front light and back light self-powering, self-lighting from merely cycling along. It was an option for my folding Dahon bike model.

    There must be a term for this.

    Anyway, I decided not to have it. If you can believe it, it was weight. I wanted the experience of having the lightest bike for the lst time in my life...before throwing on the panniers for self-loaded touring trips.

    Yes, I'm a duh.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know whatís in a personís heart.

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Melbourne Oz
    Posts
    174
    Just an update on the powermonkey eXplorer. I used it on a three-week trip in Canada last month, charging the pod from mains when we had power every few days and using solar the rest of the time. The panel sat on the rack bag though mud and rain quite happily. The Garmin was as low as 34% some days so it needed charging every day. The solar kept up with the Garmin OK, but it would have struggled with the phone as well. It could do both in a day but that seemed to drain it too much and I didn't want to risk losing data. Glad to have it though; very neat and light.

  12. #27
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    14

    Solar Charging Systems

    Solar Charging Systems sounds great. But I'v never use it before and wanna have a try about it

  13. #28
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    50
    I know this thread is a couple of years old, but I've had it bookmarked for when I was ready to seriously start shopping. Since electronics so quickly change, I'm wondering what folks are using these days for solar charging. We have an iphone, ipad, and camera batteries that will need charging over a month long ride. We'll be staying half the time camping, and half the time in motels. So, we need the options of solar as well as plug in.

 

 

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