Charging electronics while touring
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  1. #1
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    Charging electronics while touring

    What is the best way to charge your gps, cell phone etc. while on a multiday bike tour where you are camping without power outlets nearby? I was thinking solar panels - any suggestions on best ones? Any other solutions?

    One issue is that my gps (Garmin 705) won't let you power it while using it so I can't use a solar panel during the day to charge it and at night - well night time isn't great for solar power :-p

    Thanx

  2. #2
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    Dynamo hub with usb converter.

  3. #3
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    extree batteries???? throw away the Garmin and use dead reckoning???? Maps...???

    OOOOOOPS!!!! sorry did I offend??? Actually I like electronics I weawy doo.
    Last edited by matanza; 11-15-2010 at 05:30 PM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by matanza
    extree batteries???? throw away the Garmin and use dead reckoning???? Maps...???
    Haha, great answer. The OP should have known that though this seems like the appropriate forum, Luddites abound in here, and tech questions (especially electronics) might be best asked elsewhere.

  5. #5
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    Extra batteries for cell phone sure but again they are expensive and you'd have to carry a lot of them for long trips. Garmin doesn't have replaceable batteries as far as I know.

    Maps and dead reckoning - sure if you are following roads and hate technology but I hate roads and prefer forest service roads and single track. On top of that I'd like to know distances travelled each day, how much climbing I've done, descending, and I'd love to have it all mapped out later for review.

    I'll ignore the attitude.

  6. #6
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    Not sure why I should know that there are lots of Luddites abound in here. I'm surprised since they are embracing computers and internet!!! 8-O

  7. #7
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    The Garmin 800 will solve your issue

  8. #8
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    There is a french charger/regulator that could be connected to a dyno-hub and a small lipo pack, it will provide regulated 5 volt (USB) and a connector for whatever voltage the battery pack was setup at.

    Here is the link, I am sure there are others.

    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/p..._id=68041&v=Fy

  9. #9
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    I just charge electronics when I take a stop at a cafe (just ask for an outlet), when I go grocery shopping or in the campground bathroom if I'm not wilderness camping. I only tend to carry a cell phone that I leave off and an iPod touch for wifi/email so it's not a huge issue for me, but that has always worked so far.

    If I was using a GPS for navigation I'd want to get some on bike charging option. Could you use a solar panel and just turn the thing off when you lunch or don't have any turns for a while.

  10. #10
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    I saw a presentation from a couple of guys who rode a tandem from Ohio to Alaska. They used a little solar panel to recharge batteries. Unfortunately I don't remember who they were or what the technical details are. Maybe do a search on Google?
    Before you criticize someone walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you criticize them you'll be a mile away & you'll have their shoes.

  11. #11
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    Kiwi U-Powered Solar & USB Portable Charger


    This thing is USB compatible, and has an internal battery, so you can charge it during the day and power up the garmin at night. For things like Computers though, it takes a long time to move the proverbial needle though. Better for cell phones and littler batteries like that.

  12. #12
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    I get by on longer rides using an aux. battery device. You can find them at big box drugstores, etc. I use a little football shaped deal, DuraCell brand, maybe, that takes two double A batteries and comes with various plug end adapters for all kinds of devices.

    Inexpensive and effective. I've actually mounted that under my stem to plug my Garmin into it for Ultra events...The garmin I have only will go for about 8hrs on a single charge, but with the extra battery power source, I have done 12hrs with no signs of low battery.

    Probably the easiest way to travel with electronics..you just need to get a couple of AA batts every few days..

  13. #13
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    I like the idea of a generator hub.
    I don't want the weight

    for my attempt at the Tour Divide MTB race, I used a Brunton Freedom solar charger.

    I use a Garmin 705 too

    the thing to do is to simply carry that A/C adaptor for the moments when you are near an outlet, the charging rate is pretty quick.

    705 ought to run for about 15hrs

    I also carry a A/C double USB charger (rhino: http://milo.com/rhino-usb-adapter)
    which will allow you to charge 2 USB devices

    typically if I find an outlet, I plug everything in.
    705
    Rhino USB charger (2 USB outlets), plug in Brunton Freedom solar charger which has an internal battery 2200mAh http://www.brunton.com/product.php?id=644
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  14. #14
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    I've been looking at the Brunton solar charger as mentioned above. LL Bean has it for $70? It will charge via solar or you can plug it in and charge an internal battery/power source that will then feed your devices. It really sounds like a cool tool.
    In theory you could strap it to your bars, bag, rack, etc to be exposed to light during the day and then charge your goods when you are at camp.
    On & Off Rhodes.com
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by SelfPropelledDevo
    I like the idea of a generator hub.
    I don't want the weight

    for my attempt at the Tour Divide MTB race, I used a Brunton Freedom solar charger.

    I use a Garmin 705 too

    the thing to do is to simply carry that A/C adaptor for the moments when you are near an outlet, the charging rate is pretty quick.

    705 ought to run for about 15hrs

    I also carry a A/C double USB charger (rhino: http://milo.com/rhino-usb-adapter)
    which will allow you to charge 2 USB devices

    typically if I find an outlet, I plug everything in.
    705
    Rhino USB charger (2 USB outlets), plug in Brunton Freedom solar charger which has an internal battery 2200mAh http://www.brunton.com/product.php?id=644
    I <3 your bicycle. Just sayin'.
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  16. #16
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    I carry a little solar powered/wind up powered/battery powered radio that comes with USB port, cell phone tips. Kaito and Eaton both make great radios with these features; plus the radios come with NOAA weather bands, AM/FM and even a LED light. I have the Kaito because it added shortwave that the Eaton didn't have.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gnarly 928
    I get by on longer rides using an aux. battery device. You can find them at big box drugstores, etc. I use a little football shaped deal, DuraCell brand, maybe, that takes two double A batteries and comes with various plug end adapters for all kinds of devices.

    Inexpensive and effective. I've actually mounted that under my stem to plug my Garmin into it for Ultra events...The garmin I have only will go for about 8hrs on a single charge, but with the extra battery power source, I have done 12hrs with no signs of low battery.

    Probably the easiest way to travel with electronics..you just need to get a couple of AA batts every few days..
    Are you thinking the Energizer Energi-to-Go? I've used that to keep my Garmin 305 charged on long rides. You do go through a fair number of lithium batteries, but handy in a pinch.

    Also, rest stops at cafes and coffee shops with outlets is a plan, too.

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