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BigBrunyon
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BigBrunyon
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PostTue Sep 05, 2023 10:40 pm 
As one of the loudest voices on the internet, I need to maintain a full charge in ALL situations.

benjohnson, sooperfly  RumiDude
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Tom
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Tom
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PostWed Sep 06, 2023 10:47 am 
Tested the solar panel in the back yard yesterday. There were a lot of clouds but when the sun was out it did charge. I had it hooked up to the cheap battery bank I purchased and it charged really slowly. I'm not sure that's the fault of the solar panel because when I actually tried to charge the battery bank from a wall outlet it took about 4 hours, so I'm not sure that's a really good test. Today it is pretty sunny and when I got up around 10 AM I hooked it up to my older Pixel 7 Pro with cracked screen. It started with a 5% charge and an hour and a half later it's up to 30%. Not too bad, I guess that translates to a full charge in 6 hours. At a mere 4 oz, it see it as a reasonable backup option on long trips, but I'll probably stick to the two 5.3oz NB1000 battery banks as my primary option.

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Cyclopath
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PostWed Sep 06, 2023 11:13 am 
Tom wrote:
Granted the Pixel and other android phones are far more power hungry than iPhones, but any sort of heavy duty image processing or video is going to really suck battery power on a phone.
I mean, a 3 oz battery pack gets me a week of camera life with my S21, and Samsung is Android. Do you really need to edit your photos while you're out hiking? I wait until I get home to stare at a screen, and it saves me from having to carry solar panels and extra batteries. This isn't intended as criticism, if editing your photos on the side of a mountain enhances the trip for you then great!, but the screen is the biggest power consumer in your phone so this means having to bring more to keep it running.

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Cyclopath
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PostWed Sep 06, 2023 11:15 am 
Randito wrote:
Reminds me slightly of some of the larger creeks feeding into Ross Lake.

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Cyclopath
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PostWed Sep 06, 2023 11:24 am 
I've always used the battery saver option on my S21. No matter how long I have it plugged in, it stops charging at 85%. I also don't let it get below any 30%. I've had it for 2.5 years and use it heavily, the battery still holds plenty of charge. I would recommend this practice to anyone who doesn't need to use the full capacity of their battery on a regular basis. If that's too much for anybody, letting the battery deplete too much is a lot more harmful than putting too much charge back into it.

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zimmertr
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PostWed Sep 06, 2023 11:26 am 
This is the older battery bank I owned with solar capabilities. I can't recall specifics since I did this test three or so years ago. But I drained it completely and then put it outside facing up mid summer and checked on it periodically. It took like 4 days to fully charge. And it only charged my Pixel 3 XL maybe 3-4 times before being depleted. Which is what made me lose faith in the idea. Another consideration is maintaining the solar panels. You can't just throw it in your pack like I did. You need to protect it. Because at some point I managed to get a couple grains of sand in between the panels before folding it up which scratched the heck out of two of them. Which no doubt worsened their performance.

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Tom
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Tom
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PostWed Sep 06, 2023 11:53 am 
Cyclopath wrote:
Tom wrote:
Granted the Pixel and other android phones are far more power hungry than iPhones, but any sort of heavy duty image processing or video is going to really suck battery power on a phone.
I mean, a 3 oz battery pack gets me a week of camera life with my S21, and Samsung is Android. Do you really need to edit your photos while you're out hiking? I wait until I get home to stare at a screen, and it saves me from having to carry solar panels and extra batteries. This isn't intended as criticism, if editing your photos on the side of a mountain enhances the trip for you then great!, but the screen is the biggest power consumer in your phone so this means having to bring more to keep it running.
You realize cell phones do all sorts of processing while taking photos and that consumes a lot of power. Where did I say I was editing photos while out hiking? If you can get a week of photos from your cell phone and 3 oz battery pack all the more power to you.

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Tom
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Tom
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PostWed Sep 06, 2023 11:58 am 
zimmertr wrote:
This is the older battery bank I owned with solar capabilities. I can't recall specifics since I did this test three or so years ago. But I drained it completely and then put it outside facing up mid summer and checked on it periodically. It took like 4 days to fully charge. And it only charged my Pixel 3 XL maybe 3-4 times before being depleted. Which is what made me lose faith in the idea. Another consideration is maintaining the solar panels. You can't just throw it in your pack like I did. You need to protect it. Because at some point I managed to get a couple grains of sand in between the panels before folding it up which scratched the heck out of two of them. Which no doubt worsened their performance.
Strange because after 2.5 hours my phone is 40% charged and that's with 1/4 of the panels you had. I would think with 4 panels I'd be at least 80% charged. Edit: I didn't realize that was a 25k bank in the pack you were charging. That seems way overkill.

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Tom
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PostWed Sep 06, 2023 3:08 pm 
Okay, so as expected around 6 hours later I had a full charge on the phone. Again, not a bad backup option if you're going on a long trip and worried that a couple battery banks might not get you through. Of course will be less efficient if you are charging a battery bank and then using the bank to charge a phone.

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Riverside Laker
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Riverside Laker
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PostWed Sep 06, 2023 7:05 pm 
What's the watt rating on your solar panel?

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Tom
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PostWed Sep 06, 2023 10:44 pm 
The item description says 6W: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09WD5FV41

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Opus
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PostThu Sep 07, 2023 7:20 pm 
I recently did an 11 day trip in the Wind Rivers and used a Luci Pro 2.0 solar panel / lantern along with that same Nitecore battery pack. Overall it worked really well. I also have a Pixel 7 Pro that I leave in airplane and battery-saver mode. The camera still works in the power saving mode. Lately it's become my primary camera so I do tend to run the battery down. I also use it to listen to podcasts or audiobooks at night. It doesn't have a headphone jack so unfortunately the bluetooth connection to headphones does drain the battery. One of these times I'll remember to try out a USB converter with regular wired headphones. Overall the lantern worked well. I was above 10k feet for most of the trip so it nearly fully recharged every day when strapped on the top of my pack. Primarily this was to recharge my Fenix watch and inReach. Then I would plug it in to the battery pack for about an hour to slightly recharge that, avoiding draining too much charge from the lantern. The battery itself was used to recharge my phone. I found the Luci light wasn't strong enough to recharge the Pixel. It works well on my old Galaxy s10 phone so I think it has something to do with the most modern phones pulling more current. I was able to get about 5 days on the Nitecore battery. We arranged a resupply with a pack service midway so I swapped it out then for another fully charged battery the rest of the trip. The other problem I had was occasionally the Luci light would go into some kind of mode where it could charge by solar but not output that charge to anything. I never got a straight answer from the MPOwered company about this, other than plugging it in to a wall outlet would reset it. Clearly not an option in the backcountry. Before the trip I'd tested the lantern for about a month and ran into this issue but decided to just go with it. Sure enough it happened on the last few days and after informing their support I got the response: "On occasions when the battery level drops below 25% and reaches an empty state, it's necessary to perform a full recharge to at least 75% in order to achieve a substantial charging output. The solar charging process might take longer if the input and output are active simultaneously. The charging duration varies depending on the specific circumstances. It seems that your observations align with the intended functionality from the manufacturer's perspective." So be wary using these. Overall I found it great for charging small items such as watches and the inReach. Useful for car-camping or a backup for power outages. Not great for phones. Customer support was excellent though and they offered a good discount on another purchase.

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Tom
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Tom
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PostThu Sep 07, 2023 9:30 pm 
Looking at the size of the panel I can't imagine it's generating more than a couple watts. Not a bad option as you say to top up smaller devices, with the added benefit of a camp lantern, but phone would seem to be a stretch. The panel I picked up is about 3x the size, and it needed 6 hours of direct sunlight to fully charge my phone. When there were clouds it didn't charge at all. Can't speak to how well it might work strapped to the back of a pack.

Opus
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PowderPawn
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PostSun Sep 10, 2023 10:17 pm 
I have an REV charger that I swear by, but I have never tried to charge it up with solar.

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Randito
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Randito
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PostTue Sep 12, 2023 8:33 am 
Cyclopath wrote:
Randito wrote:
Reminds me slightly of some of the larger creeks feeding into Ross Lake.
Devils Creek on Ross lake is a fantastic place. No seals of course, but the moss and maiden hair ferns on the rock cliffs

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