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AAA Solar Chargers

bajapablo
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AAA Solar Chargers

Postby bajapablo » Wed Jun 14, 2017 11:39 pm

Does anyone have any experience with Solar Chargers for AAA and AA batteries? Amazon has several available, but most of the comments discussed poor quality materials and manufacturing. There were even a few that were very inexpensive, some were less than $10 US. Or should I stick with windup lights?
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helicopilot
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Re: AAA Solar Chargers

Postby helicopilot » Thu Jun 15, 2017 6:11 am

I own one, it's the enclosed kind with the solar panel on the lid. You can adjust the lid so as to aim toward the sun. It charges batteries.... it's not as great as my plug in ones, but it works as advertised. Would it last years of abuse? I don't know. Having bought another "smart" charger, my solar one is now in my metal container of "just in case" gear.
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Denob
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Re: AAA Solar Chargers

Postby Denob » Thu Jun 15, 2017 2:35 pm

I have one that I picked up from Crappy Tire a few years ago...it charges, but has limitations.
1 - can take days to charge 4 cells
2 - requires constant repositioning to capture enough sun for it to work
3 - no way to tell if the cells are fully charged, patialy charged, or overcharged and damaged

Instead, I prefer a deep cycle battery, 10 watt solar panel, with a charge controller.
I can hook up a smart charger to this for charging smaller cells like AA, AAA, and my 18650s.
I just ordered this one from Ebay...I'll let everyone know how it works once I get a chance to play with it a bit.
http://www.ebay.ca/itm/272182487555?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT
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Denob
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Re: AAA Solar Chargers

Postby Denob » Wed Aug 30, 2017 2:05 pm

Well I got my Xtar VC4 charger yesterday (finally).
Yes, ordering from China can save some bucks, but you may also have to wait for a while.
I admit that I get a lot of stuff from China, mostly electronics components like resistors, capacitors, etc.
There seems to be no pattern to the delivery times...sometimes I get stuff in a week or so, sometimes in 2+ months, and occasionally never at all.
Paypal buyer protection to the rescue!
But I digress...
The reason I went for this charger, and the reason I think it fits into a thread about solar chargers is that it is powered by USB 5 volt (2amps is best).
Most small solar charging battery packs, crank powered lanterns, and other small devices have a usb port...powering this charger from small scale solar gizmos is no problem at all.
The VC4 charges 20 different types of batteries...both LiIon, and NiMH and automatically detects what type is in which bay...you can mix and match types, sizes, and charge 1, 2, 3, or 4 at a time...not just in pairs like a lot of other chargers.
I'm not a battery charging guru, so I did some research before I bought it...I found lots of websites with reviews and found a few that "seemed" to be in the know about such things...you know, lots of graphs and technical mumbo jumbo about charge rates, cut offs, and all that. This charger passed every test I found people doing on it, so I am satisfied that it is charging my batteries properly.
One feature I found interesting, but have not tested because I tend to take care of my batteries, is the 0 volt activation. The claim being that it can revive dead batteries.
It will also charge C and D batteries as well as AA and AAA...not to mention a multitude of sizes of LI Ion batteries like the 18650s I've grown fond of for powering QRP ham radios and cree LED flashlights.. It will NOT charge 9volts though.
I was looking for a quick charger that could charge everything I use that took USB power due to it's current popularity. With the exception of a couple of 9 volt cells that I use in multimeters, this is the one I found most interesting. Also, I can barter power now...bring me almost any type of battery that you have and I can charge it for you.
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DJPrepper
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Re: AAA Solar Chargers

Postby DJPrepper » Thu Aug 31, 2017 9:13 pm

Has anyone tried the GreenIvative re-charger that is meant to work of saltwater ?

If this actually works it would be great back up winter time.
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Wayne
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Re: AAA Solar Chargers

Postby Wayne » Sun Sep 03, 2017 8:35 am

DJPrepper wrote:Has anyone tried the GreenIvative re-charger that is meant to work of saltwater ?

If this actually works it would be great back up winter time.


This seems to be a very cool item. Thanks for bringing it to my attention,
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