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Power Alternatives?

Power Alternatives?


Postby Lewton » Sat Jun 13, 2020 10:32 pm

I'm looking for suggested alternatives to my current power setup, last used in Arctic Norway. Looking at whether I can go lighter without losing power bank capacity (too much).

I'm currently using this Toospon as a powerbank (30000 mAh) . . https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07PBXLN2B/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

with th RAVPower as my solar (16W) . . https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01E8PCB8Q/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

They worked well, but were weighty for a multi-day trek. I charged 2 devices from the powerbank (Smartphone, where I used Norwegian online maps and other trail resources; Also my GPS). So relatively heavy power consumption. I used disposable batteries in GPS as well though and probably will next time if I have to. I’ll also be charging USB lighting for my shelter occasionally.

Weights were approx. 310g + 541g respectively.

The solar must be an efficient one, working in overcast conditions to SOME extent, as this one did in Norway. Also, where I go has no opportunity of disposable battery resupply for fairly long periods and very, very scarce recharging points.

Please, if anyone has any experience of good, significantly (?) lighter alternatives to my current setup. Something not bonkersly expensive. Similar to prices of what I have wouldn’t be too bad.

Thanks
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Re: Power Alternatives?

Postby Marty_JG » Sun Jun 14, 2020 12:52 am

Disposables are a horrible thing for the environment, get some Eneloop Pro rechargeables and an Olight Unviersal Recharger. That way you can top them up from the power bank. I find a pair of Eneloop Pro AA's last for 18 hours in a Garmin Oregon (with quite frequent checking of the display).

https://smile.amazon.co.uk/s?k=eneloop+pro+aa+rechargeable+batteries
https://smile.amazon.co.uk/Universal-Magnetic-UC-Rechargeable-Batteries/dp/B01LWWSDFO

For half a kilo of solar I'd simply replace with another power bank. Do you think you would REALLY have recharged a 30k power bank from drained to full on your trip? If not just take another bank and that'll drop 200 grams.

You might also want to consider energy efficiency. Using ONLINE anything (outside of emergency) is daft. You should have everything pre-downloaded offline, your phone in flight mode, and all energy-saving options you can. If you're on Android run the likes of CCleaner and Greenify to stop background apps from draining your cycles (which costs battery). Because of multi-day hiking I got an inexpensive "rugged" phone with a 5000 mAh battery, has energy efficiency in mind, and I can use it for days at a time. I'm told some newer Apple phones are designed with battery efficiency in mind too.
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Re: Power Alternatives?

Postby davekeiller » Sun Jun 14, 2020 5:53 pm

As Marty says, I would consider how many charge cycles you need and get a power bank that can supply that, and ditch the solar.
Personally, I'd consider whether you need to use both the smartphone *and* the GPS regularly. My preference would be to use the GPS, and have the phone switched off as much as possible, thus preserving the battery for emergencies.
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Re: Power Alternatives?

Postby Lewton » Sun Jun 14, 2020 6:14 pm

Hi again. Thanks for your feedback. I'll bear your advice in mind.
Sorry to sound particular/pedantic. This is a particularly remote part of Europe and last year I was trekking almost entirely away from all human contact for 6 weeks. If (and a big IF), this comes to be, then this future trip may well be similar or longer. Perhaps 2 months.
I have it on good authority that no paper maps of sufficient detail exist for trekking in this region. I am able to be online sometimes in this region. I was last year, intermittently. I need to be online for several reasons, including medical reasons.
Anyway, all I want please is (mainly), any recommendation of a lighter weight solar panel that is efficient. Taking multiple power banks is not an option. If nobody has any lighter weight solar alternatives or lighter weight similarly high mAh bank alternatives, no matter. Thanks for your help anyway.
Thanks.
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Re: Power Alternatives?

Postby Marty_JG » Sun Jun 14, 2020 7:15 pm

If you're going up to two months, without any human contact, and you use your solar, then yes it possible you'll use the solar panels to efficiency. It's what, very roughly speaking, 1 hour for 1000 mAh? So yes you might indeed have crossed over the weight-to-utility threshold (unlike any week/fortnight hike in Scotland ever would).

Otherwise I think that's you. There are physics limits on current batteries, if you open them up power banks have variations on the the same kinds of batteries, or more likely exactly the same batteries from exactly the same factory.

I haven't used one, but ultralightoutdoorgear (.co.uk) recommend the Goal Zero Nomad 5 Solar Panel (340g) and I do trust them as a site/group of people, they have a good eye for quality.
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Re: Power Alternatives?

Postby Lewton » Sun Jun 14, 2020 7:25 pm

Hi Marty. Yes. Thankyou. That was a consideration when I acquired the RavPower. However, a colleague at work at work had his pack in on him at the start of a GR10 trek. So I went for the Rav instead. It served me well on Senja, but I've just been researching lighter options and wondered what others' experiences were. I will look again at the Goal Zero though.
Thanks.
btw, I've had good experiences with UltralightOG as well.
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Re: Power Alternatives?

Postby davekeiller » Sun Jun 14, 2020 7:28 pm

@Lewton, it would have been helpful if you'd included some of that information in the original post!
It's rare in the UK to be so far from human habitation for such a long period, and I think our responses reflected what would be expected in UK conditions, which is that you'd be unlikely to need to last more than a week, and can rely on paper maps.
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Re: Power Alternatives?

Postby Lewton » Sun Jun 14, 2020 7:36 pm

With due respect, I did. I said I was in Arctic Norway. Also, I merely enquired regarding lighter alternatives (any experience had), of equivalence to my last year's setup. I asked for experience of fit for purpose equivalents. On that basis, it wasn't relevant to for me to ramble on further about whys and wherefors.Thanks anyway Dave. I apologise for any misunderstanding. All I asked was for lighter equivalents.
davekeiller wrote:@Lewton, it would have been helpful if you'd included some of that information in the original post!
It's rare in the UK to be so far from human habitation for such a long period, and I think our responses reflected what would be expected in UK conditions, which is that you'd be unlikely to need to last more than a week, and can rely on paper maps.
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Re: Power Alternatives?

Postby Lewton » Sun Jun 14, 2020 7:39 pm

Anyway. Thankyou. I'll shut up.
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Re: Power Alternatives?

Postby Lewton » Sun Jun 14, 2020 7:39 pm

Anyway. Thankyou. I'll shut up.
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Re: Power Alternatives?

Postby davekeiller » Mon Jun 15, 2020 6:49 pm

Actually, you said you were intending to use it for a multi-day trek, and that you had previously been to arctic Norway and described the set-up you used there.
You didn't specify that a multi-day trek means about 2 months, which is pertinent information which would have been helpful to include in the original post.
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