power banks(solar or not) recomendations

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ferretracer

Member
Nov 16, 2012
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basingstoke
Looking at getting a power bank , solar would be great and also the option to charge ir from the mains. Been looking on ebay and amazon and theres so many. but which one and recomendations
 

Robson Valley

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Nov 24, 2014
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McBride, BC
OK, you go with the solar panels. 12VDC is still the domestic standard.
Then you feed that through a "charge controller". Rated 2X for the amperage that your panels put out.

Then you feed that into as many deep cycle batteries, wired for 12VDC, as you can possibly afford.
(I run a big 'smart' battery charger out of the mains for night time reloads) Tops is about 13.3VDC.
Then you feed that into the power inverter. Mine makes 117VAC.
As is typical, the inverter will cease to function when the battery voltage drops to something like 11.7VDC.
Add up all your running power needs. Multiply by 2 for inrush motor starting current = size of inverter.

There are 3 kinds of inverters:
1. square wave ( I have one of these: good for lights, no more, cheap.)
2. modified sine wave ( I have one of these: good for lights and not much more)
3. pure sine wave (I have one of these. Runs everything. If it dies, I'll buy a new one tomorrow.)

1 and 2 hang at zero as the power flips from positive to negative in the wave form.
That causes electric motors to think the power is shut off so the heavy starting inrush currret gets hammered with your AC cycle.
Some motors and fluro lights won't even start, even with 2X the running amperage.

A pure sine wave inverter (#3) is the most expensive BUT, it will run anything.
The wave form crosses zero in an instant so motors never notice.

I've been running solar power since the panels cost $10.00/watt.
Those feed an array of 6VDC deep cycle marine batteries wired up to ahow 12VDC.
It is a fact that plate surface area stores the juice.
2 x 6VDC in series is about 2X the amp storage of one 12VDC deep cycle battery.
= = =
I've had solar power as a back up for about 15 years now. Worth every last cent that it cost me to set it up.
The filter caps in my first sine wave inverter blew up so I replaced that.
Middle of a -20C winter night power failure is one button to make things go.
I need 500W to drive the wood pellet house stove. I have 8+ hours of juice.
As soon as the grid comes on again, I use the battery charger for a quick recovery in case of another power failure.
 

Woody girl

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Mar 31, 2018
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I got a lovely solar charger at the wilderness gathering last year. It plugs straight into a powerbank no bigger than my phone. I think it cost about £50. Not fantastically cheap but I use it all the time in the summer to charge my phone or go pro even at home.
I can't remember the make off hand but I'll have a look tomorrow.
It's free standing or can use clips to hang it off a rucksack or tree.
I can charge the power banks from my mains phone charger or the TV or laptop too. Great bit of kit.
 
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Robson Valley

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Nov 24, 2014
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Pretty cool to power up, any where you go off the grid.
Deep Cycle batteries benefit from repeated full charge/discharge cycles.
My SineWave inverter has a display and an alarm (Jeezus, but would you turn that damn thing down????).
I presume the modern solar chargers are the same as my antique!
 

Woody girl

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Mar 31, 2018
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Ok here are the details of my solar system.
M S C travel and trek 13w solar pannel.charges two items at once ie power bank and phone.
10,000/2600m Ah power banks with 2 led lights. Cost £97.95.
Www.mobile solar charger. co. uk
Phone 01935 825914.
I got a special price at the wilderness gathering so only paid a fraction of that price. (Bargain time :) )
They do smaller units from about £30 but they are tried and tested on several big harsh terrain expeditions arctic mountain and jungle. They are not cheap but pretty much bomb proof with proper care. I'm very very pleased with mine.. you know the saying buy cheap buy twice. I'd recommend this for just about all applications. It was very usefull in the power cuts last winter and I only wish I'd had it for my off grid week in sweden the Jan before last. Hope this is helpfull
 

demographic

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Apr 15, 2005
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Possibly slightly leftfield but I have a thing tbat fits onto the top of my De-Walt cordless battery then I can plug two USB charging leads into it to charge two phones at the same time.
Most powertool manufacturers have a version for their batteries.
Think I charged three phones up three times with one battery at Kendal Calling festival last year.
Its an option if you already have a cordless drill battery.
 

GuestD

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Feb 10, 2019
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Looking at getting a power bank , solar would be great and also the option to charge ir from the mains. Been looking on ebay and amazon and theres so many. but which one and recomendations
What specifically do you want to use it for ? That would help narrow things down to your requirements. It's all too easy to get carried away and go over the top. I've got a simple one that works perfectly well for my requirements, phone/tablet charging, led lights etc. It fits in my pocket, and cost less than £20. It charges from the mains via a USB adaptor, and from a vehicle lighter socket, again, via a USB adaptor. It also has its own built in solar panel.
 
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Robson Valley

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Nov 24, 2014
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Try solar power for 10-15 years, I think you'll like it.
You really need the inconvenience of weekly and daily power failures to appreciate the finer things in life.
Might as well be camped close to the middle of nowhere.

Deep Cycle batteries ought to be available best at rec vehicle sales and also chandlers in any sea port.
Regular batteries are not the best performers for the application.
Any really good batteries with deep cycle draw designs and lots of them are just what you need.
 

Janne

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Feb 10, 2016
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Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
Try to leave the electronics behind.
The withdrawal pains last about two days or so, max,
Once they are gone, you suddenly turn into a thinking human.
Remember, what is called ‘bushcrafting’ here does not include any electrinics.
No CellulosePhone
No Phase Booklet
No Instamatic Gramophone

Watch the flower turn against the sun.
Listen to the Earthworm eating.
Listen to the wind caressing last years grass.........
 
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Stew

Bushcrafter through and through
Nov 29, 2003
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stewartjlight-knives.com
I think there's some confusion in this thread as to what is being asked for. He's not after a full on solar set-up. He wants a suitable means to recharge a phone, etc when out and about, hence a power bank.

No expert on solar, but Anker make a range of external battery packs that I can recommend.
They get my recommendation too. The wife has a smaller unit and I have a slightly large one. Both work well. Best thing is to look at what you want to charge and work out the capacity you need in the battery from that.
 
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Robson Valley

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Stew: when I read that the OP wanted the option to recharge from the mains,
I guessed this system would be very close to home.
But, you can hook any batteries into the system so you could just grab one and run with it.
I might look into that arrangement.
 

Sundowner

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Jan 21, 2013
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So how many mAH thingies do o realistically need to charge up gopro batteries in the woods? Perhaps a mobile phone too?
Saw these £12.90 ones on eBay, 20000 whatever horsepower or so?would that do the job?
 

Nice65

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Apr 16, 2009
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So how many mAH thingies do o realistically need to charge up gopro batteries in the woods? Perhaps a mobile phone too?
Saw these £12.90 ones on eBay, 20000 whatever horsepower or so?would that do the job?
20,000 mAh is overkill for your needs. I’d say 10,000 will do a couple of charges of both phone and Go-Pro.

I use this one the most. Easily does a weekend. Puts three full charges on an iPhone with power leftover, or does nearly two iPads.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Anker-Powe...ocphy=9045771&hvtargid=pla-465453152382&psc=1

Edited a little: Initially I’d said two full iPad charges with power to spare, but that’s the larger 13,000 mAh charger. This one will easily do 3 full iPhone charges.
 
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Nice65

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Thank you for that!! I'll get that one :)
Should do you fine. Basically the box contains 3 x 18650 batteries. 18650s are usually 2600mAh to 3000mAh so the 10,000mAh may be slightly overstated (very common in the battery world). MAh is the battery capacity, like it’s petrol tank. More mAh, further you go on a tank full.

If you think you’d need a little bit more for comfort, and could use a second USB outlet, then this one is a 4 x 18650 with extra outlet. I have one of these too, though a bit more expensive, they do store a lot of power.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Anker-Powe...qid=1558333379&s=gateway&sprefix=anker&sr=8-7

I’ve just had 5 days in hospital with naff all to do than internet, watch loads of films, stream tv etc. Fairly constant heavy daily use really. I took both packs in with me and still had spare power in the smaller one when I got home.
 
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