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Solar powered chargers 3828

No Life Club Posts: 4,371 Is there a cure for multitool separation anxiety?
Re: Solar powered chargers
« Reply #30 on: June 06, 2016, 05:03:06 AM »
I like the looks of that one and I'm somewhat interested in getting one so I'll be interested to hear how you are getting along with it.  I have actually been looking a lot at the new solar panel from Bio Lite lately.

(Image removed from quote.)

But it is a bit bulky so a smaller one might not be a bad idea either.

Def

    General rule of thumbs, the larger the surface are the better the solar panel should be and the larger the surface the better chance in putting out enough charge on cloudy/overcast days.

    First thing I look for is adaptability, and if it can go past 5V USB. Second most major thing is WARRANTY. Then how long the product should last before needing repairs.


    Did test and interviewed a few solar panel makers. Grilled them on those three things and Gomadic actually had won every one of them save Quality. The wires were lightly soldered on the back of their panels then reinforced only with a dab of silicone.
    Gomadic had the sizes, great reviews, a Lifetime warranty or till End of Life of the product. They have decent cases and some options. However their Facebook posts have been far and few in between, though their emails are a week to two weeks out.

    At the time of my year long review I grilled both SunTactics and Goal Zero on their pathetic 90 day to 1 year warranties.

    Goal Zero had 90 day warranties at first, and some things have a 1 year warranty. The indicator I got on the Goal Zero was the panel connectors had reduced power and would break quicker. And at the time they did not have an auto-retry feature like SunTactics had. Gomadic had a device that hooked in-line that would adapter their to an auto-retry & 12V adaptability.
    Gomadic & Goal Zero were the only larger known solar panel retail manufacturers that could charge 12V devices. Of the two Gomadic performed better. Warrant Gomadic performed better.

    Then it came down to size. Well, Gomadic made large panels and they could recharge on cloudy and overcast days, and performed well in the Winter months when the other two weren't always so good. Reason for that was Gomadic has larger panels.

    If it wasn't for the soldering and silicone issue I would of gotten a Gomadic. Still thinking I should have cause I heard there's will power some CPAP devices with enough charge to get the devices through the night for 8 hours, but only certain types of CPAP devices. The other two, nope. Only other way was to get a solar generator or a custom built device.

    Towards the end  of my review SunTactics claimed they would increase their 1 year warranty to 5 years if the panels were registered within 30 days. I had an issue with one panel but I think it was partially to do with a phone I had too. SunTactics replaced it and refunded my shipping to them! :D

    Since my review there was a pathetic Browning rolled version that debuted but it got horrid ratings. Then I just threw the whole review thing in since everyone and their pet chihuahua were making panels. Unless I was to commit to one and suck up to their marketing I had to buy my own. An the only reason I did my review was I was looking for my best option. I think Goal Zero barely tolerates me anymore. LOL I goad them with, will the SunTactics Panel work with your xxx recharger?  :P
Head Turd Polisher Administrator He who has the most nuts, wins! Posts: 57,822 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: Solar powered chargers
« Reply #31 on: June 06, 2016, 02:23:19 PM »
I am certainly interested in hearing more about your experiences.  What were you hoping to achieve, what devices were you hoping to power, what seemed most portable, easiest to set up etc?

It sounds like you did a lot of research and testing, and I would imagine you had a goal in mind for it all?

Def

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No Life Club Posts: 4,371 Is there a cure for multitool separation anxiety?
Re: Solar powered chargers
« Reply #32 on: June 06, 2016, 09:11:17 PM »
    Well, two years ago there weren't many solar panel retail manufacturers and commercial or custom was out of the wallet equation. First went out on a comparison, and was finding two retail manufacturer's did 12V as well as 5V, however amperage is king. More cells, more sunlight capture, more surface = more amperage.

    Flexible Connections is one of them bottle necks. Regular Connections are not an issue like in fixed applications. But fixed also have regulators in between so many cells. That's not practical for smaller panels unless you want to go lugging around a solar generator in which is several hundreds of pounds. Perhaps in 10 to 20 years solar collection will advance technologically like portable phones have.

    At best, retail wise, the best efficiency is 20%. Think it was NASA's solar panels have 40% - but they have the resources and funds are not so limited like you and me. 15% efficiency is about the norm.

    So again, more panel space gives more output and more amperage - at the cost of weight & storage.
    Some companies use battery packs in between device and cell to give you the power. This is not a bad thing as when the sun goes down there's no more power - unless you have a charged battery pack. And there are times when the ambient temperature is so extreme charging a phone isn't an option. Turn the phone off, let it cool down, charge from a power off state or charge a battery and then the phone in the evening.

    Goal Zero uses a covering that reduces the efficiency rating but also makes the cells more rugged to various environmental effects. Bad part is their warranty stinketh. You can get a $100 panel and you will literally be sitting there wondering ... is it doing anything? Am sure there's works, yet side by side which panel will get that battery or phone charged faster?

    Gomadic ... I didn't take the plunge. If money wasn't an issue I would of gotten a Gomadic too. Even though their panels are bulkier, the fitted cases are worth it for protection and carrying the many available adapters. There is no invasive coating neither. Their setup is very elite. Best thought-out product, past the soldering and silicone thing on the back of the panel. Though that should not be a problem, for some reason it stuck out in memory. Perhaps they've fixed that now??

    This fella does the better review of the large 15W Gomadic panel
   

    Me, would of gone for the SunStash MAX 15W Solar Charger for the ability to recharge a laptop, which would be great if you lived out of your vehicle
    There is a smaller version available too, a 10W, based on the same principle.

    SunTactics grabbed me as they compared their products to others and showed the real-time results.
    Goal Zero started doing he same... but Goal Zero would pit their larger model against a competitor's smaller model. :twak: Fail attempt!

    One has to determine which is the best value for Size, Functionality, Weight, Quality, Durability, and most importantly (in my book) Warranty. Warranty, to me, shows how much confidence the company has in their product(s). Then there is the thing of where was the unit constructed at, country wise. SunTactics is a USA made product. The other two are not. None of them are made in Canada.  :-\

    You have to find your fit. I was looking for THE BEST OF ALL WORLDS and Suntactics seals the deal with an encased product, real time and more fair comparisons, and durability tests. And when I thought there was a need for a replacement, BAM, it was there in a week!
    Sure I talked with Dean Sala on the phone a few times first, but he gave me the option to send it in. Only wanted them to test the panel and send it back. Yet SunTactocs keeps on developing their products to perform better and recently acquired an advancement to get more juice out of their panels - for their size.

 
    Got side tracked there for a bit. Many reviewers fail to understand basic fundamentals of solar panels. Unless the circuit is reset, any shadow will reduce the about of output a solar panel. Many devices that have built-in regulators, once dropped, will stay at that level of charging. Unless the circuit gets reset the charging stays low no matter what.

    So if a reviewer is charging a phone, stands in front of the panel casting a shadow over it, the panel done lost 50% or more of it's output. The phone adjusts to that level of charge. When the reviewer moves out of the way the phone is still charging at that lower level due to the charging regulator built into the phone.
    Unless the solar panel system has a device that resets the circuit the panel will only charge at that lower rate until someone unplugs the phone and plugs it back in.
    Once another shadow crosses the panel, like a tree shadow, a bird, another spectator (Dude, you sure it's working, I can't see anything moving!), clouds, haze, solar eclipse, ect. the phone isn't going to bounce back up to maximum charge unless the circuit gets reset.
    SunTactics has two ports on their dual-port models, (M) manual & (A) automatic. Automatic resets the circuit every so often to achieve maximum results. One problem with that is phones that have their screen staying on while charging will overheat. Found out the hard way. Lost a phone due to that and I thought it screwed up the panel too.
    So allow the screen to turn off, turn off the GPS & WiFi too if you want the phone to recharge faster. or turn the phone off and charge even faster with it off. The more stuff running the slower the recharge and the greater the heat produced in the phone - especially it if has a case.

    Goal Zero only recently put a circuit reset in their panels when SunTactics was outdoing them. :rofl:

    Most solar panels do not have a circuit reset, and all it takes is one shadow or atmospheric issue to lessen the recharge on your phone. Not a HUGE issue with larger panels, though it needed to be brought up.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2016, 09:31:50 PM by Xelkos »
Head Turd Polisher Administrator He who has the most nuts, wins! Posts: 57,822 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: Solar powered chargers
« Reply #33 on: June 06, 2016, 11:50:24 PM »
Wow, that's a lot of info!

I'm going to have to go through it when I get to a computer and see if I can understand any of it!

Def

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No Life Club Posts: 4,371 Is there a cure for multitool separation anxiety?
Re: Solar powered chargers
« Reply #34 on: June 07, 2016, 12:08:23 AM »
    I had a review blog, but got mad at the kiss ass to get free stuff bullsmurf. Only thing I got for free and a discount for afterwards, which could of been for life, was a review for NoseOffense! Which it does work, but I was MORE amazed by their industrial strength stuff that I sort of lost track.

    Could probably place an order today and the product would come to my house at no charge. As much as I like the product, and recommended it to anyone with smelly pets & humans, I have to pay my way. Now if they NoseOffense could incorporate their anti-smell-agents into human underwear....  :D
   

    Solar Wise, the only deal I had gotten was many tips about solar products. Dean Sala knows his smurf about solar! Call him up sometime and man, you can get an education. Another thing that SunTactics is that you can upgrade panels later on if still covered under the warranty. have to pay the upgrade cost, shipping, and send your unit back -- but what other company will allow you to upgrade products?!?
Head Turd Polisher Administrator He who has the most nuts, wins! Posts: 57,822 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: Solar powered chargers
« Reply #35 on: June 08, 2016, 09:52:01 PM »
I know the feeling- I've never been good at the kiss @$$ game either, which is why this forum has no sponsors....  :facepalm:

Def

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No Life Club Posts: 4,371 Is there a cure for multitool separation anxiety?
Re: Solar powered chargers
« Reply #36 on: June 10, 2016, 09:15:00 AM »
    Remember me telling you how Goal Zero would test their higher wattage solar panels against a competitor's lesser wattage panel? Well, here are some live a demos of the SunTactics sChargers.

    Suntactics sCharger-5 Vs. Goal Zero Nomad 7 Solar Charger Review
   

    Suntactics sCharger-14 vs. Anker 14W Solar Charger Review
   

    Durability Tests:
   
    DROPPING IPHONE SOLAR CHARGER OFF A ROOF! [TEST #1]
   

    SMASHING SOLAR CHARGER WITH A HAMMER [TEST #2]
   

    SOLAR CHARGER RUN OVER BY A CAR [TEST #3]
   

    THROWING SOLAR CHARGER LIKE A FRISBEE [TEST #4]
   

    BURN OUT + WATERPROOF TEST! [TEST #5]
   

    I had recommended SunTactics to send it up in a helium balloon and have it free fall back to earth as a test. Not sure what happened, but not seen a video on it.

    What is Auto Retry? - Suntactics Portable Solar Chargers
   
Jr. Member Posts: 68
Re: Solar powered chargers
« Reply #37 on: June 10, 2016, 01:58:36 PM »
Thanks for the videos. The torture tests are impressive.
Head Turd Polisher Administrator He who has the most nuts, wins! Posts: 57,822 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: Solar powered chargers
« Reply #38 on: June 10, 2016, 03:44:38 PM »
They are indeed- I can see the validity of some of them, but some seem a bit excessive.

Def

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Jr. Member Posts: 68
Re: Solar powered chargers
« Reply #39 on: June 10, 2016, 04:31:32 PM »
They are indeed- I can see the validity of some of them, but some seem a bit excessive.

Def

Like so much mil-spec testing I have seen, the manufacturer assures a high probability of functionality, even when said device is recovered from my severely mangled corpse. Comforting to know that the equipment will survive so many things that my old, brittle body will not.  :D
Head Turd Polisher Administrator He who has the most nuts, wins! Posts: 57,822 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: Solar powered chargers
« Reply #40 on: June 10, 2016, 04:58:41 PM »
You are telling this to a guy with ten screws and a metal plate holding his feet to his legs....   :pok:

Def

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