Author Topic: Power Monkey Explorer Solar Charger  (Read 11691 times)

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Offline Tourista829

Power Monkey Explorer Solar Charger
« on: March 04, 2009, 10:02:35 am »
Has anyone had any experience with the Power Monkey Explorer Solar Charger. I believe Adventure Cycling sells it in their catalogue? The devise looks intriguing but not sure where and how you'd mount it. I will try to look it up online. How would you rate it? Thanks

Re: Power Monkey Explorer Solar Charger
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2009, 01:54:38 pm »
The Power Monkey is pretty sweet, and you might even want to give the Solar Monkey a look as well.  You don't actually mount it anywhere.  You can throw it in your bag or pocket while your riding and use it whenever you need it.  It includes a ton of adapters for all sorts of devices (cell phones, iPods, cameras, etc).  Definitely ideal for long distance touring or any time your off the beaten path.  It also saves you the weight of carrying along several different chargers for each device you have with you, which is great if weight is an issue.  Those are the big perks I can think of off hand.  Looks like they run around $60.

bobbirob22

  • Guest
Re: Power Monkey Explorer Solar Charger
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2009, 02:26:52 pm »
http://www.amazon.com/Powermonkey-eXplorer-Portable-Charger-Solar/dp/B000Y9KW9G/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1236453768&sr=8-2

Looks like it has good reviews, some say it dosent even need direct sunlight to charge. Thanks for posting this I think ill but one for my cell phone and mp3 player. Nice find!

Offline staehpj1

Re: Power Monkey Explorer Solar Charger
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2009, 04:59:26 pm »
http://www.amazon.com/Powermonkey-eXplorer-Portable-Charger-Solar/dp/B000Y9KW9G/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1236453768&sr=8-2

Looks like it has good reviews, some say it dosent even need direct sunlight to charge. Thanks for posting this I think ill but one for my cell phone and mp3 player. Nice find!
I found that my cell phone was good for a week or more without charging if I turned it off when not in use.  I also found that if left on when there was no signal it would die very quickly.  I mean like not even a day.  Just something to consider.

BTW: How heavy is the solar Power Monkey.  I see that the shipping weight is two pounds.  That makes me wonder if this thing isn't kind of heavy.

If the devices you are charging can use a usb cable to charge, there are chargers that work with the device's usb cable and weigh as little as 1-2 ounces and only cost a few bucks.

What works best will vary depending on your devices, how you use them, and where you tour.  I found that crossing the US we had ample opportunities to plug in and charge our devices.

Offline Tourista829

Re: Power Monkey Explorer Solar Charger
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2009, 12:22:12 am »
Staephji,

Thanks for the reply. You are correct, it is not light. I dare say maybe a 24 ounces. Like you, I have learned that I like to travel as light as possible, unless it is something I must have and then I usually ship it home. I have a small double AA charger, that works ok, but with the camera or cell phone goes through batteries quickly. I agree with you on keeping the phone on, it will constantly be lookung for a signal and discharge so like you, I keep my phone off unless I need to call home or make a reservation. Besides, the point of touring is to enjoy the surroundings and get a respite from the electronic devices. However, I was intrigued by the Power Monkey Explorer Solar Charger. I thought for long tours, away from the beaten path, it might come in handy. With extra batteries for the other charger I thought it may be a wash. If I purchase it, I wanted to get some feedback. I am relatively new to this forum, and I noticed you do not have much of a profile. If I may be so bold, is your perspective from the male or female point of view? It is sometimes hard to distinguish and I always enjoy both points of view. I hope no offense is taken.

bobbirob22

  • Guest
Re: Power Monkey Explorer Solar Charger
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2009, 02:23:15 pm »
http://www.amazon.com/Powermonkey-eXplorer-Portable-Charger-Solar/dp/B000Y9KW9G/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1236453768&sr=8-2

Looks like it has good reviews, some say it dosent even need direct sunlight to charge. Thanks for posting this I think ill but one for my cell phone and mp3 player. Nice find!

BTW: How heavy is the solar Power Monkey.  I see that the shipping weight is two pounds.  That makes me wonder if this thing isn't kind of heavy.






Amazon tends to exagerate the weights a little, I bought a Midland HH50 weather radio from them that couldnt weigh more than a few ounces and I noticed the shipping weight was over a pound so dont go by what Amazon says. From searches on the net I found that most solar chargers are less than 1 lbs.

bobbirob22

  • Guest
Re: Power Monkey Explorer Solar Charger
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2009, 02:30:38 pm »
http://www.realgoods.com/product/id/1025417.do

here it is and it says weight is 83 grams, how many ounces is that? This is all I could find. Im illiterate when it comes to weight calculation.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Power Monkey Explorer Solar Charger
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2009, 05:52:45 pm »
I am relatively new to this forum, and I noticed you do not have much of a profile. If I may be so bold, is your perspective from the male or female point of view? It is sometimes hard to distinguish and I always enjoy both points of view. I hope no offense is taken.
No offense taken.  That is a fair question.  I am a 57 year old guy.  I have been riding pretty much my whole life and have done some racing, both on and off road, but I have only a few tours under my belt.  One was coast to coast though (AC transamerica route).

Check out my crazy guy page at http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/staehling2007 if you want to know a bit more about me.  The page has a fair amount of hopefully interesting and useful info.

Offline Tourista829

Re: Power Monkey Explorer Solar Charger
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2009, 06:23:55 am »
Thanks for your reply and the info on the web page. I too am 57 and have been riding most of my life. I started long distance riding after I severed my ach. tendon. Cycling is less punishing than running. I appreciate your posts and helpful information.

Offline Tourista829

Re: Power Monkey Explorer Solar Charger
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2009, 11:56:25 am »
If it is 83 grams, if I read my conversion chart right, 2.92 ounces. That seems very light. I will write to Adventure Cycling and ask them for a raw weight then an accessories weight.

Offline paddleboy17

Re: Power Monkey Explorer Solar Charger
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2009, 12:21:25 pm »
If you goal is to keep your cell phone charged, why not take the phones charger with you and stop by an duplex outlet every couple of days?  I would like to think that if you stop for lunch they would let you charge your phone.  If you are only going to avoid civilization and bandit camp, then this clearly is not viable.

I think there are devices that accept alkaline AAs, and use that power to charge up your phone.    OK, so you waste some AAs, but it is probably less weight than the power monkey, and a lot more reliable.
Danno

Offline staehpj1

Re: Power Monkey Explorer Solar Charger
« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2009, 07:21:16 am »
It depends on how and where you tour, but I agree that for me it just isn't needed.  I am somewhere that I can charge pretty often.  The following is what I said over on Bike Forums, but I will recycle it here:

My battery requirements aren't too demanding. I can usually find a place to charge often enough that is isn't a problem. Solar chargers seem like more trouble than they are worth in the type of touring i have done.. It seems they are either very low capacity or large and heavy.

The devices I carry tend to be pretty easy to manage.

   1. Headlamp - a couple AA or AAA batteries that go a month without replacement at the rate I use them. I am not inclined to use the light all that much, generally sleeping when it gets dark and not minding fumbling around in the dark a bit.
   2. Blinkie taillight - A couple AA batteries that last at least a month given that I seldom ride at night on tour.
   3. Camera (DSLR) - Proprietary lithium battery that is good for 800 pictures and has a charger that weighs maybe one ounce.
   4. Cell Phone - Typically needs charging once a week and charger weighs a couple ounces. If left turned on when there is no signal it kills the battery quickly so it is left turned off unless making a call. I am not one to be on the phone much so it holds up well.
   5. iPod I have not generally carried one, but may in the future since my Shuffle holds a lot of audio books, weighs almost nothing, and lasts for a good bit of listening on a charge. I have an after market charger that weighs less than an ounce.
   6. GPS- I have not bothered to carry the GPS much, but if I do I would rely on AA batteries and just replace them as I go.

The few items that require charging have pretty good battery life given the way they are used. I am seldom unable to plug in at least every few days. Camp grounds, city parks, hosts homes, and churches we stay at typically offer a chance to plug in. Restaurants, stores, etc. usually offer similar opportunities. The chargers all together weigh about three ounces so it really isn't much of an issue.