Author Topic: Charging phones/cameras on Pacific Coast route  (Read 4225 times)

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Offline kyle3278

Charging phones/cameras on Pacific Coast route
« on: May 16, 2010, 01:55:49 am »
Does anyone have any good advice/suggestions on the best way to keep various electronics charged while on tour?  I've thought about a solar charger but have found mixed reviews.  Any help would be great, thanks.


  • Guest
Re: Charging phones/cameras on Pacific Coast route
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2010, 08:22:42 am »
We have discussed this over in the GPS group. Summarizing, there seem to be two main considerations: charging performance and weight.

Nickel metal hydride (NiMH) cells do not take a full charge from a trickle charger. They want the high current pulses of a charger designed for the job. You can trickle charge them, but expect 1/2 to 2/3 the rated capacity. Some cameras and most GPS receivers use NiMH. Other cameras and all cell phones use lithium ion cells, which are OK with trickle charging.

The 120v charger with a spare battery for my Canon S90 weighs 3 oz. The 120v charger for my cell phone weighs another 3 oz. Compare those numbers and this photo with the solar chargers. Consider the hassle of mounting the solar panel atop your rear rack's load too.

I can comfortably go a week between 120v outlets, since I use the phone only for occasional calls and once a day to check voice mail.


Offline velo

Re: Charging phones/cameras on Pacific Coast route
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2010, 10:23:31 am »
On the norther tier I used the strategy of opportunity charging. When I saw and outlet I'd plug in my phone and battery charger as needed. If you stop to shop, get a meal, etc you can usually find an outlet. Most campgrounds have outlets in the bathrooms. I had no need for a solar charger, but I didn't leave my phone on or make that many calls.

For my camera and headlamp I used NiMH batteries and my group of 4 brought 1 charger. Worked fine. For my cell I had a spare battery but never needed it.