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Partner angry


Mar 31, 2010, 5:18 AM
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Solar Chargers with wall outlets
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I'm planning a trip to Greenland this summer and want to be able to charge a couple cameras.

My camera, an Olympus Stylus, has a removable battery that you plug into the wall to charge.

I've been looking over some of the basic solar chargers and they don't seem to have a wall outlet sort of attachment.

I certainly don't need 120v to charge this but it seems that the wall charger is my best bet. I won't see a wall (other than a big wall or 20) for a month.

Ideas?


bigjonnyc


Mar 31, 2010, 5:53 AM
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If you can find a solar charger that has a 12V output, then you can always get a DC to AC inverter like this . Then you can hook the solar charger to the inverter and plug the wall charger into it. I wouldn't try taking the wall charger out of the equation since it most likely contains circuitry to prevent overcharging the battery.


Partner angry


Mar 31, 2010, 6:03 AM
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I thought about that.

I'm going to see what's on the Olympus site for DC charging too. The battery is pretty simple and little. I hope not to bring too much stuff.


wanlessrm


Mar 31, 2010, 6:03 AM
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I took the Solarmio to Patagonia and could not even get my blackberry to charge much less a camera battery.
It did charge my Ipod though. I went to a camera store and paid them 5 bucks to charge my camera while I had lunch.


Partner angry


Mar 31, 2010, 6:10 AM
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I might be better off bringing a different camera with AA batteries.

The nearest electricity will be 30 miles away but many many hours by boat due to ice.

It's such a standard thing too, but I'm not finding anything.


Rudmin


Mar 31, 2010, 6:11 AM
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The problem is that the charger is producing DC current. You want to transform that into the AC current you get from your wall in order to run your camera charger which will convert it back down to DC to charge your battery. It probably means you need to buy another little black box.


altelis


Mar 31, 2010, 6:18 AM
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One thing to think about, if the charger and the inverter start adding up to a lot of space and weight, just buy a few batteries, charge'm before the trip and call it good.

I shoot on a D70 and I worked for a bit doing NOLS like courses. I just bought 3 batteries, charged 'em up, and called it good. Granted, w/ the D70 I didn't have to use the LCD screen, well, ever, so that helps out. Since I was also doing some shooting for the catalog, AND the company sold shots of the trip taken by leaders to the kiddies, I was able to get my boss to buy the 3 batteries and the 3 4 gig cards. That way I never had to edit, delete, etc. Tons of battery life and tons of storage for WAY less room than a solar charger and inverter. May be cheaper too, not sure the cost of the batteries for your camera....


Partner xtrmecat


Mar 31, 2010, 6:57 AM
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 Angry, I did about 15 seconds of research, and without your model number came up with, your camera is probably powered with the 3.7 volt,740 mAH lithium battery. I do not know what solar generation devices you have looked at, but going to an ac converter to use your conventional charger is an extra step and unnecessary equipment.

Altelis may have the simplest solution, but if you wish to recharge, we can take a solar unit and make you a dc charger just for your camera battery. The only thing you would need to do is pay attention to the charge progress when using it so battery overheating and damage aren't an issue. Think it over and PM if you need and we can engineer you a camera charger from off the shelf stuff.

This is pretty basic technology, we aren't trying to hit a planet out in space, just transfer a few extra electrons into a storage bin.

Bob


maldaly


Mar 31, 2010, 7:36 AM
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I charge my D70 and D200 batteries using a Brunto Solar Roll and a car charging kit. It works fine.


anykineclimb


Mar 31, 2010, 8:03 AM
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When I was in Pakistan I used a brunton charger also. A few folks had the solar roll and liked them.
I did take a camera that used AA batteries as I already needed to charge AA batteries for my headlamp.


agdavis


Mar 31, 2010, 8:30 AM
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angry wrote:
I might be better off bringing a different camera with AA batteries.

The nearest electricity will be 30 miles away but many many hours by boat due to ice.

It's such a standard thing too, but I'm not finding anything.

That sounds like the best idea. I'm sure the cost of a ton of batteries is nominal compared to the total cost of the trip.


acorneau


Mar 31, 2010, 11:06 AM
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Maybe you ought to look into the hand crank chargers instead of a solar-powered one.

I know some of the hand crank emergency radios have an extra port to charge cell phones and other electronic devices.


moose_droppings


Mar 31, 2010, 11:55 AM
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I'm not sure about your camera, but this might work.

I'd be +1 for just going with extra batteries.


JasonsDrivingForce


Apr 1, 2010, 6:57 AM
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angry wrote:
I might be better off bringing a different camera with AA batteries.

The nearest electricity will be 30 miles away but many many hours by boat due to ice.

It's such a standard thing too, but I'm not finding anything.

I used these 2700 mAh Powerex batteries with my old Canon S3-IS camera. I would typically get more than 2000 photos or about 2 months worth of shooting on a pack of four batteries. There are some 2900 mAh batteries out now. Those might be even better.



http://www.thomasdistributing.com/...81nn2glq9qd09uvohkj7

I would just buy a Canon A1100IS which uses 2 AA batteries. It is a surprisingly small and good camera for less than $150. Then get 16 of the Powerex batteries and charge them right before you head out.

http://www.dpreview.com/...on/canon_a1100is.asp

The biggest issue with battery life is not really number of shots per charge. It is actually the fact that most people forget to turn the camera off. Even if you have a solar charger it won’t help if the camera accidently gets left on or gets turned on by accident. Having multiple sets of batteries helps with that.

If you run down 1 set quickly you will have many more backup sets to count on.

Another thing to remember is that it is easy to drop the batteries when changing them. If you only have one battery with you and you drop it then you will be S.O.L. With multiple sets you can at least still shoot more.


kennoyce


Apr 1, 2010, 7:07 AM
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Angry, I would just buy a bunch of replacement batteries for your current camera. Check out ebay because you can usually get chinese versions of your camera's battery for like $3 each and they work like a charm. Just charge them all up before you go and you will have a lot less to carry and won't have any problems with needing power.


JasonsDrivingForce


Apr 1, 2010, 7:33 AM
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kennoyce wrote:
Angry, I would just buy a bunch of replacement batteries for your current camera. Check out ebay because you can usually get chinese versions of your camera's battery for like $3 each and they work like a charm. Just charge them all up before you go and you will have a lot less to carry and won't have any problems with needing power.

I know Panasonic "Chips" their batteries so that the cameras will not operate with the less expensive Chinese batteries. Not sure if Olympus does the same though.


kennoyce


Apr 1, 2010, 7:51 AM
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In reply to:
I know Panasonic "Chips" their batteries so that the cameras will not operate with the less expensive Chinese batteries. Not sure if Olympus does the same though.

Nope they don't, I have an Olympus Stylus 790 SW with 2 extra chinese batteries that I got for like 3 bucks each off of ebay. The chinese batteries have a higher capacity than the Olympus that came with the camera and they work just great. I also shoot Nikon for my DSLR and same story with the chinese DSLR batteries (other than the fact that they cost $6 instead of $3).


pico23


Apr 2, 2010, 2:07 PM
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angry wrote:
I thought about that.

I'm going to see what's on the Olympus site for DC charging too. The battery is pretty simple and little. I hope not to bring too much stuff.

Make sure you buy a few batteries. 1) they can fail and they don't have an unlimited life span 2) if you are going with a group, and not setting the itinerary around your charging, people will get pissed at you quickly so having the ability to not charge for a day or two is really good 3) you can rotate batteries if it's cold (i don't know what the daytime highs are but I'm guessing it could be cool enough to at least impact your battery performance).


pico23


Apr 2, 2010, 2:16 PM
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JasonsDrivingForce wrote:
kennoyce wrote:
Angry, I would just buy a bunch of replacement batteries for your current camera. Check out ebay because you can usually get chinese versions of your camera's battery for like $3 each and they work like a charm. Just charge them all up before you go and you will have a lot less to carry and won't have any problems with needing power.

I know Panasonic "Chips" their batteries so that the cameras will not operate with the less expensive Chinese batteries. Not sure if Olympus does the same though.

This could be true now, but my wifes older FX01 is still going strong with ONLY the cheap chinese battery (she lost the Panasonic somewhere).

BTW, your OEM panasonics are often made in china as well. Most of my OEM batteries proudly say "Made in China"

As a note, there are only a handful of places that CAN make a lithium battery. What I mean by that is this isn't a mom and pop garage setup. Most of your "cheap" chinese batteries are made in the same factory as the real thing because it's not cheap or easy to open a lithium battery factory, and Pansasonic et al, doesn't make it's own batteries at it's own factories. All this stuff is outsourced.

These batteries are cheap, the OEMs just use them as a way to generate revenue. After all, if you think that a $10 battery will kill your $2000 camera, and also void the warranty, you'll easily drop $50 on a brand name battery, right? But if you were 100% certain life was going to be OK with the cheap knockoff, you'd probably by 4 cheap knockoffs for the price of 1 OEM.

Scare tactics are awesome sales generators. When I bought my car they told me how reliable it was, how it would be trouble free. As soon as I committed to the sale, the sales manager came over and began to sell me a $2000 warranty (I'm an idiot, I forgot to negotiate that into the original price..idiot idiot idiot). Anyway, he proceeded to tell me all the stuff that could break and the cost, I told him, maybe I don't want this car after all. Suffice to say, the sales pitch ended, he got the drift...no scaring me into a warranty.


pico23


Apr 2, 2010, 2:23 PM
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In reply to:
I would just buy a Canon A1100IS which uses 2 AA batteries. It is a surprisingly small and good camera for less than $150. Then get 16 of the Powerex batteries and charge them right before you head out.

This is a good option, although I would not recommend rechargables.

Just by a 16pack of Energerizer Lithiums from Costco (or an 8 pack from any other store on earth), and call it good.

I use these in my grips, flashes, GPS and headlamp and my few remaining cameras that take them and they last down to -40F, don't drain when idle, and the discharge curve is relatively flat. That is the camera runs as normal down to the very last bit of power.

The biggest advantage besides super recycle times in flashes, properly working AF in DSLRs (there are thankfully still a few Pentax DSLRs that take AA Lithiums and get 2000 shots on a 4 pack), ability to work off the grid in extreme weather, is that fact they weigh about 30% as much as an alkaline.

This is really nice since my Petzl Duo takes 4 AA batteries, it lightens the headlamp quite a bit. In the camera, such as my 645N that takes 6AA it knocks off about 1.5oz of dead weight.


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