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Is solar Pandora charging any good

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Binky, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. Binky

    Binky Death's Steed Staff Member

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    Perhaps this should go in off topic?


    ---


    As the Pandora can charge using either a USB or PSP connector, using it with a solar_panel+battery unit should be quite simple.


    My question is:


    given the power output of smallerish chargers (like this Pandora sized one http://www.espow.com...s-foldable.html), the power consumption of Pandoras (especially when charging), and the amount of sun in the northern half of Europe. Is there any point in buying one of these, or are they completely useless.


    It would be nice to know where the power for my handheld came from (and free up some sockets), but it would be quite a large waste of money if its output falls massively below demand.


    Anyone have experience with these things?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 19, 2012
  2. Darkknight512

    Darkknight512 Member

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    The specs say 280 mA, so you might be able to run (ish) the Pandora in super bright sunlight, but probably not charge,
     
  3. Binky

    Binky Death's Steed Staff Member

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    How do you think average (both devices have batteries!) consumption would compare with average generation?


    I doubt I will frequently drain my pandora in one day.
     
  4. TrashyMG

    TrashyMG Moderator Staff Member

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    I would think if the Pandora was in low power mode, it would charge fine. It wouldn't be a fast charge though.. Also that charger has an internal battery, so charging should be consistent.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 19, 2012
  5. Link

    Link ithic.com

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    I stock some solar chargers in my shop that will work with the Pandora. I use one of them, although it won't give the Pandora a full charge. It takes 7 hours of direct sunlight to charge my battery that comes with the solar charger. I think it provides the Pandora with 38% charge roughly. There is a newer battery available that works with iPads and laptops, but I haven't tried one with the Pandora yet as I haven't got around to buying one of these batteries and newer chargers myself.
     
  6. Prometheus

    Prometheus Well-Known Member

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    If you guys don't mind, I've moved this to General Talk, since I'm not too sure that it quite fits in the Support section. :p
     
  7. Grench

    Grench Hardcore Member

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    From my experience...


    500mA from a usb phone charger's output or USB to computer connection through the OTG will charge enough to use the Pandora with WiFi off and nothing in the USB port and -maintain charge- or, with the Pandora in low power mode (switch flipped), it can charge it from 50% to full in 8 hours.


    A 700mA OTG wall charger from an old BlackBerry phone does slightly better. However, if using the Pandora with screen on bright and a USB - Ethernet device in the USB port, then it barely maintains charge state. Turn down the screen and pull the USB device out and the 700mA OTG wall charger will charge from 30% to full in around 8-9 hours.


    The wall charger that came with my Pandora died about 3 months after I got it. I have been charging exclusively through the OTG port ever since.


    So - on your solar cells. At 250mA per 'array' you would need two of them and full sunlight to have a hope of being able to supply enough charge to charge your Pandora during a full day - if you're not using the Pandora. With THREE of them, you could use the Pandora (lightly) and get some charging effect. You would need to run the chargers in parallel and work out the numbers so you're not over/under volting and are sticking within the acceptable amperage range of the device.


    A car battery needs about 10 amps (10,000mA) to charge. If you were to use 40 of those solar arrays, you could keep a charge on a car battery then use a PSP or Blackberry (OTG) adapter to run the Pandora 24/7 and a few LED lights and ... oh, ok. a 40lb battery and 40 solar cells is expensive and too heavy for any realistic purpose...
     
  8. Grench

    Grench Hardcore Member

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    I had almost forgotten about this:


    http://www.thecoolist.com/biolite-campstove-and-usb-charger/


    It is a camp stove with a Peltier element to run a fan to improve combustion - and has a USB charging port on it as well.


    The one bit they don't mention - how much power (mA@5VDC) does it actually output?
     
  9. WizardStan

    WizardStan Mega GP Mania

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    I have now put my name in the list to get one. Thank you for helping me survive the coming zombie invasion.
     
  10. konqithedragon

    konqithedragon Member

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    that is awesome.. I want one....


    but I don't really have a use for it... I don't go camping or cook much outside.. so would be a waste. :(
     
  11. Binky

    Binky Death's Steed Staff Member

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    1. Do think there is room for a Pandora inside one of these? - it looks a tight fit depending on the thickness of the case.
    2. Could you wire two of these in parallel to charge at a decent speed when its not being sunny?
    3. How much power can you get on an overcast day? 1/2 that of bright sunlight?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 20, 2012
  12. Grench

    Grench Hardcore Member

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    For that purpose - I think that the bigger version would be better - they plan to make a 'home' version for the 3rd world too.


    I wish I knew how much power to expect out of one.
     
  13. craigix

    craigix Mega GP Mania

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    Really really early on in the Pandora dev cycle me and Michael spoke about making the lid have a solar panel option, so if you left the Pandora closed in sunlight it would charge.


    After doing the maths on what a lid sized panel would produce we didn't go any further, I think it was about 7 days to fully charge. Pretty pointless unless you're desperate.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 21, 2012
  14. Stephane Hockenhull

    Stephane Hockenhull Member

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    was that normal amount of sunlight per day (incl angle of the sun) or 24/7 of sunshine ?


    pointless in any case :p
     
  15. Darkknight512

    Darkknight512 Member

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    Someone should make a solar jacket, hat and backpack. That should charge a Pandora no problem. :p
     
  16. SoleGrave

    SoleGrave Member

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  17. konqithedragon

    konqithedragon Member

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    it would work slowly... but due to the fact you'd only be wearing it in cloudy/cold conditions... be even slower.
     

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