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post #1 of (permalink) Old 04-10-2013, 02:22 PM Thread Starter
Hittin' the Trails
 
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Default Portable External Battery Chargers

I am looking for a portable external battery charger for my cell phone, and I was hoping someone out there might have some recommendations.

I will be spending a big chunk of my summer guiding kayak tours in the Broken Group and Gulf Islands (5 days and 3 days at a time, respectively) along with a couple of 5 day courses. I am trying to find something to keep my phone charged up enough to check in with with the boss and the wife every day. My phone is a Samsung Galaxy Ace, with a 1350mAh battery.

I have found a few good candidates, but between terrible company reviews and high shipping costs, I have not found anything that fits the bill.

The New Trent IMP42D iTorch (http://www.newtrent.com/store/androi...e-battery.html) looked promising, but they charge $30 on a $40 product to ship to Canada. No thanks.

I am looking for something in a similar price range, hopefully with a reasonable (or no) shipping charge.

Has anybody tried the Powerocks MagicStick Power Bank (http://www.mec.ca/AST/ShopMEC/Electr...power-bank.jsp) sold at MEC? It looks okay, but it is not clear whether or not it will charge a Samsung phone. It seems to be geared toward Apple products.

Any suggestions would be great!

Thanks!
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 04-10-2013, 02:34 PM
High on the Mountain Top
 
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I purchased a lithium ion battery from Futureshop that gives me just under four complete charges on my iPhone. I can't find the exact battery anymore on the Futureshop website but there are others ones there (search for Power Bank).

This one looks promising and has nearly twice the storage that mine has:

http://www.futureshop.ca/en-CA/produ...rchPageIndex=1

We also had a discussion on WestCoastPaddler about portable charging (it's where I found out about it). You can read that discussion here:

http://www.westcoastpaddler.com/comm...php?f=3&t=5526

The battery I got works great.

Hope this helps.

Dan
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 04-10-2013, 04:24 PM
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I have a Tekkeon TekCharge. Its advantage is that it uses four standard AA cells, so you can "refill" it anywhere you can buy batteries. In effect, it makes your phone an AA battery device. I always use rechargeable AA's in it, so I'm not using disposable batteries.

Its drawback is that it just "balances" the charge between the phone battery and the AA's. If, say, the phone is at 50% charge, and the AA's in the Tekkeon are below 50%, the phone won't be charged. In fact, it seems that if the Tekkeon's AA'sa are at a charge level below the phone, the power will flow the wrong way. You can keep the phone charged at whatever level the Tekkeon's AA's are at, but the Tekkeon can't act like a "pump" to squeeze power out of its AA's and into the phone. The Tekkeon with rechargeable NiMH AA's can charge the phone the equivalent of 2-3 times.

I find a much better solution is a spare or spare batteries for the phone itself. They are compact and light. Probably only 2-3 of them store as much power as the Tekkeon with one set of rechargable AA's, and several phone batteries are far smaller and lighter than the Tekkeon. But - you do have to recharge the phone batteries eventually, while you can just buy more disposable AA's for the Tekkeon.

As WestCoastPaddler said, another option is the battery packs. Which you choose will depend on your circumstances. You might also look into solar chargers.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 04-10-2013, 07:05 PM
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www.modernoutpost.com on Vancouver Island. They sell solar panels and battery packs among other things.

I bought a Powerfilm 5 from them about 4 years ago; it's a flexible solar panel - very well built and durable. Takes up less space than the roll-up panels and more robust than the ridig ones. I use it on long trips (over 5 or 6 days typically) to charge my 2 cameras and GPS and it keeps up just fine. Anything with less output will charge quite slowly on overcast days.

If you want more flexibility get one of their battery packs. Charge the battery when it's sunny, charge the phone any time. Just make sure the 2 are compatible. When I was looking for a panel they were pretty helpful.

I find when I have the panel I tend to have the GPS on all the time and use my cameras more because I know I don't have to worry about batteries.

B
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 04-10-2013, 09:25 PM
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Quote:
quote:I am looking for something in a similar price range, hopefully with a reasonable (or no) shipping charge.
Have you looked into a third party shipping company in the U.S.? I use one in Sumas called Ship Happens, there's a $5 flat rate for packages, then you just pick it up down there. I do this all the time, and even when claiming at border, I've never been charged with duty, and the shipping rates are way less, if the product is shipping from the States
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 04-11-2013, 08:24 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Nailz65

Quote:
quote:I am looking for something in a similar price range, hopefully with a reasonable (or no) shipping charge.
Have you looked into a third party shipping company in the U.S.? I use one in Sumas called Ship Happens, there's a $5 flat rate for packages, then you just pick it up down there. I do this all the time, and even when claiming at border, I've never been charged with duty, and the shipping rates are way less, if the product is shipping from the States
That sounds awesome! Too bad I live on Vancouver Island. BC Ferries kills that idea pretty quick... Definitely something to keep in mind though. Thanks for the tip!

Quote:
quote: Originally posted by gyppo

I bought a Powerfilm 5 from them about 4 years ago; it's a flexible solar panel - very well built and durable. Takes up less space than the roll-up panels and more robust than the ridig ones. I use it on long trips (over 5 or 6 days typically) to charge my 2 cameras and GPS and it keeps up just fine. Anything with less output will charge quite slowly on overcast days.
I admit I did not really give a solar panel much thought. I was working on the assumption that anything I could afford would be useless on an average west coast day. The chef I worked with last year in the Gulf Islands had a cheap solar panel and even in bright sunlight it seemed pretty useless. Do you find you get enough sunlight to make it worthwhile?

Quote:
quote: Originally posted by WestCoastPaddler

I purchased a lithium ion battery from Futureshop that gives me just under four complete charges on my iPhone. I can't find the exact battery anymore on the Futureshop website but there are others ones there (search for Power Bank).
Thanks a ton for the info! I think something like this will be great. I have looked at Futureshop in the past for something like this, but it looks like this type of product is mostly available online only. No wonder I couldn't find anything. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction!
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 04-11-2013, 08:40 AM
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 04-11-2013, 07:25 PM
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Hey,

Wile the solar panel won't give you consistent results in on shady days, if you can work out a setup where your panel tops up your battery pack, you're laughing.

In the summer, my 5W panel will fully charge 2 AA 2500mAH batteries in about 8 hours, and that's with the panel in one orientation as I leave it in camp while I'm out hiking. If you're around and are able to adjust the angle, you'll get better performance out of it. I can also fully charge my small camera battery which is 3.6V/900mAH or 3.24Wh.

I'll try to bring it to work tomorrow and measure the output, it's supposed to be overcast. I'll let you know what I find out.

B
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 04-13-2013, 09:00 PM
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dx.com

free shipping ... the problem is that it can take weeks to arrive from china
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 04-23-2013, 12:56 PM
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We just returned from a 10-day paddle trip and my husband used the nPowerPeg to charge his GoPro batteries and my iPhone. Worked great and you don't need sun like you do with a solar charger as it uses kinetic energy (he has a solar charger too but this definitely outperformed the solar charger).

Here is the website for the nPeg:
http://www.npowerpeg.com/

BTW, I believe he picked this up at Valhalla Pure in Abbotsford.

Feel free to message me if you have any questions.

Cheers!
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 04-23-2013, 02:53 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the ideas!

I ended up just buying a couple of extra batteries for my phone. I did order a power pack from Future Shop, but despite their claim to charge "all Samsung models", it didn't work. According to Samsung customer service, and other various online sources, Samsung products utilize a proprietary USB connection to prevent you from using third party products to charge your phone. So, only a Samsung brand power pack or charger will charge a Samsung phone. Not super awesome, as Samsung only makes one portable power pack, and it is expensive.

For anybody else looking for a charger, make sure it charges what you want it to charge!
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post #12 of (permalink) Old 04-23-2013, 03:37 PM
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Cook your meal AND charge your phone!

http://www.biolitestove.com/
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post #13 of (permalink) Old 04-25-2013, 08:13 AM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by DALAJS

Thanks for all the ideas!

I ended up just buying a couple of extra batteries for my phone. I did order a power pack from Future Shop, but despite their claim to charge "all Samsung models", it didn't work. According to Samsung customer service, and other various online sources, Samsung products utilize a proprietary USB connection to prevent you from using third party products to charge your phone. So, only a Samsung brand power pack or charger will charge a Samsung phone. Not super awesome, as Samsung only makes one portable power pack, and it is expensive.

For anybody else looking for a charger, make sure it charges what you want it to charge!
I don't know much about the charging unit for a Samsung phone but if the USB connection works with a computer then it will work with the nPowerPeg.
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