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Ian 3 Nov 2001 19:00

Solar Battery Charger
Where can I buy one of these (for AA batteries) in the UK?

Thanks in advance.

Rowey 7 Nov 2001 14:24

A lot of Yacht Chandlery/Marine stores sell them as a lot of cruising yachties use them. There is a company called Waypoint Marine who do a mail order service (but dont appear to have a web site) Their number is 0845 1300 710. In their catalogue they have a "...pocket sized solar battery charger for AA batteries ....charges 4 at a time in about 12 hrs" It costs £19.95 and the code is 3202.

fireboomer 7 Nov 2001 22:03

Does anyone know about shops on the mainland (Belgium) where you can buy these nice gadgets?
And has anyone experience with mounting them on a bike? Where do you place them? Shock resistant?....

mmaarten 8 Nov 2001 12:16


I just got one from "Bever zwerfsport" a dutch outdoor-sports and equipement shop.
It's located all over holland, so maybe a quick trip over the border?

It costs 12 euro, holds 4 AA or AAA batery's and take's 2 or 3 hours per batery (so 12 hours when filled with 4). It has no moving or fragille parts, just the lid witch closses magnetic and holds the solar-cells. I plan to put it on top of my luggage.

Check out WWW.BEVER.NL for adresses.


StuartH 14 Nov 2001 02:31

I've got one of the units that Rowey mentions and my experience is not good. I used it a lot in Senegal and Mali a few years ago and found that even with just two NiCads a complete days charging in direct sunlight would only give enough power for about 15 mins in a Walkman. In the UK it hardly works at all. I've checked it out with a test meter and it seems to be producing the volts, they just don't seem to be making it into the batteries Mechanically though its robust enough.

badnellan 15 Nov 2001 01:00

Put "Solar chargers uk" in a Search engine.
I came up with this one and many others


fireboomer 15 Nov 2001 22:51

Aren't there any chargers that you can plug in to the ciragette-lighter?
I can see some downsides to this option, but it might be faster and more reliable.
Only question would it drain youre battery when not riding?

jota 16 Nov 2001 01:06

I've been looking for a solar panel to take on my bike for recharging all sorts of things including running a laptop. I found a good but expensive setup. It is made by a US compay called Powerquest. Have a look at http://www.powerquest.com/Products/S...bile_power.htm
I want the expedition model but the little one with a built in battery is pretty cool.


jota 16 Nov 2001 01:17

OOPS wrong link sorry.
Try this one. http://www.powerqwest.com/Products/S...bile_power.htm

The unit comes with a cigarette lighter plug and they are extremely durable, the expedition model is rated 25 watts and folds up nice and compact.


Mombassa 16 Nov 2001 01:38

The best charger (and one that works well with the bike battery) is the following gadget. I bought one, and am VERY happy with it. http://thomas-distributing.com/mh-c204f-4aa170dc.htm


Mombassa 16 Nov 2001 01:43

I forgot to mention that you get 4 1700 Mah batteries as well with this thing. They are the ticket for long battery life. I have used my Olympus C03030 for a week now, and I have not yet needed to change the batteries. Usually, I need to change them every day, if I use regular NiCads.


moonbmwr 1 Dec 2001 22:11

I am surprised that no one has recommended the Tourtech Chala 12V rechargable Camplight. This is designed for the motorcyclist and does two things for you. First it is a light that works on rechargable batterys or supplied with power from your accesory plug. You can hang it in the tent and read easily because when it is plugged into the bike it runs two bulbs via a long power cord. You can put in halogen bulbs and get a really bright light. This is not recomended by Chala but it is done by travelers who want light and it works great. I have used mine for 2 years and it is tough. It is a camp light, set up light and reading light Second this device charges 4 AA batterys overnight if plugged into the bike. I cycle my head lamp/flash light batterys thru it as they go dead(ni-cads). It really works to recharge but is limited by the voltage your bike battery is at so the Ni-cads only last a couple of hours in steady service in my headlamp If you travel in the fall you know it gets dark at 5:30 and you are in the tent for long hours. I struggled with reading and writing for years but the problem is finially solved for me with this unit. It is German made and high quality. It is available from Tourtech or Aerostitch(who sells the halogen bulbs). It is an expensive tool but it does the job. Bill Shockley Tomahawk WI USA

El Penguino 15 Jan 2002 23:48

Jeez some of those prices are outrageous .

If you want to charge Nicads then make your own charger for a couple of quid .

First , buy a battery holder , as in the back of your transistor radio , for the size you want to charge .

Second , buy a resistor that charges them at one tenth of their capacity . Battery = 1000mAh ? Then get a resistor and solder it into the positive terminal of the battery holder .

I=V\R , so .100=12\?? Nearest value is 150 ohms ( 1/2 a watt rating on that resistor ).

Buy a coupla alligator clips for the lead to the battery holder ( with resistor ) and job is done .

Then you will ask how they can charge so much in the shops ....

fireboomer 16 Jan 2002 05:30

Whaw, that is impressive. But maybe the fact that I don't know 'piep' about electronics explains it.

Questions: can damage your batteries by leaving them too long in the charger? How do you know when they are full?

really interested in this idea because you can actually fit a batterycharger under your saddle (or in the paniers). And off course, a lot cheaper.

Grant Johnson 16 Jan 2002 05:48

Yes you can damage them by leaving them in too long.

Use the calculation given above to determine the approximate time required, then monitor closely - when they're warm they're fully charged.

Grant Johnson

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