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08/27/15 05:44 PM On the go charging options by Mark_R

The <A href="http://forums.equipped.org/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=276358#Post276358">21st-centuries migrant's checklist</A> got me thinking about charging technologies that can be used "on the go". I don't want to hijack the thread, so I created this one.

By "On the go" I mean:
1) Small/Light enough to carry in an INCH backpack along with the rest of your stuff.
2) Does not required anything supported by infrastructure (i.e. electrical sockets, car jacks, etc.).

To the best of my knowledge, there's
1) Direct solar chargers - Charges the device directly from solar panels
2) Indirect solar chargers - Charges a battery from solar panels, which is then used to charge a device
3) Direct crank chargers - Charges the device directly from soa hand cranked dynamo.
4) Indirect crank chargers - Charges a battery from a hand cranked dynamo, which is then used to charge a device
5) Thermo-electric - practical power PowerPot V. Turns your dinner into a battery.

While not quite independent of infrastructure, worth a look anyway
6) Disposable battery adaptors - Commercial or homemade. When mixed with a couple of battery adaptors, can charge the device off of commonly available batteries.
7) Big honking (>10Ah) backup battery - Can extend the battery life by a factor of 6 or more.

What am I forgetting?

306 Views · 15 Comments
08/25/15 08:32 PM 21st-Century Migrant’s Checklist by AKSAR

From time to time we've discussed migration as opposed to sheltering in place. Most of us would probably agree that in certain situations (major war, long term famine, etc) the only viable option may be to migrate to another country or continent. Current events provide numerous examples of where this is now happening.

The NY Times as an interesting article: 21st-Century Migrant’s Checklist: Water, Shelter, Smartphone . It seems that for those fleeing the wars in Syria, Afganistan, Iraq, and other regional catastrophes, a smartphone is an indispensable tool.

BELGRADE, Serbia — The tens of thousands of migrants who have flooded into the Balkans in recent weeks need food, water and shelter, just like the millions displaced by war the world over. But there is also one other thing they swear they cannot live without: a smartphone charging station.

“Every time I go to a new country, I buy a SIM card and activate the Internet and download the map to locate myself,” Osama Aljasem, a 32-year-old music teacher from Deir al-Zour in Syria, explained as he sat on a broken park bench in Belgrade, staring at his smartphone and plotting his next move into northern Europe.
Technology has transformed this 21st-century version of a refugee crisis, not least by making it easier for millions more people to move. It has intensified the pressures on routes that prove successful — like this one through the Balkans, where the United Nations said Tuesday that about 3,000 people a day continued to cross the border from Greece into Macedonia.

In this modern migration, smartphone maps, global positioning apps, social media and WhatsApp have become essential tools.

Migrants depend on them to post real-time updates about routes, arrests, border guard movements and transport, as well as places to stay and prices, all the while keeping in touch with family and friends.

Traffickers use Facebook to advertise their services, but Facebook also started to cut into the traffickers business, as many migrants realize they can make the trip successfully on their own, with the help of a smartphone.
Traffickers advertise their services on Facebook like any legitimate travel agency, with dynamic photographs of destination cities and generous offers.

On the Arabic-language Facebook group Trafficking to Europe, one trafficker offers a 50 percent discount for children under 5. The 1,700 euro price of the journey from Istanbul to Thessaloniki, Greece, about $1,900, includes travel by car to and from each side of the border with a two-hour walk across.
“Right now the traffickers are losing business because people are going alone, thanks to Facebook,” said Mohamed Haj Ali, 38, who works with the Adventist Development and Relief Agency in Belgrade, Serbia’s capital — a major stopover for migrants.
But as tens of thousands completed their journeys, they shared their experiences on social media — even the precise GPS coordinates of every stop along their routes, recorded automatically by some smartphones.

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08/23/15 05:57 PM British tourist in AUS saved: "HELP" in Sand by Doug_Ritter


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08/22/15 07:34 PM Is anyone here familiar with Beta Light products? by Montanero

I am looking for information on Beta Light products. It looks interesting to me, but I can't get hold of any to see if I like them.

Beta Light

There are restrictions for shipping to the US and sales are to military and law enforcement only.

684 Views · 12 Comments
08/12/15 06:37 AM Did Russian pilots get a new signal mirror? by rafowell

I spotted this article this week about the pilot's equipment for the latest Russian aircraft:

It includes a description of the survival kit:

"The survival pack contains a pan, antenna, signal mirror, 16 cubes of sugar, first aid kit, two match boxes, a signal pistol with charges, 1.5-liter bottle of water, machete knife, radio beacon, and portable radio."

Monomaniac that I am, what I want to know is ... is this the classic Russian Air Force signal mirror[1], or something new?

[1] Double-sided 2"x3" double-sided metal mirror with dedicated hinged plastic flap to catch the light coming through the hole, instructions on outside of plastic flap.
Photo gallery of classic mirror here:
[2] Another photo gallery of this type of signal mirror:
[3] Same mirror in Soyuz cosmonaut survival kit:

1043 Views · 7 Comments
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