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#143604 - 08/11/08 05:29 AM Re: Eneloop vs Lithium [Re: Tjin]
comms Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/23/08
Posts: 1502
Loc: Mesa, AZ
I started a thread about AA's without seeing this one. I apologize for the duplication.

I bought a solar panel charger from Harbor Freight, go to the website and use item number 41427-2VGA to view it. It cost $12. It charges by solar using various attachments and also charges two AA batteries in the back.

I am going to strip one of attachments and solder a USB connection to it so that I can charge my cell phone and iPod which both have USB connecting wires currently used with my laptop. When I do this I will post my findings.

Its a cheap but sturdy unit and if in the end I can only charge AA's then with the year round sun in Arizona, I will still make out well.
_________________________
Don't just survive. Thrive.

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#143617 - 08/11/08 11:16 AM Re: Eneloop vs Lithium [Re: comms]
Eugene Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 2823
Most solar chargers are not smart chargers. To get a long lifespan from batteries you want to be careful to charge at a good rate, don't over charge, and don't under charge, the majority of solar chargers do not have any mechanism to do any of those.

I saw that voltaic backback mentioned above but it has a lithium ion battery so remember to fator in replacement battery cost every 3-4 years as lithium ion won't last 10 years like an nimh.

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#143623 - 08/11/08 11:41 AM Re: Eneloop vs Lithium [Re: Eugene]
Russ Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 4963
Loc: SOCAL
How are we defining "solar charger"?

What I use is a Powerfilm RA-3b, a four AA unit that takes a 12 volt input from, in my case, a 6.5W solar panel.

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#143625 - 08/11/08 12:06 PM Re: Eneloop vs Lithium [Re: Russ]
Eugene Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 2823
That charger looks a lot like a MAHA so its might be a decent one. What most people consider solar charegrs are ones that have the panel built in, this apears to be a standard 12v input charger.

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#143630 - 08/11/08 12:51 PM Re: Eneloop vs Lithium [Re: Eugene]
Russ Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 4963
Loc: SOCAL
Interesting. Before it got the Powerfilm RA-3b label, it was marketed as the MH-C204GT Smart Charger. I agree re the solar panels that have built in chargers, I had one from Brunton that was useless.

I just looked at the La Crosse Technology BC-900 AlphaPower Battery Charger and the Maha Powerex MH-C9000 WizardOne Charger-Analyzer. While they look great for wall plug applications, can either be connected to a solar panel?

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#143640 - 08/11/08 01:13 PM Re: Eneloop vs Lithium [Re: Russ]
Eugene Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 2823
204 is a maha model number, its a 4 slot but charges in pairs. The picture of the RA-3b looks like it has 4 leds so that makes me think its a MAHA 401 (4 channel charger).

There is nothing preventing any charger from being connected to a solar panel, you can connect anything you want, you don't have to buy a "solar charger".


Edited by Eugene (08/11/08 01:40 PM)

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#143642 - 08/11/08 01:44 PM Re: Eneloop vs Lithium [Re: Eugene]
Russ Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 4963
Loc: SOCAL
So I can buy a Maha MH-C9000 and connect it to my 25 W solar panel -- cool. How does it work when the panel puts out 1500mA and the charger is looking for 2000mA?


Or is that a max amperage and the idea would be to charge at a slower rate?

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#143649 - 08/11/08 02:40 PM Re: Eneloop vs Lithium [Re: Russ]
Eugene Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 2823
You do have to make sure the panel can provide enough current for whatever load your running, charger or otherwise. Reemeber that 25w panel is usually a ideal conditions measurement which you may never see in the real world.

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#143651 - 08/11/08 02:53 PM Re: Eneloop vs Lithium [Re: Russ]
Fitzoid Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 08/23/05
Posts: 289
Loc: WI, MA, and NYC
Simple, don't charge at 2000 mA. Your batteries will thank you for that.

Missed this thread. Eneloops appear identical to Maha's new Immedion line.

_________________________
-----
"When I read about the evils of drinking, I gave up reading." Henny Youngman

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#143662 - 08/11/08 03:19 PM Re: Eneloop vs Lithium [Re: Eugene]
Russ Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 4963
Loc: SOCAL
So it looks like the Maha MH-C9000 and the La Crosse Technology BC-900 are both excellent, but while the Maha unit will take a 12V input straight from the solar panel, the La Crosse takes a 3V input.


That alone pushes me toward the Maha for solar applications. Too bad it's so big.

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