Charging batteries in camp

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Jan 23rd, 2006, 05:24 AM
  #1
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Charging batteries in camp

Hi there - I am just wondering how it works in camp in terms of charging batteries. I'll have camera batteries as well as an Epson P-2000 storage device that will need charging. When so many others also have charging needs, how do camps accommodate everyone? Also - what do I need to buy to be able to do this? (adaptors, etc.) Thanks in advance!
Sharon
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Jan 23rd, 2006, 05:36 AM
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Camps generally have no source of mains power (230VAC) for charging batteries.
I have bought an inverter which converts the 12DC from a vehicle battery to 230VAC. It works fine for my laptop and camera.

Maurice
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Jan 23rd, 2006, 06:02 AM
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When in doubt, look at the charger and make sure it says 110-220v. If it does, then all you'll need is the plug adapters. I don't know where you're headed, but for Kenya and Tanzania you'll need the ones for the UK.

In my experience (which is limited), anytime my room/tent hasn't had electricity there's been somewhere that I could plug in for a while (e.g., the kitchen during dinner) but it totally depends on where you are going. The places we've been were used to this need, and some even had power strips out for this very purpose.

Definitely bring an inveter so you can charge batteries in the vehicle, and get one that has more than one plug so you can charge more than one thing at a time. Also confirm in advance that 1) the vehicle will have a working lighter and 2) the driver will allow it. I have heard it sometimes isn't allowed on group departures because it causes lots of problems (people fighting over it).

We used a P-2000 also, and I was totally paranoid about the battery running out while transfering images so I plugged it in most of the time. I wish it showed remaining battery as a percentage rather than half, low, and out. Awesome device though!
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Jan 23rd, 2006, 06:10 AM
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A lot of it will depend on how luxury a camp it is, I suspect. Both of the camps we stayed in (Elephant Plains in Sabi Sands and Nxabega in the Okavanga Delta) had power for us to charge batteries. Nxabega was a little more limited in that we really had to do the charging during the day. The power to the tents was limited at night to a small generator power lights in the bathroom. It got a bit confusing as to which adapters to buy, but I ended up finding what I needed on www.magellans.com. I took a converter since the power was mostly 220 and one of our chargers couldn't handle that. We were limited in the amount of weight we could take since we were on a light aircraft, so I'm not sure I would have wanted ot have to take an inverter AND a converter (both pretty heavy), but I would also hate to be without batteries. One other hint - if you can find a short extension cord, it will help since you can then charge several items at once.
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Jan 23rd, 2006, 06:29 AM
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I'll be in Zambia. Chiawa, LRL, Bushcamps, Tafika. I may just contact the camps directly. Thanks!
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Jan 23rd, 2006, 12:12 PM
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Just one bump....
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Jan 23rd, 2006, 03:49 PM
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LRL has plugs in the rooms, Tafika has solar/generator I believe. At LRL, the guide used the cig lighter to set tsetse flies on fire, so they do work! I'm sure the rest have part time power as did Chongwe, leave it with them in the morning and get it back by afternoon. No charging at night though, so that's why you need at least 3 sets!
Dennis (42 days and counting...)
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Jan 23rd, 2006, 04:02 PM
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Hi Sharon,

Out of curiosity, how much did the P-2000 end up costing you? Where did you get it?

Cheers,
Julian
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Jan 23rd, 2006, 05:19 PM
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Most camps don't like to charge while on the vehicle, so I've never needed/used an inverter in zambia (or anywhere else). all the camps will be able to charge batteries for you. the only issue that has ever come up has been with solar. If you are travelling during green or shoulder season, cloudy days can be a problem for all electricity at solar-dependent camps. so make sure you have enough batteries-- I would take at least 3--one in the camera, one in your bag on the drive, the other could be left back at camp to charge. always try to keep them charged (even if you have extra) so you have enough power to carry you thru problems (like those unseasonably cloudy days).
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Jan 23rd, 2006, 05:37 PM
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Julian:
There is a $50 rebate from Epson through 1/31/06. A number of sites have it for around $450 bringing it down to $400 after the rebate.
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Jan 23rd, 2006, 05:42 PM
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Thanks everyone!

Julian - I got the P-2000 at Murphy's camera in Kentucky via ebay. The price was - didn't your parents ever tell you it's not polite to ask how much people pay for things? - was $399. I've sent in for the $50 rebate which means it is supposed to have cost me $350. I have yet to receive the rebate, which I sent at least 3 weeks ago....I really do like it, however. Once in awhile you can find them for sale on FM...

On an unrelated matter, I went out shoooting again this weekend. Wow. What a difference ISO makes. My shots are sharp and I am one happy camper. What a relief!
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Jan 23rd, 2006, 10:34 PM
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If you want a cheap way to keep your P-2000 charged by using AA batteries, you could construct your own little battery pack. Here are the instructions:

http://www.pressbargettreat.com/aacharger.htm

I made one myself for my portable storage device from parts I got from Radioshack. Works great. Just make sure to follow the directions exactly to get the polarity right.

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Jan 24th, 2006, 06:21 AM
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Thanks lifelist - I have seen these. So they really work, eh? I may have to look into it.
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Jan 24th, 2006, 09:43 AM
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And of course, I should think Julian and others would know I was just kidding him about asking for prices. Isn't that de riguer around here??

Peace!
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