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Solar Charger for Camera Batteries

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Jul 4th, 2011, 10:27 AM
  #1
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Solar Charger for Camera Batteries

Anyone ever use any of the solar battery chargers while on safari? DH is thinking of purchasing one to take on our upcoming safari. Your thoughts?
patandhank is offline  
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Jul 4th, 2011, 11:08 AM
  #2
 
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I have absolutely no experience with solar battery chargers, but here are my thoughts:

I assume that wherever you stay in Kenya will have either electricity in your room/tent or will have a charging station available. I assume, too, that whatever electronics you will carry will have come with a charger. I wonder, too, whether a solar charger will be as efficient as the item-specific charger (i.e., perhaps it will take longer to get your full charge). Given this, I'd probably save the money and make do with what I already have. Just make sure you have the right plug adaptors. Good luck, Steve
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Jul 4th, 2011, 12:31 PM
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No, have not.
What sdb2 said and - how would you use the solar charger, leave it outside to charge a battery while you are on game drive?? Will it be there when you get back?

Get another, spare, battery instead. And I've never had charging issues while at safari camps is 5 countries. Just make sure you have and adapter plug for the camp socket. (Most all chargers are dual voltage so no worry there).

regards - tom
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Jul 4th, 2011, 08:15 PM
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We fried a charger while in S Africa last month. Electricity is pretty unreliable there. I'd try the solar charger at home first to see how long it takes and go from there. Some are pretty big - what about weight? We tried to buy a surge suppressor before we left, but couldn't find one that was dual voltage and USB. I'm sure you can find one without USB.

And it'll be there when you get back if you are staying at a private camp.
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Jul 4th, 2011, 10:12 PM
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I lost a jacket in a very nice private camp, think I left it in the lounge/library. Reported it lost within the hour to the office. I suspect a -guest- took it since the camp staff is super good.

I've also fried a charger in a camp in Zambia. That is why I take a back up charger and a secondary work around if necessary. Three different types of batteries and chargers, spares, hard drive card backups, tool kit. Yep, my electronic kit weighs almost as much as my camera kit

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
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Jul 5th, 2011, 01:42 PM
  #6
 
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Apart from all the suggestions above, see if your tour operator has vehicles with in-built inverter + sockets for charging batteries while on the move. My operators have those since we do all day safaris....
TigerPhotog is offline  
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Jul 5th, 2011, 07:16 PM
  #7
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Thanks for the input everyone. It really was more of a question for anyone who had used one and their experiences with it, but looks like none of those out there. Some good comments just the same.
patandhank is offline  
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Jul 6th, 2011, 03:01 PM
  #8
 
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I too fried a charger, but it was my error. Didn't read the very very very tiny print that "didn't" indicate it was dual voltage. My bad! Stuck? No way. Managed to find chargers along the way that worked and even one camp manager, I call the "miracle guy" charged all my batteries somehow and never needed another charge for remainder of the trip.

Best to have more than one battery or set of batteries; I have 3... 1/in camera, 1/back-up with on game drives, 1/being charged back at camp.
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Jul 30th, 2011, 09:51 PM
  #9
 
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For Kenya, I personally used 3 different types of electric shape adapters:

M
G
D

Take a long extension card with multiple "outlets" on it.
I was able to charge six things at the same time.

Some places offer European sockets in the bathroom, low current, for shaving, not for hair dryers

You might also find out if the management shuts off power to your outlets at night - some places do (unless you request 24 hour power, usually in advance), and other places just switch to a different size generator - in my experience, usually about 5 AM and 5 PM.

Have a great trip.
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Jul 30th, 2011, 09:52 PM
  #10
 
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P.S, I would definitely NOT try a solar charger (on your trip)
Bluering7 is offline  
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Jul 31st, 2011, 01:25 PM
  #11
 
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Pete's used a solar charger to charge our PSDs but not yet for our camera batteries. However, a more powerful solar "gorilla" is now available which he reckons would absolutely be able to charge the camera batteries too. Not cheap though!

In terms of practicalitise, we just left the charger out on the deck of our tents, no-one nicked it but we were staying in small camps where we felt this was safe. It will charge through glass, but not as efficiently, so you could leave it on table right by window in a sunny hotel room...
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