Tuesday, 1 May 2007

Another day, another piece of equipment

May is here; so it's only 14 day until my trip on the Dales Way.

Over the weekend I got all my equipment out to check it was all O.K and most of it was although my Ortlieb mapcase seem to have gone a funny colour (more opaque than transparent).

Apart from topping up gas canisters; I haven't really bought much new gear in the past year, mainly because I`m pretty happy with the stuff I`m using.

Most of the new equipment has been more in the gadget sector; new camera, mp3 player.

Today is no exception; today I`ve bought a solar charger.

My still digital camera takes 2 AA batteries and one or two sets are normally enough for a trip, but I wanted to be able to take my Aiptek movie camera which takes a lithium-ion battery. This can only be charged either through the mains or a USB to a PC.

AktoMan tried a solar charger out on his WHW walk and this looked interesting but seems as though it could only be ordered from the USA.

After looking around the 'net; I found and choose one called a 'freeloader'

It comes with 11 different adaptors to charge anything from a Nintendo DS to a Blackberry; although it hasn't an adaptor for my cheap Motorola phone.

It weighs about 150g which is probably a bit on the heavy size but the battery can be charged before going on a trip and it with hold the charge for upto 3 months.

The manual states that the charger with charge in 2-3 hrs via a PC and 5-6 hrs via the solar panels.

The first charge needed to be done through the PC but after that, charges can be done with the solar panels.

So far; I've had a little play with it and it has charged my Aiptek, DS and Nokia phone.

It will probably be 3-4 weeks for me to put it through its paces and I'll report back then.


  1. George,
    fantastic jobbie, why couldn't you find this a few days ago? ^_^
    Now I have to make a quick decision, and get it before NEXT Wednesday!

  2. Looks smart, George. I like that it can carry a charge in it (like the Solio). Good selection of leads on it too. The USB allows a lot of other connectors to be plugged in too.


    Or various usb phone chargers, battery chargers, etc.

    After recent problems with the connection head, I'm backing up with a rotary charger.

  3. @ Darren I bought it of ebay and to arrived in two days so very quick delivery.

    @ AM I looked at the Solio but thought it was a bit expensive especially if it doesn't work.

    The USB in great but means I`m tempted to add more gadgets to the pack :-) having an adaptor for my motorola would of been nice as it's a lot lighter than my nokia.