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    Hikers Tips and Help on how to use Solar Power

     

    We are posting in this page, tips, suggestions, instructional/educational videos on how to effectively use Solar Energy for your hiking-backpacking, and camping needs.

    We are writing this suggestions in response of numerous questions from outdoor people, including beginners, advanced, and experienced hikers, backpackers, on how to find an efficient flashlight or headlamp, that not depends on disposable batteries, light weight, long lasting rechargeable battery life, and can be also used to recharge a device, that has been incorporated to daily people's lives, and had revolution the way music is listened and enjoyed: the iPod.

     

    • Hiking/Backpacking iPod Charging Tips
      Recommendations for hikers/backpackers on how to efficiently charge your EL8 Headlamp and iPod on long hiking trips. This suggestions are made on the basis of thorough tests and practical experience. They are also valid for day hiking, or general outdoor applications.
       

    • How to keep your EL8 Headlamp and your iPod 4GB or 8GB charged while solo hiking for a month in the high sierra. On April 2008, an experienced hiker, Janet, send me a message through one of the Comments Forms of my site, asking "what do I need to charge my iPod when I go hiking for long periods of time?" At that time the EL8 Headlamp had an accessory that converted the voltage of its battery, to 12Volt, in a car socket (former car cigarette lighter): the EA1 12V car socket adapter.
      I suggested Janet to use that 12V adapter, by connecting an iPod car charger to it. She didn't have one, and since she was going for a month solo hiking trip, she didn't like the idea of adding some extra weight. I am a hiker too, not that experienced, but I know that even for a 4 days group hike, any extra weight is not welcome; you can imagine what happen in a 30 days solo hike!
      I was thinking how to solve that problem. I had all the information, and may be the solution in my hands.
      The EL8 headlamp has another accessory, an USB adapter (EA6) that converts the about 3.6 Volts from the Headlamp to the 5Volt USB power. But this USB adapter did not worked charging iPods. In order to charge an iPod you have to reproduce the USB port of a computer and deliver the same voltages across the four USB cable connectors: two for power (~5V) and two for data (D+ and D-).
      I took apart one EA6 USB adapter, figure out the electronics that were inside of the little plastic box, analyze it, and designed a circuit that will by suitable for charging/recharging iPod. Using the same components and adding just a resistor to the tiny EA6 PCB (Printed Circuit Board) I modified the EA6 USB adapter, to make it work charging/recharging iPods Shuffle, iPods nano 2GB, iPod nano 4GB, and iPod nano 8GB (small video iPods)!!!
      As we speak, July 30, 2008, Janet is in the middle of her month solo hiking in the sierra.
      I can't wait to hear from her adventures hiking by her self and listening to her music and podcast from her iPod recharged by the EL8 Headlamp and the EA6 USB adapter. She told me she will send me pictures of the gadget she invented/designed to hold the Solar Panel on her back pack, to charge the Headlamp while walking/hiking, and to use the Headlamp to charge her iPod.

     
     
    If you have any suggestion, practical experience, or thought you want to share, please send it by using our Feedback Form.

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    Last modified: 02/17/12