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Thread: RFI: Power Bank and Solar Charger

  1. #1
    Site Supporter
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Lexington, SC

    RFI: Power Bank and Solar Charger

    I'm looking to pickup a small power bank and solar charger for use while hunting and camping to keep my cell charged.

    I am looking at the Anker 24W 3-port USB portable Solar Charger and an Anker Power Core 26800 to go along with it.

    I have no experience either with this brand in particular or with this equipment in general and thought I'd ask those here if they had any experience with this brand or similar pieces of equipment and whether they may have suggestions for something else that may fit my needs better.

    I'm typically truck based and won't likely be carrying the equipment long distances but it may be subjected to some amount of weather.

  2. #2
    Site Supporter
    Join Date
    Oct 2020
    Location
    South Central VA
    I have that battery pack, and the 21 watt Anker panel, which Iím assuming is the older model. It does a good job of charging the battery bank with about 16 hours of good sunlight. To get good sunlight you have to chase the sun by adjusting the angle a few times through the day. I get about 4 charges on my cell phone from the battery bank, so if youíre topping up the battery bank during the day, and recharging your phone at night this should keep you going for quite a while, assuming that you get some sunny days.

    The hanging the panel off a backpack that you see in all the ads doesnít really work well unless you just happen to have the sun at your back all day. The panel needs a frame or you can string it up with some paracord. I have strung it up in the bed of my truck with bungees and ratchet straps, and that worked great. Laying it flat isnít great, because the angle will be less than ideal, and if it gets warm it loses efficiency. Having it up where air can flow around it will help keep it from getting hot.

    The battery pack is good for hundreds of cycles so I used mine all the time. I also try to use the panel often, as I have heard that it is not good for the chemistry of solar panels to leave them in storage. I put mine out on the back deck to charge the battery bank, or a couple of 18650s a couple of times a month.

    Edit to add: I have never left the panel or battery out in the rain. I assume rain would be a problem as the USB ports arenít covered in any way.

  3. #3
    Site Supporter
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Lexington, SC
    Sounds promising.

    I'd likely charge the power bank from the truck on the drive in and as you said, keep it topped of with the solar panel during the day and charge my phone at night.

    The panel seems to have a stand included to angle it towards the sun, so thats a plus.

    I don't intend to intentionally leave it in the rain or submerge either, but for use while camping/hunting some weather resistance would seem beneficial.

  4. #4
    Site Supporter Paul D's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Scottsdale, AZ
    I brought two Anker Power Core 26800 batteries on a recent 9 day hunt. I did not consume all the power at all with moderate cell phone use. I considered the solar panel but I did not have to carry everything own in a pack so weight wasn't a consideration.

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