Gadget power - again

Discussion in 'Gadgets & Tech' started by Foxster, May 16, 2018.

  1. Foxster

    Foxster Trail Blazer

    By now we should be holidaying on the moon, right? That's not going to happen anytime soon when we can't even charge a phone without a connection back to a power station.

    Surely there should be a way to get enough energy to charge a phone and a light whilst away from the mains?

    I keep looking into this and it's surprising that there is still no solution. Oh, there's some things...

    Solar power - Might work with a big panel in full sun in a hot country for a whole day for just enough energy for a half a phone charge. In the UK? Forget it.

    Stove chargers - Either built-in like Biolite or bolt-on like Powerpot. Either way, you need fuel for a couple of hours to charge a phone, even then you'll be lucky.

    Fuel-cells - Been a few on the market and they have all failed. They are either stupidly expensive, stupidly heavy or just don't work. Usually the latter.

    Wind-up - The clue is in the name. You can crank one of these until your arm drops off and you might be able to make a 20 second call.

    And that's pretty much it. Well, apart from carting along something approximately the size and weight of a brick that has enough power to charge your phone twice.

    Am I missing anything here?

    Surely someone sells a UL RTG (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radioisotope_thermoelectric_generator)?
    Last edited: May 16, 2018
  2. paul

    paul Thru Hiker

    Batteries probably :D
    Clare, JKM, Foxster and 1 other person like this.
  3. edh

    edh Thru Hiker

    Man up...if indeed you are a man.

    An Anker 10000mAh weighs a mere 181g

    The behemoth I am taking on a summer trip weighs in at 494g (allegedly) and can power New York for a whole week.
    kiltedpict, Chiseller, Diddi and 2 others like this.
  4. Foxster

    Foxster Trail Blazer

    Typing this has inspired me...wind power! We have loads of wind in the UK...a-Googling I go...
  5. Enzo

    Enzo Thru Hiker

    Typing this has inspired me...wind power! We have loads of wind in the UK...Until you actually need it, anyone with a newly bought kite can attest to that!
    murpharoo and JKM like this.
  6. Foxster

    Foxster Trail Blazer

    Umm...fair point. But my tent is always flapping about at night so you'd think I'd get a few hours of wind.

    Hang on! A kite! It worked for Ben Franklin. What could go wrong with trying to charge a phone with lightning?
  7. Foxster

    Foxster Trail Blazer

    Last edited: May 16, 2018
  8. Bopdude

    Bopdude Section Hiker

    OK, questions not asked, what are you charging, how much are you using it / them and what for and for how many days ?
  9. Foxster

    Foxster Trail Blazer

    A smartphone used for nav and calls, plus a tent light and a head torch (potentially). Phone (4000mAh) every couple of days , lights (2000mAh) every few days. For a week or so.

    I know. I could carry a 10Ah power bank that might do it but where's the fun in that and what to do if it's not enough?

    To be honest though, this is a bit more blue-sky than my immediate needs. I just hoped that by now we'd have a way to generate electricity easily and reliably on the go.
  10. Max

    Max Ultralighter

    I dunno, probably missing something, but why do you need a tent light? Personally, solar works for me, not UK tho.
    tom likes this.
  11. Foxster

    Foxster Trail Blazer

    Oh, you know, you collect this stuff and can't seem to let it go. It makes the tent cozy?
  12. Max

    Max Ultralighter

    Never tried cozy.
    A tent is just somewhere to kip out of the elements for me. Normally I pitch late and leave early, no time for lights, but to each their own.
    edh likes this.
  13. Shewie

    Shewie Administrator Staff Member

    Supercapacitors :)
    Chiseller likes this.
  14. cathyjc

    cathyjc Thru Hiker

    Switch the phone off (mostly) and use a map and compass ……. might just turn out to be the lightweight option ? :whistling:
    kiltedpict, Enzo, Max and 1 other person like this.
  15. Max

    Max Ultralighter

    Not sure on that one, in my case @cathyjc. For people out for a few days good advice tho.
  16. Foxster

    Foxster Trail Blazer

    As I mentioned above, I can cope with my current power needs using a fairly small powerbank. In fact I usually don't even take that, as a dumb phone and an AAA headtorch easily lasts the few days I'm out. I am interested in this in a more general sense and curious if anyone has used a viable solution for longer trips.
  17. edh

    edh Thru Hiker

    How long a trip? I reckon my powerbank will do me for 11 days this summer..
  18. paul

    paul Thru Hiker

    Are you actually planning to do 11 days without a hotel? :D
    JKM, gixer, cathyjc and 2 others like this.
  19. edh

    edh Thru Hiker

    Sadly...there are none :oops:....there's not even a road :p
  20. Bopdude

    Bopdude Section Hiker

    Fixed that for you ;)
  21. Bopdude

    Bopdude Section Hiker

    Candle power ? :D

  22. cathyjc

    cathyjc Thru Hiker

  23. fluffkitten

    fluffkitten Thru Hiker

    You sure you'll cope? Maybe you need a dehydrated hotel that you can pack in with you. ;)
  24. Foxster

    Foxster Trail Blazer

    That's not a bad idea.

    Maybe a thermo-couple solution but without the need for a heavy heatsink+fan for the cold end. I was thinking about that end in a stream/puddle/stake-in-the-ground/pot-of-water and the other end in a mini solar reflector or a candle. Could get the weight way down if I could get it to work.

    <Goes away to tinker>
    Bopdude likes this.
  25. Bopdude

    Bopdude Section Hiker

    Might work ?
    I have one of these, used it in Sweden in January in my tipi, mixed results on a Ti wood burning stove.



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    Last edited by a moderator: May 17, 2018
    fluffkitten and Shewie like this.

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