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Re: Solar Battery Chargers

Subject: Re: Solar Battery Chargers
From: "Bruce Wilson" bruceumba
Date: Wed Sep 19, 2007 10:57 am ((PDT))
I've had good luck with the Brunton Solaris line (specifically, the Solaris
26, It's a set of foldable,
polycrystalline panels. It's also nice because it is fairly modular. It is
however, expensive. The power comes out of two mini-jacks, and the set comes
with adapter cables for various uses. I took the multiplug adapter cable,
cut it in half, and installed Anderson Powerpoles (see below) so I can use
it with a variety of battery and ham radio projects I carry into the field.

One thing to remember about charging batteries from a solar panel: solar
cells are constant-current devices and are always under-rated for voltage.
What that means is that if you connect a panel rated at 12v to your battery,
it will begin charging it. As the battery becomes full the current begins to
drop, but the panel operates to keep the current flowing by increasing the
voltage (up to about 18v for most panels). Putting 18v into a lead battery
will destroy it (by hydrolyzing the water). To prevent this you need a
battery controller (or solar controller, see the bottom of the above-linked
page), which will probably need to be modified to make it tie into your
system (rather than always connecting to the poles of a lead-acid battery).

My system consists of the following: 
Solaris 26 with powerpole output.
Battery controller with powerpole input and output.
A Red-Dee-2 Connect power splitter (so I can power 3 devices using one power
Sony battery charger (to charge the SD722 batteries) with powerpoles on the
power cord
A powerpole-to-cigarette plug adapter to charge my SLA (sealed lead acid)
camera battery.
A variety of ham radios, all with powerpole inputs.

Anderson PowerPoles (, are
modular DC connectors that have become very popular with ham radio operators
who find great need in connecting many 12v devices to a variety of power
sources. Using them requires soldering skills, but pretty minimal skills are
enough. We always use the red/black pairs with 30A contacts, and the US at
least has standardized on the following configuration: If you look into the
connector with the contact tongue facing up, red should be on the left. Now
that I've standardized on these I'll never go back. [My only problem is that
other hams in Utah, in the very early days of the powerpoles, standardized
the wrong way, so I need to carry side-to-side reverser adapters to events
where I'll be interoperating with local hams.] The way I'm set up now I can
get 12v power out of _any_ 12v source, and into _every_ 12v device I own.
Even things like air mattress inflators, tire pumps can be inflated with 12v
solar, generator, recording and camera gear.

Bruce Wilson, KF7K 
|-----Original Message-----

|On Behalf Of Gianni Pavan
|Sent: Wednesday, September 19, 2007 10:52 AM
|Subject: Re: [Nature Recordists] Solar Battery Chargers
|the choice depends on what you want to do. Just recharging a set of
|batteries ? which battery and in how much time ? If you need to power
|a device for days and days you need to use an additional battery for
|the night, and a solar panel able to give enough energy (during the
|light period) to give power AND recharge the battery.
|To begin, look at these:
|At 14.55 19/09/2007, you wrote:
|>Anyone know much about these....or anyone on list that could recommend
|>one of a reputable brand for instance.
|>No virus found in this incoming message.
|>Checked by AVG Free Edition.
|>Version: 7.5.487 / Virus Database: 269.13.22/1015 - Release Date:
|>18/09/2007 11.53
|Gianni Pavan
|Centro Interdisciplinare di Bioacustica e Ricerche Ambientali
|Universita' degli Studi di Pavia, Via Taramelli 24, 27100 PAVIA, ITALIA
|Phone       +39-0382-987874    Fax +39-02-700-32921
|CIBRA organizes the XXI IBAC Congress, Pavia, 15-18 September 2007
|"While a picture is worth a thousand words, a
|sound is worth a thousand pictures." R. Murray Schafer via Bernie Krause
|Yahoo! Groups Links

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