With spring just around the corner, warmer weather and the promise to myself that I'm going to be doing a lot more sailing this summer, its time to sort out the small annoyances from last year. One of those was "how to charge up my phone". The phone being my GPS, my weather forecast receiver, my music machine, my camera and occasionally my communication device.
Now my phone is a Samsung A10, it works fine but a word of warning, with the screen protector on its very hard to make the touch function on the screen work. If you're going to put it in a waterproof case be aware that it may not work.
But that aside, I wanted to be able to recharge it while away.
I'd been thinking of a solar panel, a deep cycle car battery sized battery, an inverter and a bunch of wiring, but I've other things to do with my time, things like fixing that unprintable excuse of a trailer that Spook lives on, fitting the new to me ( its second hand but unused, thank you Trade Me) boarding ladder, some paint and a few other things.
When I get a statement from FlyBuys loyalty points each month, I'm in the habit of checking to see what of interest that my points might qualify for, and this time, "Bingo", I was about 40 points short of a BioLite solar panel charger.
I do on line surveys for a survey company, mostly consumer or insurance but occasionally political (boy do I have fun with those ones) surveys, each one worth a few points. In fact I get more points from these than from buying goods or groceries, living on my own I dont spend a great deal so they only add up slowly, the surveys being helpful in that respect.
So, a few surveys later I hit the target and ordered the BioLite panel.
I tried it out a couple of days ago, on a coolish winter day, some cloud and a watery sort of sunlight, it took four hours to take the phone from 40% to over 80%, it will run for two days on the latter charge.
The unit has a battery in it so can be charged up, hold the charge and be used later to juice up the phone, the VHF radio, the cabin lights, the anchor light or the torch. Its a good trick, compact, seems robust, easy to use, and I think its going to be very useful.
Here's a review.
And here's the advertisment.