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Old 10-01-2007, 03:18 AM   #1
HappyMartin
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Solar Chargers

I read in the documentation that the iLiad requires a charger that delivers 10 to 18 volts and a minimum of 12 watts. I am interested in buying a solar charger and I see a lot of little solar chargers available for hikers. Anyone have any experience with this? I often end up in places with no power and if this would work it would be great.
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Old 10-01-2007, 08:05 AM   #2
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Hi HappyMartin

I've got a Solio Solar Charger here at the moment, supplied by tribble who runs the retail-end for iRex in Germany...
You need to put a "Car-Charger" in between the Solio and the Iliad because the Slio does not have a plug to fit the Iliad's travel hub, but apart from that it should work fine. It's a bit of a cable-tangle however...
Since the shun is shinign (at last) today, I'm going to give it a try and will report how well it works...

The Solio has a strong (1600mAh) rechargeable battery inside, so it can handle the Iliad no problem, and if you have enough sunlight (which in your area of the world you should have) it should be quite hard to run out of power...but I'll see whether I can give you a bit more accurate information.
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Old 10-01-2007, 08:34 AM   #3
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Thanks for that, very useful. Sun is not shining here today. We have had odd weather. Summer was hot and dry(we usually get summer rain) with autumn lasting around a week before it got cold. We missed spring completely, unless it happened one night when I was asleep. We went from a max of 14 and the next day it was 26. Now it is raining thank goodness. first rain in 6 months
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Old 10-01-2007, 11:11 AM   #4
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We also have unusual weather here in Germany...I guess you get it everywhere these days...^^
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Old 10-01-2007, 04:41 PM   #5
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OK.
I did a small trial, and can confirm that the Solio works with the Iliad (if you put a car-charger in between to make the connection).
I can't give you any exact numbers, but I'd say a fully charged Solio battery will give you about 3/4 chrage for your Iliad (the Iliad has 2 rather strong batteries if I remember correclty). If you leave your Solio somehwere in the open and the sun dis shining, then it should recharge during the day and give you extra-juice for your Iliad in the evenings.

Please be warned however...the Solio needs quite a bit of sunlight to work. I guess this is a problem with all currenty solar equipment...as long as you have direct sunlight it's OK, but as soon as the sky gets overcast you'll be out of luck.
However, since the Solio has a strong battery inside, it can make use of the sun when it's there and store the power for later use so as long as there is enough time to leave it in the sun it should still be useful. Only if it turns into a rainy week...but whi goes hiking on a rainy week anyway...

I'm going to send my Soilo back because for my use (recharging my cellphone when on the train for example) it just does not work well enough in "Half-Light" situations, but if you're an outdoors person then I don't see any reason not to use it.
Using the Car-Charger as go-between for the Iliad might not look pretty, but it gets the job done, and in the end that's what counts.
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Old 10-02-2007, 01:24 AM   #6
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Thanks

Well the whole travel hub is a pretty ugly affair. I am going to look around and see if the Solio is available locally and what else there may be around here. At least I now know it is doable. Thanks very much for your trouble.
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Old 10-02-2007, 05:31 AM   #7
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No trouble at all HappyMartin...

I was actually planning to do a lengthy review, but since the sun does not feel like shining here these days, I'm not not going to be able to do that...
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