R1 solar charging?

prop

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Hello

I am going on a trip by motorcycle and recently purchased a GoalZero Nomad 7 solar charger like this one:

http://www.goalzero.com/p/11/nomad-7-solar-panel.

Id like to bring my rechargeable R1 Lawman with me on the trip and I was wondering if i will be able to charge the R1 Lawmans lithium battery using the solar charger? The solar charger has a 12V "cigarette lighter" cable, which fits the R1's car charger. The plan is to strap the solar panel on my bag and just let i charge while i ride. I tried it on my smartphone and it works perfectly. Charge time is almost doubled, but thats not an issue as i knew that.

The solar panels 12V output specs are as follows: Solar Port (blue, 8mm): 15V, up to 0.3A (5W max), regulated

Will i be able to charge my Lawman without messing up some electronics?

Thanks
 

GeoBruin

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I think it should work just fine. As you said, the charge time will be slower at only .3 amps but the Lawman's li ion battery is functionally identical to the one in your phone.


If anything, it may not charge or charge slowly but you're not going to hurt anything.

Of course you should experiment before your trip but I think you'll be just fine.
 

reppans

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I'm a long time motorcyclist and own that GZ N7 that I use it with a G10+ and have tested it quite a bit. I agree that you won't hurt anything if you try it, but I don't think it will be worth the effort, and you'll subject the N7 panel to excessive wear and tear strapped to back of a bike buffeting in the wind, collecting road dust on the panels, and bouncing around on road imperfections... these folding panels have weak points in the wiring through the hinges where they are constantly flexed. I don't know where you ride, but monocrystalline panels prefer direct, straight-on sunlight, so if you're riding slab in the sunny west around between 10am-2pm, I think you can get a good charge. Here on the Eastcoast with frequent clouds and shading from tree canopies (backroads) it would be near impossible.

Spend ~$10-20 for a 12V cigarette light socket that wires directly to your bike's battery, run it to a tankbag, and do all your gadget charging from there... these small gadgets are mouse fart for a bike's alternator.
 

tuneplug

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Spend ~$10-20 for a 12V cigarette light socket that wires directly to your bike's battery, run it to a tankbag, and do all your gadget charging from there... these small gadgets are mouse fart for a bike's alternator.

+1 make sure to use a in line fuse.
 

prop

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I'm a long time motorcyclist and own that GZ N7 that I use it with a G10+ and have tested it quite a bit. I agree that you won't hurt anything if you try it, but I don't think it will be worth the effort, and you'll subject the N7 panel to excessive wear and tear strapped to back of a bike buffeting in the wind, collecting road dust on the panels, and bouncing around on road imperfections... these folding panels have weak points in the wiring through the hinges where they are constantly flexed. I don't know where you ride, but monocrystalline panels prefer direct, straight-on sunlight, so if you're riding slab in the sunny west around between 10am-2pm, I think you can get a good charge. Here on the Eastcoast with frequent clouds and shading from tree canopies (backroads) it would be near impossible.

Spend ~$10-20 for a 12V cigarette light socket that wires directly to your bike's battery, run it to a tankbag, and do all your gadget charging from there... these small gadgets are mouse fart for a bike's alternator.

Im going on a 12 day tent trip through Europe on a kickstarter biker with no battery. Ive tried mounting the solar panel on my backpack on a sunny day, but that didnt work, as id need the suns rays directly on my back for it to charge properly. Im now considering strapping it onto my tailbag (Kriega US30), so i can charge my phone while riding. A horizontal position should be better I guess. Unfortunately, i didnt purchase the batterypack with the N7.

Back to the Lawman, i think id be easier to leave home with a full charge and carry a couple of extra CR123s. The idea of solar charging sounded cool, but the reality is different.
 
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reppans

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Im going on a 12 day tent trip through Europe on a kickstarter biker with no battery. Ive tried mounting the solar panel on my backpack on a sunny day, but that didnt work, as id need the suns rays directly on my back for it to charge properly. Im now considering strapping it onto my tailbag (Kriega US30), so i can charge my phone while riding. A horizontal position should be better I guess. Unfortunately, i didnt purchase the batterypack with the N7.

Back to the Lawman, i think id be easier to leave home with a full charge and carry a couple of extra CR123s. The idea of solar charging sounded cool, but the reality is different.

You sure the bike has no battery? I'm not so familiar with kickstart bikes anymore, but if it has lights and is street legal, it likely has a battery - I'm pretty sure this a legal requirement in the US, and suspect most of Western Europe too, but all bets are off if your talking about Eastern Europe or a purely off-road excursion with dedicated dirt bikes. The street legal battery requirement has to do with safety and powering the head/tail lights at stop lights, or in the event of a stall.

Solar does work, but it's slow, and works best while stationary and around mid-day sun - not very adventure sport friendly unfortunately. You could also consider a Powerfilm thin-film panels - this technology is about half as efficient as monocrystaline (9% vs 18%) in perfect sunlight, but is twice as efficient in imperfect conditions (angles to sun, through glass and clouds, etc), and it's thinner/lighter so you can double surface area for similar weight and pack size.

For me personally, I'm AA Eneloop based among all my gadgets, and so while off-grid backpacking for example, I can cannibalize cells between any device, buy spares in any gas station, and even scavenge household AAAs and AAAAs (from 9Vs). I also use 3v CRAAs (same as CR123s) in my flashlights for ~400 lumens of output, and this cell will fit in and power any of my 2AA gadgets - I use a 2xAA iGo PowerXtender to charge my iPhone off grid. If I were to take a trip as long as yours, I'd just use L91s and CRAAs and buy Alks along the way if that wasn't enough.

Sounds like an awesome trip... Have fun :)
 

prop

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You sure the bike has no battery? I'm not so familiar with kickstart bikes anymore, but if it has lights and is street legal, it likely has a battery - I'm pretty sure this a legal requirement in the US, and suspect most of Western Europe too, but all bets are off if your talking about Eastern Europe or a purely off-road excursion with dedicated dirt bikes. The street legal battery requirement has to do with safety and powering the head/tail lights at stop lights, or in the event of a stall.

Yes, im pretty sure :D. Its a Yamaha TT600R. I dont know about the US for sure, but here in Europe there are no battery legal requirements. Mine has the turn signals, horn, etc., but they only run while the bike is running. Its perfectly street legal too, as a matter of fact kickstarter-only bikes are not that uncommon.

Solar does work, but it's slow, and works best while stationary and around mid-day sun - not very adventure sport friendly unfortunately. You could also consider a Powerfilm thin-film panels - this technology is about half as efficient as monocrystaline (9% vs 18%) in perfect sunlight, but is twice as efficient in imperfect conditions (angles to sun, through glass and clouds, etc), and it's thinner/lighter so you can double surface area for similar weight and pack size.

Thanks, ill look into them!

For me personally, I'm AA Eneloop based among all my gadgets, and so while off-grid backpacking for example, I can cannibalize cells between any device, buy spares in any gas station, and even scavenge household AAAs and AAAAs (from 9Vs). I also use 3v CRAAs (same as CR123s) in my flashlights for ~400 lumens of output, and this cell will fit in and power any of my 2AA gadgets - I use a 2xAA iGo PowerXtender to charge my iPhone off grid. If I were to take a trip as long as yours, I'd just use L91s and CRAAs and buy Alks along the way if that wasn't enough.

Sounds like an awesome trip... Have fun :)

Im slowly going over to AA-only. My headlight, a Petzl Apex and Garmin GPS62s both run on AA's. I need one of those 2xAA iGo PowerXtender though, didnt even know they existed! Should have gotten one instead of the solar panel, as i got all the alkaline AA's id ever want at work.
 

prop

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P.S

I tried sending you a PM, but youve exceeded your quota.
 

reppans

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Yes, im pretty sure :D. Its a Yamaha TT600R. I dont know about the US for sure, but here in Europe there are no battery legal requirements. Mine has the turn signals, horn, etc., but they only run while the bike is running. Its perfectly street legal too, as a matter of fact kickstarter-only bikes are not that uncommon.

Thanks, ill look into them!

Im slowly going over to AA-only. My headlight, a Petzl Apex and Garmin GPS62s both run on AA's. I need one of those 2xAA iGo PowerXtender though, didnt even know they existed! Should have gotten one instead of the solar panel, as i got all the alkaline AA's id ever want at work.

Yeah, if your turn signals/horn cut out with the engine off (ignition on) then there's no batt. The iGo is a high drain device, so I'm not sure how 2 Alkaline AAs will perform in it. I use Eneloops and they'll put about 50% in my iPhone5 in about an hour. In your case, I'd probably just pick up the GZ Guide 10+ 4xAA battery pack to pair with your N7 panel, and swap Eneloops into it (the GZ batts suck... after a year, 4 of them won't even charge my phone). Pretty sure 4 Alks in the G10+ will charge a smartphone reasonably full.

Without perfect sunlight, you usually need a battery pack buffer to solar charging of smartphones. Every time current gets disrupted from a passing cloud, a smartphone may need to re-initiate the charge routine, and often with just error messages - I know Apples do. The battery pack provides the consistent current the phone needs, although you suffer efficiency losses converting twice. You could also go with a GZ or aftermarket USB Li-ion battery pack, but then loose the option of using Alks in the G10+ in a pinch, or grabbing the Eneloops out for use in the Garmin, for example.

The N7 panel will pretty much full charge 4 Eneloops in good 10am-2pm sunlight if you maintain a good perpendicular orientation to the sun.

I freed up some mailbox space, if you have other questions... good luck.
 

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