Reusable Cell Phone (&c.) Chargers

Biker Bear

Sep 9, 2006
The Greater Los Angeles Metropolitan Sprawl
I've found these little gizmos to be really useful! Not only can they recharge my cell phone, but (with the right adaptor) also my PDA and almost anything else that one can charge off of a USB port. The idea is that they take one or two AA batteries and boost the voltage to around 5v.

I now own three - I haven't done direct comparison tests yet, but I plan to once I figure out how to ensure reproducible results. For the record, I've bought the TurboCharge and Charge2Go (1 AA, mostly polished/chromed metal case) and the Energizer (2 AA - comes with 2 Energizer Lithiums, plastic case).

One interesting fact is that they all have the same connector on the charger body, and they're all the same polarity - so the various adapters to the devices you might want to charge can be freely swapped around between them. I bought the first two mail-order - but found the Energizer unit at a local Ralph's grocery store, so it could well be the easiest one to find.

My impression is that the Charge2Go has a better boost circuit than the TurboCharge, based on the fact that when fed a brand-new alkaline, my phone (Motorola V325) will accept the C2G, but not the TC. When fed a lithium AA, the TC does work with my phone, at least for a while.

The Energizer unit - probably not surprisingly as it takes two AAs instead of one - is the only one that puts out enough amperage to effectively charge my PDA rather than just take the load off the PDA's battery while in use. I have a PDA charger that uses a 9V battery - but even name brand alkaline AAs are cheaper than any alkaline 9V I've seen.

I haven't tried these units with NiMH cells yet - that's something else to test - but I have to wonder under what circumstances one would really use such a device where one would have rechargeable AA's to spare. ;) Given that the TC doesn't work with my cell phone on an alkaline, I doubt it would function with the even lower voltage of a NiMH... but I'll check, just to be sure.

Enough for now - I really just wanted to see if anyone else was playing around with these units. :candle: