Klarus        
Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: Lithium ion backwoods power solution.

  1. #1
    The Wood is cut,
    The Bacon is cooked,
    Now itís time to sleep
    RIP our friend.


    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    New England woods.
    Posts
    5,435

    Default Lithium ion backwoods power solution.

    This stuff maybe known by many around these parts but the basics never hurt.

    When around town or on longer range tips very often I pack or EDC power banks. I have lots of different sizes for their various requirements.





    But what about the wood or when living out of a pack?








    In some ways the requirements are still the same but in others they're different. If I am packing gear which takes lithium ion batteries this little kit gets taken. If I am packing gear which uses AAs I take another kit. So what are my base requirements of a backwoods power solution?


    1. Must be solar compatible. Not sure how overall practical this is but the prepper in me demands it.


    2. Must be of reasonable bulk and weight. Something too big often doesn't make it inside the pack and won't be available if needed.


    3. Must have a reasonable amount of energy.


    4. Must have the ability to transfer that energy across multiple platforms. Faster the better.


    5. Must be able to store additional energy.


    Around town I just need to charge my phone but in the woods the more options the better.





    So here is my Lithium ion backwoods power solution. The zippered bag isn't tactical at all. It's a brand marketed towards women. Have some of these for years (made in the USA). Not sure if the newer ones are as good but these rock. Big floppy zipper pulls and good zipper placement. Made for people reaching into a purse in a hurry to get something. This is exactly what I am doing but just with a pack.





    What is inside?


    1. Nitecore F1 Flexible charger with 3500 mAh 18650 naked lithium ion battery.


    2. Keeppower 3500 mAh 18650 high drain lithium ion protected battery.


    3. Keeppower 2500 mAh 16650 lithium ion protected battery.


    3. High quality micro USB cable black.


    4. High quality lightning cable white.


    5. Matching set of USB car and wall adapters.


    6. Orange silicone 18650 battery holder. Single.


    7. Hard plastic battery holder for multiples.


    8. Plastic bags.


    9. USB powered LED light.


    The explanation.


    The F1 can charge my electronics just like a powerbank








    It can also determine test the voltage of lithium ion batteries. It has been fairly accurate within it's limitations per comparisons to other testers. The 18650 battery can be removed then placed in electronics which can use them. These below gear items both have internal protection to avoid over discharging the naked 18650 however the F1 can also test for that if need dictates using a naked battery in a device without low voltage cut-off. That said experience with a gear item is the best safety net. I can place the red 18650 into either of these two lights however it goes both ways. I can take the 18650 out of the lights placing that in the F1 which then can then charge my cellphone. Cross platform energy transfer.





    The two extra batteries are protected against over discharge. Though I prefer not running them down to the protection cut off if forced to do so at least I didn't trash the battery. Not all gear has low voltage cut-off protection.





    But why the 16650?





    Lets take a look at something. Top is 2XCR123 primaries, middle is the 16650 and below is the 18650. Sometimes I pack lights and gear which takes 2XCR123. I wanted this kit to address that.





    Some lights using 2XCR123.








    The Keeppower 16650 fits many gear items taking 2XCR123.





    Because the voltage range is max 6 volts and often lower than the 3.7 nominal volts of 1X lithium ion it will work in 2XCR123 lights. 18650 is too wide but the 16650 tends to fit many options but not all for various reasons. Test before depending on it. Also the F1 can use the 16650 just like the 18650 to charge my phone and micro USB devices just like the 18650.





    The funky USB powered light.





    In my AA kit the Guide 10 has a built in 5mm LED light. The prepper in me demands this feature but always fears accidental activation. This is the ultimate solution for the F1 which doesn't have that feature. Costed me 1 dollar on Ebay. The output, beam pattern and even the dang tint is really good for near activities. I should of purchased even more of them.





    Notice the three little green LED lights in the field expedited flashlight. I can even tell how much power the light has. LOL! I chuckle as guessing it will run a long time.





    Nice output. Much brighter than most 5mm but not crazy power sucking bright.





    The orange silicone 18650 holder.





    Sometimes I don't take all the components. Maybe I just take the F1 with red battery, white lighting cable and extra protected 18650. So I place the 18650 in the silicone case. Or I use the case to store empty batteries if all my storage slots in the plastic case are full. Or I toss an extra 18650 battery into the kit from my supply before heading out for even more power. Whatever the situation I don't want a lithium ion battery floating around my kit without a cover to prevent a short. Having your pack on fire tends to be a negative. The orange is for higher visibility.


    These are for more charging options on the fly when not in the woods. Don't always pack them but make sure they're returned to the kit if removed.





    How does with stack up for my base requirements.


    1. Solar yes it was tested. No charging errors.








    2. Yup. Small enough to pack.


    3. Total energy is 3500 + 3500 + 2500 = 9500 at 3.7 nominal volts is 35.15 watt hours (hack math). So yup. We got power.


    4. Yes.


    5. Yes that option is there. If I need to add a solar panel got them or can pug in on the way to the woods.


    So how was the tea?





    Not bad.





    Here is a video and thanks for looking.



  2. #2
    Flashaholic* KITROBASKIN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    3,079

    Default Re: Lithium ion backwoods power solution.

    Great stuff and glad to hear that the Nitecore F1 has been performing for you. Hopefully you will give it an extended testing.

  3. #3
    The Wood is cut,
    The Bacon is cooked,
    Now itís time to sleep
    RIP our friend.


    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    New England woods.
    Posts
    5,435

    Default Re: Lithium ion backwoods power solution.

    Quote Originally Posted by KITROBASKIN View Post
    Great stuff and glad to hear that the Nitecore F1 has been performing for you. Hopefully you will give it an extended testing.
    Reviewed it back in June and used it a bunch so far. I am actually surprised how well it fit into my kit. It's the little things like the battery voltage tester and usefulness as a power bank which makes it nice on the fly though tend to use the little MC1 Plus and VC4 when at home. I do wish they had a more powerful spring to hold the battery better though the rubber band is a 100 good holder.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Lithium ion backwoods power solution.

    Awesome thread. Just came across this. I might go get the F1 as in the past I was really interested in doing something similar to this.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Lithium ion backwoods power solution.

    Nice setup. I have the Goal Zero Nomad 7 solar panels as well. I think I'd try to ditch the larger battery banks on a backpacking trip and use Fenix 18650s with the micro-USB charging port built in (They just came out with 3400 mAh cells. The 2600 mAh cells are way cheaper though). This way you have less to carry and some redundancy in charging (Each cell has it's own charging circuit. If one fails, you don't lose your only charger). You still need a cell phone charger (nice to have one that you can charge with at night) so I'd suggest a Celestron Elements Thermocharge Powerbank. These are USB power banks and rechargeable heaters, some also have flashlights. If there is plenty of wood around and it's a long trip, I might also consider a Biolite stove (Be nice if I had the second generation one though.) For anything under a week backpacking though, I'd probably ditch the Biolite stove and rely on solar, using a lighter cook kit including a 750 mL Evernew titanium pot, a Pocket Rocket 2 stove, an MSR auto igniter, and a lexan spoon. Everything nests in the pot nicely including a small MSR butane canister. I might also consider bringing a Luci or Luminaide lantern as well. When the 150 lumen Luminaide lantern with the USB port (cell phone charger) becomes available, I might even consider ditching the Goal Zero panel on some trips.

  6. #6
    Moderator


    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Penn's Woods
    Posts
    7,748

    Default Re: Lithium ion backwoods power solution.

    I just purchased an F1 yesterday, mainly for the powerbank feature. The charger aspect is a bonus. Comes with a neat little EdisonBright flexible usb light, I figured WW had a good idea with the ebay light he's using. Redundancy and backup are wonderful things. Looking forward to using it!

  7. #7

    Default Re: Lithium ion backwoods power solution.

    Yeah I just picked up the F1 as well. Not planning on using it super often but for camping it's great. I have a couple other power banks but like you said it provides more options. And if there's an extended outage I have a bunch more 18650s to charge our phones with. Honestly can probably get by without using a flashlight that often compared to the phone during an extended outage.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Lithium ion backwoods power solution.

    I love these things. I use either a 3200 or 5200mah when backpacking. Usually the 5200 since it's only an extra oz or slightly more. I'll eventually get one where I can use my own 18650s since 3500mAh would be nice (7000mah total) with only two cells.
    GOOD TINT!

  9. #9

    Default Re: Lithium ion backwoods power solution.

    Yeah in terms of standalone options I like the 26650-based one I have for the form factor and power it provides.

  10. #10
    Moderator


    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Penn's Woods
    Posts
    7,748

    Default Re: Lithium ion backwoods power solution.

    Sounds silly, but I was suprised how small the F1 is. Only charged two cells so far, but it works as advertised. I may need another one!

  11. #11
    The Wood is cut,
    The Bacon is cooked,
    Now itís time to sleep
    RIP our friend.


    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    New England woods.
    Posts
    5,435

    Default Re: Lithium ion backwoods power solution.

    Quote Originally Posted by scout24 View Post
    Sounds silly, but I was suprised how small the F1 is. Only charged two cells so far, but it works as advertised. I may need another one!
    Not silly at all. It's like an Xtar MC1 plus but with way more features. I also was surprised at it's diminutive nature. Primary downside is it's a battery tosser so the rubber band is needed. I think Nitecore is coming out with the F2.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Lithium ion backwoods power solution.

    Thanks for a great thread and info. Any thoughts on the new f2?

  13. #13
    Flashaholic
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    WV, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
    Posts
    119

    Default Re: Lithium ion backwoods power solution.

    Woods Walker, your original review (very well done by the way) was one of my main research points when i bought my F1, so thanks to you alot of my lithium kit is same as yours. I took sandpaper to both ends of my silicone battery holder (orange too lol) to thin them out enough to fit a protected battery in it while in the f1. This allows me to store several essential pieces of my kit in as small a form factor as possible without worrying about parasitic drain. Seems to work great! I also take the second rubberband they provide and stretch it (probably way too much) around the outside of the f1 lengthwise and hope that it'll provide some protection for the open ports. I doubt it does much but better than nothing i figure.

    Eart, i just ordered an f2 the other day, when i recieve it i'll answer any questions you have to the best of my abilities. I would post a review if my time allowed but i still cant post pics yet. And it wouldnt be anywhere near as good as Woods Walker's.
    Last edited by GRAY LITNIN; 12-03-2017 at 03:58 PM.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •