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Thread: Where to buy good camping lantern with external solar panel and nimh cells?

  1. #1

    Default Where to buy good camping lantern with external solar panel and nimh cells?

    I have been looking good quality solar camping lantern which uses AA or AAA nimh cells and it has external solar panel for charging (fixed wiring or wire with connector... Connector is better so then solar panel can be removed if not needed.)

    I have been looking from local camping shops and from Google ebay etc. For this kind of lamp without any good results.

    Idea is to use lamp in tent, cottage etc so i can leave solar panel outside to charge without moving Light outside for charging. Those lamps are difficult to find. Eneloop has maded these kind of lamps to catastrophe areas but im unable to find them at ebay or Amazon.

    Reason for nimh cells is that i dont trust li-ion too much to be fire safe when charging at unattended and i have lots of nimh cells allready so i can use them if weather is not good for charging.

    Im not sure how many lumens i want but minium is to able read book in tent with that Light output

    Ebay's chinese lamps usually doesnt have trustable charge control so Light can be little more expensive than those chinese cheapos.

    Any ideas where to get these kind of lamp becouse im running out of ideas?

    I added a picture from eneloop 101 site. This kind of lamp i try to find. Saddly this eneloop model is like impossible to find anywhere

  2. #2

    Default Re: Where to buy good camping lantern with external solar panel and nimh cells?

    For camping, and/or when spending time away from power I use a three device solution:
    Portable Solar panels with USB out similar to this: https://www.amazon.co.uk/RAVPower-UK...8944294&sr=8-6
    Which in turn charges Two USB power banks - a big one that charges my phone/devices overnight and a portable which is used to top up my devices on the move/as/when/if required (i use two small portable powerbanks - one on charge and one charging ) and a battery charger which will charge Li-ion cells or Ni-MH rechargables - these then power flashlights/lanterns etc.

    I've tried solutions similar to the one pictured ( the lantern with solar panel either on a wire on on the top) and have found them to either be of low quality/durability and/or of poor performance

  3. #3
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Where to buy good camping lantern with external solar panel and nimh cells?

    I've never tried it personally but, I hear NiMH does not charge well off of a solar panel. Lithium ion is a better option.

    I think you are making a mountain out of a mole hill personally with the Li-ion fear. Pretty much every consumer product with built in power uses Li-ion now a days so, although safety is important, I wouldn't worry quite so much. Do you charge your phone while away from it or at night while sleeping? Then, why not your lantern? Just something to think about.

    I recommend one of the Fenix offerings or the BLF LT1.

    Sent from my SM-N975W using Tapatalk

  4. #4

    Default Re: Where to buy good camping lantern with external solar panel and nimh cells?

    Check to see if the Waka Waka Power or regular Waka Waka light uses NIMH cells.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Where to buy good camping lantern with external solar panel and nimh cells?

    You might just have to compromise and buy an AA lantern and separate solar panel charger.

    The Fenix CL23 uses 3 AA and looks promising.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Where to buy good camping lantern with external solar panel and nimh cells?

    I also agree that lithium ion.... especially 18650 cells is far far superior to AA nimh. It is a lot easier to deal with, does not have the problems of unbalanced charging/discharging that can weaken and damage cells who are discharge/charged at differing rates and also build in USB charging is a lot more common with lithium ion.
    I used to be against lithium ion tech for the same reason you were..... but since I've got into salvaging cells from laptop and tool batteries and have used dozens of rescued cells in devices ranging from power bank kits to flashlights to lanterns and even a work light all with no safety issues and have tossed about several dozen nimh batteries in the trash over the years from normal non LSD to LSD as they have either lost too much capacity, developed high self discharge such that they required constant analyzing them to keep cells matched up for optimal runtime. I've found cheap 2600mah 18650s outperform the best LSD nimh 3AAs in use and 3400mah blow away even eneloop pros in output/runtime and having to deal with 3-4 batteries vs 1 battery when you have several devices adds up in time used up to maintain things.
    Fenix Split rings 1400+ sent, SWIVELS now available also!
    Psalm 112:4 Light shines in the darkness for the godly. They are generous, compassionate, and righteous.

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* Keitho's Avatar
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    Jun 2017
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    CO, USA
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    Default Re: Where to buy good camping lantern with external solar panel and nimh cells?

    I like the idea of using a NIMH charger and solar panel. You can use this resource (https://lygte-info.dk/info/roundCell...ndex%20UK.html) to to find a charger with good ratings and the number of slots you want with "power bank" in the notes, and hook it up to a 12v solar panel and a USB light. That might allow use of a bunch of NIMH and a bunch of lights with one setup.

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