Julian on November 28th, 2012

This extremely tiny LED torch surely can’t be beaten on size, but lacks the sophistication of larger flashlights. It does have two different brightness levels (117 lumens / 8 lumens), but that’s the only feature. Switching on and off is achieved by twisting the case halves together which also switches between brightness levels if done [...]

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Julian on November 20th, 2012

Found someone on eBay selling the non-UK version of the Duracell CEF23 at a bargain price. I really like this battery charger – OK it doesn’t have a voltage display, just red and green LEDs, but that’s offset by the clever USB output mode. It’s showing its age a bit now (2008 is embossed on [...]

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Julian on June 29th, 2012

Assuming your solar power system has the means to charge AA eneloops, this neat little power pack will give you 1 amp 5 volt USB power whenever you need it. The form factor is perfect, barely bigger than the 4 AA NiMH rechargeables that it contains. There’s a blue LED that illuminates the USB socket [...]

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Julian on May 27th, 2012

Another area where solar power can be put to good use is with cordless power tools. Twelve volt tools are available, but the better, more powerful tools use 18-volt batteries. The trick is to look for a range of tools which have an optional in-car charger. The Ryobi CB-18CL In-Car Charger is an example. This [...]

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Julian on December 11th, 2011

Unlike most of my off-grid contemporaries, my storage bank is a rag-bag assortment of old car batteries. Not for me the neat shiny row of  brand new, deep-cycle, perfectly matched accumulators. Mine came from old cars, were donated by friends and even found left in a car park. They all work though, more or less. [...]

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Julian on September 23rd, 2011

There’s something rather satisfying about turning harvested sunlight back into its native form, and an LED torch is one of the best ways to do this. I’ve standardised mostly on AA rechargeables to store energy outside of my lead-acid battery bank, so my choice of torch reflects this. The LED Lenser M5 torch uses a single [...]

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Julian on March 5th, 2011

How does the Powerex Maha MH-C9000 Wizard One Charger/Analyser compare with the Technoline BL700 Battery Charger. Which is the faster charger? – The Powerex C9000 has a higher default charge rate, so if you just drop batteries in and don’t press any buttons, the C9000 will do the job much more quickly. However, you have [...]

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Julian on August 24th, 2009

Some of my harvested sunlight goes into charging AA batteries using a variety of 12 volt capable battery chargers, some intelligent, some less so. By far the most sophisticated of these is the Maha Powerex MH-C9000 WizardOne Charger Analyser. I thought I might say a few words about it. Most intelligent battery chargers use a combination of  [...]

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