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With smartphones housing four inch displays and quad core processors, battery life is an issue. In a recent podcast I did with Ken from the Prepper Podcast we talked about grid down scenarios and what we can do about them. My plans are to build a solar generator that will run my well pump in a grid down event, and while this generator does not have the power to continually run it, I have set it up to be able to scale up fairly easily. Keep in mind as you read this I am no expert, as a matter of fact I had very little knowledge other than solar panels collect energy, send it to the battery and you can turn on a light. There are quite a few article about how electricity works, and sometimes it’s too much information for my brain to absorb (repercussions of a misspent youth I guess), so I am going to keep this article a simple as possible and hopefully it all makes sense to you at the end.
Don’t forget to download the power needs cheat sheet at the end, it will help you figure out how much stored energy you need and use on a daily basis.
If you want more information on this you can listen to the Podcast Ken and I did, or you can check out a few of the podcasts ken has done in the past about battery banks.
A quick side note before we get into this: Ken will also be on the next SPTV episode talking about alternative energy. Minn Kota Trolling Motor Power Center: The reason I purchased this box is because it had a couple 12 volt ports already wired in and ready to go. Thunderbolt Magnum Solar 13 Watt Briefcase Solar: Like Ken said in the Podcast start small, learn the process and then build bigger, so that’s what I did. Cobra 800 Watt Power Inverter: Like I said, I wanted the ability to add solar panels to this generator so I purchased an 800 watt inverter.
100 Ah (Amp Hour) Deep Cycle Marine Battery: A 100 Amp Hour battery is pretty big when it comes to batteries, but you would be surprised at how quickly the energy in the battery can get used up depending on the appliance or tool being used.
Like I said I am going to keep this as simple as possible, so if you need more information follow the links above, or leave a comment below and I will answer to the best of my ability.
A solar panel collects energy from the sun, the wattage of your solar panels is how much energy you can collect from the sun…duh right? You will need to decide what you want to use the solar generator for and figure out how many amp hours you will need (download the cheat sheet) to get an idea about what solar panels you need. I kind of explained this above, but think about your future needs when you get the charge controller.
The charge controller has positive and negative leads that come from the solar panel, and positive and negative leads that go out to the battery. There are many different shapes and sizes of batteries, but I’m not going to go into detail about which one to choose, I’ll leave that to the experts.
There is quite a bit more that goes into this but you never want to discharge your battery %100. A power converter takes the DC current from your battery and changes it to alternating current that household appliances use. There are pure sinewave and modified sinewave converters, this is less important than the wattage of the inverter.
Now let’s get into how this all works, I’m going to try and make this as simple as possible so bear with me. I created the cheat sheet below to make it a little easier to make these calculations because my memory is not what it used to be, and there are a few calculations you need to know. My air compressor doesn’t tell me how many watts it uses, but it does say how many amps it uses.
Laptop Example: With items that have a power supply you need to look at the output on the adapter.
This one is fairly simple, my 13 watt solar panels will put out 13 watts of power an hour with maximum sun light. On a perfect day I can only get about 7 Amp Hours out of my 13 Watt solar panel, that means if I use anything over 8 Amp Hours per day I will be draining the battery. To some of you this might still seem a little confusing, some of you might think it’s fairly simple.

Filed Under: DIY Prepping, Featured Posts, Off The Grid, Survival Hacks About DaleSurvival and being prepared should not only be a passion, it should be a lifestyle.
I don't believe that the end of the world will be the "end of the world" I believe it will be the end of the world as we know it now. I looked into something like this, even purchasing a standalone Goal Zero Yeti type device. I LOVE that you showed the math about what a person might be able to realistically expect out of a solar panel. I think that portable solar charging systems like this have their place in prepping but people need to understand their limitations.
Thanks Patty, I just read your article and it’s great information for people who read this. As another point on the charge controller, make sure you also look at the amperage capacity as well. Prepping and Technology: The Pros and ConsBushcraft, Survival Skills and PreppingIs all my Prepping Just a Waste of Time? Enter your email address to subscribe to Survivalist Prepper and receive notifications of new posts by email. In the meanwhile, how many of you have used your laptop or desktop to charge your phones or tablets? It’s like this – If you put a 100 watt bulb that runs normally at 220 volts to a 440 volt line, it just blows away. Similarly, too many volts from the charger and the gadget fries, too few and the device will take forever to charge. Another mistake you generally do is to use the computer USB port to charge your phone or tablet.
So, as long as your Smartphone charger is rated with the same voltage and same amps as your tablet, go ahead and charge your tablet with it. I would definitely recommend you to use respective chargers to charge their respective devices.
Homepage » Gadgets » Can I just Use the same USB Charger to Charge different Mobile Phones and Tablets?
10 Comments to Can I just Use the same USB Charger to Charge different Mobile Phones and Tablets? Nikhil Chakravarthi holds an Engineering degree in IT and a Masters in Business Administration. He is a Software Engineer who loves to code and holds several International Certifications.
His Internet Journey started 7 years ago and since then, he has been reviewing software, writing tech tips and doing his best to serve the Internet Community. I have had my 2000 mah dynamite batt for my Losi mini 8t at full charge for about a week now. Now that I have done this I have a better idea about watts, amps, volts and what makes it all work together. Everything I purchased for this solar generator was purchased with price in mind, I wanted to get this done for around $300. At .5 amps per hour in full sun these would take about 20 days to charge my 100 Ah battery. Capacity Folding Hand Truck: This was about $25 at Home Depot and I got this to make it a little easier to move around.
The reason this is important is because everything else you buy need to be able to handle the energy the solar panel collects. But remember, you can always add more solar panels if your charge controller and inverter are large enough. My charge controller can handle 400 watts, if I plan on going over 400 watts I will need to get another charge controller.

In an emergency situation if all you had was a power inverter you could hook it up to your car battery to plug in a lamp…not very practical, but it works.
This can all get a little confusing but that’s why I started small, to get an idea about the process before I spent a lot of money.
The worksheet will calculate the Amp Hours all by itself, at the bottom of the worksheet it will show you a total of Amp Hours needed.
I can get 7 hours of direct sun light on a good day so I could collect 13 (Watts) X 7 (Hours) = 91 Watts.
The definition of a prepper is "An individual or group that prepares or makes preparations in advance of, or prior to, any change in normal circumstances, without substantial resources from outside sources" Like the Government, police etc.
He just put me a quick mail asking why can’t he use the same USB charger to charge both his phone and tablet?
On the other side, if you put the same bulb in a 110 volt line, it will light up but the brightness is low and insufficient. However, as a rule of thumb make sure you don’t use the chargers with higher output on devices which need lower current charge. Made for those who work heavy duty jobs, or like outdoor activities, the myCharge Amp 6000XT won’t be affected by those rough conditions.
Oh, while I always balance (doesn't take much longer on a good charger), 0.01V difference is close enough.
I don’t know if I will be using this to go up and down stairs or drag across the dirt because batteries should remain upright, but it does help moving it around the house because the battery weighs around 75 pounds. Also keep in mind that you never want to completely drain your battery, it will decrease its life span. I’ll explain this in more detail below. If the grid goes down and you plan on running 2 lights, a heater and a small refrigerator you need to have an inverter that will handle that wattage all at once. My 100 amp hour battery will be drained to 92% (100 – 8.33) if I run this 20 watt light for 5 hours.
I understand, the electric sockets in your wall must be looking like some kind of an alien wire-arts with all those chargers hanging in there. Let me first tell you what happens to your device if you are using a charger that is not associated with it and then let me tell you why it happens so? So, many devices will actually use either the same or more charge than the USB port can supply. It will definitely have an impact in the long run and would gradually degrade battery, performance and even functionality. But wait a second, just because some charger fits your device, it doesn’t mean you should simply go ahead and use it.
Some sockets and wall chargers output more power than others, and it’s very much possible to blow up your device by using a different charger. Using an improper USB charger may result in static charges which in turn would largely impact your touch screen response. So, if you try to use your phone’s USB cable to charge your tablet or large Smartphone, it will not work effectively.
MyCharge has charging cases for iPhone and most androids (that charge with a Micro USB connection). Earlier this year  at CES 2013, I was lucky enough to go to the myCharge booth and see what new chargers they had.
While we know I’m not the most outdoorsy person, I am definitely one f the clumsiest.

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Comments How many amps should i charge my car battery with

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