1. Due to the recent site upgrade, the iPadForums (iPF) App will no longer work. The new iPadForums.net website has been designed from the ground up to work perfectly from any mobile, tablet, or desktop computer using the built in internet browser. Create a shortcut to iPadForums.net on your home screen by following these steps: Create an icon for iPadForums.net

Camping and the iPad - Preliminary Charging Results Inside

Discussion in 'iPad General Discussions' started by NumbLock, Jul 10, 2010.

  1. NumbLock
    Offline

    NumbLock iPad Ninja

    Joined:
    May 2, 2010
    Messages:
    2,017
    Thanks Received:
    31
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Switzerland
    Ratings:
    +31 / 0
    I'm leaving on Monday for a week-long camping trip and of course I want to take my iPad with me, so I'm going to need to charge it!

    Update: nope, your going to need a much larger panel and probably a much larger storage battery for this to work. I'm giving up now and switching to AC after almost five days.

    Here was my potential solution:
    [​IMG]

    I've owned a Solio Magnesium (now called "Classic") for about a year. It features three solar panels and an internal battery. The idea behind the Solio is to charge the internal battery and then charge your mobile device using the internal battery. The Solio Magnesium comes with a charger so you are not entirely dependent on the sun.

    I also bought a tip for iPhone as the Solio Magnesium is compatible with iGo tips.
    [​IMG]

    I needed to do a feasibility test before I ran off half cocked, so I charged the iPad (indoors) for one hour from the fully charged Solio Magnesium. Initial results are a little disappointing:

    Test 1 - Freshly Charged (from a Charger) Solio

    1 Hour: 39% -> 48%
    2 Hours: 48% -> 60%
    (Solio battery dead)

    Test 2 -
    Freshly Charged (from a Charger) Solio
    1 Hour: 24% -> 31 %
    2 Hours: 31% -> 42 %
    (Solio battery dead)

    Results of Real-World Test:
    I never added more than 20% to the iPad's battery, which could have been OK with limited use. But leaving the Solio for 8 - 9 hours in full sunshine is not realistic for many cases: if you want to do anything other than charge the Solio Magnesium, for example. This device is great for the iPhone, but just doesn't get the job done for the iPad. I'm an engineer and I will find a solution. Stay tuned! But for now, I'm at 15% after five days of honest testing, and it's time to call it quits and switch at AC power. Thanks for experiencing my adventure with me! Numblock signing off to stretch an extension cord to the tent.


    The Solio documentation states, and online reviews confirm that the Solio needs about 8 to 9 hours of good sunshine to go from zero to 100% SOC (state of charge).

    My goal is to see if I can enjoy my iPad on vacation using only solar power, but I'll also be taking the normal iPad changer and an iPhone car charger with me just in case.

    The Solio's battery is about the same as the iPad (Edit: looks like I'm wrong, and monkeyboy helps to explain why. Read on!). I hope to run through a full discharge of the Solio to see to what SOC (state of charge) I can get on the iPad.

    Wish me luck!

    [​IMG]

    Tech Specs of the Solio Magnesium:
    Charging: 8-9 Hours from 0 to 100% SOC
    Battery: 1800 mAh

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jul 15, 2010
  2. iSoozin60
    Offline

    iSoozin60 iPF Novice

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2010
    Messages:
    98
    Thanks Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Ratings:
    +1 / 0
    Wow, I love it!!!

    Good luck, can't wait to read more!!
  3. iPadCharlie
    Offline

    iPadCharlie iPad Super Guru

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2010
    Messages:
    4,239
    Thanks Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ratings:
    +7 / 0
    Very nice! Looking forward to your "real world" test results. My only concern is that the specs say the output is 4.8 watts and the supplied iPad charger is 10 watts so it will probably take considerably longer to charge. According to the Solio website, the Magnesium is not longer being made, but there are still some places that have them for sale on the web (But the Classic model is quite a bit cheaper than the Magnesium model). And for you macho men who are very confident in your masculinity, they also make a Classic model in pink!
  4. Ultrimate
    Offline

    Ultrimate iPad Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    397
    Thanks Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Heaven/Earth/Hell
    Ratings:
    +1 / 0
    Make sure u have iPad in case, not subjected to sun!
  5. didisinned
    Offline

    didisinned iPF Novice

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2010
    Messages:
    37
    Thanks Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0
    Wow what a feat!! Good luck and keep us posted!
  6. iceman
    Offline

    iceman iPad Fan

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2010
    Messages:
    232
    Thanks Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0
    Nice posting, thanks.
  7. NumbLock
    Offline

    NumbLock iPad Ninja

    Joined:
    May 2, 2010
    Messages:
    2,017
    Thanks Received:
    31
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Switzerland
    Ratings:
    +31 / 0
    I'm not sure, but I think that the only difference is that the classic has a plastic body compared to magnesium alloy.

    I ran into a snag, I thought my Magnesium was fully charged, but it petered out after 2 hours (60% iPad battery), so I'm going to run the test again.
  8. gentlefury
    Offline

    gentlefury iPad Guru

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2010
    Messages:
    2,623
    Thanks Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ratings:
    +7 / 0
    I might have to check that one out, I bought one and it wouldn't solar charge, I sent it back and got one that wouodnt hold a charge even using the wall.
  9. iPadCharlie
    Offline

    iPadCharlie iPad Super Guru

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2010
    Messages:
    4,239
    Thanks Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ratings:
    +7 / 0
    You're probably going to need something with a little more juice. There are many choices of solar panels out there, but once you get up to that 10 watt rating, the price starts getting close to $200 and up. But if you are frequently away from commercial power, it might not be a bad investment.

    (My wife and I drove through the Alps through your country, Liechtenstein, Austria and Germany a few years ago and I would definitely like to spend more time there.)
  10. NumbLock
    Offline

    NumbLock iPad Ninja

    Joined:
    May 2, 2010
    Messages:
    2,017
    Thanks Received:
    31
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Switzerland
    Ratings:
    +31 / 0
    Well I already had one, and it does charge, how much I'm not yet sure of. Also, i wanted something compact.

    Actually I'm American living in Switzerland.
  11. jackiemac
    Offline

    jackiemac iPF Novice

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2010
    Messages:
    27
    Thanks Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0
    The challenge is keeping the Solio charged so you can charge the iPad. I had a similar challenge trying to keep an iPhone 3GS charged. Eventually, a combo of a Solio (an older model) and PowerDuo battery packs worked well.

    I brought the Solio charged. Then, charged with the solio. Then as PowerDuo battery. Then the Solio (when it was charged again)

    Unfortunatly, the PowerDuo batteries don't work with the iPad.

    I hope this help. I look forward to hearing how your Solio works for you. :)
  12. figmo10
    Offline

    figmo10 iPad Junkie

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2010
    Messages:
    517
    Thanks Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    NH
    Ratings:
    +3 / 0
    Since my idea of camping out is a weekend at a five-star resort, I can fully understand the desire to bring an Internet appliance along on a nature trip. But if I have to charge my iPad with anything other than store-bought electricity, it means that the world is ending.
  13. NumbLock
    Offline

    NumbLock iPad Ninja

    Joined:
    May 2, 2010
    Messages:
    2,017
    Thanks Received:
    31
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Switzerland
    Ratings:
    +31 / 0
    Well the initial tests aren't going so well. Despite the published capacity of the Solio, it quits charging after two hours adding only 20% to the iPad battery.
  14. CaptKirk
    Offline

    CaptKirk iPad Junkie

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2010
    Messages:
    636
    Thanks Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Sacramento
    Ratings:
    +2 / 0
    is it due to defect? It actually gets a good review with no comments on your issue.

    Solio Charges Your iPod With the Sun | Reviews | The Mac Observer
  15. NumbLock
    Offline

    NumbLock iPad Ninja

    Joined:
    May 2, 2010
    Messages:
    2,017
    Thanks Received:
    31
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Switzerland
    Ratings:
    +31 / 0
    I can only confirm that I've ran the test two times. A fully loaded Solio Mag adds only 20% to the iPad battery before empty. The math doesn't make sense to me because the Solio's battery is actually bigger than the iPad.

    I guess my Mag could be defective, but it does work on phones.
  16. iPadCharlie
    Offline

    iPadCharlie iPad Super Guru

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2010
    Messages:
    4,239
    Thanks Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ratings:
    +7 / 0
    Sounds like my wife. Her idea of "roughing it" is a black & white TV with no cable!

    With all due respect...
    Bigger how? Physically bigger? That means nothing. There are two pieces of the puzzle when it comes to electricity, voltage and current. The charger supplied with the iPad is rated at 10 watts. At 5 volts out, this equates to 2 amps. (Actually according to the charger, the output is 5.1 volts and 2.1 amps - but close enough for government work). OTOH, the output of the Solio is 5 volts at 800mA (1000ma = 1 amp). The equates to only 4.8 watts - not nearly enough to fully charge the iPad, but adequate to charge an iPod or iPhone. This is why they recommend you not charge an iPad from your computer's USB port because the specification for USB 2.0 has a maximum power draw of 2.25 watts - far below what the iPad requires.

    Clear as mud, eh?
  17. NumbLock
    Offline

    NumbLock iPad Ninja

    Joined:
    May 2, 2010
    Messages:
    2,017
    Thanks Received:
    31
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Switzerland
    Ratings:
    +31 / 0
    There may be something wrong with my math, but that's not it. Watts means how fast the battery should load. I'm thinking about the capacity of the Solio's battery which is 1800 mAh - bigger than the iPad. In fact it does charge (when in sleep mode, just like a low-power USB port), but only for two hours.
  18. iPadCharlie
    Offline

    iPadCharlie iPad Super Guru

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2010
    Messages:
    4,239
    Thanks Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ratings:
    +7 / 0
    I am not trying to be argumentative... honest!

    The issue is not with the capacity of the Solio's battery, but the output range of the unit. The specs for the Classic unit (which may be slightly less than the Magnesium unit) state that the output range is only 800mA. Apparently after 2 hours, the battery in the Solio is depleted. What you need is a device with an output that matches the iPad's requirements which may or may not have anything to do with the capacity of the battery.

    EDIT: Something like this is probably closer to being able to do what you want it to do:

    Voltaic Systems | Generator, Solar Laptop Charger
    [​IMG]

    Upside:
    1) Comes built into a carry case big enough for an iPad
    2) Comes with a wide variety of adapters, including one for iDevices
    3) Comes with an additional battery pack (looks similar to the Zagg Sparq)

    Downsides:
    1) It costs as much as an 16gb WiFi iPad
    2) Everywhere I have checked shows they are not available or backordered at this time.
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2010
  19. iVan
    Offline

    iVan iPad Ninja

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2010
    Messages:
    1,932
    Thanks Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Near Montréal Québec
    Ratings:
    +6 / 0
    Interesting test NumbLock. Thank you.

    This appliance could be useful on a small craft also.(boat)

    But camping? There's so much to do when I go camping that I wouldn't have time to use the iPad other than as a flashlight...:D
  20. Itzxdjx
    Offline

    Itzxdjx iPad Fan

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2010
    Messages:
    249
    Thanks Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    R.I.
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0
    Yeah even the zagg sparq witch is a pretty nice and powerful battery charger with a second USB port That can handle the iPad. Even that beast I wouldn't think could charger the iPad more than once charges the iPhone about 4 to 5 times it says. But yeah that solo isn't strong enough. The iPad does have two huge batteries in it... The wall charger needs a good hour or two to fill up no?

Share This Page

Search tags for this page
best way to charge ipad 2 while camping
,
best way to charge ipad when camping
,
camping with ipad
,
charge ipad while camping
,
dealextreme.com
,
hand crank charger for ipad
,

hand crank ipad charger

,
how long hand crank to charge ipad
,
how to charge ipad 3 when camping
,
how to charge ipad while camping
,
ipad camping charger
,
ipad camping recarger
,
ipad charge camping
,
ipad solar charger
,
review crank charger for ipads
,
solar charger for ipad
,
solar ipad charger
,
solio m.u.d. review
,
solio mag ipad charger
,
solio magnesium ipad