Options for usb multi-port nimh charger for AA and Ds for small solar panel

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brad
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Options for usb multi-port nimh charger for AA and Ds for small solar panel

I just bought this 10 watt solar panel for $12.00, now I need a charger that will best utilize it and that is good enough that it won’t damage my good batteries that are used to the MH-C808M and the MH-C9000, that will charge multiple Ds and of course AA and AAA.
My solar panel from Amazon

Some charger options I found
Tenergy TN486U 5-Bay

EBL LCD Universal Battery Charger – 8 Bay AA AAA C D

I already have an Opus BT-C100 for Li-ion and Nimh charging one at a time, but in an emergency I would need many AAs and Ds (and an occasional Li-ion).

I don’t want to fry my expensive Ds and Eneloops by using a charger for this solar panel that has technical charging pitfalls that I don’t know about, and I assume that I would end up using a muli D battery charger routinely in the house if I can trust it.

What do you think?

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Juslearnin
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I have found that directly charging batteries off a small panel like that does not work well. What works the best is to purchase a battery bank that you charge using the solar panel and then using the battery bank and a USB battery charger to charge your batteries. you need something that’s very forgiving concerning the variable output of the solar panel. Battery chargers tend not to be that way. I like the ravpower banks:

https://www.ravpower.com/products/rp-pb203-30w-pd-portable-charger

Pretty much anything off of Amazon that says anker and is a battery bank will likely be reliable as well.

brad
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I have no use for powerbanks so I assume they would age out just sitting in a closet, I do have one that the bank gave me which I charge every year in case I can use it, but cheap battery banks wouldn’t charge D batteries anyway would they?

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Forsythe P. Jones
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Quote:
I already have an Opus BT-C100 for Li-ion and Nimh charging one at a time, but in an emergency I would need many AAs and Ds (and an occasional Li-ion).

If you’re really serious about this, get a much bigger solar panel (100W or 200W) and a power station with 120VAC output (jackery.com has some). I’d get one with pure sine wave output, i.e. the 240WH one or higher. That will let you run all your chargers.

But, what are you going to do with all those AA’s and D’s? You may be overestimating the amount of flashlights that will be useful. A few small led flashlights (they run for a LONG time on an AA or AAA cell) and a medium sized radio (fairly loud so multiple people can listen) is most of what you can use those batteries for. They won’t help with bigger stuff like a TV or fridge. I guess some small battery powered fans can be useful depending on your environment, and solar can help with that, but again you want something a lot bigger.

brad
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The batteries are for multiple lanterns at high settings, music players, transistor radio, every night reading headlamp, clocks, indoor and outdoor themometers, battery powered fan for desert heat and cooling with a wet sheet if medical need arises, charging my cell phone with my Nimh power banks.

I don’t have the income for an investment in solar and inverters, marine batteries, etc.

I already have batteries and have this $12.00 panel, now I need a battery charger that will work well off of it for a basic and dependable, primitive answer, to a long term emergency.

My long term prepping is along 3rd world lines, no generators, expensive solar, etc., just simple foods, simple battery gadgets, a large reading library, and basic twig/kindling cooking with use of pressure cooker and thermos cooking.

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Lightbringer
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NiMH charging needs a constant supply, and at a high-enough rate to be able to tell when to stop charging. –ΔV, temperature, etc., are all clues. Trickle-charging and not knowing when to stop can kill ‘em.

Best to just charge a Li-based powerbank and once full, use that to charge the NiMH cells. Roundabout and less efficient, but it’d work.

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brad
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I’m in New Mexico, if I choose sunny uncloudy days and angle the panel every hour or so, would that suffice?

How about charging single Li-ion cells, or Nimh cells individually, using my one port Opus BT-C100 with the panel, under ideal sunny conditions?

Using the sun is only an unlikely long term emergency scenario, I would not choose to subject my batteries to it unless needed in a potential but unlikely scenario, the reason I am interested in the quality of the charger is because if it holds 4 D batteries then I know that I would probably (or at least might) start using it indoors along with my Powerex chargers for convenience when charging a lot of batteries.

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brad
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In the past my solution for this was easy, I kept a trickle charger on my vehicle permanently and if such a need arose I could just go plug one of my chargers into the cigarette lighter and charge batteries anytime I wanted, but now I don’t have a vehicle and may not for a long time to come.

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hank
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Look up HKJ’s reviews — many solar powered chargers drop out if a cloud crosses the sun and don’t recover when the sunlight comes back full.

LMGTFY: https://budgetlightforum.com/node/63601

brad
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If I’m reading HJKs list right my Opus BT-C100 would serve as OK, which means I could pretty safely charge my Li-ions by such means if I was desperate, actually, I would only be submitting a few to that challenge since most of my blackout stuff is Nimh powered.

This is encouraging, thanks for the link.

I hope HJK keeps testing chargers for this and hopefully checks out the 2 in my first post.

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Forsythe P. Jones
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Quote:
The batteries are for multiple lanterns at high settings, music players, transistor radio, every night reading headlamp, clocks, indoor and outdoor themometers, battery powered fan for desert heat and cooling with a wet sheet if medical need arises, charging my cell phone with my Nimh power banks.

The first thing to ask is, how much power will it take to run all that stuff? Let’s temporarily ignore the question of why you want it all in an emergency anyway. The 10W solar panel might produce about 3 watts averaged 24/7 in New Mexico. Will that suffice?

Multiple lanterns at high settings, I mean what for? Reading headlamp at night? You’re in a high stress situation (that’s why it’s called an emergency) so get some sleep at night. Clocks and thermometers need power? Clocks I’m used to run for years on an AA cell: how long do you expect this emergency to last? Are you thinking of going completely off grid for years on 3 watts of power, but still paying monthly for a phone plan? If you have multiple clocks and one stops working, do you care?

People on CPF wrote about flashlights in extended power outages all the time, and they were always surprised at how little they required. Really a small, low powered pocket light or headlamp is plenty, unless you’re doing something unusual like outdoor repairs at night. Do those in the daytime if you can.

I do understand about the fan. How about measuring its power consumption, figuring out how many hours a day you’ll need to run it, and starting from there.

A phone while you’re using it might use around 2 watts, so if you’re addicted to the internet (and the internet works during your emergency), you better take that into account. If it’s on standby most of the time it might be more like 0.1 watts (2.4 WH/day). If turned completely off it will be near zero and then you’d turn it on in order to use it.

Where do you get those 10 watt panels for $12? Your amazon link said $40+. $12 is pretty good for a small portable thing like that. For bigger panels you can do better in terms of $ per watt.

There will be some conversion losses in every type of charging process including using one powerbank to charge another. Don’t forget to calculate that.

In New Mexico you are doing pretty well for sunlight. You can get a portable 100 watt panel for $100 or so and that should be enough to keep everything charged. 10 watts is likely to be too little for the stuff you describe.

Your emergency planning should probably revolve mostly around food, water, cooling if it’s hot out, disinfection, etc. rather than clocks and lanterns. Flashlights are a fun hobby but we tend to overestimate their importance since we are into them.

brad
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I’ve been a prepper just about all my life and have no intention of being stressed by a national emergency, that is why I like simple, cheap, long term solutions to basic issues and good lighting, monitoring temperatures inside and outside and in various rooms such as where my water pipes are and my food storage room, being able to read 12 hours a day/night, playing some CDs, listening to the radio, having a couple of good throwing flashlights for outside noise checking, pretty much makes life normal for me.

Although I live in a very small 2 bedroom house, my survival situation is pretty good as far as being able to not have my water pipes or canned goods freeze, without electricity my temp sensors would let me know with an alarm that I need to get up and run my propane camp stove for a short time to keep the interior temperature above 25 or so until that New Mexico sun brings the temp back up through my very large southern window in the kitchen, those nights would be very rare in this house.

That Renogy Portable E.Flex Monocrystalline 10W Plus Solar Panel was only $12.99 (not $12.00) 2 or 3 days ago, I also have their 5 watt version I bought on sale some time ago.

I grew up in hurricane country and remember getting by for days, up to 12 days with lousy lighting and flashlights, in a long term situation I want as much normalcy as possible and as long as they keep the water on, or at least get it back on within 5 or 6 months, household batteries will keep me pretty normal, being a book person is a huge advantage in what other people consider a massive traumatic blackout emergency, I’m not a TV person and never have been, don’t own one or want one, so losing electricity doesn’t shake me like other people.

Having close to 2 years of food, good winter clothes, lots of backpacking/camping experience in winter, including to 30 below zero, confidence in my life experience and mental type, I have a more relaxed atitude about the survival stuff than most people, that’s why the Rambo/Roadwarrior stuff doesn’t interest me much, as it is I have plenty of solar yard light variations which can light my house and charge my AA and AAA batteries, but I do like the luxury of these new lanterns I got, they are like having regular electric light bulbs on, the diffusion is the best I have ever seen.
Energizer LED Camping Lantern

This is the AA Nimh cell phone charger I have and like. 4 AA Battery Power Emergency Charger

Nimh batteries are great and have many uses, including the old garage sale items you can find, such as CD players, boom boxes and such.

Not what we have but what we enjoy, constitutes our abundance.