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41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
on May 6, 2009
It does have enough solar panel to charge batteries, but it takes all day. You must install either 4 2A or 3A at a time. You can't do just 2. I can't get it to charge my phone as shown. I have to charge up the batteries, then hook up the phone so it is the batteries and not the panel charging the phone at that point. I am hoping that I can use it on my long distance bicycle ride.
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49 of 52 people found the following review helpful
on December 30, 2009
Great Charger!
Cons- You have only 2 options on batteries capacity. You must use either 4-AA or 4-AAA batteries during charging. And it's recommended of the same brand and Mah capacity for uniformity. Also, the cables do not include a USB connector to charge your MP3 player or Cellphone directly, but you could work around this with a second dedicated charger for your Cell.

Pros- The solar cells are good quality. At least, my unit was a good one. There may be duds as with any product. Living in Hawaii we have great sunlight. It takes only 5-8 hours to fully charge batteries from a fully discharged condition. Unlike expensive chargers with a built-in lithium battery, you can use any standard NiMH batteries of greater capacity to store your energy. Compare a 2800 Mah lithium capacity to say, 4-AA batteries of 2500 Mah each! When the lithium battery dies in the expensive charger, youre stuck! Not with this. You simply use new batteries. Now, this is what I do --- I can connect this charger and charge another smaller solar charger with an internal battery that does have a USB connector to charge my Cell or MP3 player. So even if the built-in lithium of my smaller charger dies, I simply hook up the chargers and I'm in business. But the important thing is that solar cells are of good quality and really charge in short time. And the fact that you can use any AA or AAA NiMH batteries for storage of power.

One more minor PRO - the battery compartment is separate from the solar panels, so you can protect it from the sun and not have to worry about it melting. Highly recommend.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on November 11, 2011
I bought this charger as part of my preparations to have my home ready for a two-week emergency where possibly water and electricity will be unavailable. In the past two years, I have seen three examples where friends and family had to deal with major power and/or water outages. Any devices I accumulate will be based on the AA battery size. AA because they are readily available, are inexpensive to buy in the rechargeable type, and are compact in size. This device gives me the ability to recharge using nothing but sunlight.

You have to charge 4 batteries at a time. I put four mostly discharged rechargeables into the battery pack, opened the folding solar panels, and connected the two with the wire that came with it. I put the whole thing into a clear, plastic ziploc bag (they fit!) because I was concerned it might rain and didn't want to get the thing wet. Early in the morning, before the sun was up, I placed them on the ground against a wall and angled them to receive maximum fall sunlight. The day was mostly hazy, so I was concerned that there might not be enough sun. However, at the end of the day, I retrieved the bag and tested the batteries and each one had a full charge. This thing worked beautifully, doing exactly what it was supposed to do.

I don't know exactly how long it actually took because I left it in the sun the whole day, but I was not worried about the current reversing and discharging the batteries because the device has a resistor built into its circuitry that I can see. I also don't have any tools to test just exactly how much current comes off the solar panels in the sun. I only know that the thing charged my batteries. That's what I bought it for and that's what it did.

My friend and I examined the adaptors that ostensibly will charge our cellphones from the batteries I charged in the starter, and they are not going to work. I would not count on this thing being able to charge your cellphone, either. For that, I will get a device that directly fits my phone and put the charged batteries into that. It's just a battery charger, and the cellphone charging thing might have worked on much older model cellphones, but calling it a cellphone charger, and pictures showing it as a cellphone charger, is a big stretch. It isn't going to charge most modern cellphones.

It's made of cheap plastic, the kind that will shatter if you drop it. However, if you use caution and take care of it, there's no reason why it couldn't last you many years. It comes with little belt attachments that will allow you to carry it on your belt, and they could also be used to angle it toward the sun, but they are as cheap as cheap gets and I have already discarded them. You will have no trouble using almost anything on the ground to get the right angle and nobody is going to carry this thing around on their belt.

Ultimately, I plan to get much larger solar cells and charge 12-volt deep discharge batteries. That will take much larger outlays of cash to buy the panels, the voltage regulators, and the inverters to power appliances. This is just the beginning. And a 20 dollar solar panel is perfect and affordable to get me started.

How well does it perform versus other similar devices? I have no idea. It works well enough that I will not be buying any other small devices like it to see.

Recommend. I am very happy with this product.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on March 28, 2010
I bought this charger mainely to charge and power some of my electronics like it says it does just don't expect much from that considering unless your electronic devices require a very low voltage your fine and your cell phones were built in stone age ( when they first came out) other than that don't expect to be using this to charge newer phones whith this and finding adapters is next to impossible. However I did keep it torecharge my rechargable batteries as it describes. I do like the fact you can take it anywhere and charge my rechargable batteries if they start to die by the way is really nice to have on a sunny day out which most of us prefer to do anyway, downside you have to charge all 4 AA or AAA batteries at one time which is fine with me due to most of my stuff uses 4 batteries anyway. I do recommend this item if your looking for a great battery charger and to power your smaller electronics this is what you need but bigger items like a boom box and new cell phones thenthis is definately a NO buy. I hope everyone finds this review helpfull.
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23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
it is light weight and works ok, so long as you are in constant direct sunlight. not gunna work in the Pacific NW, or even just intermittent cloudy days.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on June 1, 2010
It works as described..... my only problem is that there is no indicator to let you know when charging is complete. Not the end of the world, but an indicator would have been nice.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on September 27, 2014
I was looking for a small reliable solar charger for AA and AAA rechargable batteries in the event of power loss. I tried this equipment on 2 less than sunny days to see how it would do. After the second day I removed the AA's (4) and put them on my ac battery charger to see if they were charged since there is no indicator when the batteries are charged on this device. Ordinarily on my ac charger it takes 24 hours to charge. These charged in less than 6 hours. I will test these again under sunny conditions but for now I believe this device will do the job.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on September 28, 2012
This is a great ECO friendly solution, however, it fell a little bit short of expectations. There is no indication of charge status. You have to guess when the batteries are charged. Also it charges extremely slow.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 26, 2013
Not a bad little gadget, it does it's job as good as can be expected for such a small item, keeps my gps and camera battery's charged also charges my cell phone and has not failed to keep ahead on these three things. The five star was not added because the clips are only good when the solar is closed and should have been on the outside when open to attach to a backpack or whatever to charge on the go for biking or hiking. Except for some way to quick attach while open it does the job well and for the price another one could be added to the arsenal to keep the stuff charged if need be.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on June 30, 2013
I chose the folding panel as it was advertised to be a faster charger but after a day and a half in the sun here in Hawaii I got maybe a 50% charge. I expected more like 75% after a full day with the two panels.
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