87 of 88 people found the following review helpful
Compact backup power source,
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This review is from: Tekkeon TekCharge MP1800 (Electronics)
Sometimes when you travel there is no USB port on a laptop or AC outlet on a wall that is available to power your electronic devices when their battery charges start running low. This product is perfect for those situations. It is nice and compact, and comes with multiple adaptors to power and/or recharge a wide variety of electronic products. The included adaptors provide a backup for my iPod Touch 2G, iPod Nano 2G, Samsung cell phone, bluetooth headset, Garmin Forerunner 305, and Garmin Nuvi 660.
Additional adaptors for other gadgets(such as for the Amazon Kindle) are available at a modest price.
Here are a few comments to keep in mind:
1. You can charge only one item at a time. Therefore when you reach your destination and have access to an AC outlet, if you wish to charge multiple items simultaneously, this is not the item to do that (I recommend the Callpod, which I have reviewed on Amazon). [But see my April 24, 2010 update below. I figured out a way to do it and no longer use the Callpod.]
2. If you have a USB AC adaptor that you use for your iPod Touch or Nano, it will work fine to charge this unit. There is no need to buy a separate adaptor.
3. Once the unit is fully charged, you can just leave it plugged in to the charging source (I checked with Tekkeon tech support, which is very helpful and responds quickly). That way you can be sure that the unit will always have a full charge when you need it.
4. This unit will not power a laptop or comparable electronic product. But Tekkeon does sell more powerful (and more expensive) units that will do so.
5. I chose this unit rather than the less expensive MP 1550, which runs on AA or rechargeable batteries, because in my experience I have found that a power source with its own internal battery lasts longer than one relying on batteries. Of course, the flip side is that once this unit runs out of power, you can't just pop some fresh batteries in. However, that is not an issue for me, though something that you may want to consider.
This product looks nice, is simple to operate, and does what it says. I am very happy with it.
Update August 22, 2009: I like this so much that I use it at home on a daily basis. The unit has two USB ports--a mini and a regular. Using the included retractable cable, I plug one end into the mini on the unit and the other end (which has a regular USB) into an Apple travel charger that is plugged into the wall. That way this unit is always at full charge if I take it on a trip. I use the free regular USB port on the unit to charge a variety of devices (though one at a time) that come with a USB cable, such as my BlackBerry and iPod Touch [But see April 24 update below re how to charge more than one at a time]. It is more convenient for me to charge them on this unit than to plug them into my laptop (which I do only when I need to sync data).
I have also found the built in flashlight on this unit a nice feature to have when rummaging through my bags looking for some gizmo that I can't find.
Update November 24, 2009: I recently stayed in a very nice hotel where the bedroom was really dark at night, but there was no nightlight in the bathroom. Solution: I just turned the flashlight on this unit on all night (8 hours)in the bathroom. Not only did the light last through the night, but it took only a relatively short time (less than 20 minutes) to restore the unit to a full charge.
Update April 16, 2010: Customer service for this company is first rate. On a recent trip I realized that I did not have a micro USB tip that would fit my BlackBerry Tour and Kindle 2. I emailed customer service after I returned home, and was advised that this tip was supposed to be included with the product. But since I bought my unit over a year ago, it was not included then. When I explained the situation to Jerry at customer service, he mailed me the tip at no cost within 24 hours. It's always nice to know that a quality product comes with quality customer service.
Update April 24, 2010: If you would like to use this product to simultaneously power more than one USB device at a time, there is an easy way to do it. I use the Belkin mini USB 2.0 hub (which I have reviewed on Amazon) and plug it into this unit, and now have four USB ports for my gadgets. The more gadgets you plug in, the faster you will drain the unit. But it is handy, for example, on a longer plane ride or at the beach for my wife and me to each plug our Slacker G2 players into the hub, which is in turn connected to the MP 1800, in order to extend the playing time. I also use the same technique for my Kindle 2, BlackBerry Tour, iPod Touch, and Garmin Forerunner 405CX.
Also, when you arrive at your destination, just connect this unit to an AC adaptor as I described in an earlier comment above, connect the hub to this unit, and now with AC power you can simultaneously not only recharge this unit, but also recharge up to four USB devices--all without a computer or bringing along the separate USB adaptors for each device (though being a "belts & suspenders" kind of guy, I still bring them along just in case for some reason the hub should fail since "Murphy's law"--if something can go wrong, it will go wrong--has kicked in on more than one vacation). Note: What I have described only works with the type of relatively low power draw USB devices that I have mentioned above. Also if you are drawing too much power for all the devices connected, the light will flash on the Belkin mini hub and/or on the Tekkeon MP1800. If that happens, just disconnect one or more devices until the flashing stops.
Update September 11, 2011: Due to Hurricane Irene, the area in which we live was flooded and my wife and I were trapped in the house for 24 hours until the flood waters receded. We lost all power, and to my dismay the corded land line phone had gone dead. That left me with only my BlackBerry to communicate with friends and family.
Power was not restored until four days later, but in the interim I had to return home during the day to supervise flood restoration crews and other persons. Each night I charged the Tekkeon at our friends' house, and brought it with me to my home during the day so I could keep my BlackBerry charged to make and receive calls and email. It worked like a champ.
Bottom line: In emergency conditions, this unit proved critical and performed flawlessly.
Update July 24, 2012: The unit recently "died." When I plug it in to charge, the green light goes on and the flashlight works, but the second I disconnect it from the USB charging source, the green light goes off and nothing works. Customer service said it could be a defective switch, but I am well beyond the one year warranty period. However, I may continue to bring this as a nightlight when I travel since the flashlight will work so long as the unit is connected to a power source.
Update August 7, 2012: I now use the Powergen mobile juice pack 5200, which I have reviewed on Amazon, and like it even better than this unit.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 28, 2010 8:41:40 PM PDT
Donald Donaldson says:
Posted on Jul 9, 2010 10:10:22 PM PDT
A. White says:
Good review and definitely contributed to my purchase decision. I am holding off on my review until I've had more time with the product. However, I have already run into a problem using it with my Flip UltraHD. Currently, the light is orange(30%-70% charge according to manual) and after only a couple minutes, I get the "Check battery pack. Charging paused" message on my Flip. I can immediately plug it into my computer USB and it continues charging so definitely not a problem with the camera. I am waiting until I've completely discharged the Tekkeon and hopefully it will at least charge the camera while green(70-100% charge). Unfortunately, this was going to be one of my main uses.
It did charge my Iphone 3GS from 60% to 100% with no problems. Also, like that you can use it as a small flashlight.
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