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12-26-2012, 03:00 PM   #1
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Solar charging 645D (D-Li90) batteries

Will be in Sequoia National Park back country for a week and want to be able to charge D-Li90 batteries for my 645-D.
This will require a solar-charging outfit.
So far I've found that 25 watts of charging power is necessary. Is this true? Is it enough?
Does anyone have any experience with solar chargers for digital camera batteries?
The solar chargers all seem to have USB connectors or micro USB connectors.
Does anyone know how to get the power from the solar-charger to the battery?
Maybe I should charge 6 or 7 batteries and forget solar charging?
As I discover information, I'll share it on the forum.

12-26-2012, 06:00 PM   #2
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As with most Li-Ion batteries, solar charging is a lovely idea, but very hard to implement. Due to low power output(Unless you're using a panel the size of a windshield), it'd take a very long time to fully charge. Bringing extra batteries is probably the best idea, but you could bring a solar charger as well, just to see how things go?
12-27-2012, 08:21 AM   #3
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I'd just buy a couple extra batteries...they'd probably weigh much less in total than bringing a charger and they aren't that expensive...about $40 each I think. They last a long time. I'd bet you could do a fair amount of shooting on your week long trip and get by with 3-5 batteries, as long as it's not super cold out. I've gone a week of shooting while on a trip and only used a battery up about once every two days...of course, that's going to depend on how much time you spend looking at the LCD
12-27-2012, 04:12 PM   #4
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Take a look at the products on this website. My son has one of these and says that it works well. Don't know too much about it other than that.
He uses his to cook and charge his phone at the same time.

12-27-2012, 04:14 PM   #5
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Whew, helps to provide the site, huh!

BioLite - BioLite Stove
01-10-2013, 02:25 PM   #6
dwp
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Wow! Thanks.
01-11-2013, 12:20 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ray Cox Quote
That campstove looks very interesting in its own right. Especially for me who live at a latitude where solar power is almost absent for half the year.

But I'm not sure you can charge D-Li90 on it. From the specs it seems the only output voltage is standard USB 5.5 volts. Our batteries run at 7.2 volts, so you will at least need a transformer between the stove and the battery.

I have never seen any transformer like that, but id' really love to have one.

In my experience, the most convenient off-grid power sources provide 12V. If a DC charger for D-Li90 exists, it will most likely fit a 12V socket. If you can't find a DC charger, you can buy a small inverter going from 12V DC to 230V AC, and use your regular charger. There are inverters available the size of a beer can.

The power source itself is more of a challenge. As was said, the solar panel you need is the size of a windscreen. But I know there are alternatives made from multiple small panels mounted on canvas. Then at least you can wrap it up and transport it. But it's still a lot of hassle.

The cost of a solar panel solution will cost you a lot more than a couple of extra batteries. :-)
01-11-2013, 01:12 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by alunfoto Quote
The cost of a solar panel solution will cost you a lot more than a couple of extra batteries. :-)
Here's the kind of solar panel I was thinking about:
Amazon.com: Sunlinq Portable Solar Panel Charger 25W 12V: Patio, Lawn & Garden

If you're still interested after considering the price of the panel, I believe this 12 V charger would fit the bill:
Amazon.com: Wasabi Power Battery and Charger Kit for Pentax D-LI90 and Pentax 645D, K-01, K-5, K-5 II, K-5 IIs, K-7: Camera & Photo

01-11-2013, 11:13 AM   #9
dwp
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Solar Charging D-Li90?

Thanks so much for all your input. You've saved me a lot of effort.
The problem with these solutions is weight on a backpacking trip.
I believe multiple batteries will be the best solution.
I'm grateful.
01-11-2013, 01:42 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by alunfoto Quote
Here's the kind of solar panel I was thinking about:
Amazon.com: Sunlinq Portable Solar Panel Charger 25W 12V: Patio, Lawn & Garden

If you're still interested after considering the price of the panel, I believe this 12 V charger would fit the bill:
Amazon.com: Wasabi Power Battery and Charger Kit for Pentax D-LI90 and Pentax 645D, K-01, K-5, K-5 II, K-5 IIs, K-7: Camera & Photo
I've bought the Wasabi kits for both my K 10 and K 5. They seem satisfactory, and the price is right! I found a little plastic snap-lid case from Porter's in Iowa which, with a bit of plastic foam to prevent noisy "flopping" around, will pack a pair of batteries safely in my backpack. Here's the listing Film-Stor Box, Yellow - FS-1BB Since the price is even lower now I think I'll order a few more!
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