Author Topic: Solar power for Atlas  (Read 367 times)

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Offline karlzemlin

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Solar power for Atlas
« on: February 03, 2019, 08:30:59 AM »
I've had a 5-in1 for a few years but it suffered a tragic fall recently.  Replaced it with an Atlas and have upgraded my mount/pole setup to (hopefully) prevent similar mishaps.

I was thinking about getting the remote battery pack (not available yet) for the sensor, but thought I'd try something else first.
I just ordered this waterproof solar powerbank:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Waterproof-80000mAh-Solar-Battery-Charger-Power-Bank-For-iPhone-8-X-Samsung-S9/222416710958?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649

It comes with some coaxial connectors, so hopefully one will fit - if not I can probably find one on an old adapter.  I'll make a bracket to mount it facing south and seal over the USB connector.  The mAh rating is rather absurd - the sensor could get by on far less considering how long a set of AA batteries survives ... so I figure even with a the small solar panel it will probably maintain a charge.  For $13 it's pretty low risk as long as the battery doesn't explode.

Has anyone here tried something similar?
« Last Edit: February 03, 2019, 08:41:41 AM by karlzemlin »

Offline vreihen

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Re: Solar power for Atlas
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2019, 11:42:27 AM »
FYI, most of those solar and non-solar power banks currently being sold either will not pass-through charge or else shut their output off when they think that the device being charged is "full," ie: only draws what a weather station or Arduino board needs to run.

If you find a rare unicorn that you confirm does pass-through charge or not shut off under small loads, please let me know because there's plenty of people I know looking for one.....
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Offline karlzemlin

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Re: Solar power for Atlas
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2019, 12:43:32 PM »
FYI, most of those solar and non-solar power banks currently being sold either will not pass-through charge or else shut their output off when they think that the device being charged is "full".

I guess I'll have to give it a good test run before I bother to mount it to the tower.  I have my 5-in-1 that fell to it's death a few weeks back.  I suspect it still works - but all the little plastic bits broke off.  I don't think it has an external power plug anywhere, but I can solder a couple of leads to the battery terminals and see how it behaves with the power bank.  Thanks for the heads up.  It never occurred to me that the output would be shut off.  Worst case ... I bought myself a crappy power bank.

Online nincehelser

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Re: Solar power for Atlas
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2019, 12:49:32 PM »
Also, be very cautious buying these devices on places like ebay.  There are many scams out there, ranging from fictional specs to fake parts inside.

All sorts of videos on the topic: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=power+bank+scam


Offline karlzemlin

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Re: Solar power for Atlas
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2019, 01:01:57 PM »
Also, be very cautious buying these devices on places like ebay.  There are many scams out there, ranging from fictional specs to fake parts inside.

All sorts of videos on the topic: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=power+bank+scam

Thanks.  I fully expect the ratings on this to be majorly overblown.  For a $12 purchase I'm not too worried.

Offline Bushman

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Re: Solar power for Atlas
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2019, 01:28:19 PM »
FYI, most of those solar and non-solar power banks currently being sold either will not pass-through charge or else shut their output off when they think that the device being charged is "full," ie: only draws what a weather station or Arduino board needs to run.

If you find a rare unicorn that you confirm does pass-through charge or not shut off under small loads, please let me know because there's plenty of people I know looking for one.....

I was able to buy a 10k mah powerbank (no solar panel though) that does pass-thru.  I guess I could put a panel on it...  BTW, no brand name on it.
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Offline karlzemlin

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Re: Solar power for Atlas
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2019, 06:52:04 AM »
I received the eBay Solar Power Bank yesterday.  It came with zero charge.  I plugged it into a charger and it was passing through.  I let it charge overnight - all charge lights were steady.  I unplugged it from the charger and get no power from the USB ports - so something is wanked in it apparently.

I decided to open it up and it has two batteries in it.  I can see faint printing on them stating 3500 mAh - so it seems the advertised 80K mAh is more than slightly optimistic.   :shock:  Also, it is sold as waterproof and it is not sealed in any way inside or out.

If the sun ever comes out here I might see if there's voltage coming from the solar panel.  I'll be contacting the seller, but I suspect the return policy will be more trouble/cost than it's worth. < update> free to return, so it's going back.  Don't know if there will be a plan B.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2019, 07:03:40 AM by karlzemlin »