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Old 03-24-2007, 12:53 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Solar Style SC002 - any good? anyone tried?

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Hey all,

I'm a green kinda guy; I already own two supposed "mobile phone solar chargers" and they both suck, I won't even do them the honour of posting their names. I found this one that is apparently well rated, it even comes with an officially-named BlackBerry connector (which is just a miniUSB plug).

Solar Style SC002-Ultra Kit
http://www.solarstyle.com/detail.php?ID=64

Check the ratings, specifically that the internal storage battery is a 750mAh and that the panels are 2x 180mA output, which is pretty good.; a BB device wants 500mA, but will trickle charge on 100mA if it has to; an official RIM charger is a 750mA device.

===
Charger
Output Voltage- 3.6/5.5V
Output Current- >300mA
Dimensions- 107.5x72x22.5mm Weight- 131g
Full Charge- AC/Car= 4-5 Hours Sun= 6-8 Hours

Battery-On-Board (Li-ion)
Capacity- 750mAh
Voltage- 3.7V
mAh- 750

Solar Panels
Output Voltage- 7.0V
Output Current- 180mA(x2)
===

Has anyone purchased one of these and can comment? Or any electrical engineering types who can comment on the above ratings in regards to what a BB device uses? I'd much appreciate it before I waste yet another $60 on a solar charger that might not work like the others in my graveyard.

It ain't easy being green.
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Old 03-26-2007, 01:39 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Being "Green" is Great - But Take A Second To Analyze What You Are Up To In This Case

Wow, you must be seriously into "green" technology if you are concerned about the incremental difference it might make to charge your Blackberry using solar power!!

I don't have the answer to your question, but as an Environmental Studies graduate, and someone who works with people in the solar electricity field as part of my development projects, I wanted you to take into consideration the following possibilities:

a) I suspect that it takes more energy and resources to manufacture the solar charger, produce and deliver the packaging materials to the manufacturer, and ship one of these solar chargers to you then you are likely to ever save by charging a BlackBerry with it.

b) Assuming you decide to purchase one of these, you will now have contributed to the resource consumption describe in "a" above a total of three times, and in a minimum of two cases, no net reduction in resources will occur as a result of your purchasing the product, because you don't intend to use the two previous solar products you purchased.

Here's my suggestion for the simplest solution: if you drive a car (I suspect you own a Prius, but even a regular gas-powered car will do just fine), charge your BlackBerry using your cigarette lighter charger while you are in the car. You are already generating the electricity so you might as well get the extra "bang-for-the-buck" and charge your BlackBerry while you are at it. Then you will be accomplishing another task with resources that you already have to use anyway. Of course, if you are so into "green" philosophy that driving a car would be sacrosanct to you, and you only take public transportation, then this strategy may not be feasible for you. But for some reason, I suspect that you do drive a car ;).

A more extravagant option, but one that would actually have a substantial impact in reducing your use of non-renewable resources, would be to add photovoltaic panels to your house, and then just go ahead and use the BlackBerry wall charger in one of your standard electrical outlets.

As an outside observer, it just seems like inefficient use of your time and the world's energy, to prolong a quest for the perfect solar BlackBerry charger in order to try to implement a "green" philosophy. Especially when the ultimate impact will be insignificant, and in all likelihood, you are using more non-renewable resources trying to acquire this novelty solar charging device than you will ever save by putting it into use.

Just my two cents. I hope you don't take this the wrong way.
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Old 03-26-2007, 02:16 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JG in SB
Wow, you must be seriously into "green" technology if you are concerned about the incremental difference it might make to charge your Blackberry using solar power!!
Yes, I am. And I also invest in many socially responsible and green mutual funds to boot, as well as spending my dollars with companies who I find to not impact my environment as much as possible. While I can't be the best out there (I do used prepackaged things, etc.) I try and reduce impact in every way I can, if I had my choice I'd mount a huge wind turbine on my roof.

Quote:
a) I suspect that it takes more energy and resources to manufacture the solar charger, produce and deliver the packaging materials to the manufacturer, and ship one of these solar chargers to you then you are likely to ever save by charging a BlackBerry with it.
Definitely a possibility, but you only suspect -- I too worry about the same tradeoffs. A problem though is that without anyone to actually try and harness/use the power of hydro, wind and solar tech, we'll be dependant on fossil fuels for the rest of time. A study in economics will help reveal that while the first adopters of a tech are the ones who find it's actually more wasteful, once something is proven and it reaches the economics of scale it can be refined to produce more efficiently, less wasteful and hopefully with less impact overall.

Quote:
because you don't intend to use the two previous solar products you purchased.
I never stated that; I have one of them at work and one at home, and they have several power adapter tips. While insufficient to charge a higher-need device like a S60 (Nokia/Symbian) or BlackBerry, they actually can charge other minor things that have much lower power requirements. So while not useful for my desired purpose, they are not thrown away or ignored.

Just for knowledge, one of them can just about charge a Nokia 6682 to 75% of capacity. It can fully charge a RAZR. It's just highly inefficient even having been reviewed as a good device, which makes me sad.

Quote:
Here's my suggestion for the simplest solution: if you drive a car (I suspect you own a Prius, but even a regular gas-powered car will do just fine), charge your BlackBerry using your cigarette lighter charger while you are in the car. You are already generating the electricity so you might as well get the extra "bang-for-the-buck" and charge your BlackBerry while you are at it. Then you will be accomplishing another task with resources that you already have to use anyway. Of course, if you are so into "green" philosophy that driving a car would be sacrosanct to you, and you only take public transportation, then this strategy may not be feasible for you. But for some reason, I suspect that you do drive a car ;).
You suspect completely wrong. I do not own a car, have not for years -- I own a motorcycle which I don't ride that much, a bicycle and I take public transportation to work on a daily basis as well as for everything else. Your entire statement above makes a presumption based on facts not in evidence.

From what I understand only 8% of the entire world drives cars, and of course those are from the "first world" countries. 98% of the US uses non-renewable energy(1) which is something that has to change; I for one am trying to help be the answer and solution, not the cause. The United states is the worst offender in the entire world(2), and this has to change. I do applaud you for being an Environmental Studies graduate, but in real life you have to get off your a** and be the one who promotes and makes changes.

Quote:
A more extravagant option, but one that would actually have a substantial impact in reducing your use of non-renewable resources, would be to add photovoltaic panels to your house, and then just go ahead and use the BlackBerry wall charger in one of your standard electrical outlets.
I would love to! Alas dear compatriate, I rent here in SF -- as a single working guy I cannot even afford to own a unit in the building I live, the prices start at over $600,000 but are more frequently $750,000 for condos and around $1.2mil for an actual house. Some day when I own my own house (a guy can dream!) it will be solar panel'd out as much as I possibly can.

Quote:
As an outside observer, it just seems like inefficient use of your time and the world's energy, to prolong a quest for the perfect solar BlackBerry charger in order to try to implement a "green" philosophy. Especially when the ultimate impact will be insignificant, and in all likelihood, you are using more non-renewable resources trying to acquire this novelty solar charging device than you will ever save by putting it into use.
That study is yet to be seen (and probably tough to do), but you know what? Someone has to try and make it happen. We're ignoring the case of having portable power (I am not a huge backpacker so can't really make this case, but it is a good one). By your statement above a car like the Prius would never exist; the inability to try something new and get away from fossil fuels is worth investigating. Initially it may be more wasteful but in the long run it will pay off! (well, if we can get mass-market to adopt at least)

The Prius unfortunately has eclipsed many other non-fossil vehicles that have come before it and done a better job, there's still the issue of the environmental impact of when those batteries reach their end of life. I'm honestly not in support of that, I think that we can do a lot better (and have); even biodiesel has a less overall impact, but at lease the Prius has brought to the mainstream the *idea* that it's ok to be green.

Quote:
Just my two cents. I hope you don't take this the wrong way.
Oh not at all, I like intelligent discourse, it's what makes the world go 'round. And I hope you don't take the above responses the wrong way either.

==
(1)
http://www.treehugger.com/files/2006...ty.php#numbers

(2)
http://www.nrdc.org/globalWarming/f101.asp#7
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Old 03-29-2007, 11:57 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rivviepop
Yes, I am. And I also invest in many socially responsible and green mutual funds to boot, as well as spending my dollars with companies who I find to not impact my environment as much as possible.
...a bit off topic but do you know of any good resources on finding such mutual funds and recommendations for companies to invest in? I've run across sites with such info in the past but never bookmarked them unfortunately.
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Old 03-29-2007, 02:07 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by takeshi
...a bit off topic but do you know of any good resources on finding such mutual funds and recommendations for companies to invest in? I've run across sites with such info in the past but never bookmarked them unfortunately.
I'll never recommend anything to anyone, that's playing with fire (unless of course I was an investment pro, and you'd be paying me at that point ). I don't even suggest things to friends or coworkers.

But, I can lead you to a site that I think is a good starting block to do research:

SocialFunds.com: The largest personal finance site devoted to socially responsible investing

I have no connection whatsoever with that site, I found it via Google one day. Since we're talking finance here, I make no recommendations or in any way will be held accountable for anyone's investment choices. (disclaimer, not personal takeshi )
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Old 04-11-2007, 11:35 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I would actually appreciate it if you DID post the names of the chargers that sucked I'm looking for buy a solar charger and it'd be nice to know which one NOT to buy

Did you ever get the SolarStyle SC002? Comments?
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Old 04-11-2007, 04:56 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cali99boy
I would actually appreciate it if you DID post the names of the chargers that sucked I'm looking for buy a solar charger and it'd be nice to know which one NOT to buy
Stay away from this one:
http://www.allaboutsymbian.com/revie...gy_Charger.php

Quote:
Did you ever get the SolarStyle SC002? Comments?
Not yet -- one more thing on my never-ending list of junk to do, not very high on the ole' priority stack right now...
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Old 04-11-2007, 10:09 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks. Was looking at the Solio, Soldius1, and the Solar Style. Never even heard of the one you got so I guess I'm on the right track lol
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