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Old 05-21-14, 12:09 PM   #1
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Default Opteka BP-SC4000 - Solar cell phone charger review

Now that its more summer-like out, I've been trying to use my Opteka solar cell phone charger more. I've had it sitting in a south facing window every day for the past few weeks now.

It is a nice little gadget. It holds a good charge, has decent chapacity and if its fully charged can charge my phone a couple of times before its dead. The instructions are useless, but the amazon reviews show how to use it. Once you have it down its really easy to use. When the solar panel starts to charge the battery, the leds blink from left to right. To see the state of charge, push the button once. To use it to charge something, hold the button down for ~3 seconds (hold again to exit charge mode). Thats it. Its also very inexpensive at only $20 (if you qualify for amazon's free shipping by ordering a few other things).

Now, on to the gripes. Well, there really only is one, and that is that it charges SLOW. It takes days to recharge via the solar panel. Perhaps as we get even longer days it'll get better, but I'm skeptical. I think the solar panel needs to be a LOT bigger to charge the ~4000 mAh pack.

For reference, I've had it in a south facing window (single pane, not e-coated or anything) every day for the past few weeks. I realize having it outside would probably help some, but I don't really want to have to leave this thing outside. Anyway, I use it maybe 2x a week to charge my phone up, and thats not even a full charge on the phone. Probably from 50% to 100%. The phone battery is 1700 mAh. So, 50% would be 850 mah.

If I know I'm going to need to use it, I charge it up via a wall jack first (it has a mini usb input). Then, after I use it, I keep it in the sun as much as possible if I know I'll need it again. Optionally, one could probably fairly easily devise an external solar panel that plugs into the mini-usb port to add additional charging capacity.

Knowing what I know now, would I buy it again? Yeah, I think so. Its a great little battery backup/charger, and I think the price tag is more than reasonable for what you get.

Opteka BP-SC4000 Ultra Thin Solar Powered High Capacity (4000mAh) Backup Battery and Charger for Cell Phones, iPhone, iPod, and Most USB Powered Devices

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Last edited by Daox; 05-21-14 at 12:14 PM..
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