/ Brunton solar products

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Monkeyrock - on 05 Jul 2009
Can anyone tell me where Brunton products can be bought in the UK. All I can find is US sites.

Looking for a SoloŽ BattPack, and a Solar Roll 9.

Also anyone used this combination? It's for an expedition to Patagonia, and will need to charge AA/AAA/ camera/video-camera batteries.
lost1977 - on 05 Jul 2009
In reply to Monkeyrock:

just a thought but if your going to Patagonia can you arrange a stopover in the US. if product is easily available in US this might be a good option rather than getting it over here
Monkeyrock - on 06 Jul 2009
In reply to Monkeyrock: Good idea, but I really wouldnt be happy unless I have thoroughly tested it before I go. All I've read about this kit seems to be great, but would still like to test it before I'm commited and miles from nowhere with no spare batts.

Anybody?
Damo on 06 Jul 2009
In reply to Monkeyrock:

For the money for one of those Solar Roll 9 panels you could buy several batteries for the digi cam and save weight, time and hassle. And will your video cam connect to the panel? How? Or do you need an optional car charger? ie. more cables and hassle. Only if you're really planning to do a lot of filming would I worry about a recharging setup.

If you're around Fitz/Torre you can recharge in Chalten. Only on the icecaps would people worry about solar panels and my friends who've done several trips (N&S hielos) are not fans of panels - poor performance in snow and storms.

D
Monkeyrock - on 06 Jul 2009
In reply to Damo: Going to be on an Ice Cap for 42 days. I have no experience of solar charging, but am worried at how many/weight of batterys I will need to carry. The Brunton setup was recomended by a guy who used it in the Arctic and said he found it very reliable. AA/AAA are charged by a Lithion Ion storage device 150g, which in turn is charged from the solar roll. It will require a car charging lead to connect other electric devices. Am still in two minds about the whole thing.
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Damo on 06 Jul 2009
In reply to Monkeyrock:

It depends on just how many devices you have? Why the AA/AAA? An eTrek GPS would only need one set of AA plus one spare. Though in this case head torches could be a problem, which might tip things in the favour of recharging?

Not familiar with the Lithium Ion storage device, normally AA/AAA can be charged direct from the panel in their own little charging dock like you see in camera/electronic shops etc.

If the video cam batts require their own dock, then you're starting to accumulate a lot of gadgetry. We use a solar setup in Antarctica, very successfully for years, but we get flown into basecamp (though we travel on foot from there). You will have to backpack this stuff up onto the ice from down low. Horses can only go so far.

As for the cameras, if you have not tried it before it's hard to tell, but going batteries-only is usually fine now up to 40-50 days if you have a couple of spares. But it depends on your cam, how you look after it, how many pix you take etc etc. This causes a lot of variation, hence the thing about trying it first before the trip. What people did a few years ago is not necessarily valid any more as the batteries and cams have improved so much recently. I took my panel to the ice last year but didn't use it, though that was only for about 30 days. I had 3x batteries but did not use one at all. Also, the most modern digi stills can take HD video, which is fine to watch on tv or the net, though not for making a doco. This is an awesome development for climbers. So maybe you can ditch the video altogether?

You won't be taking many photos anyway. 42 days of whiteout I reckon ;-)

D

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