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Solar charger recommendations

I often work away off grid, no mains power, for whole weeks. My old tough Samsung did a week easily… FF2? No need to ask. OK, BIG add on to this fine question: Any Solar Powered chargers out there?? - and please don’t suggest one for the iPhone cos they don’t work on my FF2

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I would recommend one of these:

Great piece of kit I backed on their Kickstarter. Modular, clips on your backpack and charges at about the same speed as your mains charger when its sunny.

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I recommend the waka-waka.
For every sold WAKAWAKA, there’s always going WAKAWAKA Light to a family without electricity in a disaster or crisis situation.

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Little Sun has a quite similar project as waka-waka. Little Sun sells a little sun at a very cheap price (in Africa I think, I didn’t check) for every unit sold for the regular price elsewhere.
I’ve had a Little Sun charger for some months and it works well even in Winter… In a sunny day, it gets fully charged, which is almost enough for charging my FP2 twice. With bad weather, it takes 2 days to charge fully.
You can take a Little Sun and a waka-waka as a back-up, and then make two families happy :slight_smile:

All power to you! :grin: I have this dream of just plugging a small solar panel into my FP2 - and it working. Some sort of converter to regulate what’s going into the phone. I charge up a 12v leisure battery with a panel, so I’m half way there.
Anyone?

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Well, it doesn’t have to stay a dream. You can just buy these things. :relieved:
You can use a USB car charger to charge your phone from the 12 V battery (5 €).
You could also get a solar-powered USB charger (less than 50 €, plugs directly into any phone / tablet).

Do you know the Waka Waka. I use the WakaWaka Power+ to charge my Fairphone and E-book.
For every sold Waka Waka, there’s always going Waka Waka Light to a family without electricity in a disaster or crisis situation. Instead of Waka Waka choosing a project (as they did in the past), you will find in the package a personal ‘Share the Sun’ code. On the site of Waka Waka you can choose a project to decide yourself where your donation Waka Waka Light is going to!

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I would also recommend Solarpaper from Yolk at www.yolkstation.com.
I backed it on Kickstarter and they held their promisses.
It is not so cheap which also depends on the wattache you choose to have.
I took the highest of 15 watts and five panels (max. 3 Amps at 5 Volts).
Water resistent and using the most efficient solar cells available on the market (2015).

-Solar cell efficiency: about 23%,
-Solar Panel efficiency: about 21%

The commercial version is modified and more advanced meanwhile.
But the Kickstarter version performs absolutely flawless at any time.

The most interesting maybe unique feature is the auto-reset function. Should e.g. a cloud pass by darkening the pannel it will auto-reset with enough light again continuing the charging process. Most other solar chargers doesn´t do that and your device won´t be fully charged unless re-plugged.
Usually I charge my FP2 and a LG G4 simultanously while switched on.
LG G4 supports quick charge and reaches full status quicker despite its 3000 mAh accumulator.
With sufficient light both devices charge as quick as with power socket chargers.
FP2 at approx. 1200 mAh, LG at approx. 1500 mAh.

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An hour later I have started to calm down and use printable language… I’d like a word with whoever recommended the Powermonkey explorer. It doesn’t work!! I was away for 2 weeks, leaving my FP2 behind as I had no mains available BUT I knew I had a solar charger coming. It Came!! I charged it up! I plugged in my FP2 - and nothing. (However the USB lead for charging the Monkey from a laptop - CAN be used to charge my FP2.

PowerMonkey Explorer parameters: Output Voltage 4.5 ~ 5.5v, Output current 700mA max (whatever that means?)… WHY does FP2 have to be so bleedin awkward and demand an above standard current that need specialist chargers.

Given that I bought the FP2 because of it’s environmental credentials, my buying yet another heap of hard cased plastic tat, (with of all these extra plugs and tips) just to charge said FP2 up sort of encourages me to take this Power Monkey, smash it into bits and toss it in the sea myself, to save on diesel. Yep, I’m, furious with myself for buying the damn phone in the first place - and can’t ethically sell it on, given the problems I’ve had. (Unless someone on here doesn’t want solar and is happy with nuclear powered phones? Make me an offer!)

Considering the range of different currents delivered by proven compatible chargers mentioned in the community list, and 700mA (0.7A) among them, these parameters sound fine and you were right to assume the charger would work.

Since the current sounds fine and USB charging normally should deliver 5V voltage, meaning the FP2 would probably expect that voltage, perhaps the voltage delivered by the charger is too low (4.5V?) or not stable enough over time for charging the FP2 … but you would need a way to measure that to be sure.

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4.5 V is too low. We talked about this somewhere else on the forum recently. Maybe you can find that discussion again.

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Thanks Another Elk - and Stephan… Good to get a considered reply to my post - that was typed, it seems, when I was still in a spitting fury…
The Power Monkey is posted back today, despite damaged packaging, so they can deal with recycling it. I probably won’t get a refund but hey.

I’ll struggle on with 240v charging - which will probably mean driving 10 ish miles a day (diesel) to the nearest Costa or motorway service station to get my phone charged. That’s why I wanted solar… I’ll be off grid 5-6 days a week from tomorrow till Sept/Oct - working at Green festivals and camps, running carbon neutral showers.

Yes, I will talk about FP2 if it gets mentioned… Ethically sourced? Yes Environment friendly? No. What else can I say after throwing away 4 chargers until I found one that worked, now adding a power monkey - and anticipating loads of extra diesel? Call it feedback - that we really need the FP2 to BE chargable by most of the chargers out there - and so justify not sending one out in the box.
(yup, I’m still steaming 24 hours in…)

Why didn’t you consider the brands that Fairphone has partnered with in the past: WakaWaka and Little Sun? They should work well with the FP2 and at least one of them is even a B Corp.

I hadn’t heard about PowerMonkey before, to be honest.

I haven’t heard of that. Where can I read more?

It was mainly mentioned on social media. For example:

https://mobile.twitter.com/search?q=Fairphone+wakawaka

https://mobile.twitter.com/search?q=Fairphone+littlesun

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Both of them are actually!

@Stuparod: as explained above, I am really happy with my Little Sun. No problem so far. If I remember right, I had to charge it completely in a power socket first before I could use the solar feature. Maybe there was something similar with your PowerMonkey?

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I have taken a look at the Waka Waka and Little Sun. Here is a small comparison:

Waka Waka is the small and flexible one. You put it in your pocket (size approximately like FP2), with the integrated stand you place it anywhere, you can attach it on a bottle. However, its battery is only the size of one FP2 (2200 mAh) and due to its compact size the solar panel has only so much power. I think this is the better alternative if you want to have your charger with you all the time. Costs 70€

Little Sun is the more powerful one. It’s twice as big in both size and battery capacity. So it won’t fit in your pocket. Contrary to Waka Waka it claims to be (splash-)waterproof. I think for everyday use, especially at home, this is the more convenient alternative. I’m gonna get one. Costs 100€

Actually the more interesting thing are the values they share: By buying one charger, you support their projects in parts of the world where people can not easily access electric light. For more information look at their websites.
Both devices have a built-in LED.
Both devices seem to be decently well manufactured, at least that’s the impression I get from reading multiple independent reviews.

Obviously, there are many other solar chargers on the market. But these two put focus on their social value.

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And it is! Mine has spent several days outside under the rain.

Thanks for the comparison, I hope it will help future buyers!

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Waka Waka Base 10 is now down to 99€, that’s the same price as Little Sun but a lot more for it i think. It is a kit with a 10000 mAh battery, foldable solar panels, multiple USB ports and 2 lamps.

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The Base 10 looks great! Maybe a good alternative if you are away for longer than 1 day.

Waka Waka is also given a prime spot on Fairphone’s website:
“Save 25% on the WakaWaka Power+
Get a sustainable solar-powered charger and light with a special discount, and support WakaWaka’s social mission. Offer valid through 15 June with the purchase of a Fairphone 2.” (https://shop.fairphone.com/en/buy-fairphone2-2/)

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