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Goal Zero Users

Discussion in 'Electronic Devices' started by blt2drg, Dec 27, 2012.

  1. blt2drg

    blt2drg Loaded Pockets

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    Any Goal Zero users? Likes, dislikes, tips, hints? How have your solar panels held up?

    I received the Guide 10 power pack along with 4 extra AA's for Christmas. I also received some gift cards so i couldnt resist ordering the Nomad 7 solar panel to go along with it. Not sure i really need the panel and i doubt i will EDC it, but it should be nice to keep in my BOB.

    My primary reason for wanting the Guide 10 was to keep in my EDC bag for emergency cell phone back up. I've been in 2 emergency situations in the last few years where i didnt have a cell phone charger and really needed it.
     
  2. mooshi
    • In Omnia Paratus

    mooshi Loaded Pockets

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    I have the Nomad 7 and Guide 10+ setup as well. I haven't used the solar panel enough to know how well it holds up, but so far so good.

    I got this setup primarily because I wanted a way to charge my items while hiking or camping. The charge time is really good, in my opinion. In terms of electronics, I don't usually camp/hike with more than my phone and camera, so that's all I really charge. I like the ability to attach the panel to my backpack too. :)

    The Guide 10+ is EDC'd mostly as a phone charger on most days. I hadn't gotten around to getting spare phone batts and figured that this would work perfectly fine without having to buy proprietary spare batteries for the phone. I wanted this one particularly because I didn't want to deal with a lithium pack that would eventually get shot and tossed. The Guide 10 also gives me the ability to have backup AA or AAA cells for my flashlights if I ever needed them.
     
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  3. reppans

    reppans Loaded Pockets

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    I also have the G10+/N7 set-up - it's very versatile, and works as advertised, but for me, I don't consider it "human-powered-portable" due to bulk and weight and would only take it if traveling by car or something. But then again, I really don't need solar if traveling by car.

    I have a Powerfilm 4xAA solar charger that is about 1/3rd the bulk and weight of the GZ kit. It has the same surface area as the GZ, but being thin-film is only half as efficient as monocrystalline in perfect sunlight. However, interestingly, thin-film is twice as efficient in less than perfect sunlight (cloudy, angle to sun, through glass, etc), and I've tested them side by side plenty. Also, it can charge 2 cells (GZ only does 4), which is what I usually need and so can supply me enough batts in the same ~4 hrs. The smaller size/weight makes it more worth carrying for what would be emergency use only.

    Solar is still too slow, and Eastcoast sunlight too unpredictable, to rely on for power, so I usually make sure I have enough spare Eneloops, and if I'm off grid long enough, an emergency-only solar charger. Actually all my camping and travel electrical gadgets are AA Eneloop based, so I have deep cannibalization options before I resort to solar.

    I agree on the emergency cellphone charger thing and EDC a 2xAA iGo PowerXtender which rides on a suspension clip in my front pocket 24/7. Smaller, but similar purpose to carrying the G10+, except that you also can charge batts with the G10 from any USB port.

    As far as durability is concerned, I read a report or two from people that have used them constantly as their primary chargers, and the problem was that the internal wiring between the panels fatigued, eventually breaking the connection, after too many times being folded and unfolded.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  4. Mudinyeri

    Mudinyeri Loaded Pockets

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    I have a Guide 10+ that goes on multi-day backpacking or canoe trips with me. It's held up well. Obviously, the solar panel is dependent on sun. I've packed/canoed in some cloudy/rainy weather and not gotten a full charge. I haven't used any other solar charger to make a comparison.
     
  5. phatch

    phatch Loaded Pockets

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    I have a 7 but haven't put it to use yet.
     
  6. READYSETGO
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    READYSETGO Loaded Pockets

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    Thanks to the OP and all for the input. I have a GZ 10+ recently purchased, but haven't put it to use or test yet. I bought it after reading the reviews and it seemed like a good unit.

    I look forward to your expert advise and input
     
  7. blt2drg

    blt2drg Loaded Pockets

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    Thanks guys for the replies. I am anxious for my new Nomad 7 to arrive so i can test it out.
     
  8. READYSETGO
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    READYSETGO Loaded Pockets

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    reppans -

    Thanks for the real world examples! Do you feel having both (GZ and PF) gives you a nice option to solar power in all situations?

    I found a similiar old thread on CPF. Another member ama20 had a 10watt foldable solar panel that would charge two GZ 10+. Do you think this might be a better option than PF?
     
  9. reppans

    reppans Loaded Pockets

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    Yeah, I like having both options... one for ultra portability and one as the workhorse around home during power outages.

    Like anything, I'm sure it just boils down to your preferences and needs, but I think I'd be comfortable with anything from GZ, PF or Cottonpicker (from CPF) having been very satisfied with their products.

    Ama knows what he's talking about though, he was the only one able to explain the efficiency differences to me on a CFP thread when I complained my GZ N7/G10 was only performing half as well as the PF (charging indoors through windows). Sure enough, took them outside in direct, perpendicular sun, and the efficiency results reversed.

    I'm no expert in solar chargers - I only know these two products.
     
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  10. READYSETGO
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    READYSETGO Loaded Pockets

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    Thanks -

    I have private messaged ama20 to inquire about the 10w working with the GZ 10+ units. I'll have to decide if I just want to order the PF and use it when full sun is not available. :)

    EDIT - PS I forgot to admire your flashlights - I love 47's.
     
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  11. CasperEDC

    CasperEDC Loaded Pockets

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    I don't have the Nomad 10 but it sounds like a winner of a Christmas present to an EDCer.
     
  12. Thechansen

    Thechansen Loaded Pockets

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    I have the Guide 10+ and the small 3.5 panel. With the iPhone 4S I had numerous issues with both, I would get charging not supported errors or it would take 10-15 minutes before the guide 10 even began to charge. Every other device worked fine and the Guide 10+ is an EDC item in my bag. I assume Apple changed something with Lightning charging because my iPhone charges works awesome on both the solar panel and the guide 10. Had it for about a year and no other issues to report.
     
  13. S_Serpent

    S_Serpent Loaded Pockets

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    Received mine yesterday a nomad 7 and guide 10+ kit.

    Will use the nomad with my bob bag and the guide as edc battery bank.

    Chosen this setup as it works with simple AA or AAA type batteries.
    Getting some more AA Eneloop batteries as we speak :)
     
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  14. reppans

    reppans Loaded Pockets

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    Yeah, Eneloops are good. I recently ran an refresh/analyze cycle on the OEM GZ batts and they tested at a good ~2200 mah of capacity, but then I got "not compatible" errors trying to charge an iPad and iPhone. Switched over to old Eneloops and they seemed to charge just fine. Guess the GZ batts increase resistance / lose ability to output high amps rather quickly - they seem to be low quality.
     
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  15. KnightBanshee

    KnightBanshee Loaded Pockets

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    My wife and I went down to Costa Rica and the main resort we stayed at for about a week had no power except in the kitchen/main lodge. The place we stayed in didn't have any electric outlets or any power in them. We were in the jungle so for us to be able to charge all our devices, cameras, cell phones (for cameras lol), etc... We needed it. We used that sucker every day and it worked very nicely. It worked best just to charge the battery pack and then charge the devices, but it worked nicely just attaching the devices to it.

    [​IMG]

    Picture was taken on top of a tall tree that had a platform with a bridge that went out from our room.