Author Topic: goal zero power packs  (Read 3475 times)

Offline surfivor

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goal zero power packs
« on: November 28, 2016, 08:17:25 AM »
I was looking at this $300 lithium power pack that can charge a phone about 14 times and a laptop maybe twice. It's not clear how the laptop connects to it though.

http://www.goalzero.com/p/207/sherpa-100-power-pack

With something like that I could run some powerful LED lights at my camp and not have to keep running out to my car to charge my phone and IPod .. This thing can be charged from solar panels as well .. The panels they recommend is $200 but there are also bigger ones

 I just bought a Alladin lamp that I hadn't even tried yet, I forgot to pack it this weekend. but the LED lights pose no fire hazard, though I would still use the oil lamp since I bought it already and it could save using the batteries


This one seems a little more power, but it is lead core (though only 12 pounds). It
costs about $179 and you can replace the internal battery for $50. It also can charge from the same solar panel but takes longer to charge. It has a regular AC output so charging a laptop seems straightforward. Both of these can charge from the wall or car (I assume cigarette lighter or USB) as well.

http://powerfulproducts.com/goal-zero-yeti-150-solar-generator.aspx

If I had both of these I could run my laptop at my camp for a few hours a day perhaps intermittently .. Though unless between jobs and sending out resumes I don't have a strong need to do that so I am thinking of just getting one of them, perhaps the first one for starters. If I use my tablet instead I can run that for much much longer

 The next one up is a 30 pound lead core that can run a laptop quite a bit longer and costs around $400 .. but it seems bulky and more than I need for now

Offline surfivor

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Re: goal zero power packs
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2016, 09:27:07 AM »
I ordered the Sherpa pack plus a USB light .. I saw the light at EMS. It is very bright

Order Summary
          Item Name         Qty         Price Each         Item Subtotal    
          
     Sherpa 100 Power Pack    Sherpa 100 Power Pack
Usually ships in 2-3 business days         1         $    299.99         $    299.99    
     Lighthouse 400 Lantern & USB Power Hub    Lighthouse 400 Lantern & USB Power Hub
Usually ships in 2-3 business days         1         $    79.99         $    79.99    

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: goal zero power packs
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2016, 09:41:04 AM »
Once you have a clear mission or purpose, you can allow math to guide you.

In my case, ultra portability wasn't a priority.  For about $300:

$159 - 100 watts solar kit+charge controller: https://www.amazon.com/Renogy-Watts-Volts-Monocrystalline-Bundle/dp/B00B8L6EFA
$100 - 75AH Optima yellow top deep cycle battery (refurbished)
$50 - 800 watt inverter: https://www.amazon.com/Cobra-CPI-880-Inverter-output/dp/B001TE0IMG

That's far bigger than anything I can take hiking of course, but I can indefinitely power our home refrigerator using full sun (5-6amps I tested) during the summer months.

I'm more of a DIY guy, and prefer to think in terms of amp hours, rather than "charge a phone N times".  How the heck do they know which laptop or phone I have?

If I was needing to backpack with portable power, that's when an investment into lithium chemistry makes sense.

Offline surfivor

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Re: goal zero power packs
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2016, 10:09:51 AM »

Smurf .. It looks like the battery weighs 60 pounds ? It also can't freeze ? Alot of the lead batteries cant freeze

http://wp.renogy.com/lycanpowerbox.html

============

 I am not going backpacking but I ride around in my car and back and forth to my camp with all kinds of gear, clothing and all packed into totes so I like small stuff which is versatile and could be used in a backpacking situation but that is not the main purpose


 If I could set up a big battery pack so that it was 65 feet from my yurt and run a line that far that would be interesting. The battery could go inside the steel storage container with solar panels on the roof of the storage container. It would need to be a battery pack that would be fine left in freezing weather all winter and I would just leave it there. I am not sure with a long line like that if you would use more power running the power cord 65 feet or more ?


Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: goal zero power packs
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2016, 11:18:02 AM »
I am not sure with a long line like that if you would use more power running the power cord 65 feet or more ?

DC voltages can drop quickly with added wire length.  This goes for DC wiring from solar panels to the charge controller, but more importantly the distance between the controller and the battery.

If you need to run 50+ feet, and ultimately want AC power from an inverter, consider running the long distance length using a normal 100VAC extension cord.  AC does much better over distance.  I believe Carl does a similar trick

Offline surfivor

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Re: goal zero power packs
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2016, 12:01:45 PM »

 I am not sure, but I am not at my camp for weeks at a time so if the solar panels get covered with ice or snow then the battery may die so that's one thing .. I could try putting panels up in a tree but that makes the distance further

 If the battery is someplace that gets hot in the summer like a storage container or in the yurt then there's that. The battery could be outside someplace where it is concealed to some extent and the panels might have to be. It seems somewhat complex considerations, the portable stuff is less complex and could be used for car camping or an RV; although it's lower power.

Offline Carl

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Re: goal zero power packs
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2016, 09:12:05 PM »
Doesn't your car have the ability to charge a battery?,and even a second battery with a battery isolator to allow you to forget and yet still be able to start your vehicle and charge the battery back. All of this worry for a system you can carry with you and yet not need solar as an inverter in the vehicle and even a 200 foot extension cord is way easier than heavy batteries and solar panels . Your car can idle for an hour on less than a gallon of fuel when the 500 watts from your 'second' battery (way more than any portable option) runs out. Try to not be a MULE for your technology.Why not have power every place you go?

The Sherpa 100 has LESS than a 10 Amp battery that you should not use below 7 amp hours so your laptop better be damn small. (70 watts for ONE HOUR.)

The YETI 150 has about 15 AMP HOURS of which you can (without damage to the battery) use about half of ,so OH MY,You get about the same 70 Watts for ONE HOUR from this one too.

A second battery in your vehicle,with an inverter will give you at least 250 to 500 watts for an hour ,without damage to the battery, or about FOUR TO EIGHT TIMES as much power as either of the units you linked to. I really love the nice package they both make ,BUT I WANT POWER...without the high cost.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2016, 09:25:29 PM by Carl »
I refuse to punch back as I didn't come here to fight.

Stop complaining about life and start Celebrating it .

I've reached the age where there is little left to learn the hard way.

If you had only one year,one month,or one day...Would you live your life differently?

Offline DonC

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Re: goal zero power packs
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2016, 10:26:04 PM »
Man, I gotta weigh in. I'll tell you what..... you give me $400 and you spend $400 on your setup and we can compare setups. I'm willing to bet for $400 bucks, I can buy 2-100 watt solar panels, (which come with a charge controller), a 100ah marine deep cycle battery, and a 1,000 watt power inverter.

Sure, convenience is a nice thing to have. But for the same price, you can have a better power setup. 1,000 watts of power is plenty in a "cabin." But 150w in a "Goal-zero" setup will leave you struggling.

Buy the parts yourself
150w inverter- $30
50ah battery- $60
100w panel & controller- $125
Total: $215

That would leave you with $185 to buy a cheap dual band mobile and a mag mount antenna and allow you to buy some coffee and snacks plus put gas in your vehicle.

Goal-Zero Sherpa 100w kit- $400
Total: $400 THAT'S IT!

What you paid for is the brand name and convenience. But you were robbed of knowledge and power (LOL)!

As an example of what Carl mentioned: I was in an ice storm in Oklahoma in 2009 that knocked out power to the entire city and Air Force BASE for 14 days. People had generators, but the gas stations were rationed by day 4 and empty by day 8. I bought my fuel ration and was running a 150w inverter from my truck. I had powered my phones, Laptop, daughters handheld games, and lights at night on the gas in my truck and my ration cans (about 10- 5 Gall on cans altogether) and it lasted me just fine!

What everyone is trying to say is, ask around before going out and buying the 1st thing you see. There are a lot of people here with a lot of experience. We're all willing to share and help out.

Are Goal-Zero products cool and convenient? Sure. Are they worth it? Seems like the general consensus is not really. Are you happy with what you bought? Well, I hope so, cuz it's yours.

Offline surfivor

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Re: goal zero power packs
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2016, 07:57:06 AM »
 The sherpa battery pack was $300 which is a NCM lithium battery. I think NCM is one of the much better types of long lasting lithium. I am not sure if that is the same type used in hybrid cars but it may be. It weighs 2 pounds and can charge from a wall socket in 3 hours or from a car cigarette lighter in 4 hours.

They sell a decent 12 pound lead core based battery pack for $179 and you can replace the inner lead part for $50. This one can hold slightly more juice than the lithium one but weighs more and can take twice as long to charge.

These smaller batteries will only charge a laptop maybe once or twice but can be good for led lights, charging phones, tablet etc. The lithium one can charge a cell phone 14 times and the lead one slightly more. The specs say the lithium pack can charge a tablet between 2 and 4 times and the lead one 6 times.
 
They may be expensive, but I felt like getting one and I liked the small size of the sherpa and it's fast charge time. It also means I can easily run the larger goal zero LED light which is pretty bright as I saw one of those at EMS.  If these battery packs are well made and last that would be good because some stuff does not but they seem to have good reviews


 It seems like those other battery options are decent but they are big and bulky. I would consider it but it's complicated because I have to figure out where to put the solar panels up in a tree, there's a long distance of line. It may snow or something and cover the panels which means the battery could go dead because I sometimes don't go to my camp for several weeks at a time. If the panels are outside, someone could steal them but I have not had problems - though I think they would have to be inconspicuous from the road because stuff has happened in the area.

 If I am going to cart a battery back and forth, I am not sure it appeals to me if it is going to weigh alot .. I already have to pack all kind of gear when I go up, coolers and everything
« Last Edit: November 30, 2016, 08:22:22 AM by surfivor »

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: goal zero power packs
« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2016, 09:11:00 AM »
Quote
But you were robbed of knowledge and power (LOL)!

That's hilarious.  I suppose without changing your own flat tire during a rain storm, you'd be "robbed" of a character building opportunity 

Offline surfivor

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Re: goal zero power packs
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2017, 04:17:36 PM »
uh oh

Offline Carl

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Re: goal zero power packs
« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2017, 04:25:43 PM »
uh oh

WOW,Surferdude...he sure told you.
I refuse to punch back as I didn't come here to fight.

Stop complaining about life and start Celebrating it .

I've reached the age where there is little left to learn the hard way.

If you had only one year,one month,or one day...Would you live your life differently?

Offline surfivor

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Re: goal zero power packs
« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2017, 04:30:11 PM »
WOW,Surferdude...he sure told you.

Did you see that ? There was a cyrilic post. I see the mods are cleaning up, there was 55 of those from that user .. it's dropping

Offline Carl

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Re: goal zero power packs
« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2017, 04:32:55 PM »
Did you see that ? There was a cyrilic post. I see the mods are cleaning up, there was 55 of those from that user .. it's dropping

Surferdude...it was just a figment of your imagination....maybe a bad mushroom...I reported to moderator several identical appearing posts,likely spam though I did not try to read chicken scratch.
I refuse to punch back as I didn't come here to fight.

Stop complaining about life and start Celebrating it .

I've reached the age where there is little left to learn the hard way.

If you had only one year,one month,or one day...Would you live your life differently?

Offline Alan Georges

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Re: goal zero power packs
« Reply #14 on: September 12, 2017, 10:16:48 PM »
Saw this review today of the complete Sherpa 100 solar kit:
http://bicycletimesmag.com/review-goal-zero-sherpa-100-solar-kit/

It's not for me or any of the other wire-heads who frequent this place.  Damn sure not for Steven Harris.  But there are many more people who don't live and breath this stuff, who need a pre-engineered solution with an easy-to-read, easy-to-use front panel.  Is it fair that they pay more to have somebody think it through for them?  Yeah, probably so.

Anyway, it was an interesting review from an outdoorsy but non-survivalist point of view.

I swear, there are times it seems like "Baofeng" is Cantonese for "hot mess."

Offline Carl

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Re: goal zero power packs
« Reply #15 on: September 13, 2017, 03:40:50 AM »
I guess when minimal size and power are needed ,this is the way to go.....
I refuse to punch back as I didn't come here to fight.

Stop complaining about life and start Celebrating it .

I've reached the age where there is little left to learn the hard way.

If you had only one year,one month,or one day...Would you live your life differently?

Offline Alan Georges

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Re: goal zero power packs
« Reply #16 on: September 13, 2017, 06:29:41 AM »
Think of the weight savings too, Carl.  Lightens that wallet right up.  Still, I think it's a good product for a lot of people.

I swear, there are times it seems like "Baofeng" is Cantonese for "hot mess."

Offline Carl

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Re: goal zero power packs
« Reply #17 on: September 13, 2017, 07:08:55 AM »
Think of the weight savings too, Carl.  Lightens that wallet right up.  Still, I think it's a good product for a lot of people.

When it works (read reviews) it is a good lightweight alternative for people who don't understand what AMP HOURS (about 10)verses PCS (Phone Charge Cycles) actually represents . When the typical auto can power a fridge,chargers,lights,and fans with only a low cost inverter and weed eater /extension cord needed...PLUS I can even use a second battery so as to not kill my starter battery...I find it hard to buy such power limited devices. Some can't resist the chrome encased unicorns that so many found lacking .

  I guess I should ask;;;How's it working out for you?

 
I refuse to punch back as I didn't come here to fight.

Stop complaining about life and start Celebrating it .

I've reached the age where there is little left to learn the hard way.

If you had only one year,one month,or one day...Would you live your life differently?

Offline surfivor

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Re: goal zero power packs
« Reply #18 on: September 13, 2017, 07:32:09 AM »
When it works (read reviews) it is a good lightweight alternative for people who don't understand what AMP HOURS (about 10)verses PCS (Phone Charge Cycles) actually represents . When the typical auto can power a fridge,chargers,lights,and fans with only a low cost inverter and weed eater /extension cord needed...PLUS I can even use a second battery so as to not kill my starter battery...I find it hard to buy such power limited devices. Some can't resist the chrome encased unicorns that so many found lacking .

  I guess I should ask;;;How's it working out for you?

 

 I like my goal zero stuff because I can recharge my phone or IPod without even getting out of bed or going over to the wall socket. i listen to podcasts on my phone or IPod in bed and am constantly wearing down the battery. At my camp, I would have to get up, put my shoes on go out to the car and charge the phone, then come back later to get it. I don't have electricity at my BOL. Then if someone calls me, the phone is in the car and I don't hear it. The stuff is super lightweight for what it does. With the lighter battery pack I can charge my phone while out on a day hike inside my backpack, even the bigger one could do that but I uses the smaller one generally for that. The sherpa will charge my phone and IPod for several days without being recharged, but I don't have the right compatible solar panel for it so I have to charge it from the car or wait until I get home. I've not yet run it down all the way

Saw this review today of the complete Sherpa 100 solar kit:
http://bicycletimesmag.com/review-goal-zero-sherpa-100-solar-kit/

It's not for me or any of the other wire-heads who frequent this place.  Damn sure not for Steven Harris.  But there are many more people who don't live and breath this stuff, who need a pre-engineered solution with an easy-to-read, easy-to-use front panel.  Is it fair that they pay more to have somebody think it through for them?  Yeah, probably so.

Anyway, it was an interesting review from an outdoorsy but non-survivalist point of view.

 I have that same unit, I also have a smaller one that doesn't hold as much of a charge:

 https://www.travelsmith.com/product/goal-zero-venture-30.do?cm_mmc=keyword=&SourceCode=GCRSS03&clickid=4c79a2a1-8611-4d8c-83d4-fdee876d5302&gclid=Cj0KCQjwruPNBRCKARIsAEYNXIgOhCsBf08PdPKGUK2PJuGvm3eZIrWVuWQPb8pvXLk-YZx4G2YxVnQaAkpXEALw_wcB


Offline Carl

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Re: goal zero power packs
« Reply #19 on: September 13, 2017, 07:37:30 AM »
  Sounds like it fits your need.
I refuse to punch back as I didn't come here to fight.

Stop complaining about life and start Celebrating it .

I've reached the age where there is little left to learn the hard way.

If you had only one year,one month,or one day...Would you live your life differently?

Offline surfivor

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Re: goal zero power packs
« Reply #20 on: September 13, 2017, 08:56:42 AM »

There is apparently a goal zero gas generator that shuts itself off automatically after the battery it is charging is charged all the way. That seems interesting if it is reliable and not very noisy

https://gearjunkie.com/goal-zero-fuel-gas-generator

That’s because it is designed to charge large Goal Zero Yeti portable power stations, allowing the system to operate more efficiently. The Yeti Fuel only runs when a Yeti battery is depleted, and turns itself off after the battery fills. So it doesn’t waste power by running when not needed.

=============

https://www.digitaltrends.com/outdoors/goal-zero-announces-yeti-fuel-at-ces-2017/

Designed to work in conjunction with any of the Yeti Portable Power Stations, the Yeti Fuel connects to the new Lithium battery packs, providing power when no other options are available. This integrated ecosystem has some nice benefits, too, including the ability to sense when the battery pack is full and automatically shut itself off. This helps conserve gasoline and limit the amount of noise and fumes produced by the gas-powered motor, which can often be distracting when in an otherwise quiet environment.


Offline kid_couteau

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Re: goal zero power packs
« Reply #21 on: September 13, 2017, 11:51:15 AM »
Hi All

I also fall into the camp of, if you can, build it yourself but I also fall into the somethings it is easier to just buy outright.

Couple of examples:

Buy it outright:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B017GQ7OEA/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o08_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
$54.99

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01LQ7MQG6/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
$50.00

https://www.amazon.com/Luminoodle-Lights-Camping-Hiking-Emergencies/dp/B0198VDWPQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1505321641&sr=8-1&keywords=luminoodle
$19.99

With these things at a price of about $ 125 I can charge my phone about 7 times or so. I can run the LED light rope for about 23 hours and the solar panel will charge it in a day or so if decent sun.

Build it yourself group:
I built a power pack with these items and some odds and ends.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01M9B6RQI/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o08_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1
4 for $160

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01GC496T8/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o09_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
$12.00

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00FB3OPKM/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
$30.00

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001NJ3H0C/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
$40.00

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01L0LVDJO/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
$33.00

Total cost with odds and ends about $300

I took the panels and put hinges on them in pairs so they fold up for storage. Hooked up in parallel they provide 100 watts of power. with 18 AH on the batteries.
Not perfect but it works.
Kid

Offline surfivor

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Re: goal zero power packs
« Reply #22 on: September 13, 2017, 12:15:20 PM »
Interesting, I would have to study anker products more some time ..

It does seem like anker has a more favorable review, although there is a note there:

https://expeditionportal.com/head-to-head-sherpa-50-solar-kit-vs-anker-e7-14w-solar-charger/

Given its small size and huge reserves of power, I like the E7 over the Goal Zero Sherpa 50. I also only use a solar panel as an infrequently used backup, so shucking out $150 for the Nomad 13 kinda stinks. The Anker panel is more than enough to fit the needs of most consumers, including mine, and at $60 it’s a screaming deal.

The only thing that has me on the fence with the Goal Zero unit is the ability to integrate it with other Goal Zero power packs and solar panels. I just wonder how many people are really inclined to do so.

==============

http://bestportablesolargenerators.com/anker-powerhouse-vs-goal-zero-yeti-400/

After the comparison, we feel Anker PowerHouse has a clear edge over its rivaling model from Goal Zero. First of all, is less in weight, one of the most attractive things any camper will love to have. And the lithium-ion battery makes sure you can use the machine for long time. Above all its battery is rather big, though inverter power is same. If you own any of the machine or both, please share your thoughts with us in comments.

Offline kid_couteau

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Re: goal zero power packs
« Reply #23 on: September 13, 2017, 12:54:15 PM »
The only thing that has me on the fence with the Goal Zero unit is the ability to integrate it with other Goal Zero power packs and solar panels. I just wonder how many people are really inclined to do so.

Please bear in mind that this also locks you into their proprietary way of doing things.

I have nothing against Goal Zero stuff except for what they offer the price is way to high.

Offline surfivor

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Re: goal zero power packs
« Reply #24 on: September 13, 2017, 01:01:02 PM »
The only thing that has me on the fence with the Goal Zero unit is the ability to integrate it with other Goal Zero power packs and solar panels. I just wonder how many people are really inclined to do so.

Please bear in mind that this also locks you into their proprietary way of doing things.

I have nothing against Goal Zero stuff except for what they offer the price is way to high.

 Why would an outdoor store such as REI carry Goal Zero but not Akner ? That seems to be the case, Anker is not listed on their website while various other manufacturers such as Goal Zero are

https://www.rei.com/c/portable-power-devices?r=c&origin=web&ir=category%3Aportable-power-devices&page=1

Offline kid_couteau

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Re: goal zero power packs
« Reply #25 on: September 13, 2017, 01:17:16 PM »
I dont know
Maybe because people that shop at REI have a lot of money to spend  ;D just funnin.

Seriously though I dont know. I have had good fortune with Anker products though.

Offline surfivor

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Re: goal zero power packs
« Reply #26 on: September 13, 2017, 06:17:12 PM »
The only really big outdoor gear stores around here are REI, Eastern Mountain sports. There's a Cabela's in Maine and one just open around our area. There's a pretty big outdoor trading post in southern Maine but that is about it for major outdoor stores other than online shopping I suppose

Offline Alan Georges

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Re: goal zero power packs
« Reply #27 on: September 13, 2017, 06:18:30 PM »
  I guess I should ask;;;How's it working out for you?
Shoulda given you a report months ago!  Hooked all up, tested, ran the refrigerator for a couple of hours, and back into the ready-bin.  Thanks again Carl.

Back to the topic at hand..

I swear, there are times it seems like "Baofeng" is Cantonese for "hot mess."

Offline Carl

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Re: goal zero power packs
« Reply #28 on: September 13, 2017, 06:34:30 PM »
Shoulda given you a report months ago!  Hooked all up, tested, ran the refrigerator for a couple of hours, and back into the ready-bin.  Thanks again Carl.

Back to the topic at hand..

I actually meant the Goal Zero...BUT I am glad to hear that your inverter passed the test.
I refuse to punch back as I didn't come here to fight.

Stop complaining about life and start Celebrating it .

I've reached the age where there is little left to learn the hard way.

If you had only one year,one month,or one day...Would you live your life differently?

Offline Alan Georges

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Re: goal zero power packs
« Reply #29 on: September 13, 2017, 07:20:47 PM »
Oh I don't have any GZ gear, Carl.  But the couple of people I've given the little 7 watt / 4xAA chargers to use them all the time and are pretty happy.  Camping trips, that sort of thing.  None of them have been through a hurricane with the gear yet, but I'm sure that day is coming.  If it'll keep their cell phones fed, and I think they will, maybe give a little light too, it'll be a success.

Main thing is that they're reasonably rugged packages that are easy to operate and fairly difficult to screw up.  None of these people are to be trusted with my real solar power system however!

I swear, there are times it seems like "Baofeng" is Cantonese for "hot mess."