Solar charger for my camera question.

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So i have a Goal Zero Nomad 7 solar panel, with a 5V usb port, a 6.5V cord for linking multiple panels and a 15V cord with a proprietary plug on the end. Now bear with me, the 15V cord attaches to a cigarette lighter outlet. My camera battery charger has a 12 to 24 volt plug for plugging into a cigarette lighter. So I can actually charge my camera batteries.

Now, what I would like to do is leave the bulky and energy-losing cigarette lighter pieces at home and plug my battery charger directly into the panel. I have checked all the voltages and they match so nothing will fry. But I hesitate to start snipping wires. Does anyone on this site have any educated advice about this?
 
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I would charge a USB power bank with the solar panel and then use the power bank to charge the camera. I think you would find that charging the camera directly from the solar panel won't work very well.

Does the camera have a non-removable internal battery?

I have a Canon camera with a removable lithium battery, I was able to buy (really cheap) a usb charger, put the battery in the charger, plug the charger into the power bank. If the camera has a built in charger then it can plug directly into the power bank, the extra bonus is you can charge the camera at night and don't have to leave it out exposed to the sun and elements with the solar panel.
 
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As recped said......use the solar panel to charge a USB power bank, then use the bank to charge camera, phone, tablet, whatever......I carried a couple of the small power banks...each was good for a single charge on either my phone or GoPro ......I would then throw the charger back on the solar panel and on a bright sunny day would have it charged up in 2-3 hours...

Mike
 
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I did quite a bit of research into using solar panels in a tripping scenario ... and it always worked out the same, more efficient to take the power in with you ... from a power/wght ratio PoV and a PITA/Charge ratio
 
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I'm with Cruiser, I'm not prepared at this time to pay the price for a "real" thin film solar panel (like these), I tried out a Brunton fold out panel a few years ago but had very poor results.

For my 51 day trip last summer I had 1 x 20000 mah, 2 x 10000 mah power banks for a Canon still camera (1500pics), GoPro (8 hours), InReach (full-time tracking mode), Music Player ~150hrs. I had just enough juice left to charge everything at the take out. The power banks are "heavy" (there are some good new ones that are lighter but more expensive but most crystalline solar panels weigh about the same.

I combine this with Lithium AA+AAA's for things that take them and as a backup to the power banks (I have a little device that allows charging from AA's....$2/eBay).

Of course it sounds like you are already on the solar panel route so just go with maybe a 5 or 10,000mah power bank.
 
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A little late on this one, I also have the goal zero. I agree with the power bank plan. I definitely would not hard wire any solar panel directly to any piece of electronics. The voltage is too inconsistent. As posted up thread, I wouldn't want my camera or phone or GPS out in the direct sunlight all day charging. Also, most of the places I go, unless you are on the water, the tree cover over head prevents the solar panel from being very effective. That means the panel is in use while traveling (on the water, with exposed electronics). At camp, sometimes I will tie it to a tree branch on the bank... if the campsites cooperate with the direction of the sun that is. I have tried to use it up in the campsite... chasing that little patch of sun around every 20 minutes isn't ideal either. I usually leave it home and bring along two USB power sticks. Lighter, smaller packed size, and works for me on trips up to 5 days. Just my thoughts.

Jason
 
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Just because something has a cigarette lighter outlet does not mean it puts out 12 volts. Look at the specks for the GZN7 and you will see it has a open circuit voltage of 8 or 9 volts. That is to say at any voltage at or above 9 volts it will not put out any power. Don’t know what voltage the camera requires to charge its battery but if it has a input marked 12 volts I do not believe it will charge on it output of this solar panel. I would suggest that you hook a discharged camera to the solar panel and see of it will recharge it before cutting wires. Hope you prove me wrong.
 
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As a couple others mentioned anytime I looked into a solar charger for a canoe trip I decided to just take more power instead. For me I only need power for a small P&S camera and replacement batteries are cheap via Amazon so I just take 6 fully charged batteries, which is plenty for pictures and some video on a 30 and 42 day trip. The batteries are small and lightweight.

If I had more than one device that needed recharging I'd take a fully charged battery bank and use it to charge the devices. If that still wasn't enough power I'd reassess my need to take so many electronics on a wilderness trip.

Alan
 
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