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Topic: Solar gadgets.

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Subject: Solar gadgets.
Date Posted: 12/17/2008 11:43 AM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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Do you use solar to power or recharge anything?  Please post your reviews both good and bad.

 I have used a solar battery charger for AA sized batteries for many years. I bought it from the National Geographic store, it lasted for years and saved me loads of money for my camera which at the time used that size. Then it helped keep my walkman in use as it ate through batteries very fast. 



Last Edited on: 12/17/08 3:57 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Subject: Solar power
Date Posted: 12/18/2008 9:06 PM ET
Member Since: 2/15/2006
Posts: 214
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Yes, we have had solar rechargers for batteries. I would love to find them and use them again! My husband didn't like them that much because the children kept playing with them.

I would love to have solar as our main power. We live in quite a sunny location, and I use it for my soalr clothes dryer, but that's about it. :-( It makes me unhappy. What other devices do you have?

 

Date Posted: 12/19/2008 11:06 AM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2005
Posts: 2,357
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Which solar charger do you have?   It might work some for us, but I'd have to see if we can balance it in the one window that gets sun--which is of course in the garage!

(We ceded on our desire to have a south facing window in order to buy a really nice house that was directly on a useful bus route and had lots of nice trees for shade & windblocks).

Date Posted: 12/23/2008 12:04 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2005
Posts: 20,024
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I saw a ton of solar powered holiday lights and displays in catalogs this year. The one I remember best is lakesidecollection.com. Theres also some on collectionsetc.com. We dont do lights on the outside, mainly cause we are lazy folks who dont wanna put em up then take em down but, they were all affordable so if your looking for some new lights check em out.

Date Posted: 12/24/2008 12:15 PM ET
Member Since: 10/25/2007
Posts: 1,253
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I have a solar powered electric fence. It just attaches right to the fence and electrifies the whole pen.

Date Posted: 12/25/2008 6:21 AM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2006
Posts: 249
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The idea of using solar energy to power our house is wonderful! We live in Ohio, though, and have limited sunny days...hence the high rate of seaonal depression. We'd have to get a system that stores the energy for those cloudy days. Does anyone thing it would be a good idea to go this route if you live in Ohio?

Date Posted: 3/6/2009 7:55 AM ET
Member Since: 11/16/2007
Posts: 745
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I had a solar flashlight which recharged batteries. I use flashlights more in the winter, when the sun is dim, so it took about 5 days to recharge. In the summer it took 1-2 days to recharge in the brighter summer sun. So, during the biggest time I needed it, it took a long time to charge. The batteries finally gave out, which rechargables tend to do. (They were nicads.)

 

Now I just make my own LED flashlights with a 9v battery. It lasts for months, because I only use it for a few minutes when locking up the house at night.

 

I did get a pair of shakelights. What a disappointment. You have to shake the darn thing for a good 10 minutes, then it slowly loses its charge over 10 minutes until the charge is completely gone. I even bought the better model which used a capacitor to hold the charge, thinking caps hold their charge for years. I was wrong. Apparently there are different grade caps, some hold their charge for a long time, some don't.

 

Bottom line, I'm sticking with my homemade 9v LED light. Instructions here:

http://www.geocities.com/csroberts/light.htm