Aldi - Cheap solar charger with battery

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Aldi - Cheap solar charger with battery

Postby sunnyape » Thu 19 Mar, 2015 2:03 pm

Looking for a cheap solar charger with USB output and a built-in 1200mAh battery? Aldi have one on special for only $10:
https://www.aldi.com.au/en/special-buys/special-buys-sat-21-mar/saturday-detail-wk-12/ps/p/solar-charger-1/

yes, that's TEN DOLLARS!
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Re: Aldi - Cheap solar charger with battery

Postby perfectlydark » Fri 20 Mar, 2015 10:33 am

Thinking about it as a backup but not had any experiences with these devices. Are they reliable enough?
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Re: Aldi - Cheap solar charger with battery

Postby JohnStrider » Mon 23 Mar, 2015 3:04 pm

Still hunting around for one of these.

Has anyone had any experience, good or bad, with them?
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Re: Aldi - Cheap solar charger with battery

Postby JohnStrider » Mon 23 Mar, 2015 3:45 pm

Got two.

Pity they don't come with an iPhone 5s pin connector :(
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Re: Aldi - Cheap solar charger with battery

Postby Strider » Mon 23 Mar, 2015 3:48 pm

Use your lightning cable that comes with the iPhone.
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Re: Aldi - Cheap solar charger with battery

Postby JohnStrider » Mon 23 Mar, 2015 4:04 pm

Different shaped pin
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Re: Aldi - Cheap solar charger with battery

Postby Strider » Mon 23 Mar, 2015 4:38 pm

Doesn't it have a USB output?
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Re: Aldi - Cheap solar charger with battery

Postby JohnStrider » Mon 23 Mar, 2015 4:44 pm

Yes but it's a mini USB port. The 30 pin connector is for 4 and 4s.

Doesn't say anything on the box about which smartphone is suitable. Just says suitable for smartphone and digital devices. Very deceiving.

Going to have to buy an adapter.
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Re: Aldi - Cheap solar charger with battery

Postby GPSGuided » Mon 23 Mar, 2015 5:25 pm

Find an adaptor in one of those dollar shops or DX.com.
Just move it!
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Re: Aldi - Cheap solar charger with battery

Postby JohnStrider » Mon 23 Mar, 2015 7:45 pm

GPSGuided wrote:Find an adaptor in one of those dollar shops or DX.com.


Yeah that's what I'm going to have to do.
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Re: Aldi - Cheap solar charger with battery

Postby Strider » Mon 23 Mar, 2015 8:26 pm

But is the iPhone really considered a true smartphone? ;)
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Re: Aldi - Cheap solar charger with battery

Postby highercountry » Mon 23 Mar, 2015 9:38 pm

Surely the Aldi pack has a standard USB outlet. Be most surprised if it doesn't.
You shouldn't need an adapter.
Just pull the Apple cable out of it's Apple charger (USB connection).
Plug USB end into new battery and Lightning connector (it's not mini USB) end into your phone.
Unless the Aldi battery has a 5V/2.0 Amp outlet it will charge the phone very slowly, about twice as long in time as normal.
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Re: Aldi - Cheap solar charger with battery

Postby Canberra Trekker » Mon 23 Mar, 2015 10:06 pm

I bought one of these Aldi solar charges on Sunday. The device has two connectors. One being a mini USB connector which I believe is the input. The other connector is a round female which is the output. The solar charger comes with two cables one being a standard USB-mini USB which is used for charging. The other cable has the round male at one end with a round female at the other end.

There are 2 phone adapters which have a male round connector compatible female end of the cable I was just referring to. One is for Apple and the other is a Micro USB which I used to connect to my Samsung mobile.

I have a USB power monitor which I bought from Jaycar. I find is a very useful device. So far my testing of the solar charger has been to charge the internal battery from the USB mains charger and monitor the power is supplied to the Aldi battery. I can report that initial charging current is 540 mA and it falls off to very small current when the battery is fully charged. I don't know what state the battery was when I got home with it I charged the battery while monitoring the energy supplied through the the USB power monitor. The monitor reported that 4.5 WHr of energy through the USB monitor to bring up to full charge.

Tonight I took my Samsung mobile phone which was reporting 63% charge and it the Aldi solar panel battery brought the Samsung phone up to full charge. I thought a useful test would be to connect the Aldi solar panel battery backup to the USB power monitor and charge back to full capacity. Just now reached full charge and the energy transferred to the battery was 4.3 WHr. The Samsung phone battery has label capacity of 1.34 WHr.

Rough calculation

The initial charge of battery was 63%. Therefore 37% of 1.34 WHr is 0.5 WHr. To recover that 37% capacity in the phone battery required 4.1 WHr of energy. That gives rough calculation of efficiency to be about 12%.
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Re: Aldi - Cheap solar charger with battery

Postby GPSGuided » Tue 24 Mar, 2015 7:34 am

Strider wrote:But is the iPhone really considered a true smartphone? ;)

It's only as smart as Siri.
Just move it!
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Re: Aldi - Cheap solar charger with battery

Postby JohnStrider » Wed 25 Mar, 2015 8:58 am

highercountry wrote:Surely the Aldi pack has a standard USB outlet. Be most surprised if it doesn't.
You shouldn't need an adapter.
Just pull the Apple cable out of it's Apple charger (USB connection).
Plug USB end into new battery and Lightning connector (it's not mini USB) end into your phone.
Unless the Aldi battery has a 5V/2.0 Amp outlet it will charge the phone very slowly, about twice as long in time as normal.


The solar charger pack doesn't have a USB outlet.
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Re: Aldi - Cheap solar charger with battery

Postby Watertank » Wed 25 Mar, 2015 10:32 pm

If anyone can find an adapter so I can use the Aldi pack with an iPhone 5 that would be great. I also assumed that it would have a usb outlet, now I have three packs waiting for a solution...
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Re: Aldi - Cheap solar charger with battery

Postby JohnStrider » Fri 27 Mar, 2015 9:49 pm

Watertank wrote:If anyone can find an adapter so I can use the Aldi pack with an iPhone 5 that would be great. I also assumed that it would have a usb outlet, now I have three packs waiting for a solution...


Glad I'm not the only one who was duped by their deception.
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Re: Aldi - Cheap solar charger with battery

Postby GPSGuided » Fri 27 Mar, 2015 11:27 pm

Just move it!
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Re: Aldi - Cheap solar charger with battery

Postby JohnStrider » Sat 28 Mar, 2015 8:56 am

The iPhone 4 connector that comes with the charger needs to be inserted into an iPhone 5 adapter which goes into the phone.
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Re: Aldi - Cheap solar charger with battery

Postby GPSGuided » Sat 28 Mar, 2015 9:28 am

A bit confusing which connector people are talking about. I get the understanding that the battery has a round audio output socket. As for the use of a Lightning plug for iPhone, the owner should have the proper USB to Lightning cable that comes with the phone.
Just move it!
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Re: Aldi - Cheap solar charger with battery

Postby Canberra Trekker » Sat 28 Mar, 2015 8:05 pm

The output connector is round, but to describe it as an audio connector is wrong. Its a round DC plug that fits into it. Its about 2.5mm diameter but that only my guess. That would need precise measurement with calipers to get accurate diameter.

I have done further test. I discharged the Aldi battery until it shut down. My Samsung phone was charged from 37% to 76% in the process. Did the full discharge twice now, followed each time by measuring the energy delivered to battery from mains USB supply. In both tests the energy transferred into the phone from battery was 5.3 WHr. Manual says battery capacity is 1.2 WHr. Efficiency as far as Aldi battery concerned= 1.2/ 5.4 = 22%
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Re: Aldi - Cheap solar charger with battery

Postby GPSGuided » Sat 28 Mar, 2015 8:07 pm

A photo might help!
Just move it!
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Re: Aldi - Cheap solar charger with battery

Postby Canberra Trekker » Sat 28 Mar, 2015 10:34 pm

ExtractPage1.jpg
drawing from manual annotated by myself
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Re: Aldi - Cheap solar charger with battery

Postby GPSGuided » Sat 28 Mar, 2015 10:48 pm

Ok. As others have indicated, you just need an adaptor from Apple that converts the old iPhone/iPod plug to a current Lightning plug. There are also 3rd party units from eBay, internet web sites and local markets for cheap.
Just move it!
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Re: Aldi - Cheap solar charger with battery

Postby andrewa » Sat 28 Mar, 2015 11:02 pm

This may be a useful link if people are not already aware of it. Alternatively, it may be worthless!

http://www.outdoorgearlab.com/Solar-Charger-Reviews

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