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Reviewed: Infinit Solar Backpack
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Darren
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PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2010 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DeLorean wrote:
How resilient is the solar panel

Ones Iíve looked at in the past tend to have a clear coating (like epoxy) encasing the cells which can be gouged and marked very easily?

This one has the coating which is necessary to protect the panel.

However, I've used an older solar bag with a similar output cell for some years and whilst now heavily scratched, it has not affected the panel's ability to function at all.
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marc_holmes
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PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darren,

What's the connection between the panels and the internal battery? Would I be able to disconnect the two and use the panels to charge my Nexus Power Pack via the min-USB port, in effect giving me another spare battery?

Marc.
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Darren
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PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 9:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

marc_holmes wrote:
Darren,

What's the connection between the panels and the internal battery? Would I be able to disconnect the two and use the panels to charge my Nexus Power Pack via the min-USB port, in effect giving me another spare battery?

Marc.

The lead from the solar panel terminates in a mini-USB connector. So yes,if you have a battery pack that accepts a mini-USB connector then this will charge that.

I've already used the panel to re-charge two small battery packs that I have and with the micro-USB adapter it also charges my iPhone Mophie Battery Pack as well.
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marc_holmes
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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the clarification. Bag on order, should arrive in plenty of time for my walking holiday in the Yorkshire Dales.
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lbendlin
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PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2010 12:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BunnyBallerina wrote:
Has anyone taken one of these through an airport security scanner yet?


I was about to ask the same question, what with that guy in Pakistan and his new vibro-shoes...
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geoffdix
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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 7:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DeLorean wrote:
How resilient is the solar panel

Ones Iíve looked at in the past tend to have a clear coating (like epoxy) encasing the cells which can be gouged and marked very easily?

Iím very tempted to get one then I could ditch all my ni-mh AA batteries I carry for my current DC to DC converter Very Happy

P.S. The small pocket on the front of the shoulder strap, could it safely hold a mobile phone (SE K800i) without it falling out?


I've just received mine and the solar panel is covered in plastic cling film stuff which is very wrinkled - no instructions about whether this is supposed to be removed or not - it seems to go underneath the stitching - hope it can come off it looks a mess Sad
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Darren
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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 9:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

geoffdix wrote:
I've just received mine and the solar panel is covered in plastic cling film stuff which is very wrinkled - no instructions about whether this is supposed to be removed or not - it seems to go underneath the stitching - hope it can come off it looks a mess Sad

It's just a protective cover that comes off. It's just thin cellophane stuff which comes off easily.

Not unusual for displays and other such parts to be protected in such a way and rarely do you get instructions telling you to remove the protection. If it bother you, remove it, if not then don't.

I took mine off.
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marc_holmes
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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 9:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very impressed with their customer service. Emailed them yesterday after mine arrived to ask about the wrinkled plastic and the missing rain cover.

They also advised you can take the plastic off, but said it wouldn't affect the performance any if you left it on.

And the rain cover is in the post today.
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hogbreath
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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 8:18 pm    Post subject: Product Recall ? Reply with quote

I charged the power supply as instructed and found the mini usb connector had sideways movement that meant the led lights would go on and off, this meant careful handling/positioning to ensure a connection.

The same problem will present when the power supply is connected to the solar panel, you will never know if you have a good connection, this will not do the power pack any good either; the mini usb connector is totally unsuitable for this application.

I have to wonder why this has not been found during the product development and why this type of connector has been used?
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Darren
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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 8:50 pm    Post subject: Re: Product Recall ? Reply with quote

hogbreath wrote:
I have to wonder why this has not been found during the product development and why this type of connector has been used?

The mini-USB connector is a widely used standard connector designed for the low output ~5v power requirements of the accessories this has been designed to charge. Also make charging it easy using existing mini-USB cables.

As I have no such issues with mine and no-one else has mentioned it, perhaps you have just been unlucky? Have you approached Infinit to discuss this fault?
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hogbreath
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PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2010 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darren, I am very familiar with the mini usb connector and have two other power supplies with exactly this problem; you usually get what you pay for in electronics and its a very cheap connector, hence the movement.

To use this in an application where a "good fit" is paramount is baffling to me. I would also suggest that the unit I have is typical of what has been manufactured, as some of us do work in the electronics industry.

Are you saying you do not have an lateral movement in your connector?

What ever happened to Quality Control, its a high end item that should not of left the factory!

I have not contacted Infinit as it's literally just been unpacked, needless to say I will not be keeping it.
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Darren
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PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2010 8:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hogbreath wrote:
Are you saying you do not have an lateral movement in your connector?

That is exactly what I am saying. And as yet, no-one else has commented on this issue.

Are you suggesting the use of mini-USB is a poor decision or that the particular quality of the mini-USB used in this instance is poor?
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DeLorean
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PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 7:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi hogbreath,

I'd just ask for a replacement as it sound like your connector is faulty.

A few years ago I had USB rechargeable battery pack from Maplinís that had an awful mini USB connector on it.
The connection was so sloppy you had to ensure it was left alone whilst charging.
I popped back in and they replaced it with another; problem gone Very Happy
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hogbreath
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PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 11:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darren, poor choice not a suitable connector for a product that will have to withstand a lot of movement/shock, as it relies on an interference fit that will vary due to production tolerances / unit cost.

DeLorean, yep you bought stuff from Maplin too! Laughing Out Loud.

Not sure where I stand on a replacement or money back option, the rucksack itself has a good quality feel to it and the solar panel appears to work well even in low light. The zip fobs are odd, if I do keep it they will get cut off and replaced with cord!!

May wait a while to see if any one else posts before deciding Shocked
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Darren
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PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hogbreath wrote:
Darren, poor choice not a suitable connector for a product that will have to withstand a lot of movement/shock, as it relies on an interference fit that will vary due to production tolerances / unit cost.

Yet it's commonly used across the industry. There are any number of battery packs I can think of that use mini-USB as do many satnavs?

Quote:
Not sure where I stand on a replacement or money back option, the rucksack itself has a good quality feel to it and the solar panel appears to work well even in low light. The zip fobs are odd, if I do keep it they will get cut off and replaced with cord!!

Drop them an email, they're keen to offer a good product and your battery pack is clearly faulty.
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