I’m really pleased that Goal Zero Australia have stepped in to support me on my trip to Argentina! These guys are awesome and they have some fantastic solar power products that you should check out. (GoalZero.com.au)
If you are an outdoor adventurer, traveller or photographer on the go you need to seriously consider this gear set-up. I spent hours searching for solutions that delivered on portability, usability and generally just coverage for all the electronic gear we use.
For my upcoming trip to Argentina I’m taking one of the new generation SHERPA 50 power packs and the NOMAD 13 Solar Panel kit with me to deliver all my power requirements once I leave Sydney. The aussie7summits team have been using the original SHERPA 50 and are really impressed with the weight reduction and design changes that have been achieved in the new model.
Having the SHERPA 50 with you, gone are the days of carrying wall chargers for each device requiring a battery. With the SHERPA 50 I now have a small and light solution I can carry in my backpack that’s capable of recharging the batteries for all my portable devices.
1. My iphone and satellite phone can charge from the USB output on the SHERPA 50.
2. Combining the SHERPA 50 with a PIXO battery charger (another smart piece of gear – refer below) I can use the USB output and charge all of the batteries I have with me on the trip including AA’s, NIKON DLSR and Point and Shot Lithium batteries. The bonus here is that you can change camera’s and other equipment that you carry and not have to worry about your ability to recharge the batteries. You can also provide a battery recharge facility to others that join the team.
3. And the big win, the Laptop Output on the SHERPA 50 coupled with a 45W cigarette adapter fitted with an Apple recharger tip that I purchased over the internet can charge my MacBoork Air! (and that’s charge – not just power it). I’ve seen various reviews that refer to the Power Pack being able to power the MacBook Air so I was surprised to find that the combination that I’d put together did in fact produce a charge to the level of the MacBooks battery. For those of you with other makes of laptop the GoalZero guys have provided a set of adaptor tips. (refer to the GoalZero website – I’m sure there will be more info there).
The SHERPA 50 is 544 grams in weight, the NOMAD 13 solar panels add 725 grams, the PIXO another 149 grams and with the misc. cord’s that I require the power solution that I’ll take with me to Argentina is 1.5 kg’s approx. My only power issues on the mountain should be rotating the different batteries through recharge cycles.
I’ll provide some feedback after the trip on how well the SHERPA 50 and associated recharge equipment performed.
If you decide not to purchase the PIXO recharger you can couple the SHERPA 50 recharger with an inverter unit (159 grams) and treat the SHERPA 50 as a mobile wall socket!
One last tip – if you are buying the SHERPA 50 also pick up one of the various lighting extras that GoalZero have available. I’m using one of the LUNA LED lights that plug into the USB socket (when it’s not being used for battery recharging). This light stalk is lightweight and very useful at the end of day for lighting the cooking area or the tent.
Note – For those that may already own the GoalZero Nomad13 panels there is a conversion cable for that allows you to use these panels with the Gen2 SHERPA 50.
If you carry an array of batteries complete with their unique recharger units with you when you travel you need to take a look at this piece of gear.
How it works sounds simple and to be honest I don’t need to know the details – the important points are that the battery contacts can be moved to fit almost almost any battery and the sliding friction grip holds the battery in the charger. Note – there are some batteries that the PIXO is not compatible with and because I don’t use them I haven’t been too concerned with how extensive this list is, if you need refer to http://www.pixo.de/p/pixo_support.html).
Thanks for checking out his post – I hope you find the information of some value as you set up your portable power solution.
NB – The solution that I have described above is not prescribed or officially supported by GoalZero, but is one that I have pulled together through research and trial and error. I don’t make any guarantees on it’s applicability to your hardware or situation. Treat it only as a pointer to a possible solution for you.