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    How to charge an iPod/mp3 player
    with solar energy/power

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    Introduction

    iPods are one of the most popular and used  portable electronics in the world, along with cell phones. As of September 2007, Apple had sold more than 150 million iPods worldwide making it the best-selling digital audio player series in history. In spite of the "bad economy", 22.1 million iPods were sold in the first quarter of 2008, and 10.5 million on the second quarter!.


    An Apple milestone: 100 million iPods sold

    Technology company transforming entertainment world but faces risks

    from MSNBC

    Mon., April. 9, 2007

    Apple Inc.ís announcement Monday that it has sold 100 million of its iPod music players marks more than just a business

    milestone for the once-struggling computer company.


    iPods are used in a number of situations and for ALL ages:

    Teenagers use them ANYWHERE and ANYTIME: at home, getting a ride in a car, while practicing sports, during sports breaks, school breaks, walking to and from school, doing home work, bicycling, on vacations while sightseeing, window shopping, at the beach, etc. You name it. If I forgot any use you can think of, please send me an e-mail, or fill up the form below, and I will include it on this page.

    Adults are getting the taste of it, more and more: at home, audio books, podcasts, while camping, hiking, backpacking.

    Because of all these outdoor activities, a new need arised: How to charge and iPod when away from computers and electric power outlets.

    iPods can play music for about 6 to 24 hrs hours, and videos for about 2 to 4 hours, depending on the model used. The bottom line is: iPods have a limited battery charge or playing time. When you are at home this limit is not something to worry about.

    Now days outdoors activities add the challenge of how to keep iPods playing when away from home, or a hotel, which means how to charge an iPod away from a computer, an electric power outlet, or away from a car..

    People more and more take their iPod camping, hiking, backpacking, to a picnic, to the beach, bicycling, for outdoor activities like a sports game, taking the kids to sport games (sounds familiar?), or walking around town while on vacation.

    I receive e-mail and questions like these, very often:

    "I am going for a solo hiking trip to the High Sierra, and I want to take my iPod 4GB. I also need a flashlight and I don't want to worry about batteries. What can I do?"

    "We are going hiking and we need two rechargeable headlamps. We also want to take an iPod"

    Camping and hiking/backpacking are the most common outdoor activities that I know of, people want to take an iPod/mp3 player.


    Charging an iPod with Solar Power

    The three standard, most popular ways to charge iPods are:

    •  Plugging iPod to a computer's USB port

    •  Plug the iPod's USB cable to a wall adapter

    •  If you have an iPod's car charger, plug iPod to car charger, and plug car charger into the cigarette
       lighter or 12V car socket.

    In other words we need an USB power port to charge/recharge an iPod: from a computer's USB port (laptop or desktop), from the USB power port of a wall adapter, or from the 12Volt car socket (former cigarette lighter) USB adapter - 12Volt car socket iPod charger that plugs straight to the iPod.

    Standard way to charge iPods/mp3 players

    CHarging iPod nano 8GB with MacBook

    Laptop USB port

     

    Charging iPod nano 2GB with wall charger

    Wall charger, USB power port

     

    Recharge mp3 player Sansa 4GB with USB car charger

    Car charger, USB power port

    Recharging iPod 4GB un Deasktop Computer USB port

    Desktop USB port

    Charging iPod 4GB with 12V to USB Car charger

    Car charger, USB power port

    There are several ways and gadgets to charge iPods when away from computers, cars, and power outlets. There are various systems based on disposable battery adapters and solar panels that connect directly to iPods.

    We are going to explore different ways to charge iPods, using the EL8 Headlamp Ė Solar Panel Combination, which is a 100% green, environmental friendly way to charge iPods, and other hand held devices like cell phones.

    The EL8 is a headlamp designed for outdoor activities, among other uses. Itís Li-ion battery (same as the iPod and cell phone batteries) is charged from solar power, through the solar panel included in the kit. It takes about 6-8 hours of good sunshine to fully charge a Headlamp that is completely discharged.

    Now, what about if we can have a portable USB power port that gets its power from the sun light, or any light (solar energy/power)?

    How to make such a portable USB power port where we can plug our iPod?

    With the use of an accessory, the EA6 USB adaptor, that plugs into the EL8 Headlamp, we obtain the needed USB power port. Then we can plug the iPodís USB cable to the portable USB adaptor, and transfer (charge) the accumulated electrical charge from the Headlampís battery, to the iPodí battery. In a few simple words, we can plug the iPodís USB cable to the EA6 USB adaptor to charge any iPod. Itís as simple as that.

    Charging iPod nano 4GB Red with EL8 headlamps

     

    Picture showing two EL8 Solar Headlamps, the EA6 USB Adapter, charging an iPod 4GB. This special set-up gives double charging power. It's not necessary to use two EL8 headlamps to recharge iPods/mp3 players. Using only one works as well

    Through July 2008, the EL8 Headlamp can provide about 1/3 to Ĺ of the charge needed to fully charge a 4 GB or 8 GB iPod. (2 to 3 charging cycles needed). If youíre charging a 2 GB iPod you will need just 1 Ĺ charging cycles to fully charge it. An iPod shuffle can be fully charged in one EL8 "sitting".

    Weíre waiting for a new EL8 Headlamp at the end of July 2008, that will have a more powerful battery. This means less charging cycles, which is equivalent to faster charges of the iPod when away from the civilization!

    Related articles: Apple Reports First Quarter Results,  Apple Reports Second Quarter Results, and

    An Apple milestone: 100 million iPods sold


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    Last modified: 02/17/12