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Good, affordable solar chargers

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any good recommendations or are they all garbage? price range: no more than $50
I've been looking up small solar panels online lately and it seems the Anker 14W Dual-Port Solar Charger is a good choice. It's $60 though. I haven't bought it yet so can't provide any personal experience, but reviews look pretty good. Any panel as small as the one in your pic is barely going to be able to charge anything.
Here's a question for this thread.

I'm looking into getting a Fenix UC35 mainly because it has a micro USB charging port for an 18650 battery (which I have many as I vape). Just from my short reading around, it needs around 3.4v in order to charge. Are there any portable solar panels that put out around the 3.4v range anyone knows of? Or am I doing my math bass ackwards?
Never knew you could charge 18650's with USB (I vape too). Cool flashlight. Fenix's website says any USB port can charge it, so any solar panel with a USB output should work I think. Obviously a small panel would barely be able to charge an 18650. The two Ankers already posted have USB outputs and would work well I think

Only asking because I purchased the Eton Scorpion and it had a solar charger + USB OUT for charging phones and such. Won't charge my iPhone, charges my Android just fine, but I don't know if the amperage from the output would be enough to charge an 18650 for the flashlight/vape. Still waiting for the flashlight to come in so I can test it, but I don't think it has enough output to charge the light so I need something higher. Not much experience with solar cells, but I figure the higher the output the better. Some electronics (tablets mainly) won't even charge with a car AC adapter because the output isn't high enough.
Yeah I have something by Eton similar to the scorpion and have never been very successful charging anything with it either. Solar panel is way too small. I've been able to charge an old flip phone a tiny bit using the crank. But I think it would take about an hour or 2 to crank it enough for a extremely short phone call
how /diy/ are you op?

you could build a stout charger battery combo for that price as well as having a sense of accomplishment
If you cheap out, you'll regret it.
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Just to clarify, there exists no such thing as a good solar charger for $50. The one in your picture is a novelty. A panel that size would take several weeks to juice up that phone. That's assuming strong Summer sunlight.

Now, do you want a cheap novelty or do you want solar that really works? If the second, expect to spend ~$100-$300. I recommend a minimum of 5 watts to charge a smartphone in a useful amount of time. I have two folding three panel arrays, 20 watt and 30 watt respectively.

Under most conditions only the folding arrays will charge it at fullspeed or at all for most of the year. During the Summer, my 5 watt solar backpack charges it fine. As a rule you want huge overkill in terms of the panel output because they list the maximum under ideal conditions so you'll only really ever get a fraction of that.

Also, give up on ever charging anything more substantial than a single 18650 or a smartphone. Just give up on that. I can charge my tablet but an entire day of Summer sun only replenished about 30% of the battery. If you want to be able to charge something you'll use every day it should have a battery no larger than 3000mah.

The advantage, once you've sunk enough money into a really big, powerful folding array is that it doesn't run out. You can stay out innawoods for decades and still have power. But do you really plan to do that? Or are you looking at weekend camping/hiking trips of a few days at most?

If the latter, just buy a 6-cell18650 powerbank. That will be more power than you can realistically use in that time unless you're a doofus who brings his fucking laptop camping with him.
Thanks for all the info guys, since right now I don't have enough disposable income to afford a higher end solar charger I think I'll just get a power-bank for now and save up for a good solar charger.
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>Nokia Portable Solar Charger, DC-40
>With one minute of charging, consumers will get approximately two minutes of talk time.
>The solar charger is most efficient when used in direct sunlight where the average charging time for full charge on a 1000mAh battery would be under four hours.

It isn't too bad for the size (6.5" x 9.3"), but It'll be great when cell phones have the solar panels efficient enough to be small enough to be integrated right to the back of the phone itself.
I made one from some old solar power LED yard lights.
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