Thursday, October 04, 2012

Going solar

solar charger top72

The solar panel charging system is installed in my new Nelson Rigg SLR-20 tank bag. It looks pretty cool and probably even works. (I haven’t taken a long ride yet to test it.)

solar charger lid72

The energy from the solar panel travels down a wire ( C ) poked through a special grommet in the lid and plugs into a battery in pouch ( B ). You put your cell phone, iPod or whatever needs to be charged in pocket ( A ), select the correct plug from pouch ( E ), attach it to the output cable ( D ) and connect it to the charging port on your device to be charged.

solar charger pocket72

Here’s the battery showing ( A ) charge indicator lights and ( B ) the “On” button.

bag bottom72

And here’s the lower compartment with gloves, earplugs, flashlight, binoculars, etc. – all the usual tank bag stuff.

Among other things, I expect this will make it possible for me to ride with my cell phone paired, via Bluetooth, with the Garmin 550 GPS. I’ll hear it ring and see the caller’s ID displayed on the GPS screen, but since I don’t have a microphone at this point, I’ll just let it roll over to voicemail and return the call at my convenience. I don’t especially want to have phone conversations while I’m riding, anyway.

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