Author Topic: Recommendations for a non "smart" portable charger/powerbank  (Read 4049 times)

Recommendations for a non "smart" portable charger/powerbank
« on: December 28, 2016, 08:15:06 pm »
I'm looking for a portable charger that can charge or power devices that have low current demand such as gps units and would welcome any recommendations.
Most of the stuff I say is true because I saw it in a dream and I don't have the presence of mind to make up lies when I'm asleep.   Bryan Andreas

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: Recommendations for a non "smart" portable charger/powerbank
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2017, 11:14:18 am »
Anker are always popular round these parts. I have an Anker Astro E6, which does the job nicely - the Astro range has since been superseded by the Powercore range, but I presume they are just as good.

Why do you want a "non smart" one? The Astro is a "smart" model but I've not had any problems with using it to charge a Garmin.

frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
    • Fuchsiaphile
Re: Recommendations for a non "smart" portable charger/powerbank
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2017, 11:51:51 am »
You could always connect it using a non-smart cable.
It's not dark yet but it's getting there.

fuaran

  • rothair gasta
Re: Recommendations for a non "smart" portable charger/powerbank
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2017, 12:34:14 pm »
I'm not sure if the cable would make any difference, or is it just measuring the current drawn by the device?

I do have one powerbank which won't charge my Garmin Forerunner, it just switches off after a minute. Presumably its not taking enough current. It seems to work if I plug in my phone at the same time, it will charge both of them.
Not sure how typical that is. I presume most GPS devices would use more power than the Forerunner.

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: Recommendations for a non "smart" portable charger/powerbank
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2017, 12:41:32 pm »
Not sure how typical that is.

I guess from the OP's requirements that it's a problem he's encountered.

Not a problem I've ever experienced myself but that's possibly a reflection of the limits of my experience.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Recommendations for a non "smart" portable charger/powerbank
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2017, 12:43:04 pm »
I'm not sure if the cable would make any difference, or is it just measuring the current drawn by the device?

Exactly.  You could use a dummy load, but eew.

I had a cheap no-name Chinese power pack which had a physical switch; when it was on the DC:DC converter would keep running until the battery was eventually depleted, even without a load.  That sounds like the sort of thing the OP is after.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Recommendations for a non "smart" portable charger/powerbank
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2017, 12:46:22 pm »
Not sure how typical that is.

I guess from the OP's requirements that it's a problem he's encountered.

Not a problem I've ever experienced myself but that's possibly a reflection of the limits of my experience.

I haven't come across a device that wouldn't charge at all due to being a small load, but there's the related use case where you want to plug your smartphone into a battery pack when you go to sleep and wake up with a fully charged phone, which can be thwarted if the phone reaches full charge quickly and the battery pack switches off, leaving the phone to drain its own battery overnight.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: Recommendations for a non "smart" portable charger/powerbank
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2017, 02:28:47 pm »
We have two devices in the Bear-o-drome which will not charge alone when plugged into the EasyAcc.   I have to plug in the phone or something to force it to charge.

One is a small Sandisk mp3 player that mllePB uses, the other is my Garmin Forerunner watch.

Re: Recommendations for a non "smart" portable charger/powerbank
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2017, 02:40:00 pm »
My Etrex 30x doesn't seem happy to run from the 'smart' sockets on a couple of Anker powerbanks, though it copes OK with the dumb ones.

Re: Recommendations for a non "smart" portable charger/powerbank
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2017, 09:44:05 am »
According to DC Rainmaker, the Garmin Forerunner 230/235 can by used (recording mode) while plugged in to a portable USB battery.  I'm toying with this as a recording option for hypothetical future ultramarathon activities.  Yet I've read of Forerunners not working with certain external batteries... does anyone know of a battery that does definitely work?

(Annoyingly, the charging interface on the FR230/235 is on the RHS of the watch face, meaning that it could only practically be worn on the right (wrong) wrist while plugged in, but that's an inconvenience I could live with...)

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Recommendations for a non "smart" portable charger/powerbank
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2017, 01:57:02 pm »
Powering a GPS via external USB power on a bike in good weather is one thing, but I can't imagine it working very well on the arm of a runner.  Even if the cable isn't prohibitively annoying, that's a pretty adverse environment (sweat, being shaken around) for a USB connection.

If it's just for logging data, there must be something available with decent battery life / replaceable internal batteries (and lighter than an eTrex) that you can stick in a pocket or something.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: Recommendations for a non "smart" portable charger/powerbank
« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2017, 03:23:30 pm »
Powering a GPS via external USB power on a bike in good weather is one thing, but I can't imagine it working very well on the arm of a runner.  Even if the cable isn't prohibitively annoying, that's a pretty adverse environment (sweat, being shaken around) for a USB connection.

If it's just for logging data, there must be something available with decent battery life / replaceable internal batteries (and lighter than an eTrex) that you can stick in a pocket or something.

Hmm, I'm quite impressed by the security of the charging clip - it's about 1,000,000,000% better than my old FR110 - so it'd be worth a try.  Notwithstanding the potential issues Kim points out, does anyone know of a battery pack that works with the FR?

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Recommendations for a non "smart" portable charger/powerbank
« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2017, 05:32:16 pm »
Oh, it's not a standard USB plug?  That might fare somewhat better. 
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: Recommendations for a non "smart" portable charger/powerbank
« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2017, 07:25:24 pm »
No, it's a sprung clip at the watch end (but obviously a standard USB at t'other).

Re: Recommendations for a non "smart" portable charger/powerbank
« Reply #14 on: January 06, 2017, 10:53:26 am »
My Anker lipstick sized power pack (I think it's this one https://www.anker.com/products/A1104041 )  charges my forerunner 235 no probs.   Probably small enough to strap to your forearm while running too?   
Eddington: 110 Miles

Re: Recommendations for a non "smart" portable charger/powerbank
« Reply #15 on: January 06, 2017, 11:14:40 am »
Thanks PeeJay.

Re: Recommendations for a non "smart" portable charger/powerbank
« Reply #16 on: January 12, 2017, 10:36:15 pm »
My Anker lipstick sized power pack (I think it's this one https://www.anker.com/products/A1104041 )  charges my forerunner 235 no probs.   

Many thanks for this recommendation, this Anker charger solves the problem I raised in the OP.  Embarrassingly, I already own not one but two of these  :-[ but in my defence when I first tried charging my Edge 25 with one, the light on the charger went out after a couple of seconds and I assumed the charging had stopped prematurely.  I gave it a proper test tonight and could see that the Edge 25 was charging even though the light on the anker had gone out as before?  After a few minutes the light on the Anker came back on and charged the Edge to full capacity.  It also powers the etrex without any problems.
Most of the stuff I say is true because I saw it in a dream and I don't have the presence of mind to make up lies when I'm asleep.   Bryan Andreas

Re: Recommendations for a non "smart" portable charger/powerbank
« Reply #17 on: January 30, 2017, 10:13:47 am »
If it's just for logging data, there must be something available with decent battery life / replaceable internal batteries (and lighter than an eTrex) that you can stick in a pocket or something.
Errr... smartphone with suitable app? Stick it on Airplane mode if you want to increase battery life considerably while you're logging. Or do you want / need multiple days' logging without an external battery pack?

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Recommendations for a non "smart" portable charger/powerbank
« Reply #18 on: January 30, 2017, 01:48:14 pm »
If it's just for logging data, there must be something available with decent battery life / replaceable internal batteries (and lighter than an eTrex) that you can stick in a pocket or something.
Errr... smartphone with suitable app? Stick it on Airplane mode if you want to increase battery life considerably while you're logging. Or do you want / need multiple days' logging without an external battery pack?

Other than perhaps shape, I don't think a smartphone offers many advantages over a PE watch for GPS logging, and certainly less than an eTrex, which is at least self-contained and reasonably bulletproof.

I was thinking of dedicated data loggers, which will save bulk and power by not having a user interface.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: Recommendations for a non "smart" portable charger/powerbank
« Reply #19 on: January 30, 2017, 02:49:44 pm »
I was thinking of dedicated data loggers, which will save bulk and power by not having a user interface.

After a couple of Garmin issues recording for DIY Audax, I've recently bought a USB GPS logger as a back up


https://www.amazon.co.uk/Canmore-GT-730FL-Rechargeable-Waypoints-Compatible/dp/B002UWKUZQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=sports&ie=UTF8&qid=1483347268&sr=1-1&keywords=gps+data+logger

I reviewed it elsewhere:

The instructions are in a form of translated Chinese which was common in the 80s, it takes a couple of reads to get the jist. Software is supplied on CD, but the review I read said the most up to date versions are downloadable so this is what I did.
Played with it on my commute and a couple of short club rides, works fine and really straightforward. Switch it on, power LED lights up, starts flashing when it has a fix (First time took 5 min, less than 1 each time after) end of a ride switch it off. Plug it into the USB, import the track to the program, export in whatever format you need (GPX in my case) You can change the recording frequency in the same program, I've left it at 1 sec for now, which has a run time of 17 hours. My longest track has been a 13 hour 210 km which used 6% of the storage. It doesn't have a battery level gauge, but it will run plugged into an external battery.
I haven't used the geo tagging function yet, I'm not sure it's something I have a use for, though I might have a play with it anyway.
reliability is the crucial thing of course, too early to know about that, but so far it's been as expected and I'm pleased with it.