The awesome power of the sun means nothing without proper conversion
April 5, 2011 1:05 AM   Subscribe

Have Casio Exilim G camera and iPhone. I want to purchase the least equipment needed to make both recharge using the sun. Oh, and I'm in Seattle need to buy everything Tuesday before getting on plane to New Zealand Wednesday.

I'm going to be sailing on a boat in New Zealand so something that converts to/from local outlets is a plus.

I've looked at Solio solar chargers online, they look cool but open to other recommendations. Also don't know where to purchase in Seattle.

The other big complication is the Casio Exilim G camera. Google Fu indicates it does NOT charge via the USB cable (I'd be happy for you to tell me otherwise), so I need to buy something that converts the wall-plug-in battery charger into something the solar charger can interface with (or can charge the batteries directly). I'm going to get a second battery so I don't care if it takes a while, just as long as it works.

Sheesh, who knew it would be so hard. Thanks for the help
posted by DetonatedManiac to Technology (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You seem to be pretty tight for time so if you get stuck it seems that the Solio chargers are sold by the Telecom NZ stores ...

... (the Eco Store which is also referenced seems to be online only so no use if you're getting on your boat real quick).

i'm guessing you will be landing in Auckland. This map shows stores in the Auckland area ...

... (click on second blue 'T' from top of map to zoom into Auckland area) . Some of them are reasonably close to the airport although if you were heading downtown anyway I wouldn't bother with that - just go to a store downtown.

If you click on the store details you'll see their phone number (the 09 is the area code - just drop the leading zero). The shops will be open again in approx 10 hours time ...

.... so you could call and ask them whether they have the device in stock.
posted by southof40 at 4:47 AM on April 5, 2011

Regarding the camera I don't have any knowledge about that but again you could try in NZ if you get stuck. 'Dick Smith Electronics' carry various solar charger bits - - again you could try calling them on +64 (9) 4142800 .

That number is actually for having gear exported from NZ to you but they will be able to help you get in touch with people who could help you.

A long shot would be to call Wellington Photographic Supplies +64 4 384 3713 - who certainly won't be able to help you as they're not in Auckland but they're very knowledgeable and they may be able to suggest an option within the Auckland region.
posted by southof40 at 4:53 AM on April 5, 2011

Here's a gadget that supposedly lets you recharge a camera battery using a USB power source. I haven't used it, and don't know if it supports your particular camera, but it's a possibility. The same company also makes solar panels, etc.

The Joos has gotten good press as a portable solar panel with built-in battery.
posted by adamrice at 6:46 AM on April 5, 2011

REI has a half-dozen solar chargers for USB gadgets, for the iPhone.

The losses involved in the DC-AC-DC conversion for the Casio will make using a small solar panel pretty difficult. You might be better off going to a camera shop and buying a couple more batteries, unless you gan get that thing (or similar) that adamrice mentions. I think there is a Fry's Electronics somewhere in the suburbs of Seattle you might try.
posted by rockindata at 6:52 AM on April 5, 2011

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