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Solar power for GPS



 
 
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  #1  
Old May 27th 09, 03:49 PM posted to uk.rec.walking
Dave J
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Posts: 1
Default Solar power for GPS

I have a Garmin GPSMap 60CS which consumes AAbatteries (2 at a time) with
great gusto.

I'm thinking of trying a flexible 3.6v solar panel as a power source when
walking in Spain.

Does anyone have experience of using this sort of power source?

What sort of power consumption might this Garmin unit have?

Deepeejay





  #2  
Old May 27th 09, 05:07 PM posted to uk.rec.walking
GSV Three Minds in a Can
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Posts: 437
Default Solar power for GPS

Bitstring , from the wonderful
person Dave J said
I have a Garmin GPSMap 60CS which consumes AAbatteries (2 at a time) with
great gusto.

I'm thinking of trying a flexible 3.6v solar panel as a power source when
walking in Spain.

Does anyone have experience of using this sort of power source?

What sort of power consumption might this Garmin unit have?


About 100mA AVERAGE, although it depends a lot on what you are doing
(the backlight is a killer, and the electronic compass is a bad plan
too).

IMO your best bet would be (2 or more sets of) NiMH rechargeables (I
like the 'eneloop' or 'instant' kind, which are 'only' 2100 mAHr, but
which don't self-discharge very fast) and a separate solar charger.

That way the batteries operate as a 'reservoir' and can turn out
whatever the unit needs, and recharge at whatever level the sun permits.
With a direct solar cell connection (and I don't think that 3.6V is
going to be enough? check the spec on the serial/power connector) it'll
die when the sun goes in or when the unit goes to recalculate and the
power draw doubles, unless you are massively over designing the current.

I assume you WERE going to use the serial/power connector, and not try
to kludge something into the battery compartment - that would not be a
smart idea.

--
GSV Three Minds in a Can
14,375 Km walked. 2,662 Km PROWs surveyed. 48.1% complete.
  #3  
Old May 27th 09, 05:57 PM posted to uk.rec.walking
Phil Cook[_2_]
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Posts: 826
Default Solar power for GPS

Dave J wrote:

I have a Garmin GPSMap 60CS which consumes AAbatteries (2 at a time) with
great gusto.


Are you using the magnetic compass? That consumes juice at a
prodigious rate. Most users turn it off and only use it when required.
For me this is never which is why I bought a plain 76Cx without the
sensors.
--
Phil Cook, last hill: Sgurr na Banachdich
http://www.therewaslight.co.uk
  #4  
Old May 27th 09, 06:36 PM posted to uk.rec.walking
Paul Saunders
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Posts: 3,324
Default Solar power for GPS

Phil Cook wrote:
Dave J wrote:

I have a Garmin GPSMap 60CS which consumes AAbatteries (2 at a time)
with great gusto.


Are you using the magnetic compass? That consumes juice at a
prodigious rate.


That sounds like the most likely culprit. The batteries last for ages
without that.

Most users turn it off and only use it when required.
For me this is never which is why I bought a plain 76Cx without the
sensors.


It's not a problem if you turn it off, but you do need to turn it off. I
believe it's on as a default, so you need to make the effort to change the
settings. There's no "off" setting as such, but you can alter the numbers so
that it remains off unless you specifically switch it on (I can't remember
the settings offhand).

There is a useful little icon at the top of the screen to show when it's
switched on, so check that to see if it's on or not.

Paul
--
http://www.wilderness-wales.co.uk
http://www.uk-rec-walking.co.uk
http://www.wilderness-images.co.uk
http://www.vanishingripples.com
http://www.monochromemagic.com


 




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