It’s not going to be often that I will want to take the iPad out into the wilderness. Still I like to know I can if i want to and that while out in the middle of nowhere I won’t need to worry about power.
I have all kinds of little solar solutions that will ensure my MiFi maintains a 3G Wifi connection. (If there is 3G that is) but as yet I have done little experimenting with solar charging the iPad.
I have a variety of panels and power solutions but by far the best portable solar set up I have is the Solargorilla plugged into either the Minigorilla or Powergorilla. Not cheap, but fully spec’d and built to last.
I found after much faffing around that different USB leads behave in different ways and so for this test used either the USB lead that either came with my Powertraveller tech or the white Apple lead that came with the iPad.
As it stands I can power the iPad during light use or charge the iPad if the screen is off. At no point will you see the charging icon with this set up. In fact it may say ‘not charging’ in the top right. It is charging though. Just not as fast as the 10 Watt wall charger supplied.
So with the screen off for example, I have the Solargorilla charging the Minigorilla and the Minigorilla acting as a reservoir charging the iPad. I tested this with both the Minigorilla and the Powergorilla and in 10 mins the battery capacity would increase about 5%.
The main issue it seems is the amp-age required from the USB socket. Not all USB ports provide the same amount of power. USB ports can provide anywhere from 100 milliamps (mA) to as much as 1,000mA. I have since found the Power Jolt from Griffin and have ordered it to see if the 2.1 amps stated is sufficient enough for me to use the cigarette lighter socket adapter to speed up the charging process.
I hope to field-test this current set up and something similar with a few interesting modifications in the not too distant future.
I will either post the results here or on one of my other two main blogs Documental.ly or OurManInside.com
Either way I will no doubt link the post through my twitter account @Documentally
If you have been doing some off the grid Ipad experimenting please let me know your findings in the comments below. Especially if you have been using the folding flexible type of panel. Thanks for reading.