An independent power source for electronic devices was packed for the journey and was faultless primarily because I do not use solar panels that fold. They are useless. Panels are made that way because they are cheap to make but are very easy to break. They are also heavy. I use a pliable solar panel that is still going strong even after a decade of use. Unfortunately this model is no longer made.
I added a device that shortened the time it took to charge my 12 volt gel cell battery. The efficiency prevented current leakage and enabled me to run the system without a blocking diode. I have a technical support team whose brains understand what mine does not (thank you Doug in Canada and Carl in Munich) and they keep me abreast of what's new and will work for my specific needs. My advice is don't go for the so-called expedition solar power packages. They are so expensive and making your own solar panel outfit is easy. To share this knowledge I wrote a how-to called Remote Control published in the BMC's Summit issue 35.
|My independent power source Photo: Gary Rolfe|
Little has changed since I wrote Remote Control a few years ago except I have developed a deep hatred of satellite telephones.
Every night I called home with our position and those I planned to reach the following day. The Iridium satellite phone was its usual barely audible chronic self and being cut-off in mid-sentence was always to be expected. I hate the damned things, reception can never be relied upon even in bright sunshine and with a clear view of the sky. On top of that the call charges are outrageous (for a what amounts to a pathetic service). And because I never, ever trust satellite phones I carried my ACR ResQLink PLB (personal location beacon) on my belt kit at all times. It is always pre-arranged that if I do not phone in on time best to consider me safe unless I flip my PLB.
With my ACR ResQLink PLB Photo: Gary Rolfe
Breaking trail Photo: Gary Rolfe
Mukluk compatible ski bindings that work Photo: Gary Rolfe
For more about Gary and his dogs go to www.garyrolfe.com