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Interceptor121

Travelling light - Chargers and batteries

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Following my most recent trip I have realised that things have moved on quite a lot since a few years and it is possible to travel really light with the exception of video lights that continue to be a pain

 

I wrote my tips and some example space saving products on my blog here

 

https://interceptor121.com/2019/03/20/travelling-light-part-i-chargers/

 

Interested to have more feedback and ideas

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Hi interceptor!

 

This is a really useful round-up - many thanks indeed!

 

I think we all shudder at the amount of cables and chargers we now lug about. I'd found the 4-socket USB Anger-Type chargers but I didn't realise (doh!) that USB chargers were available for batteries - so many thanks indeed for that. Hellloooooo Amazon!

 

Really useful post. :notworthy:

 

 

PS: I wish someone would come up with a small USB charger for the Nikon D5! I feel like I'm packing a suitcase with the charger for that baby.

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Hi interceptor!

 

This is a really useful round-up - many thanks indeed!

 

I think we all shudder at the amount of cables and chargers we now lug about. I'd found the 4-socket USB Anger-Type chargers but I didn't realise (doh!) that USB chargers were available for batteries - so many thanks indeed for that. Hellloooooo Amazon!

 

Really useful post. :notworthy:

 

 

PS: I wish someone would come up with a small USB charger for the Nikon D5! I feel like I'm packing a suitcase with the charger for that baby.

 

Feel free to pinn it !

 

The D5 battery seems a challlenge other batteries are a breeze with the dual chargers I put in the post you have a really streamlined and effective set up. NiMH strobe batteries are not a problem usually as they last more than a dive but in general I take everything out each dive and put fresh batteries since vacuum systems are around

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I've got a USB-C plus 3 USB-A (old style) charger and I love it. Make sure the USB-C is powerful enough for your laptop (although you probably don't need one quite as powerful as came with it).

 

Another way to lighten up is something like this: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B072N854DK. You have to make sure these work on 120-240V though.

 

I have a nice one from Monster (that I can't seem to find anymore) with 3 AC ports and one USB. That way you only need one outlet on the boat/resort and only one adapter to physical adapter from whatever they have to your local format.

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Posted (edited)

There is also this which is effectively the same as your 4 port plus individual AA chargers: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B074RBQNV9/ref=psdc_10063711011_t3_B07FQ7QNDL

 

I would suggest though that not all NiMH chargers are created equal, the one above one for instance charges cells in pairs, requiring identical cells to charge properly. If it were me I'd keep the chargers linked in the articles for travel. Proper charging on Ni MH extends their life and helps them maintain capacity, I like the MAHA chargers, which have an individual circuit for each cell, though they are not so travel friendly. https://www.mahaenergy.com/chargers/

 

Also BTW the links to the various chargers are not showing up at least on my system though I can find the items by cut and pasting description to google.

Edited by ChrisRoss

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I have a Maha at home which I’ll use for conditioning. On the road I use the eneloop single channel charger. And I only bring one charger. My strobe batteries easily last a whole day, so I have time to run through 2-3 charge cycles (4 batteries) a day. I bring 1.5 spare sets. 2 spares of every other battery.

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Thanks guys the links are only working for amazon UK currently

I think the products with non detachable power cable are too bulky and require an adapter anyway.

I mean a power strip with 3-4 USB port takes much more space than the desktop charger I use and also typically they max out at say 3.4A which is not good for anything

The products I am using have 60W power and each USB has 2.4A guaranteed. This is important as otherwise your batteries won’t charge ir will take a very long time. USB delivers current at 1, 2, 2.1, 2.4 A and you want 2.4A on each guaranteed. For USB-C you need 30W at least and the desktop charger I use has 45W which is totally fine for my macbook pro

It is important to read the specs and make sure the charger have intelligent circuit or otherwise you will lack power or ruin your batteries

 

 

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The 13” Mac Pro ships with a 60W charger and the 15” with an 85W. You can charge with any charger, just more slowly and if you do intensive work, your charger may not be able to keep up.

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The 13” Mac Pro ships with a 60W charger and the 15” with an 85W. You can charge with any charger, just more slowly and if you do intensive work, your charger may not be able to keep up.

The apple chargers are specs so that the device will charge when all cpu and disk screen are at mac use

In reality even the 15” will charge with 30W when is turned off. On boats there is plenty of time when the laptop is not used and I have found my 13” to do just fine in fact I have never used the original 61W supply

 

 

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How long did it take to charge up the batteries with those chargers? You have me intrigued since I am off to the Maldives in 3 weeks. My strobes and torches are all AA batteries (video light is still big) but we use 11 in a day of diving (2 strobes with 2 batteries each, changed between dives just in case, 3 in my wife’s torch). I have used a 4 bay intellicharger plus a 4 bay Duracell charger and changed things out after dinner and before bed. I also swap out my olympus batteries between dives so two of them a day to charge. Both the olympus and intellicharger take figure 8 plugs and I have short cords but the are still cords.

 

We also don’t travel with laptops but have 4 Apple devices to charge so USB is my default anyway. It would be great to consolidate.

 

Thanks

Rick

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How long did it take to charge up the batteries with those chargers? You have me intrigued since I am off to the Maldives in 3 weeks. My strobes and torches are all AA batteries (video light is still big) but we use 11 in a day of diving (2 strobes with 2 batteries each, changed between dives just in case, 3 in my wife’s torch). I have used a 4 bay intellicharger plus a 4 bay Duracell charger and changed things out after dinner and before bed. I also swap out my olympus batteries between dives so two of them a day to charge. Both the olympus and intellicharger take figure 8 plugs and I have short cords but the are still cords.

 

We also don’t travel with laptops but have 4 Apple devices to charge so USB is my default anyway. It would be great to consolidate.

 

Thanks

Rick

It depends on the batteries you have

I use eneloop pro 2500 mah and worst case 2h 40’ for a full charge of four

With 4 batteries the charges gives 900 ma per battery so if your battery is 2000 mah it will take 2h 13’ for four

In general batteries last 250 shots with my strobes or more however if you change them every dive with surface interval and dive time they will be ready again at dive 3 then alternate set does dives 1 and 4. The torch you mention may be do the overnights depending on use. Camera batteries with a dual charger and changing each dive for more than 3 dives means having 3 batteries one in camera two always charging

At the end of the day fresh battery in camera and strobe and usually nothing charging overnight

Two chargers for strobes one for camera leaves 1 to 3 ports for the rest

Maybe you need another charger for your torch. I find that I don’t need 6 usb ports as phones are not really used when am away

Laptop charges typically overnight on usb C

If you do 2 dives everything is even easier

 

 

 

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We do two morning dives and then come back to the island. Occasionally I will do an afternoon dive or snorkel but not most days. So the iPads and phone/kindle can charge during the morning when we are diving and the camera kit in the afternoon and night. So 8 batteries for the strobes and 6 for the torch works. 3 batteries plus iPads charge while we dive, 8 plus camera while we beach. Alternate that set of 3 on the torch. Heck, if I only take one battery aa charger and it takes under 3 hours to charge I can swap before dinner and have them all when I get back. That will save another charger space in my backpack . I’m liking the options here.

 

Thanks

Rick

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For AA/AAA I have a full set to swap out for everything plus maybe an extra 4 in case my charging gets behind. Usually everything is all charged by bedtime with 3-4 dives per day. (Inon strobes and a couple of flashlights.)

 

Keep in mind there are at least 3 Eneloop branded 4-battery chargers

1. Two channel charging 2 batteries per channel

2. Four channel, one for each battery

3. Rapid charge four channel

 

I use #2 and have avoided #3 as I've heard it may not be good for the batteries in the long run.

 

I'm not sure the second one charges in 2 hours, but not too long. For sure it will get things charged between coming back before dinner and before I get to sleep.

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On my blog post I am recommending the EBL 40 min charger

Now with USB you have 5v and 2.1 A in total so if you only put one battery in you get 3500 mah this will ruin the battery you need to put at least two at time in so the current drops to 1800 mah

More you put in slower it charges longer the lifetime so I always put 4

 

 

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I have looked at the products that Vondo and ChrisRoss suggest and in my opinion they are inadequate for professional use

 

The nton power strip only delivers 15 w max in 3 USB which means it will delivery 1A each that is not sufficient for anything plus there is no smart charge logic to balance the ports

 

The EBL of ChrisRoss has one port 2.1A and one 1A which is only good for a phone

 

Also the Necktek USB-C plus 3 USB A charger is totally inadequate as the maximum power it can product is 12 W combined divide by 3 and you get 4W each which means not even 1A per port so insufficient to drive a 5A / 2A charger. In fact you can really connect only one set of AA chargers

 

USB power can be useful but you need to look into devices that have some form of load balancing between the outlets and smart technology or you have a serious risk of batteries not loaded at surface interval

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I have looked at the products that Vondo and ChrisRoss suggest and in my opinion they are inadequate for professional use

 

The nton power strip only delivers 15 w max in 3 USB which means it will delivery 1A each that is not sufficient for anything plus there is no smart charge logic to balance the ports

 

The EBL of ChrisRoss has one port 2.1A and one 1A which is only good for a phone

 

Also the Necktek USB-C plus 3 USB A charger is totally inadequate as the maximum power it can product is 12 W combined divide by 3 and you get 4W each which means not even 1A per port so insufficient to drive a 5A / 2A charger. In fact you can really connect only one set of AA chargers

 

USB power can be useful but you need to look into devices that have some form of load balancing between the outlets and smart technology or you have a serious risk of batteries not loaded at surface interval

 

The Necktek stuff definitely can deliver more to ports if you are not drawing out of all of them.

 

Your use case is particular in that you really want to charge your AAs by USB. Fine, but that's not my or everyone else's use case. No one size fits all. I'm happy with an A/C charger as they are just as small. USB, for me, is for charging phones, iPads, and GoPro batteries and these auxiliary ports on something like the Necktek are great for that. And the point of the small power strip, is again, that it is small, light, and provides a number of outlets. A USB port that can do double duty is icing on the cake.

 

There are lots of ways for people to lighten their load and while these suggestions may not work for you, they might work better for others.

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The Necktek stuff definitely can deliver more to ports if you are not drawing out of all of them.

 

Your use case is particular in that you really want to charge your AAs by USB. Fine, but that's not my or everyone else's use case. No one size fits all. I'm happy with an A/C charger as they are just as small. USB, for me, is for charging phones, iPads, and GoPro batteries and these auxiliary ports on something like the Necktek are great for that. And the point of the small power strip, is again, that it is small, light, and provides a number of outlets. A USB port that can do double duty is icing on the cake.

 

There are lots of ways for people to lighten their load and while these suggestions may not work for you, they might work better for others.

 

Nektek provides in total 12W so you cannot connect more than one AA battery charger and delivery the required performance as the outlet in total is 12W

 

I asked them the specific question

 

Mary G (Nekteck)

Apr 8, 11:23 EDT

Hello Massimo ,

 

Each USB TYPE A port can support 5V/2.4A Max (They will not share 2.4A altogether)

 

 

YES. The charger can output up to 72w only, so the USB C has a maximum of 60w and all of the USB TYPE A ports combined can only output 12w.

 

Best,

Nekteck Support

So this product is really the same of an IPAD charger with a hub and not useful for me as I need to charge two sets of AA batteries

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My only comment would be on the smart chargers. I don't know if the ones you've listed allow you to change the current per battery, and you may not have to, but i've found this thing amazing:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Youshiko-YC4000-Intelligent-Professional-Standard/dp/B00N7GHUH0/ref=lp_431408031_1_18?s=electronics-accessories&ie=UTF8&qid=1556210712&sr=1-18

 

Not the cheapest, and there may well be cheaper alternatives but being able to boost the charge when needed (say in between 2nd and night dive) and then having another 4 on for trickle charge (non-smart) is quite good. What's nice about this is that it also does AAA batteries.

 

There may be more light weight ones that do 8, which would be preferable i guess!

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My only comment would be on the smart chargers. I don't know if the ones you've listed allow you to change the current per battery, and you may not have to, but i've found this thing amazing:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Youshiko-YC4000-Intelligent-Professional-Standard/dp/B00N7GHUH0/ref=lp_431408031_1_18?s=electronics-accessories&ie=UTF8&qid=1556210712&sr=1-18

 

Not the cheapest, and there may well be cheaper alternatives but being able to boost the charge when needed (say in between 2nd and night dive) and then having another 4 on for trickle charge (non-smart) is quite good. What's nice about this is that it also does AAA batteries.

 

There may be more light weight ones that do 8, which would be preferable i guess!

This one has a power supply and looks bulky it has a USB output but that would not be good for me

 

 

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My only comment would be on the smart chargers. I don't know if the ones you've listed allow you to change the current per battery, and you may not have to, but i've found this thing amazing:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Youshiko-YC4000-Intelligent-Professional-Standard/dp/B00N7GHUH0/ref=lp_431408031_1_18?s=electronics-accessories&ie=UTF8&qid=1556210712&sr=1-18

 

Not the cheapest, and there may well be cheaper alternatives but being able to boost the charge when needed (say in between 2nd and night dive) and then having another 4 on for trickle charge (non-smart) is quite good. What's nice about this is that it also does AAA batteries.

 

There may be more light weight ones that do 8, which would be preferable i guess!

 

 

I use a similar one of these too for regular charging (at home) of AA batteries - but without the USB facility. Like sinetwo, I find it is good.

 

For travelling though I'm going with a USB charger and the USB AA battery holder/charger as Interceptor suggested. It's very neat, very portable and very flexible.

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I use a similar one of these too for regular charging (at home) of AA batteries - but without the USB facility. Like sinetwo, I find it is good.

 

For travelling though I'm going with a USB charger and the USB AA battery holder/charger as Interceptor suggested. It's very neat, very portable and very flexible.

You can fast charge on USB as well if you have two chargers for AA/AAA just place two batteries each the batteries will receive double the current and this will charge a standard eneloop in 1 hour or a pro in 75’

Obviously you cant fast charge 8 but it is the same of a single 4 slots on fast charge

Bear in mind charging eneloop with more than half the ideal value shortens their overall life

 

 

 

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I've been using this 8 Cell AA charger for a couple of years now. It works great, light weight, and has 8 channels. I use a pair of Inon 330's, 4 Eneloop Pro 2500 cells each. I carry 2 full sets for a total of 16 cells. I usually swap sells after 2 dive's but have found I can easily shoot 3 dives and 500 shots on a single set a batteries. I mostly shoot at 1/2 power or less. The charger is fast enough to charge 8 cells from 0-100% in 5-6 hours so I can just alternate batteries every day or every 2-3 dives.

 

 

https://www.batteryjunction.com/8800.html $28

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Dave this whole post was about avoiding chargers with a power supply and consolidating power to travel light. I have one of those chargers are home but they are bulky take space and require a dedicated plug which is what I wanted to move on from

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