gear-- solar computer batteries

john bishop (hcant001@HUEY.CSUN.EDU)
Sat, 17 Dec 1994 18:59:00 +0800

to begin with and a 12 volt adapter for recharging/powering.
For several field trips in the Himalaya, we used a radio Shack
TR100 with a battery operated 100K disk drive, and then copied the files
onto the PC hard-drive when we got home. This all ran on AA alkaline
batteries and worked like a charm, with only slight inconvenience moving
to the PC.
In 1993, we wanted the convenience of using actual databases in
the field, and the ability to update cumulative documents,so we got a
Compaq 386 that could run off a 12 volt battery. We bought a one foot
square solar panel from a recreational vehicle supplier ($190) and a
motiorcycle battery ($20 in Kathmandu). The solar panee charged the
motorcycle battery all day, and the motorcycle battery charged the two
NiCads in the computer. (the whole thing could stay wired together)
It worked pretty well, but it was the monsoon, and there were
periods of four or five days with no sun, just fog and rain, and the
NiCads went dead occassionally.
the village, however, had newly acquired electric lines and the
power was on for two hours a night. We were wary of blowing out the
charger with unregulated AC, but took the chance, and toward the end of
ouor stay in the village, relied on the two hours of AC each evening to
charge the NiCads.
John Bishop