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Old Aug 25, 2003, 9:57 AM   #1
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Default Canon D60 Solar Charger for Grand Canyon River Trip

I have a Canon D60 and I am looking for suggestions for a solar battery charger for it.

Alternatively does anyone know how long the Lithium Ion BP-511 battery will hold a charge? Does it tend to discharge itself over time? The batteries are not that expensive here in Canada but if I bought 2 or 3 and charged them would that be enough for 18 days?

Thanks for any input.
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Old Aug 26, 2003, 2:59 PM   #2
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The solar panel on the back of a pack is a good idea, but the range of output can be either very high or very low. I think you need some sort of regulator and this would be an interesting excercise. The quick and dirty approach is to monitor the temperature of the batt. pack and turn it off when it gets hot. As you say the batts aren't expensive. VOX
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Old Sep 6, 2003, 4:27 AM   #3
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Default Camera batteries and river trips

Here is how I handled a 7 day lower Salmon River trip in Idaho last week (got off August 29):
In a raft's dry box I had an Optima deep cycle marine battery (bought at Costco and guarenteed leakproof) in a carry case that I would take out each evening. I used it to charge batteries for a Dimage 7i, an Olympus E-10, and a 12" iBook. After dark I would download that days pictures to the iBook (running off the Optima) do culling, rotation etc., then have a slide show on the iBook for our group to view. After the show I would charge batteries with either a Maha 204 or 401.

For my 7i and 5600 flash I have 5 sets of AA nimh batteries and for the E-10 my friend had two sets of AA nimhs. I also loaned batteries to another rafter with a Canon digital P&S that takes AAs.

The Optima battery lasted all week and could probably go at least another week with our usage (up to 250 shots per day-up to 180 on the 7i alone). If I were to go on another Grand Canyon trip (went in 99, any spaces on your trip?) I would also take along a flexible solar panel that could recharge the Optima. I believe you can get them for about US$130-200 at RV outlets or online.

Maybe it was overkill, but on a 6 day Rogue River trip last fall without the Optima I had to ration daily pictures and iBook usage as I only had 2 iBook batteries and I was on my last set of AAs for the 7i at the takeout. Basic setup should work for charging your batteries if you have the space, (usually no problem on the Colorado with the bigger rafts.

Hope that helps.

Paul S.
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Old Sep 7, 2003, 9:15 PM   #4
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How many pictures did you take? I hadn't thought of the laptop. Maybe I'll bring it too.

Please contact me via my email. I'd love to chat more about yout setup!

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