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TheChief
12-19-2012, 6:22 AM
Hello Everyone,

As questions are asked and findings are discovered, I will post updates in this post and the testing post (post #2 in this thread). Be sure to check back often.

Updates regarding the 4.7mm jack snafu are in purple. If this is your first time reading this post, disregard this comment and the fact some of the test has different colors as the correct information is what you are reading now.

I recently purchased the Goal Zero Guide 10 Plus Adventure Kit. http://www.goalzero.com/shop/p/79/Guide-10-Adventure-Kit/1:1/



It includes:

Nomad 7 Solar Panel - 7 watt monocrystalline panel array
Guide 10 Plus Battery Pack - AAA and AA charger with a 5v 1A 5w USB port
12V Cigarette Adapter
4 Pack of Goal Zero branded AA Batteries - NiMH rechargeable batteries rated at 2500mah
I have done a bit of research on this kit and am happy with it so far. The quality of build is high and looks fairly durable. Based on my research there were lots of people asking similiar questions so I decided to post all the common ones below and the answers I have found. If you have some other questions, post them and I will answer if I know below.

Note: I am in no way connected with or sponsored by Goal Zero though I wouldn't mind free stuff form them (hint hint)


Frequently Asked Questions and Items of Note



The Goal 10 Plus can only be connected to one solar array at a time. The circuitry is not designed to handle more than one at a time.
The Nomad 7 was not designed to be daisy chained. However, you could potentially connect this in an unsupported fashion to other units that are daisy chain able. It will just be the last charger in the chain
While the Nomad 7 was not designed to be daisy chained, you can connect it in parallel with the use of the Goal Zero Combiner Cable. This allows you to connect four other solar arrays into one 4.7mm plug. You could also use the 4.7mm to alligator clip cables on some other undocumented configuration. Your miles may vary as this Goal Zero unsupported territory
Will it charge my iPhone/smart phone/eReader. The thing to understand is that the Nomad 7 only puts out 5v .5A while the Guide 10 Plus puts out 5V 1A. The iPhone/smart phone/eReaders require more than 5V .5A to charge them. So you can't just use the Nomad 7. You will need the Guide 10 Plus for these. The Guide 10 Plus does not need to be plugged into the Nomad 7 to charge your devices. However, if it is plugged in, it will allow charging of the batteries even while they are charging your devices making the batteries last that much longer
The Original Guide 10 only provided 5V .5A. Goal Zero re-released it as the Guide 10 PLUS and it now provides 5V 1A. Given this power boost, it will power iPhones, the Galaxy S3, and Kindle Touch. The Nomad 7 array is only rated at .5A so you will need the Guide 10 Plus to charge the newer smart phones.
The cable connecting the Nomad 7 to the Guide 10 is proprietary. It is not the 4.7mm cable you may see referenced in other comments to include my previous ones. This cable allows for maximum power transfer from the Nomad 7 to the Goal Zero. My understanding is that they are tuned to work together and a lot of the circuitry in other systems that provide a "universal" connectivity allowance is not there so less power is lost. However, this does seem to impact the Nomad 7's ability to deliver quality power to other systems and possibly the efficiency of the Guide 10 charging batteries from USB. i.e. the Nomad 7 can charge the batteries faster from the sun than from the USB port
Can the Nomad 7 charge a 12v battery such as my car battery? Yes but you will need the 4.7mm to alligator clips, the Goal Zero 4.7mm Charge Controller and lots of sun for a couple of days. This charge controller does not currently support 6V batteries. Based on the reviews, cost, and limited capabilities of this one, I would give serious thought into buying a better solar trickle charger and figuring out how to feed your Nomad power into it over this charger
What can charge the Guide 10 Plus? The Nomad 7 or the USB Mini port (the included USB cable can be used to charge the batteries in the Guide 10 Plus from your computer or other USB charger)
What rechargeable battery types can the Guide 10 Plus charge? - NiMH only. It does not have the circuitry for Li-ion or Ni-Cd
Can I run alkaline, Li-ion, or Ni-Cd batteries in the Guide 10 Plus if I only want to use it with batteries around the house to charge my devices? - According to Goal Zero, the Guide 10 Plus is not designed to run the higher voltages of Alkaline and Li-ion (1.5v compared to 1.2 with NiMH) and they could damage the unit. In my testing I ran two complete sets of both Li-ion and Alkaline through the charger. On the last (fourth) set, the Guide 10 Plus burned up on me and would no longer function.
Will the Guide 10 Plus stop charging once the device is full? Will it prevent back charge if the device's battery has more power than the Guide 10 Plus? - My Guide 10 Plus is showing some odd behaviors that may support this rumor being true. I called and spoke to Goal Zero and they escalated me through varying levels of the tech team. The Manager and Engineer I spoke with both said there is circuitry in the unit to prevent this as well as in most modern devices that you would charge. However, when I presented them my evidence and how the tests were performed. I was told they were going to follow the same tests in their lab and also send me a new unit. I'll post what I find with the new unit and when I hear back from Goal Zero...UPDATE 2013/01/07 - my unit died. Not sure if it was related to running Alkaline and Lithium or if the unit had a manufacturing defect. I will repeat my battery tests using only the NiMh batteries to see if the odd reading comes back.
4.7mm Combiner Cable - http://www.goalzero.com/frequently-asked-questions.html (http://www.goalzero.com/frequently-asked-questions.html) Read the Q&A at the bottom of the page!
4.7mm 6' Extension Cable - http://www.goalzero.com/shop/p/30/-Solar-4-7mm-6ft-Extension-Cable/5:1/ (http://www.goalzero.com/shop/p/30/-Solar-4-7mm-6ft-Extension-Cable/5:1/) Read the Q&A at the bottom of the page!
4.7mm Alligator Clip Cable - http://www.goalzero.com/shop/p/37/Solar-4-7mm-to-Alligator-Clips/5:1/ (http://www.goalzero.com/shop/p/37/Solar-4-7mm-to-Alligator-Clips/5:1/)
4.7mm Charge Controller - https://www.goalzero.com/shop/p/127/4-7mm-Charge-Controller/6:4/ (https://www.goalzero.com/shop/p/127/4-7mm-Charge-Controller/6:4/)

What questions do you have? What else would you like to know about this kit?

TheChief
12-19-2012, 6:54 AM
Reserved for test plans and results

What questions do you have? What tests would you like me to perform and post the results?

I have purchased a real battery tester that can test most small batteries and chemistries. By real I mean it tests under load rather than just a voltage check like what you get from a multimeter. http://www.amazon.com/ZTS-Multi-Battery-Tester-MBT-1/dp/B000FQG1XE/ (http://www.amazon.com/ZTS-Multi-Battery-Tester-MBT-1/dp/B000FQG1XE/)

For testing I have:

Load

Iphone 4s and 3gs
Samsung Galaxy III
Kindle Touch
Garmin Colorado 400t
Various battery charges below
Batteries

AA -Enloops, Duracell Duralock (alk), Energizer Lithium Ultimate, Goal Zero branded
AAA - Duracell Duralock (alk), Energizer Lithium Ultimate
Chargers

Goal Zero Guide 10 Plus
Nitecore intellicharge i4 - http://www.amazon.com/Nitecore-I4-Intellicharge-rechargeable-Carabeamer/dp/B00ALLP01W (http://www.amazon.com/Nitecore-I4-Intellicharge-rechargeable-Carabeamer/dp/B00ALLP01W)
Pila IBC Charger - http://www.lighthound.com/Pila-IBC-Charger-for-14500-17500-18500-18650-37-volt-Lithium-Battery-Charger_p_3680.html (http://www.lighthound.com/Pila-IBC-Charger-for-14500-17500-18500-18650-37-volt-Lithium-Battery-Charger_p_3680.html)
Test Plan 1: Charger efficiency with AA batteries
I will take the iPhone 3gs and Galaxy S3 drain them to zero. Then with each AA battery type, charge them up to 100% or until the Guide 10 Plus shows a red light (batteries drained). I will then note the charge level on the batteries and the devices. My guess is none of the batteries will be able to fully charge the phones. We'll see.

Test Set 1: The Galaxy S3 was allowed to run the battery down to 0% displayed on the screen and then shutdown. The batteries were either fully charged or brand new, tested and inserted into the charger. The phone was then connected to the charger via a USB cable and left off for the charging period. A timer was started. At certain intervals, the cable was removed and the charger turned off to stop charging. The batteries were extracted from the charger and then run through four cycles of tests on the tester then probed with the multimeter. The results were averaged across the samples and batteries with no more than a 10% variance allowed from high to low results. The phone was then powered on and the battery charge indicator read. Then the phone was powered back down, the batteries were reinserted into the charger and connected back to the phone for the next charging interval.

Below are the results for each set of batteries, the test times, voltages, and load tests.

http://i1208.photobucket.com/albums/cc380/ExpertPC/Goal10TestResults_zps3368b12e.jpg

If you look at the three hour marks for each set of batteries you see that the NiMH batteries are hitting mid 60%, the alkalines are empty at high 50% and the Li-Ions are almost drained but have almost completely charged the phone.

Unfortunately the charger burned up after the lithium and alkaline tests. According to Goal Zero, it is not designed for the higher voltage of these two chemistries as I experienced...I have a replacement coming in the mail and I will start Nomad/Guide/Battery testing.

I will start testing with the Nomad as soon as the Guide 10 Plus arrives. I will test both sets of NiMHs in the open, behind the windshield and behind double pane house windows. I will start with drained batteries and test them every hour until the hit 100%.

After that, I will test if there is a difference in time when the unit is charging the phone at the same time the Guide 10 Plus is being charged by the Nomad.

Thoughts and suggestions welcome.

Dark Sky Solutions
12-19-2012, 6:58 AM
Very nice, I have been looking at the Extreme 350 kit

http://www.goalzero.com/shop/p/65/Extreme-350-Explorer-Kit/1:3/

just want to know about the general quality really

Taidaisher
12-19-2012, 8:22 AM
Chief, I hope you didn't pay the $160 price from your link. I bought that kit from Costco earlier this year, I think it was $100 ($129.99 - $30 instant Costco rebate).

TheChief
12-19-2012, 8:44 AM
Chief, I hope you didn't pay the $160 price from your link. I bought that kit from Costco earlier this year, I think it was $100 ($129.99 - $30 instant Costco rebate).

Nope. Picked mine up from Amazon for around $110. My Costco doesnt carry them in stock.

ocmsrzr
12-19-2012, 11:19 AM
Interesting, I have the same set up. I am looking forward to reading the results.

johnny1290
12-19-2012, 11:32 AM
Thanks for doing all this hard work!

TheChief
12-19-2012, 8:08 PM
New Q&A entry and updates to open questions. Check out the original post.

Toyman321
12-19-2012, 9:58 PM
Very nice, I have been looking at the Extreme 350 kit

http://www.goalzero.com/shop/p/65/Extreme-350-Explorer-Kit/1:3/

just want to know about the general quality really

The Extreme 350 Adventure Kit just arrived, Im going to be playing around with it over the next week or so :D. I'll probably post up some sort of similar review once I've had it long enough to post my experiences with it.

Dark Sky Solutions
12-19-2012, 11:35 PM
The Extreme 350 Adventure Kit just arrived, Im going to be playing around with it over the next week or so :D. I'll probably post up some sort of similar review once I've had it long enough to post my experiences with it.

Definitely keep us posted. Where did you get yours? Price? I am sure you will put that in your review


Sent from my IPad so... Ease off the spelling

Los
12-20-2012, 12:20 AM
they rotate around Costco's, its called a road show. I see them at mine every 2-3 months

jmaglipay
12-20-2012, 2:27 AM
Just bought a combo pack from costco. The nomad 7 watt solar panel and lamp for $99. Anyone here have their yeti generator. Seems like a decent generator but cost over 2k $

problemchild
12-20-2012, 4:46 AM
I would not drain the batteries to zero. Its better for the batteries if you go to half and then charge.

TheChief
12-20-2012, 6:52 AM
I would not drain the batteries to zero. Its better for the batteries if you go to half and then charge.

Which are you talking referring to? The device batteries or the charger batteries?

In my testing, the device is at 0% charge. My charger batteries are at 100%.

Thoughts?

Dark Sky Solutions
12-20-2012, 2:25 PM
Just bought a combo pack from costco. The nomad 7 watt solar panel and lamp for $99. Anyone here have their yeti generator. Seems like a decent generator but cost over 2k $

The Yeti is a good all in one solar source of power. I don't like how they call it a generator. It doesn't generate anything. It is an electricity storage unit with a inverter in it. I am prolly going to get the extreme 350 then add on a couple of the storage cells at a later date. By doing this you will get to the 1200 amp hours the yeti has if not surpass it.

Thoughts?


Sent from my IPad so... Ease off the spelling

problemchild
12-21-2012, 5:55 AM
Which are you talking referring to? The device batteries or the charger batteries?

In my testing, the device is at 0% charge. My charger batteries are at 100%.

Thoughts?

Im talking all rechargeable batteries in general. Toyota did a test and determined the prius batteries would last the longest if charge was maintained between 45-87%. Higher or lower hurt the batteries. Lower especially! You need a multimeter to test a battery. A car battery is charged at 12.85 and dead/drained at 12.2 or at least thats my experience when camping offroad in my truck.

This is just car batteries but I have seen the same issues with all batteries.

"
Cycles vs Life

A battery "cycle" is one complete discharge and recharge cycle. It is usually considered to be discharging from 100% to 20%, and then back to 100%. However, there are often ratings for other depth of discharge cycles, the most common ones are 10%, 20%, and 50%. You have to be careful when looking at ratings that list how many cycles a battery is rated for unless it also states how far down it is being discharged. For example, one of the widely advertised telephone type (float service) batteries have been advertised as having a 20-year life. If you look at the fine print, it has that rating only at 5% DOD - it is much less when used in an application where they are cycled deeper on a regular basis. Those same batteries are rated at less than 5 years if cycled to 50%. For example, most golf cart batteries are rated for about 550 cycles to 50% discharge - which equates to about 2 years.
http://www.windsun.com/pictures/cyclelife2_small.gif (http://www.windsun.com/pictures/cyclelife2.gif)Battery life is directly related to how deep the battery is cycled each time. If a battery is discharged to 50% every day, it will last about twice as long as if it is cycled to 80% DOD. If cycled only 10% DOD, it will last about 5 times as long as one cycled to 50%. Obviously, there are some practical limitations on this - you don't usually want to have a 5 ton pile of batteries sitting there just to reduce the DOD. The most practical number to use is 50% DOD on a regular basis. This does NOT mean you cannot go to 80% once in a while. It's just that when designing a system when you have some idea of the loads, you should figure on an average DOD of around 50% for the best storage vs cost factor. Also, there is an upper limit - a battery that is continually cycled 5% or less will usually not last as long as one cycled down 10%. This happens because at very shallow cycles, the Lead Dioxide tends to build up in clumps on the the positive plates rather in an even film. The graph above shows how lifespan is affected by depth of discharge. The chart is for a Concorde Lifeline battery, but all lead-acid batteries will be similar in the shape of the curve, although the number of cycles will vary.
Back to top (http://www.windsun.com/Batteries/Battery_FAQ.htm#Top)
Battery Voltages

All Lead-Acid batteries supply about 2.14 volts per cell (12.6 to 12.8 for a 12 volt battery) when fully charged. Batteries that are stored for long periods will eventually lose all their charge. This "leakage" or self discharge varies considerably with battery type, age, & temperature. It can range from about 1% to 15% per month. Generally, new AGM batteries have the lowest, and old industrial (Lead-Antimony plates) are the highest. In systems that are continually connected to some type charging source, whether it is solar, wind, or an AC powered charger this is seldom a problem. However, one of the biggest killers of batteries is sitting stored in a partly discharged state for a few months. A "float" trickle charge should be maintained on the batteries even if they are not used (or, especially if they are not used). Even most "dry charged" batteries (those sold without electrolyte so they can be shipped more easily, with acid added later) will deteriorate over time. Max storage life on those is about 18 to 30 months.
Batteries self-discharge faster at higher temperatures. Lifespan can also be seriously reduced at higher temperatures - most manufacturers state this as a 50% loss in life for every 15 degrees F over a 77 degree cell temperature. Lifespan is increased at the same rate if below 77 degrees, but capacity is reduced. This tends to even out in most systems - they will spend part of their life at higher temperatures, and part at lower. Typical self discharge rates for flooded are 5% to 15% per month.
Myth: The old myth about not storing batteries on concrete floors is just that - a myth. This story has been around for 100 years, and originated back when battery cases were made up of wood and asphalt. The acid would leak from them, and form a slow-discharging circuit through the now acid-soaked and conductive floor.

State of Charge

State of charge, or conversely, the depth of discharge (DOD) can be determined by measuring the voltage and/or the specific gravity of the acid with a hydrometer. This will NOT tell you how good (capacity in AH) the battery condition is - only a sustained load test can do that. Voltage on a fully charged battery will read 2.12 to 2.15 volts per cell, or 12.7 volts for a 12 volt battery. At 50% the reading will be 2.03 VPC (Volts Per Cell), and at 0% will be 1.75 VPC or less. Specific gravity will be about 1.265 for a fully charged cell, and 1.13 or less for a totally discharged cell. This can vary with battery types and brands somewhat - when you buy new batteries you should charge them up and let them sit for a while, then take a reference measurement. Many batteries are sealed, and hydrometer reading cannot be taken, so you must rely on voltage. Hydrometer readings may not tell the whole story, as it takes a while for the acid to get mixed up in wet cells. If measured right after charging, you might see 1.27 at the top of the cell, even though it is much less at the bottom. This does not apply to gelled or AGM batteries."

Gregchico
12-21-2012, 9:16 AM
I have the Adventure 10 kit and light from Costco that I bought a few months ago for $100 and like it. I just picked this Coleman up from Amazon for $35 and it seems to be identical (I have not tested it yet though).

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007JU9K32/ref=oh_details_o02_s00_i00

TheChief
12-23-2012, 12:24 PM
I have the Adventure 10 kit and light from Costco that I bought a few months ago for $100 and like it. I just picked this Coleman up from Amazon for $35 and it seems to be identical (I have not tested it yet though).

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007JU9K32/ref=oh_details_o02_s00_i00

I got excited when i first saw it. I was thinking I could purchase the combiner and three of these guys to fast charge the Guide 10 and other devices. Unfortunately, it does not include the 4.7mm connector :(

These are likely made at the same factory though. Anyone know of a way to daisy chain these off of the female 12 car adapter?

TheChief
12-23-2012, 12:26 PM
I am 3/4 of the way through the Guide 10 Plus multi-chem-batt/Samsung S3 testing now and will likely post the results tonight or tomorrow.

Too bust and cloudy for Nomad testing.

wjc
12-23-2012, 4:35 PM
The Extreme 350 Adventure Kit just arrived, Im going to be playing around with it over the next week or so :D. I'll probably post up some sort of similar review once I've had it long enough to post my experiences with it.

I'd be interested in the review of the Extreme 350 Adventure kit.

Questions:

Are those solar arrays flexible or rigid?

How much abuse do you think they might withstand?

Tripper
12-24-2012, 2:14 PM
thanks for your doing the review, if you need a second set for testing PM me, I might be able to spare a set for a bit.
can you confirm something please;
the reference above, suggests, that the nomad 7 can be 'daisy-chained'
from what i read on the site, it can, but only to 'other' goalzero panels, not to the nomad 7. am I misreading something in either here or there?.
I cant see a way to chain myself, but then, I cant find the 4.7 to alligator either, so could just have bad search skills today.

TheChief
12-25-2012, 11:54 AM
thanks for your doing the review, if you need a second set for testing PM me, I might be able to spare a set for a bit.
can you confirm something please;
the reference above, suggests, that the nomad 7 can be 'daisy-chained'
from what i read on the site, it can, but only to 'other' goalzero panels, not to the nomad 7. am I misreading something in either here or there?.
I cant see a way to chain myself, but then, I cant find the 4.7 to alligator either, so could just have bad search skills today.

Go to Amazon and type in "Goal Zero 4.7mm" and you will see all the cables I mentioned - http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=goal+zero+4.7mm&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Agoal+zero+4.7mm

The Nomad 7 was not designed to be daisy chained as it has no input jack. However, you can plug it into other solar panels via the 4.7mm to alligator clip cables. You can use the solar panels in an array configuration with the combiner cable. Read the combiner cable link at the bottom of my first post for my info on this.

badreligion
12-25-2012, 1:34 PM
What is your goal with daisy chaining your solar units? Are you tryin to increase the voltage by daisy chaining them in series? Or are you daisy chaining them in parallel to increase the available amperage?

It seams that the 4.7 to alligator would allow a series connection. Where as the combined cable would allow for a parallel connection. I can see the advantages for either set-up.

TheChief
12-25-2012, 6:51 PM
What is your goal with daisy chaining your solar units? Are you tryin to increase the voltage by daisy chaining them in series? Or are you daisy chaining them in parallel to increase the available amperage?

It seams that the 4.7 to alligator would allow a series connection. Where as the combined cable would allow for a parallel connection. I can see the advantages for either set-up.

One thing to consider with the series connection in your example above, is the increased voltage would be flowing through each of the solar panel sets. The internals may not be able to handle the load and fry.

Just my two cents.

badreligion
12-25-2012, 10:08 PM
The increased voltage across each panel is a concern but I imagine they can withstand 15 VDC internally as they have a 12 volt output port. The 4.7 circuitry may not handle the voltage though.

I think the limiting factory to speed charge your batteries is the input on the Guide 10+ as it is nearly maxed out with the Nomad 7. The USB port is maxed at .7 amps and the solar at 1.5 amps. You might get away with 2 Nomad 7 panels as most rating are fairly conservative in nature and your panels will probably not be putting out 100% most of the time. You risk burning up your Guide 10 or shortening its life spam though. Looks like the combined cable has 4 female plugs to 1 male plug, so you would only need 2 male to male plugs for the Nomad 7's to be paralleled to the Guild 10+.

badreligion
12-25-2012, 10:08 PM
Double Tap

omnitravis
12-27-2012, 3:39 PM
I have the mobile kit. I use it all the time at my house to charge batteries for my wireless mouse.
It takes quite a bit(6 hours or so) sitting on my windowsill, but for free energy, its worth it.

bRiT636
12-28-2012, 12:20 PM
Thanks for the in depth review, I have been looking at one of these for a while..

Tripper
12-28-2012, 12:27 PM
dont mean to threadjack, but, on the note of Solar, my wife bought me a bell-howell keychain solar charger, that works on my iphone, it did really well, good sun, about 1% per minute of charge, started at 50%, was driving about 10-15 minutes, and ended up at 62%, was a bit easier to get started, and readily accessible, than the goalzero for this purpose anyway
i'm going to wait for my kindle to die, and see how long it takes to charge it, if Chief doesnt mind me adding that to this thread,

I'll report my experience with my goalzero if I can
I have kindle, 2 versions (keys and no keys), Ipod touch, iPod gen 6 (small square ones) Iphone 4,

rob86
12-28-2012, 7:35 PM
How is the mobile kit? How long does it take to charge a smartphone?

TheChief
12-28-2012, 10:54 PM
Check in on post 2. I posted the testing results for the Guide 10 Plus with different battery chemistries charging up a smart phone.

TheChief
12-31-2012, 11:17 PM
Reserved for test plans and results

What questions do you have? What tests would you like me to perform and post the results?

I have purchased a real battery tester that can test most small batteries and chemistries. By real I mean it tests under load rather than just a voltage check like what you get from a multimeter. http://www.amazon.com/ZTS-Multi-Battery-Tester-MBT-1/dp/B000FQG1XE/ (http://www.amazon.com/ZTS-Multi-Battery-Tester-MBT-1/dp/B000FQG1XE/)

For testing I have:

Load

Iphone 4s and 3gs
Samsung Galaxy III
Kindle Touch
Garmin Colorado 400t
Various battery charges below
Batteries

AA -Enloops, Duracell Duralock (alk), Energizer Lithium Ultimate, Goal Zero branded
AAA - Duracell Duralock (alk), Energizer Lithium Ultimate
Chargers

Goal Zero Guide 10 Plus
Nitecore intellicharge i4 - http://www.amazon.com/Nitecore-I4-Intellicharge-rechargeable-Carabeamer/dp/B00ALLP01W (http://www.amazon.com/Nitecore-I4-Intellicharge-rechargeable-Carabeamer/dp/B00ALLP01W)
Pila IBC Charger - http://www.lighthound.com/Pila-IBC-Charger-for-14500-17500-18500-18650-37-volt-Lithium-Battery-Charger_p_3680.html (http://www.lighthound.com/Pila-IBC-Charger-for-14500-17500-18500-18650-37-volt-Lithium-Battery-Charger_p_3680.html)
Test Plan 1: Charger efficiency with AA batteries
I will take the iPhone 3gs and Galaxy S3 drain them to zero. Then with each AA battery type, charge them up to 100% or until the Guide 10 Plus shows a red light (batteries drained). I will then note the charge level on the batteries and the devices. My guess is none of the batteries will be able to fully charge the phones. We'll see.

Test Set 1: The Galaxy S3 was allowed to run the battery down to 0% displayed on the screen and then shutdown. The batteries were either fully charged or brand new, tested and inserted into the charger. The phone was then connected to the charger via a USB cable and left off for the charging period. A timer was started. At certain intervals, the cable was removed and the charger turned off to stop charging. The batteries were extracted from the charger and then run through four cycles of tests on the tester then probed with the multimeter. The results were averaged across the samples and batteries with no more than a 10% variance allowed from high to low results. The phone was then powered on and the battery charge indicator read. Then the phone was powered back down, the batteries were reinserted into the charger and connected back to the phone for the next charging interval.

Below are the results for each set of batteries, the test times, voltages, and load tests.

http://i1208.photobucket.com/albums/cc380/ExpertPC/Goal10TestResults_zps3368b12e.jpg

If you look at the three hour marks for each set of batteries you see that the NiMH batteries are hitting mid 60%, the alkalines are empty at high 50% and the Li-Ions are almost drained but have almost completely charged the phone.

Unfortunately the charger burned up after the lithium and alkaline tests. According to Goal Zero, it is not designed for the higher voltage of these two chemistries as I experienced...I have a replacement coming in the mail and I will start Nomad/Guide/Battery testing.

I will start testing with the Nomad as soon as the Guide 10 Plus arrives. I will test both sets of NiMHs in the open, behind the windshield and behind double pane house windows. I will start with drained batteries and test them every hour until the hit 100%.

After that, I will test if there is a difference in time when the unit is charging the phone at the same time the Guide 10 Plus is being charged by the Nomad.

Thoughts and suggestions welcome.

Yehosha
01-01-2013, 11:22 PM
I'm a bit confused. What did you do that burned up the charger?

TheChief
01-02-2013, 8:17 AM
I'm a bit confused. What did you do that burned up the charger?

The Guide 10 Plus is only rated for NiMH batteries that go to 1.2 volts. Alkalines and Lithiums run at 1.5v. I ran through about four cycles with new batteries and on the fourth cycle the unit went kaput.

I was testing the charger to see how efficient it was at charging other devices. So to isloate the amount of variables, I left the Nomad disconnected and strictly used this as a AA powered phone/device charger.

I talked with Goal Zero about all this and they confirmed the issue, it is even printed on the bottom of the unit. However, they are graciously sending me a replacement unit.

Hope that clears things up.

I expect the unit to come in this week adn I will start testing it with the Nomad.

Yehosha
01-02-2013, 9:13 PM
The Guide 10 Plus is only rated for NiMH batteries that go to 1.2 volts. Alkalines and Lithiums run at 1.5v. I ran through about four cycles with new batteries and on the fourth cycle the unit went kaput.

I was testing the charger to see how efficient it was at charging other devices. So to isloate the amount of variables, I left the Nomad disconnected and strictly used this as a AA powered phone/device charger.

I talked with Goal Zero about all this and they confirmed the issue, it is even printed on the bottom of the unit. However, they are graciously sending me a replacement unit.

Hope that clears things up.

I expect the unit to come in this week adn I will start testing it with the Nomad.
Ok gotcha, thanks for the clarification. Since I have one as well, I wanted to be clear on what you did that killed it. I've used mine to charge my iPhone 3GS and the batteries that came with the Goal Zero, but nothing else, so I appreciate your testing.

trg-s338
01-07-2013, 1:28 AM
Subscribed

TheChief
01-07-2013, 10:27 AM
Good news and bad news...

Good news first:
Got the replacement Guide 10 Plus so will start doing some solar charging tests on the weekends. My office windows are not south facing so have to wait till the weekends.

Bad news:
I mistook the 4.7mm jack as the guide 10 to Nomad 7 jack. So some of my statements in the first post are incorrect. I will correct them in the next hour so you may want to reread the post if you depended on anything posted there relating to daisy chaining or connections other than Guide 10 to Nomad.

Yehosha
03-03-2013, 8:37 PM
Any updates to your testing?