A reliable power source is absolutely necessary for electronic devices to function off grid. These batteries may help keep you in touch with the outside world during emergencies.
by Leon Pantenburg
myCharge™ supplied the products for this testing. myCharge had no input in any of the content of the this post, and I was not paid to write this. All I ever promise in any product review is a fair shake. At the time of publication, there was no advertising relationship, either implied or real with myCharge.
Remember Hurricane Sandy?
The surge hit New York on October 29, 2012, flooding streets, tunnels and subway lines and cutting power in and around the city. The city went dark, and people dependent on electronic devices (which is nearly everyone) were cut off from the outside world. I remember reading about people, desperate to communicate with family members, paying big bucks to recharge their phones.
Storms and natural disasters this year prove that a reliable backup power source for phones, GPSs, tablets, laptops, lights etc. is an ongoing concern. Any electronic device is as reliable as the power source. When the juice is gone, the device is only good for a paper weight.
Recently, my wife Debbie and I have been testing the myCharge AdventureUltra™. Debbie is a marketing strategist and works online with customers all over the country, and her laptop is her office. She uses the AdventureUltra at coffee shops or to work away from home.
We already had an older and smaller myCharge AdventurePlus™, and it has proven to be really handy. Debbie commented that it “works to specs,” and is good for one day’s supply of smart phone charges. This becomes a big deal in business meetings, or when you’re working remotely with clients.
Both of these chargers, the Ultra and Plus, can be useful in the everyday work world. (I have been running a fan with the ultra, the larger of the two – it works really well in the Mississippi heat, providing a portable cooling system. The larger ultra will power a standard fan for about an hour and a half and a 100 watt LED light bulb for about three hours.) Debbie has completed a full charge of her laptop with the ultra. Either the ultra or the plus could be invaluable during an emergency.
Here are the larger AdventureUltra™ specs:
Battery Capacity: 13400mAh Lithium Ion
Recharges Via: Included charging adapter
Charging Specifications: If laptop is on (open), the charger will run the laptop and charge its battery. If the laptop is off (closed), the charger powers just the laptop’s battery.
Device Input: 20 volts
Total Output: AC 110 Volts or 45 Watts or lower. The best way to determine if the Ultra will power your device is to check out the website.
Product Dimensions: 1.2 in x 5.8 in x 4.1 in
Product Weight: 1.05 lbs.
Output by Port
- USB-C Port: 3.0A
- USB-A Port #1: 2.4A
- USB-A Port #2: 2.4A
- Total Shared: 3.4A
- AC Port: 45W
According to the company website:
“The AdventureUltra is one of our largest battery banks and has the highest power output. Designed to replace the heavy and bulky generators used when tailgating or camping, the AdventureUltra is a streamlined power source that can run a 42-inch television for up to three hours. The AdventureUltra has a maximum power output of 45 watts, enough to run a fan or recharge a drone battery. It can also be used with two in one laptops and new laptops, such as the 12-inch MacBook, that require less than 45 watts either when powered off and solely charging or when powered on and charging simultaneously.”
A strongpoint of this charger system is that with the right components, you’ll never run out of power. Combine either myCharge with a portable solar panel, and you have a charging system that can replenish itself.
Another nice option is the ability to charge the charger while driving. Get in the habit of plugging the battery into your car’s charging jack while driving around, and you get free electricity.
Disadvantages of small or large term chargers
- Very few.
- Over the short term, it is more convenient to use conventional batteries for the GPS or lights. The weight and bulk of a whole solar charging system may eliminate it from being carried on most backpacking adventures.
- The AdventureUltra™ and most small chargers are NOT waterproof. A dunking may ruin the system. The AdventurePlus™ is more dunk proof, but it should be kept out of the water if possible.
- The AdventureUltra™ will not charge devices 45 Watts or higher. Look at the rating label of your device’s power adapter to see if it can be charged with a myCharge.
For my needs, I don’t trust any firearm’s safety device, a politicians’ promises or any electronic device that relies on batteries.
I practice personal gun safety and vote regularly to take care of the first two issues. And I am always on the lookout for ways to insure my electronic devices have juice. To prepare for the inevitable power outages, a reliable battery that can re-charge electronic devices is just common sense. These myCharge chargers could prove to be lifesavers.
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