Solar-powered music and portable power

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Solar-powered music and portable power

Postby Camp4Life » Mon Aug 22, 2016 10:12 am

Just got back from my second camping trip after purchasing an Eton Rugged Rufus Bluetooth speaker.

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I was always skeptical about solar-powered things because 10+ years ago, they weren't good at all to be honest... But things have changed :thumbsup:

This thing was a waterproof rating IPX4, which means that while you can't dunk it underwater, it can still sit out in heavy rain and be fine. I tested this myself and it sat out in hard rain, and just kept playing.

Our typical day camping is getting up around 9-1030 AM depending on if we got into the Gin or not :lol: And when we're at camp, we play music pretty much all day and all evening until quiet hours(11PM) and then we turn it waaay down lower than speaking volume until probably 1-2AM. The Rukus never got below 25% battery.

I play music from my cell phone, so usually by morning, my cell phone battery is at 30-50%. The Rukus sits outside on the picnic table all night and starts recharging as soon as the sun comes up. By the time we get up, I plug my cell phone into the Rukus' USB port. Yes, the Rukus has a USB port to charge other devices from its 5200 mAh battery! My cell phone gets charged full which leave the Rukus with about 50% battery. I unplug my phone and it only takes 2 hours for the Rukus to be fully charged again. The Rukus will go from dead battery to 100% in about 5 hours of direct sunlight. Music all day/evening, rinse and repeat. On a 6-day camping trip, it kept itself and my cell phone fully charged every day just from the solar panel!

This past weekend we had lots of rain and overcast, hardly any full sunlight, and we were in the woods. However, the Rukus still did the job. Now as for sound, it's definitely not a Bose system and has as much bass as a small Bluetooth speaker can muster, but the quality is very nice! And it can get pretty loud as well without any distortion. It's definitely as loud as you would need for camping to be able to hear it over a roaring fire and some talking. The speakers are very directional as well. So standing in front is much louder than standing beside or behind it. This lets you direct the sound towards you and not disturb other campers.

Cost me about $100 at MEC. Can get it on Amazon too.
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Re: Solar-powered music and portable power

Postby Greg M » Mon Aug 22, 2016 10:53 pm

I thought about one of those, but couldn't think how I'd mount it on my recumbent bike and still get enough sun. Instead I've been lusting after the Fugoo Tough. IP67 rating means dust proof and waterproof to 1m! Plus 40 hour battery life. Still needs the occasional charging, but I can figure that out somehow.
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Re: Solar-powered music and portable power

Postby Camp4Life » Mon Aug 22, 2016 11:18 pm

Greg M wrote:I thought about one of those, but couldn't think how I'd mount it on my recumbent bike and still get enough sun. Instead I've been lusting after the Fugoo Tough. IP67 rating means dust proof and waterproof to 1m! Plus 40 hour battery life. Still needs the occasional charging, but I can figure that out somehow.


I saw that too. But at over double the price, and it not being able to charge my cell phone, I opted for the Rukus. Otherwise, I'd have to also buy a small panel for my phone...
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Re: Solar-powered music and portable power

Postby deleted » Thu Aug 25, 2016 10:53 am

Ooooh thank you for posting this! I was just thinking I'm going to need portable speakers soon. I want this for both home use and my trailer since my only speaker options currently are on my laptop which doesn't sound so hot ever. Love that you can charge your phone and it has the built in battery with AC charging as an option. Found it online on the LL Bean website for $79 and free shipping.

I noticed they also have a free $10 gift card with sales of $50 or more so that would drop the price down to $69

http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/90835?productId=1334173&attrValue_0=Green&pla1=0&mr:trackingCode=92D8C402-BFE7-E511-80ED-00505694403D&mr:referralID=NA&mr:device=c&mr:adType=pla_with_promotiononline&mr:ad=55725345680&mr:keyword=&mr:match=&mr:tid=pla-27695889649&mr:ploc=1019381&mr:iloc=&mr:store=&mr:filter=27695889649&qs=3091386_google&product=0NKB650000&cvosrc=cse.google.0NKB650000&cvo_crid=55725345680&gclid=CPnS84n33M4CFZGegQodRNsHUg&gclsrc=ds
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Re: Solar-powered music and portable power

Postby Camp4Life » Thu Aug 25, 2016 1:28 pm

Stacie Tamaki wrote:Ooooh thank you for posting this! I was just thinking I'm going to need portable speakers soon. I want this for both home use and my trailer since my only speaker options currently are on my laptop which doesn't sound so hot ever. Love that you can charge your phone and it has the built in battery with AC charging as an option. Found it online on the LL Bean website for $79 and free shipping.

I noticed they also have a free $10 gift card with sales of $50 or more so that would drop the price down to $69

http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/90835?productId=1334173&attrValue_0=Green&pla1=0&mr:trackingCode=92D8C402-BFE7-E511-80ED-00505694403D&mr:referralID=NA&mr:device=c&mr:adType=pla_with_promotiononline&mr:ad=55725345680&mr:keyword=&mr:match=&mr:tid=pla-27695889649&mr:ploc=1019381&mr:iloc=&mr:store=&mr:filter=27695889649&qs=3091386_google&product=0NKB650000&cvosrc=cse.google.0NKB650000&cvo_crid=55725345680&gclid=CPnS84n33M4CFZGegQodRNsHUg&gclsrc=ds


That's a great deal! To be clear, it doesn't do AC charging, it's USB ;) But all phones charge with USB so no worries!
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Re: Solar-powered music and portable power

Postby deleted » Thu Aug 25, 2016 1:34 pm

Camp4Life wrote:
That's a great deal! To be clear, it doesn't do AC charging, it's USB ;) But all phones charge with USB so no worries!


Yes, you're right. I should have been more specific. The battery in the Ruckus can be charged by solar or AC. :thumbsup:

Additional Features

• Lightweight design, built-in carrying loops and an included carabiner are perfect for travel.
• Water-resistant, so you can bring it to the beach or carry it in your canoe.
• Connects wirelessly with any Bluetooth-enabled smartphone, tablet or computer.
During the day, the solar panel or AC adapter provides ample power and charges the battery.
• After the sun goes down you can keep listening on battery power for eight hours or more.
• Use the built-in USB port to charge your cell phone.
• AC adapter included.
• Imported.
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Re: Solar-powered music and portable power

Postby slowcowboy » Fri Aug 26, 2016 8:53 pm

I found me a couple of walk man 1980s style cassete tape players and some small computer speakers I got a couple of head phones I am going to wack the cords. like when we was kids in the 80s and splice in the computer speakers. that's my simple set up.............80s stlye. I got stuff on cassete tapes and when it comes to cds...........I got a couple of portable walk man cd players to out of a junk store I really have not got into the modern world yet. slow
Plans. there was supposed to be plans to be followed when I built this thing. Opps! AH, gee, tum,tee tum. I think I forgot about the plans 2 years ago. ------Tow vehicles, 1995 ford explore, 1994 ford ranger, 1993 ford F-150, 2009 4x9 Off road teardrop, on harbor freight greatly modified frame.
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Re: Solar-powered music and portable power

Postby bdosborn » Sat Aug 27, 2016 6:25 pm

Why not throw a panel or two on your roof instead? The price per watt will be much lower.

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Or maybe a portable panel or two?

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Re: Solar-powered music and portable power

Postby Camp4Life » Mon Aug 29, 2016 9:18 am

bdosborn wrote:Why not throw a panel or two on your roof instead? The price per watt will be much lower.

Image

Or maybe a portable panel or two?

Image

Bruce


Once I actually build the trailer, yes there will be solar panels on the roof. However, I'll still keep using the Rukus because it can sit right between us at the campfire and we can keep the volume lower so as to not disturb the other campers. And when we're cooking/eating, it sits at the picnic table for the same reasons. It also comes with us to the beach and on the boat. Quite convenient for something I never need to charge :D

We will also have a stereo and TV inside the trailer for those rainy days though. And that's when the panels on the trailer will come in handy :thumbsup:
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Re: Solar-powered music and portable power

Postby JaggedEdges » Tue Mar 07, 2017 9:43 am

I admire your optimism, but solar panels tend to come in less handy on rainy days :R :D

The good ones still provide some output under overcast though.
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Re: Solar-powered music and portable power

Postby Shadow Catcher » Tue Mar 07, 2017 10:40 pm

We like the music of nature.
We do however have a conventional 12 automotive radio and XM SAT receiver. When out for weeks... I take along our battery charger for the D, C, AA, and AAA battery charger and batteries.
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Re: Solar-powered music and portable power

Postby Camp4Life » Fri Jul 21, 2017 9:44 am

JaggedEdges wrote:I admire your optimism, but solar panels tend to come in less handy on rainy days :R :D

The good ones still provide some output under overcast though.


That's what the battery is for :beer: Weather changes fast here. To be honest, we don't "NEED" power for anything. Fridge is propane and doesn't require 12v (no circuit boards etc). So if I kill my battery, oh well. My portable speaker can still play for 10+ hours off of its battery and still charges a little under overcast skies, so if we can still have music, that's a bonus. If THAT dies, I can always play tunes from the truck 8)
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