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SunTactics sCharger-5 w/ SteriPen Utra

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SunTactics sCharger-5 w/ SteriPen Utra

Postby JWreno » Thu Aug 28, 2014 10:36 am

I just finished a 17 day southbound JMT trip with my wife and son. We used 3 SteriPen Utras that have USB ports for charging internal batteries. The SteriPens worked great and did not need recharging for more than a week to up to about 10 days. When the units showed the batteries down to about 1/4, I would hook them up to the SunTactics SCharger-5 solar panel. It has a port that puts out about 1 amp at 5 volts under full sun. I put 2 inch wide sticky velcro loop on the back of the solar panel which folds in half. I put hook velcro on the lid of my pack. The unit would charge the SteriPen Ultra in about 5-6 hours of hiking when up at higher elevations about the treeline. I would also hook up my iPhone 5S to charge it up to 100% before the end of each day. Using one solar charger to keep 3 SteriPens and my iPhone was a great convenience and worth its weight compared to putting in AA batteries in my old SteriPen classic. The SteriPen Ultra also has great visual feedback with its countdown timer showing how much longer until done and the charge status and happy face icon at the end of the 90 second cycle. I use the Camelback pre filters on my water bottles to keep out the floaters when filling them before using the SteriPens.

The Suntactics sCharger-5 folds to about 6.5 x 6 inches when folded in half and when open fits nicely on the top of my pack by using 2 inch velcro. I never had any problem with it coming off the pack when hiking. It's a practical solution for any electronic device that can be charged with a USB port.



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JWreno
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Re: SunTactics sCharger-5 w/ SteriPen Utra

Postby rlown » Sun Aug 31, 2014 4:08 pm

looks like a nice unit JW.

http://www.suntactics.com/product/usb-solar-charger-5/

Yes, i had to look it up. Any "in use pics" in your file that might be posted with your sticky velcro setup?
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Re: SunTactics sCharger-5 w/ SteriPen Utra

Postby JWreno » Mon Sep 01, 2014 6:01 pm

No pics at this time. I put a two length wise industrial stick on 2 inch wide loop velcro strips under the panel. I put 12 inches of sewn on hook velcro on the lid of my pack. This was plenty of velcro to hold the panel to the lid when hiking. At the end of the day I would remove my lid from my pack and tilt it towards the setting sun if I needed additional solar charging while in camp.
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Re: SunTactics sCharger-5 w/ SteriPen Utra

Postby rlown » Mon Sep 01, 2014 6:19 pm

nice on the charger. not gonna comment on the steriPen part. Haven't used them. I understand the approach and the science, but..

Glad you had a great trip!
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Re: SunTactics sCharger-5 w/ SteriPen Utra

Postby maverick » Mon Sep 01, 2014 6:25 pm

Still use the older Steripen, what would you say is the biggest difference between
the older and newer version, besides the weight and the count down timer?
Did you have any issues with your older pen? Mine sometimes has the red light flash
right off the bat, I called the home office and they said it could be the sodium
contents of the water. It also happens mostly in the morning, which leads me to
believe it has more to do with the batteries.
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: SunTactics sCharger-5 w/ SteriPen Utra

Postby JWreno » Tue Sep 02, 2014 8:30 am

My old version was the Classic and I didn't like having to feed it Lithium AA batteries. My Ultras wouldn't even need a charge for at least a week and probably would go about 10-12 days without charging. The feedback system and USB charging is the biggest improvement.

In 2011 we used one classic for 3 people. This time everyone had their own Ultra and pre filter so there was now waiting at watering stops. I bought them using my REI dividends in 2012 so I really didn't have any financial pain in acquiring them.This year my dividend bought an Osperey pack and a warmer sleeping bag for my son.
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