Monthly Archives: August 2014

Enerplex Jumpr Slate 5K Emergency Power Bank

The more I use this device, the more I fall in love with it.
It’s very thin, lightweight and durable.

Included in the Box:
Kickr Slate 5k Power Bank
USB to Micro USB cable
Instruction manual

First out of the box, you can’t help but notice how well thought out this design is.  The holes along the side will allow you to attach it to either a binder or carabiner. Anywhere you carry this, because of its design, you probably will forget you even have it with you.

Jumpr_SlateThe biggest plus that sets this device apart from all the others, is the built in micro SD cable. No need to carry (and lose) you own cable.

Specs:
1 – USB output port 5,100 mAH/2.4 amp
1 – Micro USB input for charging the device
9.8 x 5.5 x 0.9 inches
12.5 ounces


My criteria when looking for emergency power is:

1. Charging my Galaxy S3
2. Charging my Black Diamond Rechargeable Headlamp
3. Being able to have reserve power from a power bank.

#1 Charging the Jumpr Slate

Charge Time:

I plugged the Jumpr into a wall socket to charge. Surprisingly it only took about 4 1/2 hours to fully charge.

#2 Charging the Black Diamond Headlamp

I ran the headlamp down to 0%, plugged it into the Jumpr. It fully charged in about 6 hours (the Black Diamond is notorious for slow charging so disregard the time).

#3 Charging the Galaxy S3

Without recharging the Jumpr SLate, I then plugged in my S3 after running it down to 10%. It brought the S3 up to 92%.

The Jumpr Slate 5K was able to charge the Headlamp fully and the S3 to 92% all from one charge of the Jumor.

Charging my Samsung Tab 7

I decided to see how well it did with charging my tablet. I ran the tablet down to 10%. I was able to charge it up to 90%.

Final Analysis

I have thoroughly enjoyed the Enerplex Jumpr Slate 5K Power Bank. If you’re looking for a lightweight, thin and dependable power supply, then look no further.

Pro

Small, thin and lightweight.
Plenty of power (5,000 mAH, 2.4 Amp out)
Holes along the side to secure it.
Built-in micro SD cable

Con

Plastic packaging

Ascent Solar Kickr IV Portable Solar Charger Review

My continued quest to maintain independence during grid failure.

I’ve been in dozens of situations that make me uneasy. The last one being a five day outage at home due to a wind storm in Southern Oregon. From then on, I’ve been on a quest to provide my family with uninterrupted power when (not if) the grid goes down again.

For the last few years, I’ve reviewed multiple portable solar devices, however I only recommend ones that I deem worthy of our attention.

The Ascent Solar Kickr IV Portable Solar Charger is one of those devices.

Although I believe my demands are not too unreasonable, there are a few requirements that need to be met.

#1. I need a solar charger that will keep my Galaxy S3 cell phone completely juiced during the duration of the outage.
#2. I need enough power to keep my Black Diamond Revolt Headlamp fully charged.
#3. I would like to have a fully charged external power pack like the Jumpr Slate Power Bank

The Ascent Solar Kickr IV Portable Solar Charger Specs.

Kickr-IV

Product Dimensions:
Unfolded: 774mm(30.5″)/185mm(7.3″)/2mm(0.08) Folded: 225mm(8.8″)/185mm(7.3″)/2mm(0.08″)

 

Power:
6.5 Watts Unregulated/6.0 Watt, 5 Volt System Regulated

Solar Cell Type: CIGS

Output:
1.2 Amps (USB Port)

The built in USB Port will give you 1.2 amps of charging power. Although this will not be enough to charge an iPad or the Galaxy note 10, it’s certainly enough to charge most widely available portable power packs.

Charging my Samsung Galaxy S3

Samsung S3

The first test was my cell phone.
I awoke at 7am, (in Alaska that’s late)
I let the phone run down to 10%, set the solar charger in full sun and plugged it in.

Total Charge Time:
Phone turned off – 2 hours 15 mins
Phone turned on – 3 hours 45 mins.

 

 

 
Charging the Black Diamond Revolt Headlamp

Revolt Headlamp

Next, I ran my headlamp down to about 10-20%. Plugged it into the solar charger in full sun.

Total Charge Time:
3 hours 20 mins

 

 

 

Charging the Jumpr Slate 5k

Jumpr Slate 5k

With about 25% juice left in the power bank, I plugged it into the solar charger under full sun.

Total Charge Time:
6 hours 10 mins

 

As you can see, I was able to charge all three devices in one full day. We do however have longer summer daylight here in Alaska. But if you’re in an area that can give you 11 hours of daylight, you should have the same results.


Pros:

Comes in recyclable packaging
Faster charging than other solar chargers I’ve tested in it’s price range and size
Foldable and lightweight, great for carry.
Grommets to secure while unattended or for hanging.
Able to charge multiple power banks

Cons:
Has trouble putting out a charge under low light conditions, like dawn, dusk and cloudy days.
USB port too close to the pad making it difficult to slide the cable in and out.

Final analysis
The fact that I’m able to charge multiple power banks, makes me glad to own this charger. For its size, it packs a wallop, folds nicely into a backpack, is lightweight and durable.

If you’re looking for a powerful portable solar charger for backpacking, camping or piece of mind when the grid goes down, you should take a serious look at the Ascent Solar Kickr IV Portable Solar Charger

GYH Rating 4.5/5 stars

4.5

 

 

 

Disclaimer:
While Ascent Solar sent me the product for review, The opinions on this charger are based on my own honest experiences and reflect my personal use of the product.

Make Your Own Seaweed Fertilizer

Seaweed is rich in trace elements. Some say it will release over 70 nutrients into your soil. It can be one of the most beneficial things you can do for your plants.

Collection is fairly easy. I just grab a 10 gallon bucket, walk down to the beach at low tide and scoop up handfuls of it.

Be aware though, in most places seaweed collection is highly regulated. It is considered a marine plant. In some places it is even necessary to obtain a license. So be sure to check your local laws before gathering.

One five gallon bucket for me will produce enough fertilizer for the summer to cover at least 100 square feet.

How To Make

Fill a five gallon bucket half way with seaweed.
Add water to the top of the bucket.
Let it sit for about a week, stirring it once a day.

To fertilize

Feed your plants about one cup of the liquid per plant twice per week.

When the liquid is gone, refill the bucket again. The seaweed will be weaker the next time around. But this is perfectly fine.
It’s wise to cut back on the fertilizer as the season progresses. Flowering should start to occur after the second bucket is gone anyways and that’s the time to slow down on feeding.

When the season is over, just toss the remaining seaweed into the compost pile.