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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by dotman View Post
    Yeah but we all want the ability to charge from a battery pack away from outlets and vehicles.
    I understand. There are some battery packs that provide a vehicle type plug. I guess I should have mentioned that but others have.

  2. #22
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    I'm glad I started this thread, some great information so far. I think I'll look into getting some of those Lithium Ion AA batteries and maybe another battery pack. I really like the idea of the solar panel charger, I see one of those in my future.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveS View Post
    I understand. There are some battery packs that provide a vehicle type plug. I guess I should have mentioned that but others have.
    I see that one above can be ordered for 5pounds, wonder what shipping would be, anyone know of options available that isn't 5v USB, my Anker has a 9v plug.
    Tim

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcmurder77 View Post
    I'm glad I started this thread, some great information so far. I think I'll look into getting some of those Lithium Ion AA batteries and maybe another battery pack. I really like the idea of the solar panel charger, I see one of those in my future.
    David - For what it's worth, I've not been able to successfully charge my Rino 650's lithium-ion battery using a 5v/2.4a USB power bank and the 5v to 9v Kuncan step-up cable that tToadman refers to above. I've tried the concept using two different external batteries, and each time 70% of the energy coming from the power bank failed to go into my Rino's battery. 20% loss is expected, but 70% loss was discouraging.

    I consequently abandoned the idea of using a conventional 5v USB power bank and the direction I'm moving in now involves using an AiLi power bank that has two 5v USB ports (that I'll use for charging my InReach & digital camera), AND a separate DC jack that outputs 9v/1.5a DC. The Rino's lithium-ion battery charging specification is 9v to 10v and 1.4a max. Hopefully, the separate DC jack of the new power bank will charge the Rino while simultaneously reducing the energy loss to an acceptable 20 or 25%. I've got my fingers crossed while the new equipment is in transit.

    The reason I've been jumping through all these hoops is to avoid using the accessory AA battery pack. The Rino will not transmit at 5 watts unless it's using its regular lithium-ion battery. If I were to simply pop on the AA battery pack when my lithium-ion battery died, all my future transmissions would be at the 2 watt power level.

    Dog812 is a member of this forum that successfully charged his Rino 530HCX using a similar USB power bank that has an additional 9v/2a DC output jack. You may want to study his May 2015 post titled "Charge a Garmin Rino in the field multiple times!"

    One final thing - my Anker PowerPort Solar panel outputs 5v/2a max from a single port. In theory, my Anker solar panel should charge the AiLi power bank, as the AiLi's Micro-USB input calls for that same 5v/2a max. If you're interested, I'll update this post with my results once the new equipment arrives. Hope this info helps...

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  6. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clomp View Post
    David - For what it's worth, I've not been able to successfully charge my Rino 650's lithium-ion battery using a 5v/2.4a USB power bank and the 5v to 9v Kuncan step-up cable that tToadman refers to above. I've tried the concept using two different external batteries, and each time 70% of the energy coming from the power bank failed to go into my Rino's battery. 20% loss is expected, but 70% loss was discouraging.

    I consequently abandoned the idea of using a conventional 5v USB power bank and the direction I'm moving in now involves using an AiLi power bank that has two 5v USB ports (that I'll use for charging my InReach & digital camera), AND a separate DC jack that outputs 9v/1.5a DC. The Rino's lithium-ion battery charging specification is 9v to 10v and 1.4a max. Hopefully, the separate DC jack of the new power bank will charge the Rino while simultaneously reducing the energy loss to an acceptable 20 or 25%. I've got my fingers crossed while the new equipment is in transit.

    The reason I've been jumping through all these hoops is to avoid using the accessory AA battery pack. The Rino will not transmit at 5 watts unless it's using its regular lithium-ion battery. If I were to simply pop on the AA battery pack when my lithium-ion battery died, all my future transmissions would be at the 2 watt power level.

    Dog812 is a member of this forum that successfully charged his Rino 530HCX using a similar USB power bank that has an additional 9v/2a DC output jack. You may want to study his May 2015 post titled "Charge a Garmin Rino in the field multiple times!"

    One final thing - my Anker PowerPort Solar panel outputs 5v/2a max from a single port. In theory, my Anker solar panel should charge the AiLi power bank, as the AiLi's Micro-USB input calls for that same 5v/2a max. If you're interested, I'll update this post with my results once the new equipment arrives. Hope this info helps...
    Yes please, that'd be great. And thanks for the detailed reply. You would hink Garmin would make this easier.


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  7. #26
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    David - you may want to also look at the XTPower MP-10000 variable voltage power bank for charging your Rino. Its supposedly a quality unit, and was formerly marketed by Anker, a brand known for its quality. Two forum members (Dotman & Dog812) evidently use this same 9v/USB power bank to successfully charge their Rinos in the field. I would have bought the XTPower myself, but it can't be recharged from my 5v/2a Anker solar panel.

    There are solar panels on the market that output 12v, so you still may want to give the XTPower a close look. Good luck...

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  9. #27
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    I second Clomp's post. I (independently) arrived at a similar external USB battery charger solution for my Rino 655's lithium battery. I spliced the Garmin proprietary (I think) plug from an extra Garmin wall AC adapter (output 9V DC, 1.4 amp) on to a Kuncan 5V to 9V DC "step up voltage converter" cable. That stock Kuncan cable (available on Amazon for $12) has a USB A male end to draw 5V from an external USB battery pack, across the converter, to output 9V and a maximum of 2A output to a type of barrel plug. I replaced the barrel plug with the Garmin plug. This modified cable now is able to charge the Rino from two types of external USB battery chargers that I already had for phone charging on trips. I also already had been using an Anker 21W PowerPort solar charger for those batteries. As a performance test, I let the Rino run down to 28% charge, then connected to a RAVPower "Quick Charge 3.0" 12,000 mAh RP-PB065 external USB battery that was at full charge. The Rino hit 100% charge in 3 hr 10 min, with 3 of 4 LEDs of charge left in the USB battery pack. My other RAVPower 22,000 mAh RP-PB052 external USB battery also charges it without issue. I have no financial or other interest in any of these companies. If any may be seeking to do this, it works.

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  11. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsmith View Post
    This modified cable now is able to charge the Rino from two types of external USB battery chargers that I already had for phone charging on trips. ... If any may be seeking to do this, it works.
    I agree with jSmith that tToadman's Kuncan cable method WILL charge a 500 or 600 series Garmin Rino, but the Kuncan method appears to cause pretty large energy losses. I don't want to carry more 18650 cells than necessary, so limiting the charging system's energy loss is important to me.

    I assembled a Kuncan cable myself, then have used it five times to charge a Rino 650. See attached picture for my test results. I began each test with a 100% drained Rino battery, and a 100% full powerbank battery. I charged the Rino until the powerbank was totally drained, then noted the battery percentage that appeared on the Rino's home screen. It appears to me that boosting the voltage twice (from 3.7v to 5v inside the powerbank itself, then again from 5v to 9v inside the Kuncan module) causes larger than expected losses - from a low of 30% to a high of 44%.

    For example, I would have been happy if my 5200mAh powerbank would have put a 87% charge on my Rino. 5200mAh at 3.7v (the internal battery voltage inside the power bank) gets lowered in a perfectly-efficient system to 2600mAh after the energy gets transferred inside the Rino's 7.4v Li-Ion battery. In reality, these systems aren't perfect. The 2600mAh figure will be decreased by energy losses (generally 10% to 20%) caused by the voltage conversion circuitry itself and released heat.

    Since I'd like to get the losses down to the 15% to 20% range, I've ordered a 4-cell battery box that uses 18650 Li-Ion batteries and has a 9v/1.5a DC output. What I'm hoping to find is that doing one voltage conversion inside the battery box (from 3.7v to 9v) instead of two separate voltage conversions (the Kuncan method) will be a lot more efficient and allow me to carry fewer 18650 cells.

    If my 4-cell 18650 battery box can charge the Rino's battery 2.33 to 2.5 times, that will tell me that doing one voltage conversion instead of two has reduced the losses down to 15 - 20%. At that point, I'll be satisfied that I've reduced the weight of my charging system as much as possible, and I'll be able to go on to other things! Attachment 53408

  12. #29
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    I tried the nomad solar charger but had minimal success, I just don't have time on my hunts to be tinkering with the (very) slow charging solar panels and I don't have the room in my pack for a gigantic panel. I picked up a dark energy charger, and swapped all my electronics to USB rechargeable, and I doubt I'll ever go back, instead of packing 37 different types of batteries I have one charging pack. To charge my rino I bought a 12v car charger then bought a female 12v to USB adapter off amazon it works great! Hope this helps
    Side note: when I do use batteries I use energizer lithium batteries they're really expensive but they have amazing run times!


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  13. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by StickSlingers View Post
    To charge my rino I bought a 12v car charger then bought a female 12v to USB adapter off amazon
    StickSlingers - how many full and partial charges of your Rino's battery can you get out of your Dark Energy to 12v setup? The best I've been able to do is a 76% charge of my Rino 650's battery using a MyCharge All-Terrain 5200 power bank. I'm boosting the 5v USB output up to 9v using a customized Kuncan cable, which I got off Amazon.

  14. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clomp View Post
    StickSlingers - how many full and partial charges of your Rino's battery can you get out of your Dark Energy to 12v setup? The best I've been able to do is a 76% charge of my Rino 650's battery using a MyCharge All-Terrain 5200 power bank. I'm boosting the 5v USB output up to 9v using a customized Kuncan cable, which I got off Amazon.
    I've only ever had to charge my gps from zero one time with that set up. Most of the time I keep my GPS off till I need it then I top off my phone and gps at night. I'm willing to bet I could get two full charges out of it. It's charged my iphone 7 plus twice and my gps once, both from zero on the same trip, and still had a little juice left over. If you need more tape two together like Aron Snyder does. They really don't weigh that much and are fairly thin


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  15. #32
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    Clomp,

    I'm on the same quest as you, in search of the lightest power bank to charge a 12V radio, phone, gps, etc.

    I was going to run the Anker PowerCore+ 26800 USB battery pack and the Kunco 5V to 12V booster

    At 26,800 mah and 13.3 ounces it is mentioned as one of the best weight vs. mah power banks in this review. But your findings with efficiency loss using the Kunco adapter worries me.

    So then I found this power bank:
    RAVPower 23000mAh Portable Charger
    That is 23,000 mah at 20.8 ounces and has an additional multi-volt DC port.

    That is an alternative option over the XTPower 10,000 mah that several others on this forum have used which weighs in at 10.5 ounces.

    I'm still on the hunt for the lightest option. The weight vs. mah ratio of that Anker is really good. I'm wondering if a different booster instead of the Kunco would have a better efficiency factor...those results you posted are poor, it's surprising that none of the Amazon reviews mention such a loss.

    What's the weight & mah total of the 18650 AiLi battery pack that your building?

  16. #33
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    I've been researching for a few months on a system that will work for charging my Rino for an upcoming backcountry hunt. It seems like much less hassle and money to just buy an extra battery or two. I am only going to need mine for 6 days without access to electricity. I found replacement batteries for approximately $55, and the alkaline pack for $20. I think I can easily get 2 days off a full charge. Seems like a no brainer to me.

  17. #34
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    "So then I found this power bank: RAVPower 23000mAh Portable Charger
    That is 23,000 mah at 20.8 ounces and has an additional multi-volt DC port."

    OregonSteelHeader: When I researched the 23000mAh RAVPower RP-PB14 powerbank myself, it appeared that its digital display stays on 100% of the time while its being used. As you can see from my test results, leaving my Rino's display on while charging produced the worst loss. Even eliminating the USB meter (which alternates displaying voltage & amperage) helped to reduce the loss percentage. Shortening your cables as much as possible also helps. Before you purchase this powerbank, I'd recommend that you download its owner's manual from RAVPower's website. In it, I found a worrisome clause that states that it's normal for 20% of the total capacity to be lost.

    Several other forum members (Dotman & Dog812) have used the variable output 10000mAh XTPower model MP-10000, and say good things about it. This is the same portable charger that was formerly marketed as Anker's Astro3 10000mAh Multi-Voltage external battery pack. I probably would have bought the XTPower myself, but it's 9-15v input isn't compatible with the 5v USB output of my solar panel.


    "...those results you posted are poor, it's surprising that none of the Amazon reviews mention such a loss."

    Many folks that review powerbanks don't understand that a mAh rating doesn't factor in losses, and is valid ONLY at the internal battery's voltage of 3.7v. There's huge decreases to the mAh that occur when the internal voltage is boosted to 5v, 9v, or 12v. I didn't fully understand the relationship myself until I found and read this online article: Discover the real capacity of your power bank.


    "What's the weight & mah total of the 18650 AiLi battery pack that you're building?"

    There are two Chinese companies (Qidian & AiLi) that manufacture variable output battery boxes. These are lightweight 4 to 6 cell enclosures that contain the appropriate circuitry and are shipped empty to you. The idea is that you carry just enough rechargeable 18650 Lithium-Ion cells for the particular trip you're planning. For example, if I can reduce the system losses down to 20%, I will carry enough 18650 cells to equal my solo days out minus 2. In other words, I'll carry 12 individual 18650 cells plus the AiLi charger for a 14 day solo trip. By the same token, I'll only need three 18650 cells for a 5 day solo trip. Even though its more of a hassel, I prefer to treat the electricity I carry like food - just carrying what I need and no more. The AiLi model 109 that I bought weighs 91.7 grams empty and each 3500mAh cell weighs 47.8 grams.

    "I was going to run the Anker PowerCore+ 26800 USB battery pack and the Kunco 5V to 12V booster."

    The variable output AiLi system that's equivalent to the Anker would require eight 18650 cells (totaling 28000mAh total at 3.7v). I calculate that that charging system will weigh 503.3 grams or 17.75 oz. Compare that to the weight of the Anker power bank plus your Kuncan 5v to 12v boost module. Recognize that you WILL have a huge reduction in mAh when you boost the 5v USB output of the Anker up to 12v in order to charge your radio. I'll carry the AiLi battery box if it reduces my losses down to a manageable 15 to 20%. Time will tell, as the new equipment hasn't arrived yet.

    I like the concept of this DIY charging system because it allows me to carry just the amount of stored electricity that I figure I'll use. The recharging system that I'll carry for shorter duration trips will weigh much less.

    Like most things, the analysis of which charging system to use is more complicated and involved than it appears at first glance. Hope this helped and that it didn't muddy the water....

    Clomp
    Last edited by Clomp; 07-12-2017 at 12:35 PM.

  18. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sekora View Post
    I've been researching for a few months on a system that will work for charging my Rino for an upcoming backcountry hunt. It seems like much less hassle and money to just buy an extra battery or two. I am only going to need mine for 6 days without access to electricity. I found replacement batteries for approximately $55, and the alkaline pack for $20. I think I can easily get 2 days off a full charge. Seems like a no brainer to me.
    Sekora - before you pull the trigger, you may want to consider the XTPower MP-10000 variable output 5v/9v/12v power bank. It costs much less ($60 on Amazon) than buying two additional li-ion Garmin batteries (at $55 each), and weighs the same amount as two Garmin batteries (10.2 oz). In addition to using the XTPower's 9v/2a output to charge your 500/600 series Rino, you'll be able to charge any other electronics you bring using its two USB ports.

    I'm not a fan of Garmin's alkaline battery pack, as using it limits your transmission power to 2 watts. If I get in a pickle, I want my hunting partners to be able to hear my transmissions, out to the radio's maximum range.

    Just a thought....
    Last edited by Clomp; 07-12-2017 at 12:36 PM.

  19. #36
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    Thanks for the advice. I'll admit, I didn't read through all the posts on this thread entirely. Some of the posters obviously have more knowledge in electronics than I do. If there is a unit that will charge the 655t without any modifications, I'm all for it.

  20. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clomp View Post
    I agree with jSmith that tToadman's Kuncan cable method WILL charge a 500 or 600 series Garmin Rino, but the Kuncan method appears to cause pretty large energy losses. I don't want to carry more 18650 cells than necessary, so limiting the charging system's energy loss is important to me.

    I assembled a Kuncan cable myself, then have used it five times to charge a Rino 650. See attached picture for my test results. I began each test with a 100% drained Rino battery, and a 100% full powerbank battery. I charged the Rino until the powerbank was totally drained, then noted the battery percentage that appeared on the Rino's home screen. It appears to me that boosting the voltage twice (from 3.7v to 5v inside the powerbank itself, then again from 5v to 9v inside the Kuncan module) causes larger than expected losses - from a low of 30% to a high of 44%.

    For example, I would have been happy if my 5200mAh powerbank would have put a 87% charge on my Rino. 5200mAh at 3.7v (the internal battery voltage inside the power bank) gets lowered in a perfectly-efficient system to 2600mAh after the energy gets transferred inside the Rino's 7.4v Li-Ion battery. In reality, these systems aren't perfect. The 2600mAh figure will be decreased by energy losses (generally 10% to 20%) caused by the voltage conversion circuitry itself and released heat.

    Since I'd like to get the losses down to the 15% to 20% range, I've ordered a 4-cell battery box that uses 18650 Li-Ion batteries and has a 9v/1.5a DC output. What I'm hoping to find is that doing one voltage conversion inside the battery box (from 3.7v to 9v) instead of two separate voltage conversions (the Kuncan method) will be a lot more efficient and allow me to carry fewer 18650 cells.

    If my 4-cell 18650 battery box can charge the Rino's battery 2.33 to 2.5 times, that will tell me that doing one voltage conversion instead of two has reduced the losses down to 15 - 20%. At that point, I'll be satisfied that I've reduced the weight of my charging system as much as possible, and I'll be able to go on to other things! Attachment 53408
    I can't pull the picture up. I'm a little slow with modifying electonics, but the wires in the charger are much different looking than the 5v to 10v step up. Any help much appreciated.

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  21. #38
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    Regarding the earlier back and forth about whether or not to leave tracking on, here's another scenario:

    A few years back we killed a bull, quartered it and took the first load out. I thought I had marked a waypoint where the carcass was, but user error happened due to being tired and I forgot to hit "enter" to save the waypoint before I went back to the map screen. (this was on the 530HcX) The next day we went back to get the remaining quarters and I discovered I had no waypoint. Oh crap. Adding to the problem was the foot of snow that fell overnight making everything look different and it was still coming down hard. Luckily I had my tracking turned on and I could look at the map and see the spot where there was a heavy concentration of lines back and forth in one area, where my GPS had been on the entire time we were quartering and stashing game bags. Without that stroke of luck I doubt we would have found the rest of that elk.

    I think sometimes the tracking feature is a pain or not necessary (like when I forget to restart the track when I begin hiking and it also includes all my driving back and forth to Denver). But based on that one lucky situation I keep it turned on.

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