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Brunton New SOLARIS i6 Foldable iPod® Solar Charger

Manufacturer: Brunton
Customer Rating: Average rating of 3.0/5Average rating of 3.0/5Average rating of 3.0/5Average rating of 3.0/5Average rating of 3.0/5   Reviews   Send to a Friend

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  • 6-watt solar panel charger designed for iPods and other electronics
  • Foldable CIGS solar panel with direct-connect iPod power cable
  • Vehicle outlet cable plugs into car's 12-volt cigarette lighter adapter
  • Links with other panels for increased power output; handy storage sack
  • Measures 29 by 9 inches and weighs 7.1 ounces; one-year warranty

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Editorial Reviews
Don't be without your iTunes® on the trail or at camp. Forget packing extra batteries, try the Solaris i6¿ with direct-connect IPod power cable. Complete package with storage sack containing all the cables necessary to keep you in charge and in tune. One Year Warranty. Contact us for Customer Service, Technical and any other question at 1-800-443-4871 (or)
Spotlight Customer Reviews

Good Product, but TERRIBLE advertising...

Customer Rating: Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5
First off, I live in Sacramento, CA. So it's not the sunniest location, but still pretty dang sunny.

I purchased the Solaris i6 with the intention to be able to charge any of the following: Ipod Video, Ipod Shuffle, Treo Smartphone, Garmin GPS, Bluetooth headset, & AA or AAA batteries. Usage would be mainly around the house, but I am an outdoor enthusiast that would disappear into backcountry whenever possible taking my trusty Ipod as my only real tie to civilization. Therefore, portability, simplicity & durability would be paramount for my outings.

At first tests, the Solaris was TECHNICALLY capable of charging everything EXCEPT the Ipod Video. The shuffle, phone, GPS & Bluetooth were fabulous - no problems there. The AA & AAA batteries were close to impossible. Majority of chargers out there are just not able to work with the current that's created from these panels. I did find a charger that could, however the limit was a single battery at a time! If 2 batteries were placed in the charger, the lights would flicker a little -- but charge. The SECOND a cloud, haze, or anything (possibly even a ladybug!) passed over the sun, the threshold was broken & the battery charger would flash "error." Unfortunately, the charger would either sit there flashing error (& no longer charging) until I came back later thinking my batteries are charged, or I would have to reset the charger by either removing the batteries & re-inserting (or unplugging & re-plugging the charger to the solar panels). So... technically, there probably is a charger out there that can work off of the current that the i6 produces, but in my experience -- I'm as close to finding that charger as I am to finding a cure for Mad Cow Disease. So, expect the stated "3-4 hrs to charge 4 AA batteries" to actually read, "3-4 hrs PER AA battery." As for the Ipod... IMPOSSIBLE as well using the provided Ipod cable. I figured I had a defective Ipod cable -- as the terminal contacts were too small for me to test with my voltage meter. Concluding so, I exchanged the Solaris for another one hoping that the Ipod issue would be resolved. Well, the problem was not resolved.

I can only conclude 1 of 2 conclusions, either: 1) I have terrible luck, & got 2 units with defective cables, or 2) the i6 is not capable of creating enough juice to charge the Ipod Video (at least in my 95 degrees, full-sun early September conditions here in Northern CA). I'm assuming scenario #2. That said, I think it's terrible to tout a product specifically for the Ipod -- yet it can't deliver. As a manufacturer, I'd have tested the product against available generations of Ipods that use the connection that you are providing. There is no disclaimer (except that the lighting conditions may vary from our test type deal, etc.), so it really is disappointing. If you have a USB car adapter however, you can use this with the normal Ipod USB cable & the Brunton provided Female Cig adapter. This WILL charge the Ipod -- but you now have to use 3 items vs. the 1 Brunton Ipod cable. For some this may be insignificant, but for me -- this feels a little jacked-up when you consider the Ipod cable is about $10... which means some of my purchase price is completely wasted. Not to mention the fact that I now have to carry more bulk when outdoors.

So bottom-line, this product is capable of charging an Ipod -- as well as a good majority of SMALL electronics. UN-intentional deception aside, I like the Solaris for what it is capable of delivering in such a portable package. I will however grade them hard, as I believe in delivering on a promise or claim.

On a side note, I am impressed with the Solaris line to the point that I am currently contemplating purchasing the 26 as well for larger electronics (digital SLR batteries & portable DVD players), for longer comfortable basecamps away from power.

One last point to consider... if you are purchasing these units SOLELY for emergency power (cell phones), you might want to consider the 12 or 26 watt Solaris instead. The 6 watts work beautifully under sunny conditions, & at about 25%-50% under light to moderate overcast conditions (but still enough to activate my phone charger). I would doubt though that enough current would be produced under heavier overcast (conditions typically associated with emergency situations) to initiate charging for most cell phones. For those of you thinking, "it's for situations like car trouble on a sunny day (not natural disasters)," let's face it, why would you need something as expensive as solar?... why not go with something like an extra battery... easier & cheaper to buy & carry. With a larger Solaris, there is a greater chance that the panels will collect enough energy to trigger your chargers, as a 10-15% output from the 26 would be most likely enough to activate charging. Just something to think about...

Very weak solar panels

Customer Rating: Average rating of 2/5Average rating of 2/5Average rating of 2/5Average rating of 2/5Average rating of 2/5
I really thought that this was exactly what I have been looking for...but it is not. If you are looking for a solar energy source for charging your iPod or newer cellular phone, look somewhere else. I own several Brunton products, and I've never had a problem with them before. Even though the specifications listed claim to be able to charge an iPod, it actually takes TWO or even THREE of these very expensive panels linked together to charge an iPod touch or iPhone. It took two Brunton i6 panels linked together to charge an iPod 3G nano, 80GB video iPod, and my Samsung Instinct - even in direct sunlight. Although this item even lists "iPod" specifically in its name, I would have to recommend the Brunton 12-watt or even 26-watt solar panels to do the job. The i6 *may* have enough power to charge some of the much older iPods, such as the 1G and 2G nano, but I do not have any old iPods to test.

Charge iPhone with sunshine

Customer Rating: Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5
I use this to charge my iPhone. It works. It won't charge the battery while the phone is on but it seems maintain the level. I don't see this as an issue because I use this where there is no cell service, and no power - I'm just using the phone as an iPod at this point. The sun is bright where I am in the west. Mine came without the storage sack and I emailed Brunton. They got back to me quickly and mailed me one. I give it four stars as the instruction book doesn't mention it working with an iPhone I just had to take a chance.

It does come with an array of cables: cigarette lighter socket, battery clamps, and various barrel connectors for charging other stuff. I haven't tried any of that at this point.

Also note that charging electronics in the hot sun is always tricky. One needs to shade or protect the device somehow so it doesn't get overheated while keeping the panel in the bright sunlight.
Product Details Binding: Sports
Brand: Brunton
Color: Silver/ Black
EAN: 0080078005855
Feature: 6-watt solar panel charger designed for iPods and other electronics
Label: Brunton
Manufacturer: Brunton
Model: F-SOLARIS i6
Publisher: Brunton
Studio: Brunton
Warranty: 1 year warranty

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