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  • Solar power for a mobile phone?

    I want to run a mobile phone as a security cam in a remote unpowered place that does get mobile phone coverage.

    I know you can buy those little solar panels with a power pack (battery) attached. Most of the specs on those say they take at least 12hrs to charge a flat phone.

    Does anyone know if they would be sufficient to keep the phone powered semi-permanently if you started with a fully charged phone and battery pack?

  • #2
    You will only need to charge the battery, it will run the phone from then on, I think... but how will you keep the camera running on the phone they don't have huge capacity.
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    • #3
      That’s a very open ended question.

      firstly you need to know to know how much power your phone uses while it’s running as a remote security camera. Then understand how much power the solar charging system can generate, estimate how many full sun hours per day the solar panel will be exposed to on average throughout the year - best to be conservative e.g. if it is located in an open area that is fully exposed all day with minimum shading I would uses 3 or 4 hours per day for this figure.
      you can then determine how much power per day you charging system will generate, it needs to be considerably more than the power you phone uses so the backup battery can be recharged after a deeper discharge e.g. several days of rain. Typically you would size your battery system to run the load for 3-5 no sun days.

      this online calculator is ok for basic stuff https://www.batterystuff.com/kb/tool...alculator.html

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      • #4
        This is a very interesting subject: I'm looking forward to input.
        Taking video 24/7 would likely deplete it's battery very quickly.

        If a photo every 20 seconds was adequate... App would do it.
        Larger battery plugged into the phone: There's many options.
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        • #5
          I'm running an app called "Alfred" security CCTV. It's capable of showing live video. I'm not sure how much power it uses or even if the video is constantly going.
          Last edited by Pete40; 1 week ago.

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          • #6
            Knowing your power consumption is step one, without that your pissing into the wind. Surely there must be an app that can give you a figure?

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            • #7
              https://uniden.com.au/product/guardi...am-solo4g-kit/
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              • #8
                Yeah that looks good, but pricey! $649, on special at JB hi-fi for $599 now. Might go take a look.

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                • #9
                  That App looks promising. I must check it out. As MR said you really need to know the current consumption of the phone when it's in that mode.
                  I'd suggest setting it up, fully charging the battery in the camera phone and see how long it runs for. Take note of the battery capacity and that will give you some guide to the time vs power consumption.

                  A different application but I made up this device to use as a WIFI hotspot when we're camping at places like Moreton Island where the 4G service is marginal at the campsite but is better a few metres away.in a higher spot, with or without the external antenna.
                  I can't remember what capacity the solar panels are but they are charging a 6V4.5AH Gel cell and it will run my device all day provided the sun is shining. I then used a regulated USB socket and plug the device into it. I reckon if you work out the requirement then double or triple it you would be almost there.
                  Some photos that might give you some inspiration

                  AA.JPGab.JPG
                  IMG_5429.JPG
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                  • #10
                    I've been using that app on an old phone for a while now. The phone battery is effed, so it needs to be plugged into power all the time to keep running. The phone gets hot while running too.

                    That app works quite well.

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                    • #11
                      https://www.bunnings.com.au/arlec-en...meter_p4410270

                      You could use something like this to measure the power consumption which will include the plugpack inefficency. Probably worth factoring it in anyway as an overhead.
                      But if it's getting hot it's also wasting energy so maybe it's time to look for another phone or replace the battery if it's replaceable.
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                      "Political correctness is a doctrine fostered by a delusional illogical minority and promoted by mainstream media which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end."

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                      • #12
                        I don't want to use that phone in the remote location. Will use a slightly newer one that still works if I go that way.

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                        • #13
                          Many assumptions on my part here: Bear with me:

                          *Out-dated superfluous phone: That still works fine.
                          *Dodgy/old battery: Replace & supplement it easily.
                          *Not wishing to climb the tree more than necessary.

                          You need to do a trial run imo; not with a dodgy battery.
                          App taking-photos won't sap power: Screen isn't in use.
                          Maybe a month between charge? No need for a panel?

                          I'd make a choice to use the phone; then make that work.
                          If the previous battery is cactus: I'd replace it as a priority.
                          I'd add a supplemental battery... To make it all last longer.

                          Edit: I'd look into disabling everything; apart from the App.
                          Maybe even the Operating System... Only that App is on?
                          At the very least, I'd suss-out what does flatten the phone.
                          The More I Learn... The Less I Know.
                          That Which Doesn't Change... Stays The Same.
                          Those That Don't Fall... Just Aren't Trying Hard Enough.
                          Genius or Idiot... Sadly it's Defined by the Mediocre Masses... With their Hindsight.
                          Dicklaimer... The Text above is to be Evaluated by a Responsible Person... Prior to Any Action Being Taken.

                          *George Carlin*What We Do*No Bravery*Tell the Truth*911*Genetic Armageddon*Carbon Tax*Interplanetary Climate Change*Fracking*Shock Doctrine*Extinction Protocol*

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by DV8 View Post
                            https://www.bunnings.com.au/arlec-en...meter_p4410270

                            You could use something like this to measure the power consumption which will include the plugpack inefficency. Probably worth factoring it in anyway as an overhead.
                            But if it's getting hot it's also wasting energy so maybe it's time to look for another phone or replace the battery if it's replaceable.
                            Do you think that would give you the charge current or the actual power consumption? Im not sure but would be leaning towards charge current which is not an indication of power consumption. There has to be an app that monitors actual power use? If you can provide me with power use I'll calculate how large a battery you require and what size panel.

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                            • #15
                              That power consumption App consumes power... Hence my suck-it & see attitude.
                              It doesn't really matter what it does: Provided it does what you want as-warranted.

                              Edit: It's not the size of the battery per sē.. Rather, it's the drain on said battery.
                              If the App photo-taking is minimal power usage: Then the battery will last ages.

                              Edit2: I don't claim to know; what power's used from a sensor into a SD card?
                              I'd imagine it maybe quite minimal: Provided it was made an efficient process.
                              The More I Learn... The Less I Know.
                              That Which Doesn't Change... Stays The Same.
                              Those That Don't Fall... Just Aren't Trying Hard Enough.
                              Genius or Idiot... Sadly it's Defined by the Mediocre Masses... With their Hindsight.
                              Dicklaimer... The Text above is to be Evaluated by a Responsible Person... Prior to Any Action Being Taken.

                              *George Carlin*What We Do*No Bravery*Tell the Truth*911*Genetic Armageddon*Carbon Tax*Interplanetary Climate Change*Fracking*Shock Doctrine*Extinction Protocol*

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