Friday, April 29, 2016

External Power Sources for Portable Devices

Have you ever reached for your cellphone in an emergency situation to find out that it is dead? Believe it or not this happens more than you think. App updates on smartphone devices can increase battery drain. Being out of range of an active cellphone tower can drain your battery in a more rapid pace as it searches for available towers. Older phones do not retain their charge as long and sometimes we have used our devices much more than we thought. The result is a dead battery and no way to call or text.

Portable power has been an emerging solution for some time. Essentially most portable power packs are a rechargeable battery in a shiny case.  These portable power packs are usually charged by a USB cable connected to either a computer or a USB wall adapter. The charge time depends on the depletion of the pack and the battery size. (continued below...)

To charge a cellphone you usually need your charge cable that has your phone plug on one side and a USB connector on the other. Once you connect your phone to the power pack your phone will begin its charging process. Depending on the brand and capacity you may be able to use your phone while it is charging. 

Most battery packs allow for two or three charges before the pack has to be recharged itself. These are great tools and good to have in case of an emergency. Always have one or two of these fully charged in your go-bag.

Here are a few examples.

There are a few things to keep in mind when purchasing one of these packs. First notice the mAh rating. They can range from 2,000mAh to over 28,000mAh. The higher the rating the more charge it holds and the more recharges it can supply to your cellphone before recharging. For example, if you have an iPhone and a 2,000mAh rated battery you will not get much more than 1 charge out of the external battery. If you had a 28,000mAh rated battery you could probably charge the iPhone over 6 times before recharging.

Make sure your device can accept the voltage supplied by the pack, that it does not exceed the mAh rating of the battery, and will accept the connector type of the battery.

What has been your experience with rechargeable power packs?

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