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108 Reviews
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96 of 98 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great product, if you can get one that works
Well, it looks like eventually this will be a good product, when I get one that works. I got one that had been double-checked by powertraveller after getting two apparently non-functioning units.

I'd recommend one, they're very good, now that the quality control issues appear to be over. The solar recharging appears to be actually practical, in the west of...
Published on 6 Nov 2007 by I. Rawlings

versus
29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars (2.5 stars) battery is ok but solar panel is useless
the main battery is ok and comes with lots of adapters but the solar panel is so low powered its useless, kept on the back of my rucksack all day on a typical sun/ clouds may day (uk) it only charged the battery to charge my gps for 15 minutes. it wont fully charge the battery either ive only ever got it to 5 bars (out of 7) with the solar panel. there seems to be some...
Published on 22 May 2008 by qaz


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96 of 98 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great product, if you can get one that works, 6 Nov 2007
By 
I. Rawlings - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Well, it looks like eventually this will be a good product, when I get one that works. I got one that had been double-checked by powertraveller after getting two apparently non-functioning units.

I'd recommend one, they're very good, now that the quality control issues appear to be over. The solar recharging appears to be actually practical, in the west of England on a cloudy Autumn day, it appears to have recharged about 25% despite being behind glass (which makes a surprising difference) in a west-facing window rather than south-facing (so only gets direct sun for a few hours).

The leads that come with it are very good indeed and all use the same jack plug for input, so I've since gone back and ordered lots of extras because you can use the power monkey to recharge one device, on a sunny day you can plug the panel into another device (I charged my mobile directly from the solar panel), use the USB lead to recharge a third if you have a USB port handy, and even recharge a fourth using the mains charger. The extra leads are reasonably priced and there's a very extensive range.

I'll just quickly side-track off to talk about the leads a little more;

Once you have a few of the USB retractable leads you start realising that you can replace all your multitude of phone/PDA/ipod chargers with one USB hub, and just carry USB leads around with you because you can use ports at work, at friends houses, buy a hub in another country if travelling etc. My ipod PSU with a four-port hub can now charge my ipod, phone and PDA. I have one of the leads hanging off the back of a Nintendo Wii in standby mode which is now the downstairs recharger for an ipod, a Nokia N770, another spare mobile phone, a Nintendo Gameboy Advance, a Nintendo DS and even a 4 AA battery charger. That's six mains rechargers I no longer need to use, 8 if you include my PDA and main mobile.

I think the leads are worthy of being a product in their own right, they're easily the best I've come across so far and have the most extensive range of tips. You get a good selection with the powermonkey with many more tips available from powertraveller, it's worth thinking about the potential of the leads on their own, don't just think about using them with the powermonkey. If you travel a lot, using these leads with a car cigarette lighter to USB converter (readily available), a mains USB converter (ditto), a USB hub, or a computer, you can recharge just about anywhere you're likely to want to. One of the powermonkey USB leads and a selection of tips is all you'd need, although a few extra of the USB leads will allow simultaneous recharging of several devices from a hub. You can buy the leads separately from powertraveller, on their web page go to the powermonkey classic and select "monkey nuts" and order "extra" tips and at least one USB retractable lead.

Right, back to the powermonkey;

One gripe (other than quality control) is that the powermonkey won't charge a device while the powermonkey itself is being charged, as soon as it detects a charge coming into the charging port it shuts off the output current. This means you can't plug it into your phone/ipod/whatever and then connect it to the charger to charge them both overnight. This is a real shame and something they could easily do; charge the power monkey then once charged, pass all power through to the attached device. It doesn't do that however.

It comes with a useful velcro bag and a zippered semi-rigid box that are worth having, and the whole package seems well put together. Only the inability to recharge while attached to a charger, and of course my issues with getting a working unit, stop it from being a five-star buy. The excellent leads almost make up for the issues I've had.

I also have a freeloader. It's rubbish, total rubbish (see my review for it), so if you are thinking of spending the extra money (3x the price) then this unit is worth the extra provided you get one that works. The freeloader's leads aren't anywhere near as flexible as the powermonkey's leads so don't help to make up for the unit's weaknesses.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Martin, 20 Feb 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Powertraveller Powermonkey Explorer Solar Portable Charger - Grey (Electronics)
A great piece of kit.
If you travel a lot and have a selection of gadgets then this is well worth getting. I took this away for 10 days skiing and was able to charge my Nokia phone, ipod and iphone effortlessly. I gave it one full charge before leaving and then recharged with the solar panel during the day to top up my gadgets as required. There is a good selection of adapters and the only thing I haven't figured out how to charge so far is my Sony camera. The travel case is great, everything packs away neatly and takes up little room in your baggage. Now I leave it sit on the window during the day and charge from the sun while I'm out working. Even in Ireland you 25% - 30% charge on a decent day.
The only real negative I have is that you don't seem to be able to re-charge the device and charge a gadget at the same time, but I can live with that.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cheeky little monkey!!!, 6 Oct 2009
By 
R. Hoy - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Powertraveller Powermonkey Explorer Solar Portable Charger - Grey (Electronics)
A fantastic product. Just returned from 3 weeks trekking in India. It powered my Ipod up via the solar panel Fantastic!!!!!!
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended with one caveat, 18 Feb 2008
By 
First of all, I'd recommend the PowerMonkey Explorer without hesitation. It's the best charger of its type that I've come across. Not only that, but PowerTraveller's customer support is excellent. I'd recommend reinforcing the little tips with some epoxy before using the powermonkey though; the snap-together construction on some of them is a bit flimsy.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Gadget I Own!!!, 31 Aug 2007
By 
This little gadget does everything you want. I bought it to go on holiday, but i've actually started using it more frequently than i thought. It charges virtually everything, and is great for emergencies. Best of all, it doesn't need batteries to charge, as it goes on solar power. GREAT PRODUCT!

I purchased on the Monday, and got it on the Tuesday. Electronics247 did a brilliant job on the delivery of this item, highly recommended seller! I will be buying from them again with confidence.
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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars (2.5 stars) battery is ok but solar panel is useless, 22 May 2008
By 
qaz "00264167" (kent, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
the main battery is ok and comes with lots of adapters but the solar panel is so low powered its useless, kept on the back of my rucksack all day on a typical sun/ clouds may day (uk) it only charged the battery to charge my gps for 15 minutes. it wont fully charge the battery either ive only ever got it to 5 bars (out of 7) with the solar panel. there seems to be some propaganda and sponsored reviews out there for this product but in the uk you cant get enough energy from it to use it indefinately away from mains electricity, perhaps in other countries where there is full sun all day its a different matter but even then it only provides 200 milliamps at best. the battery also wont deliver a full charge to my pda unless it is fully charged up, at 5 bars on the display it will only charge my pda to 80 percent. some devices just turn off at a partial charge because the battery or panel isnt delivering enough power to charge them.
another drawback is that if you leave the battery and solar panel connected at night to catch the early morning sun it wont start charging unless you plug it in in the presence of sun, over night it switches itself off and doesnt come back on again when the sun comes up.

both units are rubberised but some connectors arent too good, the mini usb one keeps coming apart by unclipping itself. the cable in to each unit is fixed and not that strong (it should have been a jack and seperate cable)eventually i can see it getting a bad connection at the cable and the whole thing will then be useless.

it comes with a semi rigid carry case which hasnt been thought out because its massive, designed to hold all the different mains plugs and adaptors as a presentation type box which you'ld never need to carry so the case is pretty much useless unless you dont mind carrying something that size around with you.
if only a bit more thought had gone in to this product to make it properly durable (eg for expedition use, as it is you could never rely on it) and it had a much bigger foldable solar panel, then i wouldnt mind paying more. it is good to see that theyre sponsoring wildlife charity.

i have kept the item but is use it with a larger sunlinq 12watt (15v, 800 milliamp) solar panel which seems to work in the uk sun ok and provides about 4 times more milliamps than the supplied solar panel.

some useful info from the manual:
battery input/output interface dc 3.5x1.1mm
input voltage 5v 600ma
output: 4.5-5.5v 700ma max
capacity: 2200mah

solar panel:
same output interface
output:5v 200ma max (only in full sun)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Power monkey with accessories, 13 Feb 2011
This review is from: Powertraveller Powermonkey Explorer Solar Portable Charger - Grey (Electronics)
Very good and quick service. The adaptor for the iphone is a bit dodgy though and the usb connector doesn't fit the average pc socket
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a great bit of kit!, 15 Jun 2010
By 
Ian Brearley - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Powertraveller Powermonkey Explorer Solar Portable Charger - Grey (Electronics)
I got my Powermonkey Explorer the Christmas before last and have taken it twice now on gulet holidays in Turkey. Gulet (boats) have mains power available for only a few hours a day and I am able to keep my iPod and iPhone charged up with ease. I tend to leave the device plugged into the mains whenever I can so if power does come on I don't miss it. Solar power works much better in Turkey than in England - I expect there is a simple reason for this!!! The Power Monkey also makes a useful addition to my TomTom 720 for city walking since it adds so much more battery life.

My only regret about owning this device is that I now find myself obsessing about owning a Power Gorilla for my laptop - and then a Solar Gorilla. The little voice keeps telling me to buy them....
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Power Traveller Explorer, 10 Sep 2009
This review is from: Powertraveller Powermonkey Explorer Solar Portable Charger - Grey (Electronics)
Excellent piece of equipment, has a useful number of adapters to fit most devices. Very useful for travelling & camping hen access to power is restricted. Good value for money. Only slight niggle the illumination on the battery keeps illuminating if you fold the solar panel up.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rubbish solar charger for UK conditions, 25 July 2009
By 
E. Kuscu - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
They have to tell you that in UK conditions it takes days befor you get a full charge on the charging unit using solar panel.
Although the product looks high quality and the charger unit is actually good (with lots of connector options provided), the solar charging is really useless, at least for me. I can't rely on this unit for unsupported camping trips.

I paid 65 for this as i did not shop around and bought from the manufacturer's web site.

Overall I'm not happy with this purchase and urge anyone to think again about solar capabilities in UK climate (even in summer).
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