Tuesday, January 25, 2011


I'm not carrying a laptop or netbook - not because I don't want one; just waiting for technology to catch up. I want a screen that is readable in the sunlight, better battery life and low power usage - then it can be charged either from the hub or solar.

At present I'm using a Nokia 5800 as my main gadget. It works doing: gps, maps(on and off line), camera, web browser, email client,  ebook reader, mp3 player, radio, note taker,sms and lastly lets not forget, for phone calls.

So any photos are taken from the phone. Blog posts when not a PC are emailed though. Bit limited for the formating options, but one day I'll get a better phone, until then this is good enough.

Solar charger. $1 AUD coin for scale.
To power this, I'm using a small solar panel  It is book sized, and has two 6v 400mA panels that can be used individually, or joined for 12V 400mA. Love this. While there's sun, I've power. One day I will work at connecting the Schmitt hub up to a battery pack to gather more energy while riding. But for now, the sun is working fine for me.

I used to only put it out in the sun when I was stopped. Recently I've been ocky strapping it on top of the panniers. By keeping the phone in the pannier and rolling the top of the pannier losely, it keeps the phone out of the dust.

I can also play music from the phone while its inside the panner. Was doing this with the music on the phone speaker, but could use ear phones if I wanted.  I don't bother playing music when riding. Only used it when walking when most of the day was pushing up hill. Singing along seemed to make the hills shorter.

When I was in Brisbane, I purchased this small folding blue tooth keyboard. Its wonderful. Really love being able to type normally. If you look back on my posts, before Brisbane, they tended to be very short. With this little baby, I can type longer posts. Great for emailing friends or taking notes. Takes one AAA battery, and so far its still on the same one. Smart circuits to shut things down when its not being used.

I do have a battery pack (2000mAH USB connectors for charging from solar panel) than can charge the phone. But so far I haven't used it. I might not continue to carry this. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but practically, I use the phone most when its sunny, and when its raining, I don't get it out to avoid getting it wet.