Gear Review: Ready Set Solar

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Gear Review: Ready Set Solar

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I won this Ready Set Solar set in an instructables.com contest, and have waited months to get this in the mail.

From their site:

“The ReadySet is a renewable energy system that charges from solar panels and can power lights, radios, cell phones, tablets, and even Wi-Fi hot spots. The ReadySet’s intelligent battery can charge up to 10 iPhones, or power an iPad for over 12 hours of continuous video-play and can recharge from the included solar panel in just a few hours. Designed originally for Africa, the ReadySet is rugged and easy to use and now available here to power a tailgate, camping trip or for use in case of an emergency. You can even go on a carbon-diet and power your electronics from renewable energy at home.

The Fenix Solar panel is a custom-built 15W peak mono-crystalline solar panel specially designed for use with the ReadySet Power System. It can fully charge the ReadySet in just 8-10 hours of full sun. Its rugged aluminum frame and portable size make it easy to transport or simply move indoors at night for safekeeping.

Beyond solar, the ReadySet’s smart electronics and firmware allow you to charge from virtually any source such as solar panels, bicycle generators, micro-wind turbines, and more. The ReadySet’s sleek yet simple design allows you to use this energy and power all kinds of devices from its two open standard 12-volt Car Lighter Adapter ports and two 5-volt USB ports.”

Each ReadySet Solar Kit includes:

  • The ReadySet battery (54 WHr equals ~10 iPhone charges)
  • 15 Watt Solar Panel with rugged aluminum frame (it’s fully weatherproof & waterproof)
  • 23 Watt Power Adapter for grid charging
  • 3 Watt LED Light with socket, cable and switch
  • USB Universal Battery Charger that allows you charge any 3.7-volt Lithium battery (for phones, cameras, etc)
  • Instruction Manual

I did have some problems with the original set, but as a brand new company with a brand new design it is too be expected.  To readyset’s credit they did offer two solutions – I could return the set, or they would give me instructions to fix what they thought the problem was.

Once I got the problem fixed, I tried it out, and I think it is a very useful piece of equipment.  I look at it as a hybrid of the harbor freight solar setup and my diy battery pack.

I hoped, even though common sense said not to, that this battery would be powerful enough to run my CPAP machine, but you cannot get free energy and the battery just wasn’t powerful enough.

However, when running the things the kit is designed to run I have had great experience – it charges from wall power in about 6 hours, and about 8 in the sun (depending on location, time of year, and weather).  I have been able to run both lights for over 8 hours on a single charge.

Looking at it, I think that even if I had not won it in a contest I would have bought it, and I look forward to their upcoming bike powered generator.

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