Ready Set Solar Review and Repair

 

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

On the negative side, I did have some problems with the original set.  However, 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
  • They would give me instructions to fix what they thought the problem was.

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

For the purpose of seeing how powerful it is, I tried to run my CPAP machine.  I did this even though common sense said not to.  Unfortunately, the battery just is not powerful enough to run my CPAP machine.  There is no such thing as a free lunch, and the small size means limited power.

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.

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

Repair of the Ready Set Solar Battery

 

 

Repair of Ready Set Solar Battery

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I won a Ready Set solar kit at an instructables.com contest and was dying to do a review.

During the review process I noticed that the ReadySet I received did not work. Now, I was saddened by this as I have been wanting to do this review for several months.

I contacted Fenix Intl through customer service about the problem and after about an hour I received what I consider to be an appropriate reply.

Basically I got one of the kits on the first production run, and the spade connection on the battery worked itself off in transit. The company said I could either get an RMA and ship the old kit in for a replacement OR they could send me instructions for fixing the problem myself, and if I could not fix it they would get me and RMA.

I bet you have no question about which option I took….

The process was very simple, and considering that the first batch always has some problems I still think this is a pretty nice device.

Then, all I did was to flip the device upside down, take out 8 screws, flip it back over and remove the top.

Sure enough the negative battery clip was a little loose. I pushed it back on and plugged it in.
The lights came on and the device starting to charge.

In conclusion, I think this is a neat idea, and it has some potential. The company seems to be working very hard at providing a quality product, and they have some great ideas.

One thing is certain, their battery pack is light years better than mine…

 

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