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Old 04-16-2010, 11:04 AM
m_k m_k is offline
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 277

I have a collection of Cellboost iRecharge IPR3 battery packs I've acquired when on sale (Woot and a Mac-centric parts vendor, I think "Mac World" or something like that), I have paid between 99 cents and four bucks or so for each, depending on the particular sale.

The list price on these things was something like sixty bucks or so -- they are "officially" designed for a particular Ipod (the one with a form-factor similar to the Sansa Express), but they work great for ANYTHING that uses USB power.

They contain a nice hefty LiIon battery, a tiny switching boost/regulator (to bring the battery's voltage up to the USB 5V output), and a LiIon charge controller (mandatory whenever you charge a Lithium Ion cell).

There are two USB connectors -- full size -- one male, one female. One is used to charge the battery, from any powered USB source (i.e., your computer's USB jack, or a USB wall-wart, or a lightr-socket USB car adapter). The other is used to power (or charge) your USB device (in my case, Zunes, Sansas, GPSs, and cell phone).

If I'm headed out and want to know I'll have plenty of power, I toss a couple of 'em into my pocket or camera case (or my wife's purse, if she's coming with).

I'm not a big fan of proprietary "coulda been USB" power supplies (i.e., anything with a hardwired device-specific connector, that will ONLY work with that type device). I'd much rather use something like the Cellboost -- or, if I want a bit more power, a Black and Decker Pocket-Power (about the size of an external modem, with a USB socket AND a 110VAC inverter (30 Watts), and a pile of NIMH AA cells built in.

That way, all I need is a standard USB cord for whatever device I'm using, and I can power and/or recharge any and all of my devices from the same power source.
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