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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Urban Survival Equipment – Portable Solar Charging System

One of the biggest issues with a collapse of the infrastructure is how people deal with no electricity. Aside from developing a complete alternative power grid on your property utilizing wind and solar assets, we think the best and most affordable solution is to invest in a portable battery charger and re-chargeable batteries.

The simplest fix, articulated in an earlier post, is to buy the Energizer re-charger that operates off of a 110/115v wall socket or a 12v vehicle, and re-charges “AA” or “AAA” batteries. Simple and lightweight, it can easily be taken with you from your Urban or Suburban environment when the chances of staying and Surviving are minimal and Bug Out is necessary. The next thing to do would of course to buy additional re-chargeable batteries and only appliances, e.g.. flashlights, lanterns, etc, that use “AA” or “”AAA” power.

If the lights went out (and did not come back on) you would be dependant on charging these batteries through a vehicle. That vehicle battery would eventually lose all charge unless you could run that vehicle, but you have to figure on eventually running out of fuel. If you could re-charge vehicle batteries from a solar source you could not only charge items using the cigarette plug, but also from an inverter which converts 12v to 110/115v – which may be a third charging item to invest in. But we’ll write a separate post on that in the future. For the mean time, we’re going to concentrate on a portable solar charging system.

Incorporating a portable Solar charging system into your Urban Survival Preparation makes the most sense next. The Survival Cadre has been evaluating a Solar charging system from Maxa-Vision,
PO Box 4251, Tequesta, FL 33469, 561-743-8180.

This system revolves around a Foldable (approx 15x9x1.5 inches) Mobile Solar-Energized Power Generator (really just a folding solar panel), incorporating solid state, thin-film solar technology. The P3-62 Solar Power (called a Power Generator) provides an excellent lightweight (3.1 lbs) and durable solar charging panel, producing 62 watts of power.

We like this solar charging panel in conjunction with a rechargeable version of the venerable BB-5590 military lithium battery. This rechargeable version is called the BB-2590 and is manufactured by Bren-Tronics, available from Maxavision.

Necessary accessories would be a Charge Controller and Pass Through Assembly to charge the BB-2590 Batteries from the P3-62 Solar Panel. One additional accessory would be the 5 piece Accessory Cable Kit which would allow the user to charge 12v vehicle batteries with the P3-62 Solar Panel.

Total costs for this system would be roughly:

P3-62 Foldable 12v 62 watt Solar Panel, part # P3-62, cost $880
Charge Controller, part # BTC-70824-1, cost $230
Pass Through Assembly, part # BTA-70781, cost $225
Accessory Cable Kit, part # 222700RC, cost $225
BB2590 Rechargeable Lithium Ion Battery, part # BT-70791A, cost $325 (each)
110/115v Charger for BB2590, part # BT-70791-LR, cost $130

We suggest you call the company and discuss your power needs directly with a Maxavision representative and to get current prices.

One of the neatest little accessories you can also buy is from another company, called Radio Reconnaissance Technologies (RRT),,
160 West Camino Real #233, Boca Raton, FL 33432, phone 540-752-7448

RRT produces a 12v cigarette Lighter connector for the BB-2590 battery, so you can charge the BB-2590 then charge or power anything that can be charged or powered through a vehicle cigarette port.

This device is called a BP-778 to BB-2590 Cigarette Lighter Connector and costs approximately $65.

If you are deciding to do any power generating at your home, then you may want to peruse for some information, ideas and other links.


  1. has some really good pricing on solar products, the best I have found so far.

  2. There have been a few blackouts in my neighborhood this last week, and I would love to have solar based energy. It seems like having portable solar power would be the best source of energy, during an emergency. I would love to be able to have energy and light when the residential power has failed.
    Sara Welsh |

  3. I really enjoyed reading this blogpost, keep on writing such interesting posts.

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