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March 22nd, 2018

Power to the People — Battery Solutions for Range Trips

LabRadar FosPower USB Battery pack charnging LED

Today’s precision shooter is connected. He or she is likely to bring a number of electronic items to the range, such as a smartphone, tablet computer, Kestrel, LabRadar chronograph, and more. These digital devices all require electricity to operate. Unfortunately, most ranges don’t include convenient charging stations for your gadgets. Therefore you need to bring battery back-up. Here are three good options, with storage capacities from 10200 mAh to 42000 mAh. The first unit is fully weather-proof, so it is good for hunters and tactical shooters exposed to the elements. The largest power pack, with AC outlet, is quite versatile and works well on car-camping trips.

1. FosPower 10200 mAh Waterproof Charger, $26.99

FosPower USB Battery pack waterproof shockproof LED

When you’re at the range or on a hunt, it’s smart to have a USB-output battery pack for smart phone, target-cam monitor, even a LabRadar. There are many battery packs available, but most are fairly fragile, with exposed ports. This “ruggedized” FosPower 10200 mAh charger is different. It is waterproof, dust-proof, and shock-proof. (IP67 certified: dust and water resistance for up to 3ft/1m for 30 minutes under water.) It can handle all that a PRS competitor or hunter can dish out. It even has a handy LED light. Right now it’s priced at $26.99 with FREE Shipping (on orders over $25.00).

2. EasyAcc 20000 mAh Battery Pack with Fast Charging, $35.99

USB

If you want to charge multiple devices, such as a tablet and a LabRadar, you need serious capacity. The EasyAcc 20000 mAh battery pack can charge up to four devices simultaneously. Notably, this $35.99 Battery Pack charges faster than most other 20K packs. It has two power input ports, allowing it to fully charge in 6-7 hours. (We have another 20000 mAh battery unit that takes over 16 hours to fully charge!). This unit will charge an iPhone 7 six times, a Samsung S8 four times or an iPad Mini two times. Note, 77% of Amazon purchasers rated this unit Five Stars (with 13% Four-Star reviews).

3. Webetop 42000 mAh USB, 12v DC, 110v AC Power Station, $143.88

USB

Many folks have asked us “How can I use a laptop, chronograph, or electronic powder dispenser that requires 110 volt AC power when I’m at the range?” Sure you can take power from your car’s 12 volt cigarette lighter jack, but you’ll still need a very long cable and a 12 volt to 110 volt step-up transformer. If you run a cable from the parking lot to the bench or shooting bay you’ll have to leave a window open in your vehicle and fellow shooters can trip over the long cord.

A better solution is to get a portable, combo 12 volt + 110 volt power unit. This versatile 42000 mAh Webetop Power Station will drive a 110v device, plus charge a tablet and cellphone, all at the same time. You can run a LabRadar for days with this power-pack. It will also power CPAP machines and other 12V devices. One nice feature is rapid charging. Before your range session or camping trip, plug this into the wall. It will get fully charged in 7-8 hours.

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March 29th, 2015

Juice on the Go for your Smart Phones and Mobile Devices

Poweradd iphone smartphone pda battery solar charger battery packThese days, a smartphone is an indispensable tool for a serious shooter. Smartphones can forecast the weather, direct you to the range, map your terrain, calculate your ballistics, photograph your targets, and even measure wind velocity (with a $35.00 plug-in impeller).

Having all those capabilities is great… until your battery goes flat. Even the most advanced smartphone on the planet is nothing but a useless paperweight when you run out of juice. Thankfully there’s an affordable fix for that problem — back-up Li-ion battery packs with built-in solar chargers.

There are a variety of external power-packs on the market, some with solar panels, some without. These will charge smartphones, tablets, PDAs, and other mobile devices. We like the units with solar chargers because they can recover a little energy when you’re outdoors. You still need to plug them in to get a full charge BEFORE before you head to the range. But once fully charged, these back-up battery devices can get your smartphone back in action and keep it running all day long.

Poweradd iphone smartphone pda battery solar charger battery pack

We like the Poweradd portable chargers*. These feature lithium-ion batteries, solar panels, and tough weatherproof shells. We’ve tried two models, the 8000 mAh Apollo 3 ($29.99, dual-port), and the original 7200 mAh Apollo ($19.99, single port). We purchased the 7200 mAh Poweradd (Photo above) before its third-generation bigger brother was offered. The original 7200 mAh Apollo has served us well. It can fully charge most smartphones a couple times, or smaller tablets once. As long as you make sure the Poweradd is fully charged before you leave home (since the solar charger is slow and secondary), this unit does everything it claims. This editor’s first-generation Poweradd Apollo has done yeoman duty for many months now. It has revived both an iPhone and a tablet. If I were to purchase a Poweradd unit now, I would get the Apollo 3, mainly because it offers two (2) charging ports compared to one (1) on the original Apollo. That lets you charge two devices at once.

Poweradd iphone smartphone pda battery solar charger battery pack

Poweradd iphone smartphone pda battery solar charger battery pack

7200 mAh 8000 mAh 10000 mAh 23000 mAh

* If you need even more power, consider the Poweradd Pro. This 23000 mAh powerpack offers Multi-Voltage (5V 12V 16V 19V) output, and has enough juice to run a modern laptop. It comes with a complete set of jacks/cables so it can work with almost any device. This kind of capability doesn’t come cheap — the Poweradd Pro sells for $109.99, more than five times the cost of our 7200 mAh Apollo.

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