Monday, April 15, 2013

Back Up Power In Your Pocket

With more and more of us becoming increasingly dependent on our mobile devices, a low battery and no place to plug in a charger can become a real headache.  I remember a few years back when, as a result of a major wind storm and a widespread loss of electrical power, many people used their car’s power port, nee cigarette lighter, to keep their phones, portable TVs and other battery powered devices running.   Not only is this inconvenient but wasteful, especially if you run the car’s engine to keep the car battery charged.

There are a couple of solutions that you may wish to consider to keep from having your mobile devices powerless and useless.  One option is to have extra batteries available for your devices.  This is the easiest but is also the most expensive.  You need to have extra batteries designed for each device since very few will be able to share the same battery model.  And you have to make sure you keep them charged. 

In my column last week I talked about how most mobile devices now share the same USB charging voltages.  This opens up another, more affordable solution.  There are several external battery backup and charging options.  These devices consist of a rechargeable battery with a USB port.  Using your specific USB cable for your device, you plug one end into the phone or iPad and the other into the charging device instead of the charger that you normally plug into the wall.

There are several choices on the market; some are large and have the capacity to charge your phone several times without regular AC power.  Others use standard AA batteries and can only handle one or two charging cycles.

Recently I ran across a device that I highly recommend as a simple, affordable solution.  The device is manufactured by FlashChargers.Com and is available on line for less than $15.00.  The device is about the size of a roll of nickels and contains a rechargeable battery.  You charge it just like you charge your mobile device by plugging it into the wall charger or computer USB port.  Once charged it has enough power to charge an iPad one time or most any mobile phone, iPod, MP3 player two or more times.  It should hold the charge for months in your purse or briefcase and be ready to keep you on line when needed.

Rather than ordering it directly from FlashCharger.Com where it lists for about $60.00, I suggest going on line to where it is now on sale for about $15.00.  You can find several other options on line but this is the least expensive option I have found that really works.


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