Some while back I realised that USB battery charging is the definitely the way to go when travelling with my cameras and other gear. Apart from my camera equipment there are several other devices which I like to take with me such as my small GPS unit (used mostly for geotagging and time synchronisation), my mobile phone, my VX-7 amateur radio transceiver and various other battery powered devices such as my tablet. Each of these devices requires a mains powered wall charger. So, if I’m trying to charge them all at the same time after a day out and about I could easily need five wall sockets. If you’ve ever stayed in a hotel room with five wall sockets then I’m envious, you’ve obviously stayed in much better rooms than I have!. 🙂 In addition some of these chargers are bulky, weighty and take up room in one’s case or bag and require travel adaptor plugs to fit the local mains sockets.
So here’s my solution, at the heart of things is my Anker 5-port USB charging hub. This small solid metal-cased device takes an interchangeable plug in mains lead so only one mains socket is required and has a hefty 8 AMP output across the five ports. This allows me to directly charge/power my phone and power my USB/hub card reader. To charge my Olympus camera batteries I have a very small lightweight USB charger and also a USB AA battery charger which will charge batteries for my GPS, my transceiver and any other AA battery powered device . I can also simultaneously charge one or both of my Anker USB powerbanks which in turn provides charging/powering capacity when I’m out and about. The AA battery charger and/or the camera battery chargers are also small and light enough to go into my bag and plug in to a USB powerbank and thus power/charge batteries on the go.
So I’ve completely said goodbye to wall chargers when travelling, maximised my baggage weight allowance and I don’t have to keep unplugging wall chargers and hunting for mains sockets, one working socket is all that I need. Furthermore it’s great to have the ability to power/charge devices when out and about.
If you’re going somewhere for a while where there simply isn’t a mains socket at all then the 20 AMP powerbank will power/charge gear for quite a while, I’ve run and charged my phone off of it for over a week on a single charge!. It also has three USB output sockets on it so you can if you wish plug in several devices at the same time. Another nice feature of this particular powerbank is that it has two input charging sockets so that it can charge faster, another benefit of having 5 ports on the USB charger.
Please contact me if you’d like more info on the above.
PS. One more thing, if you haven’t already stumbled across “pre-charged” AA rechargeable batteries then check them out as they hold their power up to 85% for a year I believe. I’ve never had to put this to the test but nice to know.