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Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Prudent Prepping: Power to Share


The dust has settled and the First 72 Hours have passed. Now we concentrate on what to do in, and how to plan for, the long term via Prudent Prepping.

I like to have dual purpose items in my preps since they will save space, weight, and hopefully dollars. For the past two weeks I've been playing with an item that is a 'twofer' in that it is a portable backup charger and flashlight all in one: the Power Bank Plus USB Light Combo from a local (to me) tech company called SIIG.

Some information from the product website:

SIIG’s Portable Battery Power Bank Plus USB Light Combo is a compact size rechargeable Power Bank designed to charge your electronic devices while on the go. It works with most Smartphones, Tablets, eBook Readers, Digital Cameras, MP3/MP4 Players and many other USB powered mobile devices. The high-quality rechargeable Lithium-ion battery recharges easily via your computer system’s USB port or USB wall charger. A handy detachable LED light module is included to easily turn the Power Bank into a portable flashlight.

  • The whole unit weighs less than 6 ounces.
  • The removable flashlight head weighs the least, since it is two LED bulbs and a USB connector in a plastic shell. 
  • It is not water resistant in any way, so this is an addition to my job/work tools and not the regular prepping supplies. 
  • The flashlight is more than bright enough to get around in a dark room or outside, with the usual limitation of a non-focusing LED type bulb and lens.
Testing the battery was pretty straightforward: I ran my phone down and then plugged in the power pack to see how long until my phone was charged up.

My last testing was on the day of the San Bernardino shootings, so because I turned on every app on my phone to get the news and was reading & responding to all the messages shared by my co-bloggers and Facebook friends, my phone ran low around 1 PM. I plugged my phone into the battery pack, and when I left the store at 1:45, there was a 49% charge showing. By the time I got home at 3:00, my phone was 91% recharged.

I have not drained the battery pack by running it completely flat/out of power as indicated by the blue lights in the photo to the right. Fully charged and used strictly as a flashlight, I expect there will be many hours of run time as LED's draw so little power. Since I never let the pack run completely down, I don't know exactly how long it takes to achieve a full recharge. I do know that after my average use, and plugged into a USB port on my computer, the pack is recharged in about one hour.

The Power Bank Plus comes with a storage bag, and that is where I have a small problem with the set: the flashlight head has to be removed for the battery pack be used as a charging device. I can foresee this being a problem, since the flashlight head is so very light weight it could be easily misplaced or lost.

All things considered, though, I like it.

The Takeaway
The Good
  • Small size and weight will help keep my bag as light as possible.
  • Dual-use fits my needs: all-in-one flashlight and charger saves space and weight.
  • It charges my phone quickly, and also recharges itself quickly. 
The Not-So-Good
  • Not water resistant or waterproof.
  • The small flashlight head may be easily lost.

Recap
  • SIIG Power Bank Plus USB Light Combo from Fry's Electronics: regularly $29.99, open box price $26.99.  $19.99 with Prime shipping from Amazon

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If you have comments, suggestions or corrections, please post them so we all can learn. And remember, Some Is Always Better Than None!

NOTE: All items tested were purchased by me. No products have been loaned in exchange for a favorable review. Any items sent to me for T&E will be listed as such. Suck it Feds.

The Fine Print


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution- Noncommercial- No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Creative Commons License


Erin Palette is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.