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Archive for April, 2012

Solar Charger Roundup

9 April 2012 Leave a comment

This is a quick roundup of my favorite three solar chargers with their respective pros and cons.

Changers Starter Kit

Pros

  • Unique design
  • Social networking aspects
  • Detachable battery
  • Eco-conscious packaging
  • Micro-USB cable works well with the mophie battery pack
  • Standard USB port

Cons

  • Solar panel not very strong (needs excellent light source to work effectively)
  • Doesn’t always fully charge some devices

Details

 

JOOS Orange

Pros

  • Large battery
  • Large solar panels which charge at a decent rate
  • Strong, durable, and waterproof
  • myJOOS software available for both Windows and Mac
  • Adjustable legs
  • Works in hot conditions
  • iPad compatible

Cons

  • No lights blink if the device is full
  • myJOOS software needs work (still not compatible with Lion)
  • microUSB cable difficult to insert
  • Yet more adapters

Details

 

Solio BOLT

Pros

  • Fast Apple-charging mode
  • Portable
  • Standard USB port

Cons

  • Can take several days to charge the internal battery
  • Too easy to leave the power on

Details

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Categories: Bolt, Changers, JOOS Orange, Solar, Solio

JOOS Orange Redux

8 April 2012 Leave a comment

One of the niceties of the JOOS Orange is its software companion, myJOOS.  Lately, the software wasn’t recognizing when my JOOS Orange was plugged into my computer (a MacBook Pro).  I then checked the System Profiler and saw that the JOOS Orange wasn’t even being recognized as a connected USB device.  Something was definitely wrong.  I contacted Solar Component’s customer service for assistance, and they requested that I return the defective unit to be either repaired or replaced.

I now have a new-to-me JOOS Orange, and I’m happy to report that it is working better than before.  It is being recognized by my computer and the myJOOS application.  Even better is that it now consistently charges older iOS devices, such as the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4, where my previous JOOS Orange often had a difficult time being connected consistently to these devices.

In my earlier review, I spent a good portion of the article critiquing the myJOOS software.  I then later discovered that this software isn’t currently compatible with Mac OS X 10.7 “Lion”, yet.  The myJOOS web page had further details:

*** WE ARE AWARE THAT THE MYJOOS APPLICATION DOES NOT WORK WITH MAC OSX LION (10.7). WE ARE WORKING ON A FIX TO THIS PROBLEM AND HOPE TO HAVE IT AVAILABLE FOR YOU SOON ***

*** The myJOOS application was actually designed so we could test and run quality control checks on the JOOS Orange in our factory before shipping them out to you. We thought it would be cool to offer the app to our customers so they could see the exact same data we were seeing in our tests. While we have made every attempt to make the application accurate and informative, it is important to note, it is only a beta version of what we plan to offer in the future.

I appreciate these details from the company, and that they recognize that a problem does exist.  This software has some interesting potential, which I hope to see fulfilled at some time in the future.

Categories: JOOS Orange, Solar