Solar charging question
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  1. #1
    Member Oldbugr's Avatar
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    Solar charging question

    I've done a search and didn't find anything and apologize if it has been asked. Living in the pacific north west in the winter time we have a lot of over cast days with a lot of rain, not so much sun (OK i'll quit snibbling). I would rather not leave my solar G's in the window sill for days on end inviting some one to steal them, so is there a light bulb or light fixture that will charge the solar's similar to the sun?? That I might setup in my garage when I'm home.

  2. #2
    Member Mike K's Avatar
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    Re: Solar charging question

    The sun is the most efficient way of charging any solar panel, and there are several threads here in the Casio corner alone talking about how people "fried" or melted their solar-powered G's with electric lights. Your owner's manual(s) probably even caution against using incandescent lamps to charge your watch(s).

    Your watch doesn't need sunshine every day (or every week, or even every month) to stay charged -- as I've mentioned a dozen times, I had eight solar G's (and now I have nine) that I try to wear in some sort of rotation in the summer so they go into fall fully charged.

    Here in Columbus, OH we can go for a week or more at a time without seeing the sun in the winter, and most of my solar-powered G's make it through until spring with their battery level still on "High." A couple might drop to "Medium" but one day of (infrequent) sun takes them back to "High" until spring when they can again be worn outside, in sunshine, and not under coat sleeves.

    Solar G's aren't meant to be "high maintenance." Wear them, enjoy them, and they should stay on "High" and "Medium" with just a few hours of sunlight a year. If they drop to "Low" then it's time to start charging them!

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    Re: Solar charging question

    Do not put it near a light. It could get too hot and melt the resin or fry out the lcd. There was a guy who put a lamp near his King and it melted the red inner gel cushion. Besides for the next day or two, you should really think about building a boat out there in Washington state. Stay dry.
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  5. #4
    Member Oldbugr's Avatar
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    Re: Solar charging question

    A boat?? Sometimes it feels like I need one. Maybe because my solars are so new to me and I'm being paranoid. I will try and put them in the window sill, while I'm home on the weekends and see how things go. Thanks for the heads up on melting the G's, sure don't desire to do that!

    Quote Originally Posted by Rocat View Post
    Do not put it near a light. It could get too hot and melt the resin or fry out the lcd. There was a guy who put a lamp near his King and it melted the red inner gel cushion. Besides for the next day or two, you should really think about building a boat out there in Washington state. Stay dry.

  6. #5
    Member Fer Guzman's Avatar
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    Re: Solar charging question

    if you wear it and you don't have long sleeve shirt blocking it, it probably gets enough light with indoor lights and the little outdoor light you might get, has it dropped to m or l?

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    Member Oldbugr's Avatar
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    Cool Re: Solar charging question

    It's new to me and stays at about 'M', that's after setting it up and leaving in the window sill for two days. very grey, rainy and overcast sky's here. tomorrow will be the first day to work with me.

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    Re: Solar charging question

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldbugr View Post
    I've done a search and didn't find anything and apologize if it has been asked. Living in the pacific north west in the winter time we have a lot of over cast days with a lot of rain, not so much sun (OK i'll quit snibbling). I would rather not leave my solar G's in the window sill for days on end inviting some one to steal them, so is there a light bulb or light fixture that will charge the solar's similar to the sun?? That I might setup in my garage when I'm home.
    Hmmmm. I don't think artificial light charges the battery as well as natural sunlight. Unless you were using a powerful lamp like that used for indoor gardening (metal halide as an example). Growing lamps cost a lot of money and can be very dangerous if improperly installed/maintained. Better to just put your watch in a window to charge. The owner's manual states how long it takes to charge the solar battery, and it takes a ridiculous amount of time to charge in artificial light. About a week as I recall.

    You shouldn't have to charge your solar watch every day, btw. A couple days exposed to sunlight should fully charge your watch and it should be good for 5-6 months without any further charging. Just the ambient light where you work, or in your house, or whenever you are out doing things should be enough to keep you "topped off" after you've charged it fully.

  9. #8
    Member Mike K's Avatar
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    Re: Solar charging question

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldbugr View Post
    It's new to me and stays at about 'M', that's after setting it up and leaving in the window sill for two days. very grey, rainy and overcast sky's here. tomorrow will be the first day to work with me.
    These batteries can take a long time to charge with direct sunlight -- or 5 times longer with "sunlight through a window," and 10 times longer with "daylight through a window on a cloudy day."

    I'm not sure which of the two solar G's in your signature you're trying to charge, but this is the chart from the GW-6900:

    Name:  charging math.jpg
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    In a worst case scenario, if your watch is at the very bottom of the "Medium" range, it could take 182 hours of "daylight through a window on a cloudy day" to get it to "High" and then another 49 hours to get it to "Full." At 10 hours of daylight per day, it could easily take a week or two, but as mentioned above, once it gets to "High" it should stay there for several months unless you use the backlight or other features (such as the ones on the Rangeman) a lot.

    Quote Originally Posted by TobusRex View Post
    Better to just put your watch in a window to charge. The owner's manual states how long it takes to charge the solar battery, and it takes a ridiculous amount of time to charge in artificial light. About a week as I recall.
    As the red text in the attachment above shows by extrapolation, it would take about a week of indoor lighting to get the watch to move from its "Charge Me Now!" state up to "Medium." It would take another month and a half -- of constant indoor light -- to get it all the way to "Full." That's such a ridiculous amount of time that Casio doesn't even include that data in their charts. Obviously, the intensity of "indoor fluorescent lighting" can vary quite a bit between offices, homes, and other buildings, but in general it's SO VERY INEFFICIENT compared to the sun that it really doesn't matter.

  10. #9
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    Re: Solar charging question

    @Mike: I was thinking of that figure at the bottom (155 hours - a week is 168 hours). I thought that was for a FULL CHARGE, but as you said that just takes it to the next "level".

    I have solar panels on my southern exposure (in my fenced off backyard). I simply attached my watches to the brace on the panels and let them charge for two full days and each charged up perfectly. Then again I live in the desert and didn't have to worry about the watches getting rained on (not that it would matter...both are good for 20 ATM water resistance).

    Oh, for "normal operations"...that chart looks a bit off (even if it is official). I seem to recall reading somewhere that it takes 5 minutes of charging in the sun for a single use of the Illuminate function. If that is the case then it would take 8 hours of charging inside with luminous lighting for a single use of the illuminate! Wow!
    Last edited by TobusRex; December 12th, 2014 at 06:45.

  11. #10
    Member nmitr11's Avatar
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    Re: Solar charging question

    Charging of solar cells relies on radiation emitted by the sun. No lamp has as strong radiation as the sun that's why only the sun is capable of "quick" charging. Just be patient and the watch will get charged eventually but don't get too worried if the watch is at M for a long period of time
    Last edited by nmitr11; December 13th, 2014 at 02:10.

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