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FOG HORN

2013
Twobirds Flying Publication

Bushnell Outdoors PowerSync - always ready power source for your rechargeable
devices. By: Sal Palma Also true is that these technologies are no longer exclusive to the DoD; they are now entrenched in the commercial space. New apps are being developed daily for running, biking, hiking and a plethora of outdoor activities recreational and scientific. These users too share in the powering challenge faced by their military brothers and sisters. Demands for increasing situational awareness, enhancing command and control, broadening C4ISR capabilities and greater mobility have been a formidable catalyst to the development of smart technologies. These tools are no longer exclusive to the SOF community; instead permeating the entire military fabric. Unquestionably, theyve placed tremendous capabilities in the hands of operators. Android and IOS devices are in use for communications, surveillance, control and monitoring UAVs and UGVs and navigation. Smart devices are also used to control remote weapon stations and to communicate with remote sensors. The weak link is, and continues to be, powering of these devices. To accomplish a mission, operators are required to carry a CVS or Walgreens like assortment of batteries; adding weight to their already sizeable loads. Industry has responded on all fronts with solutions that include longer-life lithium batteries, hydrogen fuel cells, solar powered devices and power packs. This review came about while working on an Android app review, I was constantly frustrated by having to swap out smartphone batteries while in the field, so when I found out Bushnell Outdoors introduced the PowerSync, I couldnt pass up the chance to check one out; it seemed to be just what the doctor ordered, which turned out to be precisely correct. Bushnells PowerSync line consists of 5 solar collectors: SolarBook 850, SolarBook 600, SolarWrap 400, SolarWrap 250 and the SolaWrap Mini. My review is based on the SolarWrap 400. In the previous paragraph, I referred to the PowerSync technology as a solar collector,

Copyright 2013, Towbirds Flying Publication. All Rights Reserved.

Bushnell Outdoors PowerSync - always ready power source for your rechargeable devices.
which from a technical perspective is exactly right. So, how does it work? The SolarWrap 400 consists of a storage battery, a solar panel that is 27L x 7W, and polymer housing. Exterior dimensions are 9L x 2 in diameter, which is reasonably compact; In fact, the entire enchilada will fit in a MBTIR or 7.62 suppressor pouch.

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Suffice it to say, whatever device you are charging must be USB compatible, which in this day-in-age is just about everything. Both end caps also function to protect the service ports from dust and moisture. During testing, they worked sufficiently well to protect the ports from the recent torrential downpours in my neck of the woods. In most cases its sufficient to charge the SolarWrap 400 from an AC outlet; however, if you spend a good amount of your time outdoors, or in the weeds, it may become necessary to rely on the included solar panel.

There are caps, one on either end. The first covers the micro USB, ON/OFF switch and 4 LEDs. This end of the tube is used to indicate the level of stored power: 1 LED lit indicates a 25% charge, 2 LEDs indicate a 50% charge, and when 4 LEDs are lit the SolarWrap 400 is fully charged. This side of the battery bar also houses the micro USB port used for charging the Solar Wrap 400 from the supplied AC line charger. Lastly, this is also where youll find the power ON/OFF switch. In order for the solar collector to charge the power switch must be on. At the opposite end of the tube, the second end cap covers an industry standard USB port that Ill describe as the load side of the battery bar. This is where youll connect the device to be charged.

Deploying the solar panel is as simple as opening the housing and unfurling the collector. Something to note, you dont need to deploy the full length of the collector to charge the storage battery; as little as one exposed section will start the charge. Logically, it will take longer to fully charge the storage battery; however, the offsetting benefit is that you can attach the SolarWrap to the back of your pack or plate carrier, adjusting its length so that the solar collector does not extend beyond the pack or vest. Now, you are charging the storage battery while on the move.
Copyright 2013, Twobirds Flying Publication, All Rights Reserved

Bushnell Outdoors PowerSync - always ready power source for your rechargeable devices.

2013

I found this to be a considerable benefit. So, regardless of what youre doing, be it biking, hiking, walking or simply hanging at the beach you can keep your storage battery charged and ready to supply power for your smartphone, iPad, camera, GPS or what have you.

No battery test is complete without a cold weather check, so into the freezer it went for 15 minutes. Upon its exit, I took the unit outside into a blazing noon sun, deployed the solar collector, and as if by magic, the SolarWrap 400 began to charge. The number 3 LED began blinking indication that the SolarWrap 400 was charging and currently at 75% of capacity. Voila! BRAVO! BRAVO! Readers, Bushnell hit a homerun with all bases loaded with its PowerSync product. It is timely, lightweight, compact, robust, functional and simple to use. If you bike, hike, climb, walk, sail, drive, fly or work the Hindu Kush do yourself an enormous favor; spend the $213.95 M.S.R.P for this product. Even if you just leave it in your cars glove box as part of emergency equipment, you will not regret it. -SP

Invaluable to servicemen and women, law enforcement and others in harms way is the fact that the SolarWrap will continue to charge its storage battery even if the solar collector is shot. Bushnell did an outstanding job and throughout my testing, I found the SolarWrap would charge even with heavy overcast and irrespective to the angle of incidence of sunlight. Once fully charged, putting away the solar collector is as simple as rolling it up and stowing it in its housing.

Copyright 2013, Twobirds Flying Publication, All Rights Reserved

Bushnell Outdoors PowerSync - always ready power source for your rechargeable devices.
Manufacturer Specifications Weight: oz.)10.1 Size: (in.)9.125 x .4 Deployed Length: (in.)29.25 Charge From Wall: 4 Hours Charge From Solar: 3.5 hrs USB Outlets: 1 Power Output: 5v, 1a Battery Type: Li Ion

2013

For additional information and details on other members of the PowerSync line visit Bushnell Outdoors.

Copyright 2013, Twobirds Flying Publication, All Rights Reserved