Somewhere near the end of June I bought myself a Powermonkey. I was going to the Couleur Café-festival in Brussels and to make sure I wouldn’t get stuck at the festival without juice on my cell I went to the nearest outdoor-outlet and asked one of the shop-assistants what devices where on the market to keep that from happening.
I didn’t need much time to decide I was going to get myself a Solarmonkey: an external battery which could be charged via solar panel, AC-plugs (3 plugs would already connect me in quite a few countries) and even USB and which in turn could supply power for all small electronics (a shitload of little plugs).
Charged the Solarmonkey, and used it to charge my Blackberry Bold. Yes, that’s why I needed it: I bought a Bold in March and a week later I went on a camping trip somewhere over here and found myself switching my phone on and off just as to make sure the battery would make it till the end of the trip. And I didn’t feel like doing that at Couleur Café, as the chances of loosing sight of one another are far bigger when there are a few thousand people in the same spot.
So as I said I was trying to charge my Blackberry. Trying. After ten minutes it stopped charging while the Powermonkey stated it was still full, and my Blackberry was still very empty. Fortunately there were some plugs nearby so I just charged my Blackberry that way. But that first experience with my powermonkey was a bit of a disappointment.
As I had to start working again on Monday, packing at Couleur Café on Sunday night happened in a bit of a rush, so I forgot my Solarmonkey at a friends place. She then took it with her on the train home later that week, but lost her bag on the train and my Solarmonkey. She promised me she’d pay me a new one so a few weeks ago I bought myself a new Solarmonkey.
I actually went to the store to buy myself a new Victorinox Soldatenmesser8, the new Swiss army knife, but apparently they don’t sell them in Belgium yet, so I will be ordering one in the Netherlands. They could however help me with a new Solarmonkey and on top of that I bought a Motormonkey, because that’s the one thing that’s really missing in the Solarmonkey to really give you power anywhere and everywhere: an in-car charger. Right now because I’m on the road a lot quite a lot, but I think I might come in handy when I hit the plains of Africa again (I always like to use the power source which is most dependable at that moment and a car usually beats a solar panel).
So when I left the store, I gave a little tweet and started charging my Powermonkey with my Motormonkey. The easy thing about the Motormonkey is that it has one standard plug, which is a female USB and a little extension cord with what I’ll call a standard-Powermonkey-plug as it is what all powermonkey-adapterplugs adapt to and which is the plug on the Powermonkey as well.
The @powermonkeys at Powertraveler saw my little tweet and retweeted me. That’s when I asked them why the Solarmonkey didn’t come with the Motormonkey included. I got an immediate answer and went on to ask why I couldn’t get my Blackberry to fully charge.
The support was awesome: Not only did I get a tweeted answer asap, they mailed me the technical details just as well and gave me the contact details for their tech staff.
So while I’m waiting for a reply from their tech staff, you could start following @powermonkeys and I promise I’ll keep you posted on my Powermonkey adventures.