• On the road: Maximize your battery power


    Michael Moretti
    The thought that I would die alone on at mile 51 of a 60 mile bike ride was bad.

    Not being able to tell anyone I was going to die at mile 51 because my cell phone was dead was infinitely worse.

    I learned a valuable lesson that day. Apps, and poor “battery planning” can play havoc on the best laid plans. I was lucky. A car was bound to come along sometime. The what-if’s rang in my head. What if this had been a real emergency? I was determined to find solutions and from that point on, proper battery planning has been part of both my work and personal lives.

    For work

    I never leave home without a portable battery charger, fully charged. My criteria in selection was that it be small enough to both pack and provide a charge while in my bag. I have found I can charge my cell phone from 0% to approximately 75% during a one-hour flight. Tumi’s charger was the right choice for me, but their answer can cost up to $150. Less expensive versions can be found for as little as $30. Remember, you will need to recharge it from either a computer USB or external power source.

    For leisure

    I decided I needed something that could not only charge, but recharge without electrical power. My solution simply enough, was a solar battery charger. I found a small unit from Opteka unit on eBay for about $25. Once charged, it holds a full charge for several weeks. I love this concept as even if you were low on stored power, by keeping it exposed to the sun you continue to re-charge.

    Sometimes, the cheapest solutions are just a finger swipe away. Turn off apps that you are not using that may be running in the background and adjust your battery and brightness settings, and you may be able to squeeze a few more minutes of talk time from your phone. Still, there may be times when you run into that dreaded “red battery” signal. With a little preparation though, it’s just a small bump in the road!