Saturday 3 October 2009

Gadgets for coping with the inevitable power cuts

I have been hearing about the frequency and length of power cuts in Orissa from other volunteers, so at the risk of ending up with a bag full of gadgets and very few clothes i order to keep within what I have heard is a very strict Air India's baggage allowance, I thought that I better expand my collection of rechargeable objects. Those of you who have travelled vicariously with me before will remember that I am a well out of the closet gadget fan and I use them. I have long had a PowerMonkey, Power Gorilla and Solar Gorrilla which have all served me well in various places from the middle of the Pacific ocean to the deep Sahara.

I've had small wind up torches in the past and never been really satisfied with them, they kept breaking or just dying competely on me, so I decided to go to the expert and have purchased a Trevor Baylis wind up torch and lantern. They appear to have good, solid wind up mechanisms, no flimsy turning handles here! So I am hopefull they will stand the test of time.

According to the specs the lantern will blast out the equivalent of 5-LED of light for 4 hours on full charge. That should be enough to cook dinner with, and generally see me through an evening. One minute of hand winding is said to give 30 minutes of light - which seems like a not bad ratio to me. It has a car adptor for charging and, yes, my Power Gorilla can charge via it. I've already tested it out. In additon, the lantern has a hidden handle to let you hang it from a supplied ceiling hook, or it can be used upright on a table. Seems a pretty versitile beast.

With regard to the torch the specs say 5-LED worth of light for 8 hours on a full charge, with 1 minute of winding gives 25 minutes of light. The torch can also charge a mobile phone - what can't these days! and also has a head torch contraption which plugs into the main torch body. I suppose that's for when I go caving again!  Or for hands free encounters on the route home! This might have been useful for volunteer MikeT who tells on his blog how he had to grapple with household locks in the dark recently after a night out on the town in Koraput!


  1. Blimey ... makes our packing look like a piece of cake of course. Good luck with getting light into your life and best wishes, Vic

  2. Tx Vikky, Enjoy your trip. My preparations proceeding steadily apace, see you later this month