I’m a huge fan of Jackery Portable Power Stations. In fact I’m not sure how I ever lived without them.
The pic on the left is the Jackery Explorer 1000 and does it ever pack a punch. You can look up the specs and how many things it can charge and how many times. That’s not what this blog is about.
It’s about improving the experience and maybe saving a few dollars along the way.
A device like this lends itself to being used in an outdoor, camping type environment. There’s not a real need to use one in a home or office that has plenty of outlets unless you are frugal and like to charge your items for free to reduce the electricity bill. To be frankly honest though, charging your cell phone by portable power station won’t save you that much money but of course every little bit helps.
Also to realize that savings you’d need to make sure you aren’t charging the power station by AC input power because to charge it by your own outlets would be counter productive.
But to charge the device they recommend their own solar panels which they call the SolarSaga.
The SolarSaga is cool, it really is. It is stylish, attractive, folds easily, transports and stores easily, is a snap to set up, has a storage pocket for the cable and even has USB charging ports. The downside is that the SolarSaga100 costs $300.
However, one of the GREAT attributes of the Jackery devices is they accept 12v – 30v input power. All you need is an adapter cable that is an MC4 to 8mm cable.
Then you can hook it up to standard 12v panels without a charge controller. The 2 panels below are 200 watt when wired in parallel and cost way less than a single Jackery SolarSaga, much less two of them which is what they recommend. You can save a ton by using regular solar panels instead of the SolarSaga.
Also the new Jackery Explorer 1000 has an Anderson input connector. The supplied cable on the SolarSaga is an Anderson on the end that connects to the SolarSaga and an 8mm that connects to the power station. You can utilize the Anderson Input if you buy an additional cable.
Unfortunately you can’t seem to use both inputs at the same time BUT USING THE ANDERSON CABLE ALLOWS SLIGHTLY MORE INPUT CHARGING. Translation: You’ll get a faster charge with the Anderson to Anderson Cable on the SolarSaga.
Another way to improve the experience is to make sure your Jackery is away from anything that is susceptible to RF emissions. When any of my Jackery power stations are on (AC turned on) and near an AM or Shortwave radio it just wreaks havoc with the reception. Keep the Jackery away from your radios. Inverters are typically noisy. The Jackery is no exception.
It’s not as bad as my Solar Inverter but its still pretty bad. Very few inverters have proper filtering on them.
The Jackery are very powerful but very simple devices. Just adding a couple of cables to your repertoire will greatly improve your experience and usability.
I have the Jackery 1500 and has x2 8mm inputs. The problem finding is I can’t use any kind of extender cord with an 8 mm female to male because the 8millimeter input on these Jackery units has a thicker prong in the center as opposed to any other 8 mm cord out there that only has a skinnier 8 mm prong on the male head. I was on the phone today with goal zero, Jackery, powerwerks, and mouser electronics. No one had a solution. Before I even purchased my Jackery unit, their customer service told me that the goal zero extender cable would work with it which it does not. There are no adapters for these pieces and Jackery has been very unclear if they can help or not. They told me today allegedly they have some kind of connector adapter for this headpiece that’s not sold anywhere else and made it sound like they may have them in May at some point. They were not sure even what they were called and could hardly even describe it. It was all very wishy-washy. The problem I’m finding is using this unit with my third-party panels conveniently so they live outside and that the extension cable comes inside to the unit, everything being not waterproof as far as the unit and most of the cables that come with it makes it very difficult.
I have the new Jackery 2000 and can confirm the 8mm input into the 2000 is proprietary. The center pole is too large for an adapter. Jackery does provide adapters with their SolarSaga 200W panel. This adapter allows you to connect the panel cable (also proprietary) to the 2000. Without this adapter, you have to use the Jackery parallel adapter for two panels. The input is a standard 8mm female connector, the combined output uses the Jackery proprietary 8mm connector with the thicker center pole. An obvious attempt by Jackery to force you to use their solar panels. Maybe someone with carry the proprietary 8mm connectors to make your own cables and use any panel. That sucks, Jackery.
Jackery support has been very helpful on the 8mm adapter issue. If you purchase one of their Power stations requiring it, they’ll send the adapter to you free of charge. I suspect there was a supply issue early on. I’ve found Jackery support to be phenomenal although you need to be patient because I suspect they are a bit overwhelmed at times.
i have a jackery 1000 and a blueitt 2000 w. i have just one solar panel for the jackery 1000. i want to hook up a blueitt 200 wat panel to my jackery1000. i received the splitter from jackery. i cannot find the female adapter too to go from mc4 to a 8 mm female . any ideas
Amazon has cable
GRAYBULL Solar Panel Kits to 8mm Adapter Cable Compatible with MC4, DC 8mm Converter Connect for Explorer 160 240 500 1000 and GZ Portable Backup Power Station Solar Generator Heavy Duty Wire https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B07ZPF51N6/ref=cm_sw_r_apan_glt_fabc_07N22YFHNYG3YTWTSB40?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1
I’d like to charge my 12v trailer battery directly with my SolarSaga 100 but have been unable to find any kind of addd adapter so I can use alligator clips. Any suggestions?
Hope that this helps you….!