I just got a tool that may be of great use to most folks. This is a little device that works as a bluetooth hands free unit, but the interesting thing is that it self recharges, well; actiually it recharges with a little help from the sun. It comes with its own mini-solar panel and when you leave it in the sun, the device will charge itself. I got it from CompUSA for only $59.99.
When I saw it, I though it looked like a great idea for an in-car device. I installed it in a snap, it comes with a suction-cup plastic pocket (similar to the older devices that hold the toll transponder) (see third picture in this article). The windshield holder is made of clear plastic, but to avoid blocking the sunlight, it has a cutout large enough to let sunlight into the solar panel.
The unit will recharge its 3.7V 480 mAh Lithium-Polymer battery in 3 hours with sunlight which will allow you to talk for about 30 minutes. If you leave the unit longer it will keep recharging until the battery is full and will provide about 15 hours talk time and 25 days standby. Now that’s only if you don’t park away from the sun or any source of light, because if you do, it will keep recharging the unit every day. In theory you would need 18 hours of sunlight to get the battery fully charged. If you use it only while in the car, you can safely assume that your battery will be mostly (if not fully) charged every day. I am not sure what would happen in the winter when sunlight is not as bright in the northern states, but since I am located in South Florida, it really won’t matter all that much. In case you do run out of power (or if you use your commute time for using your phone) then you will be glad to know that this nifty device comes with a car-lighter adapter for a quick full recharge. You may also want to get a quick full charge the first time you use it so that you start with a full battery. At least that’s what I did (I couldn’t wait the 18 hours it would take to fully charge the first time). Getting the device to a full charge with the car-lighter adapter takes only 2 hours.
The unit uses a 16-bit digital signal processor that helps filter out road noise and echo. It also works in full duplex mode at all times which means it can transmit your voice at the same time it receives and reproduces the audio source from the other side of the call. Audio quality while on the road was great both for me and the people I have talked to so far. The device has a 95dB capable speaker. It is also equipped with advanced call management such as voice dial (if supported by your phone or provided by your carrier), last number redial, hold, mute and 3-way calling. Large buttons allow for easy control while driving, answering, hanging up and volume control are a snap.
Anycom suggests that you can take it with you at all times, but that would only work if you don’t care about privacy because the loudspeaker is loud enough for others to hear your conversations and to annoy your cubicle neighbors.
Overall this device is a great buy, and although you can now get a bluetooth hands-free for less than this device; the fact that you stick it on your windshield and you can simply forget about recharging it ever again, was the selling point for me.
Application: Bluetooth Solar Powered Car-Kit
Specification Bluetooth: Bluetooth 2.0
Approvals: FCC, CE, BQB, RoHS
Range: Up to 30 feet (10 meter)
Radio Class: Class 2 RF (20mW)
RF Output Power: 0 dBm
Sensitivity: <0.1% BER at -80dB
Advanced Wireless Features: Advanced Frequency Hopping (AFH) for improved coexistense with WiFi networks; Fast Connect for faster connect to remote devices
Chipset: CSR Bluecore 03
Powered: 12/24 V Car Charger with USB-Cable (can also be charged by PC USB port)
Battery: Rechargeable, 3.7 V 480 mAh Lithium-Polymer battery
Talk time: Up to 15 hours (without using Solar Power)
Standby time: Up to 700 hours / 25 days (without using Solar Power)
Recharging: Approx. 2 hours (using Charger) / approx. 18 hours (using Solar Power only)
LEDs: Two LEDs to indicate Bluetooth link, Call status, Solar status and Battery status
Operation: Power on/off, Volume up/down, Answer/End Call, Transferring Call, Pairing, Ringing Mute, MIC Mute, Voice Dialing, Call Waiting, Call Reject, Last Number Re-dial, Battery Status, Solar Power Charging Status
Supported profiles: Headset (HS) , Hands-Free (HF)
Security: Secured with Password and PIN Code, data transfer coded with up to 128 bit according to the Bluetooth specifications
Dimensions: 3.59" x 1.98" x 0.52"
Weight: 2.11 oz / 60 grams (including batteries)
Speaker: 1.18 inch / 30 mm Diameter, 1 Watt Power, 95 dBm (max.)
Sound Processing: Full Duplex – DSP with Noise- and Echo-Cancellation
Operating temperature: 32ºF to 140ºF / 0°C to 60°C
Solar Panel: 3 hours sun gives up to additional 30 minutes Talk Time
Very Good Communication Quality with Echo-Cancellation and Noise Reduction
95 dB Speaker
Up to 15 Hours Talk Time
Up to 25 Days Standby (without added hours from Solar Panel)