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View Full Version : Techies: how do you do coachella?



BeeII
01-25-2011, 08:04 PM
Normally the only tech I bring with me is a phone, but this year I will need something to charge it for sure (battery life sucks as it is, but the added stress of coachella will guarantee it not lasting a day) and since i'm at it, i might bring a small netbook to live blog, etc.

so this means i'm going to need juice. the netbook is going to have maybe 2 hours of life on it, the phone is going to need either spare batteries or some form of aux charging.

do you guys also bring walkie talkies? i know some ppl do. what other stuff?

oh and let me save some people the trouble: yes, i know, you like to take a break from tech coachella weekend. super for you. i will not. you will not convince me otherwise. kthxbai.

shoegazer76
01-25-2011, 08:08 PM
Energizer XPal look them up on ebay. You pre-charge these cells at home for events such as this. They make them for cell phones and laptops. Some models are solar charging capable.

DANCE MAGIC
01-25-2011, 08:09 PM
there are cell phone charging stations. solar chargers are out there, that's a pretty easy solution. if you have a car, obviously that's one way to go...

BeeII
01-25-2011, 08:13 PM
Energizer XPal look them up on ebay. You pre-charge these cells at home for events such as this. They make them for cell phones and laptops. Some models are solar charging capable.

i was considering building one from some old iphone batteries I have and maybe a minty boost kit.

i don't think readily available solar panels can generate enough to charge a battery with enough amperage to be useful.

BeeII
01-25-2011, 08:15 PM
there are cell phone charging stations. solar chargers are out there, that's a pretty easy solution. if you have a car, obviously that's one way to go...

i tried getting my phone charged afew years ago, never again, took to long to stand in line to leave and pick up, hence needing a solution.

car-wise, well we're staying at a home nearby, so nightly charges are going to happen, it's during the fest that i'm concerned about, particularly afterwards in case ppl need to get a hold of each other, etc.

shoegazer76
01-25-2011, 08:28 PM
Get the XPal its the size of a credit card and a quarter inch thick. I got one and dig it. The kit is $20 and Xpal will send you a connector tip for free if it doesn't come with the one you need for your phone.

NachoCat
01-25-2011, 08:32 PM
Yeah if not just charge it at night. Then keep your phone off for the first few hours you are there. Save the juice for the important times.

Wheres the beef?
01-25-2011, 08:42 PM
Have you been to Coachella before? You're probably not going to get good service so not sure what you plan on doing with your phone all day.

menikmati
01-25-2011, 08:42 PM
do you really need to live blog on a netbook at the festival?

Wheres the beef?
01-25-2011, 08:43 PM
do you really need to live blog on a netbook at the festival?

you will not convince me otherwise. kthxbai.

BeeII
01-25-2011, 10:08 PM
Have you been to Coachella before? You're probably not going to get good service so not sure what you plan on doing with your phone all day.

4th one, and i got great service (on sprint). also there's wifi, so i can sms via google voice as well. and i got pretty good wifi last year as well.

BeeII
01-25-2011, 10:08 PM
do you really need to live blog on a netbook at the festival?

need, no.

want, yes.

stepup2stepout
01-25-2011, 10:34 PM
This year, I'm probably just going to have all my friends get walkie talkies and ditch the cell phones. Reception is beyond horrible.

LickTheLizzard
01-25-2011, 10:39 PM
I plan on recording as much as I can on my Flip. The problem is it only has 2 hrs recording space and no removeable memory. Over the weekend I plan on taking more than two hours of footage, but I'm worried if I bring a laptop to upload onto at night, it will get fried in the car (i'm camping). Anyone know if the computer will hold up? or of any other better options (other than getting a new camera)?

gooftroop
01-25-2011, 10:46 PM
I would think a laptop would be fine if you just kept it out of the sunlight and in a case. Temperatures haven't been that bad the past few years.

Also for campers a power inverter is CRUCIAL for the camping experience. Being able to charge all your devices is well worth the $30 or so they cost. Just don't run it straight off your battery for too long or your car may die...yeah I've seen it happen :)

darkjustice
01-25-2011, 10:53 PM
Nerding it up

Aphxtwinin
01-25-2011, 11:02 PM
im strongly considering bringing my ipad, keep it locked in the car when im in the festival. Used strictly for interactive visualizer awesomeness it would last me the weekend. Not too worried about it because its a 3g so constant connection and i can remote lock, swipe, locate from someones iphone.

DANCE MAGIC
01-25-2011, 11:08 PM
There are also a couple stations where you can drop off your phone, they'll charge it for you, and you come back later and pick it up.

NiceArthur32
01-25-2011, 11:22 PM
I would think a laptop would be fine if you just kept it out of the sunlight and in a case. Temperatures haven't been that bad the past few years.

Also for campers a power inverter is CRUCIAL for the camping experience. Being able to charge all your devices is well worth the $30 or so they cost. Just don't run it straight off your battery for too long or your car may die...yeah I've seen it happen :)

any brand in particular?

LickTheLizzard
01-25-2011, 11:26 PM
Well, I have a Mac book, but I don't think I want to risk bringing it. I have on older Toshiba that has been reformatted that I was considering bringing because I don't really care about it, but I would need it to hold up because I don't want to lose any uploaded footage.

frozen pilgrim
01-26-2011, 12:00 AM
AA-usb power pack+target 24 pack of AAs = unlimited digital device life all weekend. $9 is totally worth skipping the charging tents.

dancefreak
01-26-2011, 12:24 AM
NewTrent Super Pack. It'll recharge an iPhone from empty to full just about two and half times over before you need more juice. If your phone is charged at the start of the day, that gives you nearly 4 full charges. I think there's adaptors for just about any phone or small device out there. I don't think there's anything comparable that has as much battery capacity.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0013G8PTS/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_3?pf_rd_p=486539851&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=B002VL2X3S&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=127CC8E6B5J868EXEW1N

jgcrump
01-26-2011, 01:28 AM
Try this.

Freeloader Portable Solar Charger (http://www.thinkgeek.com/gadgets/travelpower/b1a6/)

LongshotJoe
01-26-2011, 07:04 AM
This year, I'm probably just going to have all my friends get walkie talkies and ditch the cell phones. Reception is beyond horrible.

Walkies present their own set of challenges. At a festival, 90% of the time the person on one end is somewhere that they are unable to hear the walkie.

I recommend a walkie talkie with a vibrate page function. If you keep it on your person (as opposed to in a backpack), you have a shot at keeping in contact.

myelectrolife
01-26-2011, 07:52 AM
Damn my cell phone battery lasts like 5 days. I will charge it the night before I leave for coach and will probably not charge it until I get back almost a week later. I always bring a car charger but never use it.

However I dont use the internet on my phone so im sure that has a major effect on battery life.

Fourthisto
01-26-2011, 08:02 AM
Hey BeeII, your netbook only lasts two hours off of one charge?? Isn't there some power-saver settings you can toggle to get better battery life? Even at that, two hours of downtime for internetting per 12 hour festival day is pretty excessive, in my opinion. Just charge it each night and you'll be fine. :cool:


im strongly considering bringing my ipad, keep it locked in the car when im in the festival. Used strictly for interactive visualizer awesomeness it would last me the weekend. Not too worried about it because its a 3g so constant connectionConstantly horrible if you're with AT&T. Just saying.... 3G there through AT&T is more like .25G .

Aphxtwinin
01-26-2011, 08:08 AM
as long as i can get any data connection its ok. im not using the data for internet or anything just to triangulate the ipad IF it gets stolen. also this: http://www.voltaicsystems.com/

BeeII
01-26-2011, 08:13 AM
I plan on recording as much as I can on my Flip. The problem is it only has 2 hrs recording space and no removeable memory. Over the weekend I plan on taking more than two hours of footage, but I'm worried if I bring a laptop to upload onto at night, it will get fried in the car (i'm camping). Anyone know if the computer will hold up? or of any other better options (other than getting a new camera)?

heat is bad, but if you shut it down i think you'll be fine

BeeII
01-26-2011, 08:19 AM
Hey BeeII, your netbook only lasts two hours off of one charge?? Isn't there some power-saver settings you can toggle to get better battery life? Even at that, two hours of downtime for internetting per 12 hour festival day is pretty excessive, in my opinion. Just charge it each night and you'll be fine. :cool:

Constantly horrible if you're with AT&T. Just saying.... 3G there through AT&T is more like .25G .

i have the first gen eeepc, so the battery is small, which is nice, because the entire thing is really light and compact, but yeah, turning on the wifi brings the time down to 2 hours, which is enough.

Fourthisto
01-26-2011, 09:07 AM
I'm worried if I bring a laptop to upload onto at night, it will get fried in the car My laptop has been fine every time I've taken it. Keep it out of direct sunlight and find an insulated case to store it in, wrap up the case with clothes or something (odd but it helps) and put it in the trunk, then put a blanket on the outside of the trunk. Every bit helps. :)



as long as i can get any data connection its ok. im not using the data for internet or anything just to triangulate the ipad IF it gets stolen. also this: Ah okay, you should be good. Have you used that backpack before? The inner geek in me would love to dork out with that all day.


i have the first gen eeepc, so the battery is small, which is nice, because the entire thing is really light and compact, but yeah, turning on the wifi brings the time down to 2 hours, which is enough.Ah, gotcha... forgot about the wifi drain. Whenever I'd use one I would be using my phone as a connection via tethering, and it seemed to last longer that way. (of course, the phone would need to be plugged in and charging)

Aphxtwinin
01-26-2011, 09:11 AM
Ah okay, you should be good. Have you used that backpack before? The inner geek in me would love to dork out with that all day.

i have not, but have been really thinking about getting one. only thing that stops me is that i am in car camping so there really is no use for it because i got the car outlets right there. I hear they are very very awesome, each backpack comes with a battery pack so you can charge that and then charge your devices through the battery pack in case you dont wanna lug the backpack around the grounds.

BeeII
01-26-2011, 09:46 AM
Ah, gotcha... forgot about the wifi drain. Whenever I'd use one I would be using my phone as a connection via tethering, and it seemed to last longer that way. (of course, the phone would need to be plugged in and charging)

if i tether (which won't be necessary, since there's wifi) it would by via wifi, so it's still going to drain my battery.

I'm wondering how efficient solar cells are. Maybe I can make a solar cell suit with batteries. that actually would be kinda neat, if i have enough juice i'd even share with fellow festival goers.

phonographer
01-26-2011, 10:19 AM
Here's my solution.


Bring a power strip.
Find an available outlet (we used one near the vendors tents).
Charge away.


We let strangers use our outlets too. They were grateful.

End.

s0nn3
01-26-2011, 10:20 AM
Im using a 800w ATD power inverter. Its overkill for charging shit but I get a huge discount through my tool account at work so fuck it. That and I keep a portable 12v battery charger/jump starter in my truck. Use the Charger with the 12v cigarette lighter adapter for accessories and recharge it off the truck, vice verse. Unless you have a deep cycle battery in your vehicle I dont suggest running it down and up a whole lot.

BeeII
01-26-2011, 11:01 AM
Here's my solution.


Bring a power strip.
Find an available outlet (we used one near the vendors tents).
Charge away.


We let strangers use our outlets too. They were grateful.

End.

good idea, i have something like this:

http://www.thinkgeek.com/computing/9124/

plus a hub for win

phonographer
01-26-2011, 11:34 AM
Yup the other thing I can suggest is an umbrella (if you're charging during the day) to keep the sun off you while you wait.

It's sad watching people have to wait in line at those charging hubs.

bobchella
01-26-2011, 11:35 AM
I bought something new for this year.... solar powered cell phone charger

come by my campsite if you want your shit charged

$5 per phone / no waiting

jgcrump
01-26-2011, 11:37 AM
I bought something new for this year.... solar powered cell phone charger

come by my campground if you want your shit charged

$5 per phone / no waiting

Unauthorized vendor?

bobchella
01-26-2011, 11:49 AM
vending the power of the sun

jgcrump
01-26-2011, 11:50 AM
I got a solar panel this year too. Interested in seeing how well it works.

Tendeafears
01-27-2011, 07:29 PM
Damn my cell phone battery lasts like 5 days. I will charge it the night before I leave for coach and will probably not charge it until I get back almost a week later. I always bring a car charger but never use it.

However I dont use the internet on my phone so im sure that has a major effect on battery life.

I have an iPhone, but I barely use it while I'm there. Just for texting and calling. It still lasts barely a day. You're lucky.

Fourthisto
01-28-2011, 05:06 AM
I have an iPhone, but I barely use it while I'm there. Just for texting and calling. It still lasts barely a day. You're lucky.I have an iPhone as well - turn on Airplane mode (or off completely) when you're not using it, that will help ENORMOUSLY with the battery drain. If you can't do that, like if you're waiting for a text, you could still turn off 3G or Wifi and save a lot of juice.

Tendeafears
01-28-2011, 08:51 AM
Yeah, I do that, thanks, and I'm generally obsessed with my brightness so I'm always turning it up or down depending on my battery and the light outside. Generally I think it's because it's on all weekend, trying to get service, waiting for texts. I probably didn't turn wifi off last year, though. And I guess 3G is pointless there anyway.

menikmati
01-28-2011, 09:17 AM
I bought something new for this year.... solar powered cell phone charger

come by my campsite if you want your shit charged

$5 per phone / no waiting

you'd really charge 5 bucks per charge? Dick.

Errant
01-28-2011, 09:31 AM
I go totally low tech. No point in screwing with all that stuff when I'm there for the festival.

Have you tried charging your phone with that solar thingy yet, bobchella? No waiting, huh? LOL

bobchella
01-28-2011, 09:32 AM
you'd really charge 5 bucks per charge? Dick.

ha. no

Lynn163
01-28-2011, 09:45 AM
I have an iPhone as well - turn on Airplane mode (or off completely) when you're not using it, that will help ENORMOUSLY with the battery drain. If you can't do that, like if you're waiting for a text, you could still turn off 3G or Wifi and save a lot of juice.

Thanks for this tip!

TomServo
01-28-2011, 11:27 AM
im strongly considering bringing my ipad, keep it locked in the car when im in the festival. Used strictly for interactive visualizer awesomeness it would last me the weekend. Not too worried about it because its a 3g so constant connection and i can remote lock, swipe, locate from someones iphone.

So... uh, what kind of car do you have? It's important, because then I can determine whether the heat resistance is high enough to protect the iPad.

Also, the color. If you can tell me the color, that makes a big difference.

Oh.. and, what state are you from? Some states have different car specs.

And the lot... and area of the lot. Post that here, too, different lots have different sun exposure.

With all that information, I should be able to help myself... er, help you with your iPad.

TomAz
01-28-2011, 11:41 AM
I think it'd be cool if the polo grounds had wifi.

Dani, tell your people that that'd be cool.

Fourthisto
01-28-2011, 11:46 AM
So... uh, what kind of car do you have? It's important, because then I can determine whether the heat resistance is high enough to protect the iPad.

Also, the color. If you can tell me the color, that makes a big difference.

Oh.. and, what state are you from? Some states have different car specs.

And the lot... and area of the lot. Post that here, too, different lots have different sun exposure.

With all that information, I should be able to help myself... er, help you with your iPad.

http://i56.tinypic.com/9zlxed.jpg

BeeII
01-28-2011, 01:55 PM
I think it'd be cool if the polo grounds had wifi.

Dani, tell your people that that'd be cool.

there was wifi last year, there were a few dead spots (to be expected) but for the most part the signal was great.

TheClares
01-28-2011, 03:24 PM
Bought this (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0001DVQNG/ref=oss_product) inverter last year (not available, but similar items are), worked well, but the car needed a recharge on Sunday.

So I bought a portable car battery jump starter with usb connection (for charging phones), led light and air compressor for about $40 at costco or sam's, which is how I got the jump start from a friendly camper last year.

I charged our netbook, several phones, a friends laptop and for a while a box fan (but it took a lot of juice and wasn't working well) with the inverter.

Oh, and I also used my phone (palm pre) as a wifi hotspot for the netbook and laptop, worked ok, but drained battery quickly.

Inthecolumbiagorge
01-28-2011, 03:45 PM
Schumacher PP-2200 Portable Outdoor Power Unit $63.25 with free shipping from Amazon.com
Built-in 400 watt inverter to operate 120 volt (household current) elecronics / appliances 12-volt accessory outlet with short circuit and overload protection Charged / charging battery status LED indicators for internal battery Compact and durable corrosion-resistant case Ideal for camping - tailgating and emergency uses when portable power is needed such as for TVs - spotlights - small kitchen appliances - cell phones - rope lighting and more Model PP-2200 16.3
http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=portable+power&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&cid=17581281976846407582&ei=wWFDTfuIJpK-sAOR57TKCg&sa=X&oi=product_catalog_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CD8Q8wIwAQ#

Diehard 71486 750 Peak Amps 12Ah Portable Power Source with 12-Volt $59.00 AceHardwareoutlet.com
DieHard Portable Power's 750 Peak Amps jump starts 12-volt vehicle batteries and powers lights, cell phones, camcorders, fans, tools, small TVs and radios during a power outage at home, in a vehicle, camping etc.! The 74186's included 12-volt DC power outlet provides up to 20 hours of DC power for accessories and built-in light. The built-in automatic charger recharges the internal 12Ah DieHard battery so power is available when you need it!
http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=portable+power&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&cid=9757487485874842073&ei=wWFDTfuIJpK-sAOR57TKCg&sa=X&oi=product_catalog_result&ct=result&resnum=4&ved=0CEcQ8wIwAw#