to Charge Your Cell Phone Without Electricity
By Jeff Anthony
April 19, 2011
Storm season brings with it the strong
likelihood of dealing with a power outage.
It's one thing to be left in the dark, but it's
a different disaster if you're in the dark without
the ability to use your cell phone because of a
Let's take a look at how your phone might go down,
then examine a few ways to keep your cell phone
alive and kicking even when your electric is not.
Phone Service and Storms
Most consumers believe that wireless service is better
suited for a disaster or storm because, after all, this
is wireless communications. In other words, those calls
just float around in the air and land on a phone.
When you make a call from your cell phone, the signal
is picked up by the nearest transmission antenna. The
signal travels down to the bottom of the antenna.
From there, the signal travels from the base station
at the bottom of the antenna and is transmitted through
a fiber cable that goes to the carrier’s central switching
Your wireless call can be affected if the transmission
antenna or base station is damaged,
the fiber cable is damaged, or if the central switching
office is damaged.
But let's be generous and say that all systems are up
and running, except your electric.
Thankfully there are products that can bring your phone
back to life.
You can't get more simple than this. Basic, but it gets
the job done, as long as you have a car.
Cellboost is a throw-away charger that plugs directly
into your phone. A standard Cellboost will provide you
an hour of talk-time. Expect to pay one to five dollars
per unit. A convenience store might be higher.
Eton Hand-Crank Generator
Much more than a cell phone charger, the Eton FR-300
provides broadcast radio stations, government weather
channels, and the audio from TV stations. In addition,
there is a built-in flashlight along with the cell phone
charger. Expect to pay 50 to 80 dollars.
Another fine hand-crank radio and generator with the
ability to charge your phone with just a few minutes of
cranking the handle. Price: $50.00 and under.
XTG Premium Solar Charger
A solar-powered cell phone charger that can also charge
MP3 players, iPods, etc. Includes a built-in LED light.
Cost: 30 to 40 dollars.