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September 18, 2012

Pack a Gorilla..

My Powergorilla charged and ready to go!

Its gadget time! Just a few posts and I’m keen to share gadget ideas. One of my early discoveries was that many of the trains running on the Trans-Siberian have very limited power onboard. Some trains apparently have sockets in each compartment, some just one for the whole carriage (it powers the hoover apparently) and maybe one spare in the Provodnitsa’s compartment (a sort of guard commander and cleaner in each carriage, usually female).

My requirements are to keep an iPhone, and iPad and a digital camera charged at all times for up to seven days on the run. I have assembled a range of sockets, chargers, and multi way plugs, but have decided that I need an extra edge. My solution has been to pack a Powergorilla, made by Powertraveller.

Its simple to use – you charge it up from the mains, then when you need to charge something just set the voltage (from 5v up to 24v), plug it in and it does the rest, even shutting down when the job is done – I understand that it has enough capacity to recharge an iPad three times from zero charge. It has a USB out and also a line out that can be connected to almost any device. To get the best for an iPad there is a also special lead that boosts up the wattage for a more efficient charge (pictured). It comes in a neat neoprene case and has more connectors than you can shake a stick at.

Its not going to solve all my power needs, but its a great back up plan if the one socket in the carriage is being used a lot (although I have a splitter too..)

Some people say that the power supply in the carriage can surge and damage sensitive electrics, but I dont see an option if it is the only socket. Maybe I will get a surge device too? I have also heard travellers also comment that the Provodnitsa will sometimes charge gadgets in her compartment for a small fee – I’m going to try that, so will be taking a lot of expensive chocolate with me!

You can buy the Powergorilla from a number of places on line. It retails for about £150. If you are going to buy one check it is the latest version (with a 5v setting) and also if it comes with the iPad connector (I had to buy as an extra). I can see it on sale on Amazon now for as little as £126, so worth shopping around PowerTraveller Power Gorilla Portable Power Device