Power banks have gained massive traction thanks to advancements in technology that make them capable of storing more power for extended periods. If you love traveling like me, you understand the importance of having a fully charged power bank.
I love camping and spend at least ten days every month outdoors with my family and friends. Over the years, I have purchased four power banks; two are no longer functional due to my lack of information on how to use them the right way.
As a first-time power-bank user, you need to be careful to derive maximum utility from it. Here are tips from my personal experiences on how to use this invaluable gadget.
Start by reading the User’s Manual.
Like any other electronic that you purchase, it is of paramount importance to read the user’s manual to understand how the power bank works. I did not even bother to open the manual – I thought I already knew everything about them.
Shock on me, different power banks have varying specifications, features, and requirements. If you don’t read it, you will also not understand how the warranty policy covers you. The manual will help you know its exact power capacity, the meaning of the different power level indicators, ways of changing it, and the maintenance procedures.
For example, knowing which indicator shows its fully charged will ensure that you never overcharge it. Note that plugging it in the socket for extended periods will ruin its ability to store power. The same case applies to the charging methods; if you use the wrong charging system, you will damage the battery and other components such as the capacitor.
Charing the Power Bank for the First Time
Before you can start using this power source, you need to crank it up by charging it for the first time. Most of the models I have worked with are shipped with a custom charging cable similar to the conventional smartphone charging cable.
Use it at all times to charge it to ensure that the amount of current that flows into it does not exceed the limit set by the manufacturer. Pay attention to the charging indictors to avoid overcharging. That said, there are advanced ones that will automatically stop charging when full.
The safest way of ensuring that you don’t overcharge it is by looking at the indicators severally as it continues to charge. I’m currently using one that has four indicators; 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100% when it turns green. It is also important to note that most manufacturers set the device to be charged up to 95% for safety reasons.
If you are not sure how much time it will take to charge it, do this simple calculation. Divide the charging capacity/charging rate. The charging capacity is simply the device’s capacity, while the charging rate is the amount of power/energy that flows to the bank from the socket.
Check the manual for this information. The higher the capacity and output, the better, especially if you are going on a long road trip. You are not sure the next time you will be near an electric socket to charge your smartphone and other electronics such as the camera.
First-Time Using a Power Bank
You can use the power bank as soon as its fully charged, and the indicator turns green or any other colour that shows it’s full. Luckily, most of them are user-friendly, and no prior experience is needed. You need to plug in the charging cable of the device into one of the slots.
How long will it take to charge my smartphone fully? This is one of the most common questions that I get from my readers. The power bank’s output and your smartphone’s battery’s capacity will determine the amount of time it will take to charge it fully. Some of the new generation smartphones can be charged in less than 2 hours.
How to Maintain a Power Bank
Power bank needs to be maintained to continue serving you well. Its longevity and efficiency are dependent on how well you take care of it. Here are some simple maintenance tips that to help you get the maximum utility from it.
Recharging after not using it for prolonged periods
If you rarely use the power bank, it is recommendable to charge it at least once or twice every month. This simple move will keep all the components active and ready to serve you next time you are going on a trip, or there is a power outage in your area.
Use Original Charging Cables/System
The best charging cable or system is the one that you got from the manufacturer. If it gets damaged, make sure to purchase an original one from an accredited store or the official website. An original cable guarantees fast charging and is safe to use as compared to a counterfeit.
Avoid Dropping it at All Cost
The inbuilt systems, such as the battery, will get dislodged from its position when dropped. Ensure that you carry it in your bag, and if you have kids in the house, place it in an area that they cannot reach.
The power bank is one of the handiest gadgets to the modern-day traveler. Please don’t ignore the user’s manual like I did and make sure that you take the utmost care of it to get value for money. If you are not sure which one to buy, read authority buying guides posted online. Reviews from other customers and friends who recently purchased one will point you in the right direction.