Welcome to Solar UMPC. Welcome to the Solar UMPC Tour.

No, this isn’t just another one of those keyword-seeking blogs that hang around waiting for a market and clogging up search results. This is one with a purpose. A real project! A working blog from day 1.

If you don’t know me, Hi! I’m Steve (aka Chippy) from UMPCPortal.com and in about a month from now I will be starting my Solar UMPC Tour and this site is where the project will be detailed and journaled from start to finish and beyond. Yes, a Solar UMPC Tour! I’ll be taking a bike, camping equipment an off-the-shelf UMPC and solar kit to South Germany, climbing on the bike and cycling down the Rhine for about 7 days while continuing to work on UMPCPortal.com and Solar-UMPC.com using a UMPC. No, not while I’m riding. I’ll be stopping at lots of cafe’s on the way! There’s one important rule I should mention though – No mains charging of equipment is allowed. Everything will run off solar power for a week. Camera, Mobile Phone, Lighting and UMPC.

Sounds like a challenge doesn’t it. It will be! Its one month away and I haven’t even started testing solar equipment yet. I don’t know how long I will need the UMPC each day. I don’t even know what UMPC to take. I don’t know how long my camera will last on AA batteries. What data connectivity should I use? Bike? Tent? There also the small worry that I haven’t done a bike tour in years. I need to get on a 4 week training program so that I can cover the ground between stop-overs and still have enough time to work. And then there’s the weather. More unpredictable than a UMPC manufacturers battery life figure! One thing is for sure, I won’t be going if there’s no sun forecast and if the weather breaks half way through I probably wont be able to go on. End of story!

All these questions will be answered in the coming weeks. The project starts today and I’m happy to say I’ve got the support of the best sponsor possible. VIA Technologies. I have been thinking about this project since last year and put the details to VIA some time ago. They came back very quickly with a positive feel and after our first project conference call this morning, we’ve agreed to do it and are all very excited about it. Its what the UMPC is all about of course. The combination of Ultra Mobility, power-efficiency, work and play. Ultra Mobile Life!

So there’s the introduction in plain text. Things will get more detailed and colourful from here on and I hope you’ll stay with me, help me, advise me and pass the word on about Ultra Mobile Computing. Help me. I’ll say that one again!



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7 thoughts on “Welcome to Solar UMPC. Welcome to the Solar UMPC Tour.

  1. HI Chippy

    No matter what, if you got the chance to fly to Taiwan, be sure to let VIA’s people take you to grab some amazing Chinese and Taiwan food here!

    I’m sure Taiwanese will happily welcome you!

    Reader in Taiwan

  2. Sounds interesting. I’ll be keeping an eye on your progress, as I’m doing a 4-month cycling tour of NZ later this year, and am planning to bring a UMPC to keep updated and in touch on the road as well. Have you given thought to how you will [safely] transport the equipment (weather / dust / moisture, etc?)? That is one of my concerns. Ruggedizing my setup.

  3. Hi Snave.
    I’m looking at either the P3 panels (can feed 19V) or the Sunlinq panels.

    Thanks for that Taiwan Tip. I would love to get out there for food and UMPCs. Any tips on flights/hotels?

    Carrying the UMPC without damage is one of my major concerns. I will be covering this in the blog.

    Thanks, everyone, for your feeback.

  4. Hey Chippy!

    This is great and another “real world” experience is exactly what UMPC is looking for. One of my readers is doing something similar in Finland and suggested this company. My reader actually bought a solar panel on their Ebay store.

    Thoughts this might interest you.

  5. G’day from Australia!

    Was really cool to find somebody else who is also planning to do a cycle tour with a UMPC!

    As Hugo mentioned I am going to do some cycle touring around Finland, and perhaps a few of the surrounding countries such as Sweden, Norway, Russia and Estonia. Trip will probably take a few months.

    I will be traveling on my Birdy folding bike (Which fits in my suitcase). While cycling I will carry luggage, including camping gear in a trailer from carryfreedom.com model “city”.

    While riding, the 12W foldable solar panel will rest on top of the trailer while charging equipment. I have already got most of the equipment, but I am yet to buy a UMPC (Any sponsors? hehe) I have been looking at various models. I will probably also get a power bank.

    Anyway, I will start my journey to Finland on the 31st of May.

    Will be interesting to keep an eye on your blog! I will also setup up a page for my journey too.

  6. Terje.

    Great to hear from you. I was thinking of doing the tour on an old Finnish army bike but im not fit enough for that!!
    Email me. Lets talk tours! I can probably help you with UMPC choice and you can probably help me with cycling tips.

    Interesting you’re going for a 12W panel. I’m testing one out this weekend.

    Any, email me when you get time or we can discus in the forum (link top-middle of blog)


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