Fuel station

by Volker Weber


I must have been good recently. Not a single day this week without new stuff. Some vendors are getting smart. After all, I write about stuff that I like. This smart charger for instance.

Two years ago I got a Sanctuary. I initially liked it, but then it failed to work and we returned it. This Belkin Conserve Valet does seem to work just fine, and with a twist:

Push to start

You connect your devices, push the green button, and it starts to charge them. When the devices are full, the charger shuts itself off. Off off. No standby power. It can charge up to four devices with 500 mA each, which is a bit weak, but it does have this "green" benefit. You can wrap around excess wire under the hood, which takes care of cable mess. And last but not least, it's very cheap. Just found it on Amazon.de for less than 20€. On Amazon.com it's still $40.

I see more "green" products from Belkin in my future. It's their new stick.

PS: I removed the "Push" sticker. This is a keeper.


Ouch it's ¢43 on Amazon UK. So €6 delivery from Amazon DE to UK comes to ¢24.33 in total. Not very Green but a lot cheaper!

chris lindley, 2010-10-27 18:21

Am using the Powermat and am absolutely happy. It offers the conversion to Blackberry-Plugs, so I can use the same plug for the iPhone, when driving in a car and wanting to top up the battery.

Other than that it doesn´t need plugs, I just place the items on the mat (in my case, a travelling mat that even comes with a neat housing.

Cheap it isn´t, unfortunately. But I am telling myself that this is not a bug, but a feature, as my company is working with Powermat as software development partner.

Armin Roth, 2010-10-28 10:19

Volker you may have gotten lucky judging by the universally bad reviews this received on Amazon.com.

Ouch indeed.

Kevin Pettitt, 2010-11-04 14:58

Kevin, I attribute that more to "idiot buyer syndrome". I read both the user guide and supported devices linked from the product page. Take your time to look at the supported devices page to see how particular devices are. It specifically list devices that people complain about as not compatible.

Volker Weber, 2010-11-04 15:22

The supported devices documentation does not mention Nokia devices. My tests show that it does charge Nokia MicroUSB-chargeable phones with the included Belkin cable but not the Nokia one, just like the newer BlackBerrys. This is the same behavior you will see when you try an Apple USB charger with the original cables supplied by RIM or Nokia. When you use the Belkin cables, it does work as well.

Volker Weber, 2010-11-04 15:26

Danke Volker. I am tripping over chargers quite a bit so this is very tempting.

Kevin Pettitt, 2010-11-04 15:53

What I don't know is how you order additional cables. I know how I do it, but that won't work for you. :-)

Volker Weber, 2010-11-04 16:30

Bought it per your recommendation, very nice. However, it won't charge my Sony HDR-CX130 camcorder. Charging it works with a dedicated USB power plug. Apparently, the camcorder needs more current on the USB plug than provided by the Valet to use it for battery charging.

Hanno Zulla, 2011-05-05 23:19

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Ceci n'est pas un blog

I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.


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