The Navigator charging and communications port is a standard MiniUSB port.
The USB specification dictates that it provides 5 volts for power.
The job of the charger is to convert either 240V (domestic), or 12V/24V (vehicle) to the 5V required by the USB standard.
Apart from the 5V voltage requirement, the other aspect is the CURRENT which the charging unit can supply to the device being charged.
The Hema supplied in-vehicle chargers supply a current of between 1500-2000mA (milliamps).
The current largely determines the amount of time it takes to charge the Navigator's internal battery. That is why the Navigator will take longer to charge on a PC's USB port. Generally, a standard PC USB port will only output around 400mA.
Some newer PC models do have hi-current output USB ports specifically designed to improve charging times of connected USB devices (mobile phones, tablets etc.), but a standard PC USB port will take much longer to charge a Navigator than the supplied charger.
Note that you CAN use a charger bought from electrical retailers such as Jaycar etc. Just be sure to specify when purchasing, that any third party charger meets the following requirements:
- Plug USB Mini
- Output Voltage 5V DC
- Output Current 1500-2000mA
Modifications to Hema chargers such as hard-wiring, etc. may result in damage to the charger and/or the Navigator and void the warranty.
Using a charger which only outputs 400-500mA (such as mobile phone chargers), is not recommended. These types of chargers will take much longer to charge your Navigator, or may not charge it at all, and at worst may damage the Navigator's battery if used for extensive periods.
Stick to chargers which meet the specs shown above!
If you want to use a third party charger, a useful design is one similar to that shown above.
Units with dual USB ports may supply output current in the following ways:
- One port is capable of higher output (for example 2.1A), and one which outputs less (usually 1000mA / 1A). These would normally be labelled (although not necessarily clearly!)
- Multiple ports with a combined total output as labelled. In this case, the load may be spread across the total number of ports, and having multiple devices plugged in simultaneously will mean that no single device gets the total output current assigned to it.
The lower output port is handy for smaller devices (mobile phones, etc.), while the higher output can charge devices such as iPads, which require more power to charge.
Be wary of charging two devices at once using these types of chargers, as the cumulative load on the 12V socket circuit may blow the fuse protecting that circuit.
Use caution when purchasing these adapters, as cheaper devices are often not particularly good quality.
For 240V charging, electrical retailers such as Jaycar, etc. usually carry a universal-type charger which takes 240V input, but can be switched to a suitable output voltage.
These units often have multiple tips which can be used with a variety of devices.
Remember that the Hema Navigator products require 5V input, at between 1500-2000mA.
These days, there is a multitude of power banks available everywhere you look.
They are a bit like a "Jerry Can" of battery power, which you can use to charge or run your mobile devices when the internal battery runs out of juice.
Check any camping supply or 4WD accessories outlet these days, and you will find a plethora of solar panel power options. These are often designed to charge up a battery bank for camp lighting etc.
Both Power Banks and Solar Panel power options can supply power to run, or charge, a Navigator (or other mobile devices).
Providing the power source is capable of outputting 5V at around 1500-2000mA, it should be able to power the Navigator.