Freeloader Pico Frequently Asked Questions

Freeloader Pico Solar Charger for Portable Devices Freeloader-Pico-Questions-and-answersFrequently asked Questions

Below are some of the most common questions customers and potential customers tend to ask about the Freeloader Pico.

1. My Freeloader Pico has been outside, in the sun but when I connected it to my device, it only charged for a short time and did not deliver much power?

• Please ensure the first charge is given by the USB cable.

• Please ensure Freeloader Pico is given exposure to sunny conditions for between 5 to 10 hours.

• Ensure that Freeloader Pico is outside, facing south, in an un-shaded position and ideally tilted at a 45 degree angle.

• If Freeloader Pico is connected to a device that has a near full battery (if for example you were testing Freeloader Pico from new), Freeloader Pico would, potentially, not deliver power because the power in the device could be greater than that in Pico. In such circumstances Freeloader Pico will not be able to deliver power. Wait until the device to be charged is 25% to 50% full.

• Ensure Pico is facing daylight and press Solar Reset Button (D, fig 1) for 3 seconds.

2. How do I know when Freeloader Pico is fully charged and can I use the power from Freeloader Pico even if it’s not fully charged?

• You can use power in Freeloader Pico whether Pico is fully charged or part charged. To assess the power available you will need to connect it to a device and observe LED’s E, F, G, H (fig 2)

3. What performance can I expect from Freeloader Pico?

• After 1 day, outside in full sun (8am to 6pm) Freeloader Pico will be pretty much fully charged. When connected to your device it will deliver power for 20 to 45 minutes depending on the device.

• If Freeloader Pico is positioned behind a window in sunny conditions, the time needed to fully charge Freeloader Pico’s battery will be up to 3 days. The reason for this increase in time is that most glass incorporates UV filters, which naturally reduce the amount of irradiation needed to enable the solar panels to operate effectively.

• In cloudy conditions, Freeloader Pico may take approximately 2 times longer to charge than the above mentioned times, but this is depending on the time of year, density of cloud etc.

4. Can I charge my Freeloader Pico from the sun whilst at the same time powering a device?

• No. If Freeloader Pico is empty you will not be able to simultaneously charge and deliver power. The reason is that Freeloader Pico delivers power to a device approximately 10 times quicker than its solar cell can charge up its internal battery.

5. Will charging Freeloader Pico from its solar cell behind glass cause me any problems?

• Not really a problem but it will increase the time needed to charge, sometimes up to three times longer than if outside. 

6. I have Freeloader Pico positioned on a shadywindowsill. Will Freeloader Pico still charge?

• Yes Freeloader Pico will still be charged by its solar cell but it will take a lot longer compared to being outside in full sun – up to 4-5 days longer in fact.

7. Can I leave Freeloader Pico out in the rain?

• No, we do not recommend getting Freeloader Pico wet. However, should this happen accidentally, please dry in an airy position away from children and foodstuffs. The solar cell should be fine; however, the battery and circuit board may be damaged. A trial will soon tell, however, and we would recommend this trial be done outside by the solar cells only and NOT connected to a PC. Should the test prove that Freeloader Pico has been damaged, Solar Technology International Ltd may be able to repair the unit. Please contact support@solartechnology. for more information.

 8. How do I connect and charge a device not supported by the adaptor tips included in this pack?

• Assuming Freeloader Pico is capable of charging the device:

1) order the required tip at


2) if the device was originally supplied with a USB charge cable (most devices are) connect this to your device and to Freeloader Pico via the Power Out socket (B, fig 1).

 9. I have a device that can be charged via my computer’s USB port – can Freeloader Pico charge it?

• Yes the Freeloader Pico should be able to charge it.

10. I cannot see the LEDs on the unit when it’s in bright sunlight – is it still charging?

• Yes it is. The LEDs are of lower power consumption – you can see that they are on if you cup your hand over them.

11. Can I charge a laptop computer or notebook?

• No, Freeloader Pico is not powerful enough to charge such devices. If a device has a voltage demand under 5V then Freeloader Pico should be able to charge it.

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