Chamelion USB Charger

An emergency charger for phones available in the UK from Maplin for a discount price of £3.00 .

Comes with a bag to tie to the handlebars so you can recharge on the move.
I’ve tried it a couple of time but not in anger as a 705 has a 15 hour battery life.

I’ll post pictures when I can get around to it.

The charger uses DC/DC conversion to get blood out of a stone. This is the only way to get 5 volts from a 1.2 or 1.5 volt single cell. Under test it gave 5.4 volts from a 1.2 volt LI/Mh 2500 mA single cell. The unit gets warm and one cell should get you about half a charge of a Garmin Edge 705. 

Recharging isn’t an instantaneous act, it takes time. This is why it has to be done on the bike. USB power is rated at 500 mA max @ 5 volts.

Plugging it all into your Edge with a decent battery in the Chamelion will result in the charge Icon lighting up on your Edge. It helps to shut your Edge down to help with the recharging otherwise you maybe powering only the backlight which is power hungry.

I’ve written other posts about USB chargers but this gives you the oportunity to buy something that works for the electrically challenged at a bargain price.

If you store it with a battery in it the LED in the other end can lead to the battery getting discharged accidentally. Two AA cells in the bag should see you OK.

3 thoughts on “Chamelion USB Charger”

  1. Frank,

    I was aware of this device by your other, previous posts. Coincidently, a fellow cyclist mentioned that Maplin were selling electrically heated gloves for £9.99, so while having a look at them on Saturday, I bought the Chameleon for £3. I have only tested it on an old Nokia 5210e … worked like a charm! It’ll need protecting from the elements, but for £3 …. excellent value.


    ps, don’t bother looking at the gloves!

  2. Frank,

    With regard to mounting a GPS & the Camelion on the HANDLEBARS:

    Use a BLT Space Shuttle Dual Light Mount (£3.99 free p&p, see on the handlebars; the GPS fits on one arm, the Camelion on the other using an inline lock-block ($2.50 free p&p, see

    For the carbon fibre brigade, use a Pro CARBON Computer Mount Kit (~£21 inc p&P, available on e-Bay, see on the handlebars; the GPS fits on the arm, the Camelion sits next to it using a 90 degrees lock-block ($7.49 free p&p, see

    The 90 degrees lock-blocks are very useful; you can get 3 for $15, free p&p, see



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