Giving the FLAP bag to some electricians

This is part of an ongoing series of posts on the FLAP bag project, a collaborative effort by Timbuk2, Portable Light and Pop!Tech. We at AfriGadget are helping to field-test these bags that have solar power and lighting on them, and get interviews of the individuals using them.

Hayford Bempong and David Celestin are electricians at Accra Polytechnic, who I wrote about last as they had fabricated an FM radio station from scratch and used it at Maker Faire Africa. Hayford and David seemed like just the type to take a look at the bag and really determine its use. Being college-level students, they have a different type of lifestyle than many, and that might mean more ideas and thoughts about what the FLAP bag could be used for.

Electrical Students in Ghana take on the FLAP bag from WhiteAfrican on Vimeo.

True to form, they were not nearly as excited about the quality of the stitching, or the textiles used, but very interested in the internal electrical components. They were excited about the idea of a bag with an in-built solar panel, and were curious as to wattage and the ability use step-ups and inverters to make it even more useful.

One suggestion that they made was around durability of the electrical components, specifically they suggested that a metal box should be built around it. Life in Africa can be quite rough on gear, and the chance that someone will sit on, drop, or crush this part is quite high.

Accra Polytechnic students and the FLAP bag

Author: Erik Hersman

Erik is the owner of White African, a blog about technology and Africa. He is the co-founder of Zangu, a new web and mobile phone application that he hopes will change communication in Africa. AfriGadget is another web project of his, not that he doesn't have enough of those already...

3 thoughts on “Giving the FLAP bag to some electricians”

  1. As a teacher trainer in Liberia I can see this bag being the answer to a problem we have with respect to audio-visual equipment. We have been attempting to expand instructional opportunities for Liberian teachers by helping them learn how to effectively use instructional audio-visual materials. The problem is reliable and steady access to electricity. If the solar bag battery is powerful enough to run one of the new, small, portable projectors (the size of about four or five stacked CD cases) that can project files (pics and video) directly from a memory stick, it could be a wonderful teaching tool. A self-contained unit that could serve to store, carry and power the projector, memory stick files and lesson plans, all in one unit! Memory sticks allow for hundreds of portable video lessons and the projector allows for large group viewing with one small unit. What a great teaching tool! It can be used in a formal classroom, on the shady side of a building wall, or any number of other less formal instructional spots! Please keep updating on the Flap Bag – a most exciting item!
    Beth Iden
    Liberia Orphan Education Project

  2. I just love the way it looks – using this (plastic?) cardboard material as the PCB is just a perfect idea.

    @the person who designed the pcb: congratulations!

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