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Thread: Solar Charger

  1. #1
    Senior Member ewok's Avatar
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    Solar Charger

    I just made a solar charger for any USB device (camera, phone, mp3 player, etc.). I made it out of a solar panel that was on a weird flashlight that I had gotten somewhere years ago, a female USB plug that I found and a voltage regulator from Radio Shach that cost $1.59. It took about 20 minutes and weighs 1.1 oz.

    Sorry about the size of the pic, it looked bigger on my puter.
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    If it weren't for physics and law enforcement, I'd be unstoppable.

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    Senior Member Bunk's Avatar
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    That is sweet! I've got to make something like that!!!

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    Senior Member Terry_Dodson's Avatar
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    Cool. Did you put in any Current or Voltage regulationor protection?

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    Senior Member bigbamaguy's Avatar
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    We must have plans for this DIY project!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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  5. #5
    Senior Member ewok's Avatar
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    It's regulated at 5 volts. I plugged it into my phone and it said it was charging but I didn't leave it long. Didn't want to burn up a $500 phone if there are and design flaws. I'll try on an old mp3 player tomorrow.
    If it weren't for physics and law enforcement, I'd be unstoppable.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Lonely Raven's Avatar
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    With that kind of output, you'll have your smart phone charged in about...oh, say this time next year. Yeppers.

  7. #7
    Senior Member ewok's Avatar
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    I'm going to test it tomorrow and see. The solar cell came off of an old rechargeable flashlight. It's purpose was to charge the batteries inside of it so hopefully it can do the trick. Even if it takes longer than normal it beats the alternative.
    If it weren't for physics and law enforcement, I'd be unstoppable.

  8. #8
    Yoda's Avatar
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    Very cool idea, hope it works for ya!
    Formerly known as "Cranky Bear"....

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    Senior Member JohnSawyer's Avatar
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    Let us know how it works out. The commercial ones I've seen typically charge NiMh or Lithium batteries, which are then used to charge your device.

    I've thought about converting a couple of cell phone Lipo's to that purpose, or given the weight, just carrying an extra battery for "emergency use only"
    "Do or do not, there is no try." -- Yoda


  10. #10
    Senior Member Greg Dunlap's Avatar
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    When cell phones first started coming out and hand helds were starting to make an appearance, I was selling them to corporate customers. I'm talking about 1990 to 1999. Anyway one guy came to me and was all excited about something he wanted to market. It was a battery for the old Motorola Flip Phone that he had attached a solar charger to. I had to bust his bubble when I told him that it was a good idea, except that most people used their phones during the day and charged them at night. How much of a charge is the moon going to provide?
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