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Picture of A SOLAR POWERED MOBILE PHONE
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solar case.jpg
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I WILL SHOW YOU HOW TO ADD A SMALL SOLAR PANEL TO A PHONE SO IT EXTENDS THE LIFE OF YOUR PHONE BATTERY.BECAUSE OF THE TYPE OF SOLAR PANEL I USED IT LOOKS GREAT AND DOES NOT GET IN THE WAY OF USING THE PHONE NORMALLY AND YOU CAN STILL USE YOUR MOBILE PHONE PROTECTIVE CASE IF YOU USE ONE BECAUSE OF THE TYPE OF PANEL I HAVE USED.MY NEXT INSTRUCTABLE IF I DO IT WILL BE USING THE SAME METHOD TO ADD A SOLAR PANEL TO A A LAPTOP TO INCREASE ITS BATTERY LIFE AND TOP UP THE BATTERY WHEN YOUR NOT USING IT.

PS THIS IS MY FIRST INSTRUCTABLR AND ALSO I TOOK PICTURES AFTERWARDS AS I SUDDENLY REMEMBERED THIS SITE.AND ALSO I HAVE NOT STUCK THE SOLAR PANEL DOWN YET THATS WHY IT LOOKS RAISED ABOVE THE CASE.I HAVE NOT GOT ANY DOUBLE SIDED STICKY TABE.PROVIDING YOU SOLDER IT OK THEN IT WILL BE FLUSH WITHT HE PHONES SURFACE.

THANKS PLEASE COMMENT AND ALSO TAKE A LOOK AT THE LAST STEP IT GIVES YOU SOME COOL IDEAS IF ANYONE WANTS TO MAKE THEM
 
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Step 1: BUYING THE RIGHT PANEL

Picture of BUYING THE RIGHT PANEL
I BUY MY PANELS FROM : http://www.selectsolar.co.uk/pics/SP3-37%20(22mA%20at%203v).php

THE LINK ABOVE IS THE PANEL I PARTICULARY USED. THE REASON I USE THIS PANEL IS BECAUSE IT PROVIDES THE RIGHT VOLTAGE FOR MOBILE PHONE BATTERIES AND IT IS PAPER THIN AND IT HAS A MIRROWED FINISH SO IT DOES NOT LOOK UGLY ATTACHED TO YOUR PHONE.

THE PANEL IS 22MA @ 3VOLTS AND MEASURES JUST 3.7cm by 6.4cm

more info ont his panel here:lightweight, paper thin and durable
flexible enough to curve around an object 3 inches in diameter
will not break if dropped
wide range of sizes and power configurations available
thin profile enables them to be easily integrated with devices for solar recharging or direct power
Ideal for recharging AA, AA, 6V and 2V batteries
Please note: these modules do not have a UV stabilised surface.
Simple to connect - just solder or crimp to the copper tape.
Size 3.7cm by 6.4cm.

Step 2: Deciding where to mount your panel

Picture of Deciding where to mount your panel
with most phones it is easiest to mount it on the back of the phone as thats where you have the most surface area free and also the back does slide of to allow access to the battery.
you must decide where to put the panel first so you know where to cut the 2 very small holes in the case.

Step 3: Mounting the blocking diode

Picture of Mounting the blocking diode
now you must find a place to mount the blocking diode.i mounted mine in the plastic casing between the battery and the case.but if you want you can take the phone apart and mount it inside somewhere but you must insulate it so it doesnt short andything out.also conside where you mount it you must allow access for small wires from the solar panel and the battery. IF YOU FOLLOW MY INSTRUCTABLE THEN THE WAY TO INSTALL THE BLOCKING DIODE IS AS FOLLOWS. the white strip on the diode need to face the battery wire.the whote strip acts as a gate and will not let power from the battery pass through it.but it must be nearest the battery wire. if thre strip is nearest the solar panel wire then you wil only discharge your battery and not charge it.ps ue a dremel if you have one as i used a soldering iron to melt the plastic and it loks messy. i do aactually have a dremel but didnt think to use it here for the whole for he blocking diode. lol

Step 4: Which wire to use

Picture of Which wire to use
i used very thin video cable the type you would use to connect a ccd/cmos camera to a power supply and screen

Step 5: Solder the wires to the blocking diode.

Picture of Solder the wires to the blocking diode.
solder the the red wires to the blocking diode please remember before you cut the wires to leave enough length so the wires will reach the battery and the panel. be carefull not to heat up the diode over 150c otherwise it will be useless if it gets to 200c approx.and use least amount of solder as you can so you dont have any problems fitting the diode in the phone.

Step 6: Attach wires to the battery connectors on the phone

Picture of Attach wires to the battery connectors on the phone
neatly hide the wires and the diode in the phone casing and then connect the wires using the twist method onto the connectors on the phone where the battery touches them.red for positive and black for negative.

Step 7: Cut the holes for the wires in the phone

Picture of Cut the holes for the wires in the phone
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now earlier on you decided where to mount the solar panel so you now need to get the wires from the inside of the phone to the outside so you can attach the panel.hold the panel in place then decide where to cut the holes.
remember you must allow enough play on the wire for when you take the case of to access you simcard or something.
you can cut the holes using very small circuit board drill bits or use a stanley blade or hooby nife or even heat up a needle on a soldering iron or with a lighter and burn a whole through you phone case,if you burn a hole you need to use a stanley blade to trim it flat.

Step 8: Solder the wires to the panel

Picture of Solder the wires to the panel
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solder each wire to the panel remember you have to scratch of the plastic coating on the copper strips before you solder it and dont melt the panel solder as quickly as you can and try and solder it flat so its not raised above the phone case when you mount the panel.

you can find the polarity of a soalr panel by hooking it up to a multimeter. my multimeter displays a minus sign if i have it in reverse polarity.some other multimeters just diplay 0.00 volts if you have the polarity wrong,so just switch the probes round and attach to solar panel and it should give you volts.

we dont need a voltager regulator as its a very small solar cell and it cannot harm your battery

Step 9: Mount the panel on the phone

Picture of Mount the panel on the phone
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simply use double sided sticky tape to mount the panel to the phone. is suggest you apply the tape only to the removable back case of the phone so you can get access to your battery and simcard etc.

Step 10: Another way of doing this without cutting holes in your phone or anything and some other cool ideas i have with solar panels

Picture of another way of doing this without cutting holes in your phone or anything and some other cool ideas i have with solar panels
instead of adding a panel to your phone what you can do is get a protective phone case like in the picture below.mount the panel inside the phone case, now all phones have a charger point usually at the bottom of the phone all you do is connect the solar panel to the end of a phone charger but put a blocking diode in between the panel and the charger end. then just plug the chargeing tip into the bottom of your phone and it charges. it may not register as charging as its low ma's but it will charge your phone.if you think that it is not charginf your phone then you can put a 200k resistor on the ground connection between your panel and your charger plug.also phones that have a mini usb connection on them sometimes require you to connect the data- cable to the ground for it to register that a cable is plugged in to it.you can search for pinout diagrams on the internet for your specific phone.but as we are dealing with low power solar panel the phone will never register as charging as its too low to detect it, but i can tell you it will charge yourphone regardless what way you do it.

if you want to do something else similar then you can buy a bigger version of this paper thin mirrowed finish solar panel and attach it to the back of your laptop screen so it charges your battery when your not using it and when you are using it.and if you wanted to go the whole hog you could even buy long thin solar panel strips and insert them inside your screen where the florescent tube is which lights up the screen and collect free energy that way and put it back itno the laptop battery.or use it to power usb sockets etc.or even connect a female usb cable to the soalr panel on the back of your laptop screen adn use it to charge mp3 palyers and things instead of using the usb socket on yout laptop.
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Danielp211 months ago

Great tutorial I really liked it. However wouldn't it have been better to solder the solar panels up to the usb port to charge the phone instead of the battery directly? Since it has power connections that are already being protected. So stronger panels could be used and could safely charge the phone faster. Granted you would have to compensate for your specific sunlight zone and phone specifications. There are a wide range of configurations for powerfilm. Great stuff :).

Danielp2 Danielp211 months ago

My bad i didn't realise how old this was. Powerfilm might have had a very limited supply back then.

Ric464 years ago
I just bought a solar batt backup at bensoutlet.com for $7.99. It even has an internal battery in it, and it is the size of a large cell phone.I don't think you can build it for that.
ellislake (author)  Ric464 years ago
yes but you are then carrying a large box type shape around with you.with my design you dont have to do that as its a flat solar panel.if i hadmore time i would seal the solar panel onto the back panel of the actual phone casing and then,aybe laminate over the top of the panel to protect it.that way it looks and feels like a normal phone.i believe the panel now only costs $1.99 so my way is still cheper im afraid.also you internal batery will eventually die on the solar charger aswell as the battery in your phone. where as my way all you have to replace is the phone battery when that fails but it will fail ust the sam as any other phone batery would after so many charges so to be honest my idea is cheaper, takes up no more space in you pockets,less costs to repair if batteries fail and is a cool thing to do yourself when you bored and your friends will love it. thanks for your comments though
Ric46 ellislake4 years ago
It is the same size as my touch screen cell phone. It is 1 1/2 x 3 1/2 x 3/8. not very big.
ellislake (author)  Ric464 years ago
it is big when you compare it against my instructable which is paper thin (NON BULKY) THANKS
So if my phone has a battery rated at 3.7v, would a 4.8v thin solar cell work? What about a blocking diode to prevent the solar cell from sucking the battery down when not in the sunlight? thx.
ellislake (author)  Doneitmyself4 years ago
in my instructable i have used a blocking diode to prevent reverse charging. a 4.8v cell would be ok to use as its suck low current (milliamps) if you need any help let me know
 I think this is awesome!! My battery is always dying..I think I am a little worried ( only because I am afraid of the cell phone not of your instructable) about the radiation being magnified with this modification. And really there is no way to test this unless  you exposed people on purpose. I think I like the charger that sits alone connected with a cord away from the phone not attached. When it is attached it is next to your head. This could be giving off some sort of energy within the panels into a persons brain..I don't know..Just a bit concern...
maybe make a cord so you can lay it to the side??Great idea maybe just fix this part?
ellislake (author)  haunted_lady5 years ago
hey thanks for checking it out, i was thinking of making a small panel you could connect to your phone but they are already avalable cheaply.the radiation given off by the phone isnt increased by using the solar panel.if anything it would reflect the radiation slightly,but the radiation in a phones chip is to small to damage anything otherwise they would make phones illegal etc.all phones are tested before going onto the market,every chip tjhat goes into a phone is tested by the manufacturer of the chip,then tested by a re-seller (MIDDLEMAN) and then the final product ie the CELL/MOBILE PHONE is tested by the manufacturer of the cell itself.and if there was anything to worry about they would redesign the phone by using different chips in it.so dont worry about the radiation my friend.
 Well I know with the solar film that are imbedded on the roof shingles the heat is so much it warps the shingles so that means the heat is amplified. If you are attracting heat from the sun you are attracting solar energy with has radiation near your head. As well as would damage the phone.
And maybe this is the reason why no one has done your idea.
ellislake (author)  haunted_lady5 years ago
shortly after this instructable was realised NOKIA released a phone which has solar panels built all over it so instead of using just a plastic case to hold the phone together they incorporated solar panels all over the phone,this has sold and is still being sold in the EU  so this phone has been tested and is ok,thus showing the solar panel near your head is no risk to your health.the reason solar panels on shingles warps is because the solar panels your refering to are black in colour this means they suck up all colours of the spectrum producing heat,if you look at the solar panle i hav eused on my phones its slightly silver in colour thus reflecting the heat away,  thanks for your comments
hydrogenman5 years ago
Nice!!  But i should inform the americans about the euro thing when buying a solar panel.  The same solar panels are on sale at 4lots.com for american money.  You should also consider those.  This is a very good idea for on the go charging!!!
ellislake (author)  hydrogenman5 years ago
what do you mean i should inform them of the euro thingy.not sure what you are talking about ?  are you talking about currency.


thanks
yes, and nice instructable
dagenius5 years ago
I think you have the panel on backwards-- the blue side should be exposed to the light.....
ellislake (author)  dagenius5 years ago
hi,the panel is on crectly, i did double check it before i moutned also its a clear indicator it is ok as when have you seen a panel with solder tips on the front of it,,thanks for checking this our though.    cheers
nepheron5 years ago
ellislake, I apologize for some of these member in the community who only offer negative, pointless comments. I think your instructable and idea is great. keep up the good work! 5* -Neph
ellislake (author)  nepheron5 years ago
cheers
ellislake (author) 6 years ago
make a comment plz
CAPS LOCK...
YA WY DOZ HI HAV TU US CAPS LOK???!!!111one 1one1
ellislake (author)  ReCreate6 years ago
i accidently had caps locks on thasts all
Well i guess you could remove the caps lock now that you realized that it was on...
ellislake (author)  ReCreate6 years ago
im not gona change it just because its in uppercase and not lowercase thats just sily,why doesnt evefyone focus ont he good things and not the fact my instructabel is in caps,caps locks does not affect the project or how u read it, why dont you people give out praise for the work i have done and not complain about caps locks.
Because caps lock covers your work...
ellislake (author)  ReCreate6 years ago
how does it cover my work what u mean
I mean I see BHAH CAPS LOCK MY EYES*eyes/brain/head explodes*
ellislake (author)  ReCreate6 years ago
ok well u better call 911 or 999 or 112 then adn the cleaners so they can clean up your blood from the room
Will do ;)
ellislake (author)  ReCreate6 years ago
thats too much effort,ive done the instructable its finished.i aint gona change it just bevause the words r in caps locks and not lower case
lol
ORLY?
RLY
RLY?
ellislake (author)  ReCreate6 years ago
whats orly mean
Oh really? > O RLY? > ORLY?
Asa J6 years ago
is it a good idea to leave your phone in the sun?
ellislake (author)  Asa J6 years ago
yes off course it is.manufacturers have to follow eu guidelines which have to allow for uv rays and also heat.look at componnent list for your phone sand you will see they can work usualy in minus 12 degees and anything upto 60 degrees.which is hot,and if you thinka bout it your not gona really leave your phone out in the sun that much for it to heat up to a high temperature etc. thanks for comments tho
ReCreate Asa J6 years ago
Oh sure, Why not?
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