Altoids USB Battery/Solar charger for iPhone and iPod


Step 2: Rewire your battery holder

Picture of Rewire your battery holder
This step is necessary if you use a small enough solar panel to fit on top of the tin.  I rescued mine from some cheap solar landscaping lights.  They produce more than 3V each in direct sunlight, but that's not enough to charge all four batteries.  So I decided to make them charge two sets of two batteries.  This is possible with a DPDT (Double Pole - Double Throw) toggle switch.  You need to alter the battery holder to make this possible.  First, you need to remove the cover of the wire compartment.  This was done with a shop knife by cutting off the plastic connectors.  Then, just cut the connection between batteries 2 and 3 (Red arrow).  Lastly, solder a wire to each connection and run them out the same hole the other wires are coming out.  I also removed the switch from the holder because I won't be able to get at it once the holder is attached to the project tin... and you never know when you might need an extra switch anyway.
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jpman2 years ago
cant i just get 2x double a holders and wire them in parallel?
NSheneman33 years ago
Would two of these work?
haikuordie (author)  NSheneman33 years ago
Absolutely. :)
Fashiondez3 years ago
Can I not use two separate AA battery holders, or would that be a problem with the two sets of wires?
haikuordie (author)  Fashiondez3 years ago
I don't see why two holders wouldn't work. I still have to suggest using AAAs for the sake of room. I tried this first with AA batteries and ran into space issues
Thank you! So does using two AAA holders mean that you don't have to use a toggle switch.
haikuordie (author)  Fashiondez3 years ago
No. It just makes the toggle easier to wire. The only way to get out of using a toggle switch is to use a solar panel with enough voltage to charge all the batteries in series. I would suggest something in the range of 7-9 volts.
Okay! Thanks