Introduction: Charging Multi-volatage Devices While Camping With Solar Panel

Camping great is for getting away from it all, but not too far away.

True Green power for your MP3 players, cell phones, tablets, AA battries, AAA battries with adaptor clip, 5 vdc rechargable battries, etc.

Two ways to charge equipment.

No build

Solar Panel from Harbor Freight ($12.00). Comes with wide variety of plug in tips also alligator clips, 9 V clip, and 2 AA batteries in rear compartment. Need to remove AAs if charging something else.

One of those “Reel” USB charging only (2 wires / not 4) cords with mini and micro tips, came with 5vdc rechargable battery.

Plug appropriate Solar Panel tip into reel cord and cord into male / female USB multi device or cord and 5 vdc rechargeable battery ($5) into male / female USB multi device or cord . Connect battery to multi-port USB multi-port USB adaptor or device directly into battery. Whatever power is available at one outlet of multi port device is available to all.

Minimum build

Take male / female USB cord and cut off male end. Strip outer insulation. If two wires (red / black) it’s a charging cord. If 4 (red / black/ white, green) then a data / charging cord. All you need are the red and black wires. If there are extras cut them off. Strip back red / black wires about 1 inch and attach to “J” hook test leads (Radio Shack $4). Can either twist and tape or solder.

Use red alligator to attach red “J” lead and black to black. Plug in 5 vdc rechargeable battery ($5 - some are direct connect others have seperate cord) and battery into pmulti-port adaptor or single devive with device cord.

NOTE: ALWAYS use 5VDC rechargeable battery as safety circuit interrupter Wwere appropriate. Never plug solar panel directly into device. Always set panel to next highest setting (6v for 5vdc, 9 for 6, and 12 for 9).  Panel can generate over 20 volts in very bright no cloud conditions.

Comments

author
gearup500 (author)2015-12-08

lol, I have one of these. I got it off of amazon

author
zazenergy (author)2011-08-30

This is really helpful. It would be great to see this turned into a step by step Instructable. Let me know if I can be of help!

Cheers,

Laura

author
lamoe (author)zazenergy2011-08-30

Rewrote to be step by step

In this version everything is purchased and simply plugged into each other.

1. Solar Panel from Harbor Freight ($12.00). Comes with wide variety of plug
in tips also alligator clips, 9 V clip, and 2 AA batteries in rear
compartment. Need to remove AAs if charging something else.
2. One of those “Reel” USB charging only (2 wires / not 4) cords with mini
and micro tips, came with 5vdc rechargeable battery.
3. Plug appropriate Solar Panel tip into reel cord
4. Plug male USB cord end into USB multi port device or male to female USB
converter.
5. Plug multi port device / male female converter into 5vdc rechargeable
battery. This is critical as the rechargeable battery acts as a safety circuit
breaker / thermal overload.
6. Can use the final device cord to plug into rechargeable battery or plug
another multi port USB device to allow more than 1 device to be used at
one time. Whatever power is available at one outlet of multi port device is
available to all.

To eliminate the initial multi port device an adaptor to use the alligator clips can be made. Caution must be used to insure the leads do not short out.

1. Take male / female USB cord and cut off male end.
2. Strip outer insulation. If two wires (red / black) it’s a charging cord. If 4
(red / black/ white, green) then a data / charging cord. All you need are the
red and black wires. If there are extras cut them off.
3. Strip back red / black wires about 1 inch and attach to “J” hook test leads
(Radio Shack $4). Can either twist and tape or solder.
4. Attach red alligator clip to red “J” lead and black to black.
5. Plug in 5 vdc rechargeable battery ($5 - some are direct connect others
have separate cord)
6. Can use the final device cord to plug into rechargeable battery or plug
another multi port USB device to allow more than 1 device to be used at
one time. Whatever power is available at one outlet of multi port device is
available to all.

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