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DIY Portable USB Solar Charger ($20 - 4 Ports)

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Picture of DIY Portable USB Solar Charger ($20 - 4 Ports)
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Dreamed of making a cheap and "EXTREMELY RELIABLE" portable USB solar charger? Here's a quick tutorial, revealing how I made mine with a budget less than $20!
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I have so many uses for it. When we travel and go camping, it serves us an unlimited supply of charging power for our handheld devices, such as iPhones, iPads, Speakers and Android Devices. It can charge anything! Anytime, anywhere! When an outrageous storm comes in, blackouts are inevitable, it's a good thing to have a solar charger!

By the help of of our trusty USB powerbank, charging during night time is possible, it acts as a battery reservoir, and charges during day.
It only takes 40-120 minutes to fully charge your powerbank, and it also comes with a 4 bar battery indicator!
It's a sustainable + reliable source of energy, ideal for charging USB devices.

Features:
- 10 Volt 3W Solar Panel (Water Proof - Shock Resistant)
- 2800mAh PowerBank (2A Output - iPhone 5 compatible)
-  Self-sustainable - Close to Unlimited USB Power :D

Also, please support and visit my site: ASCAS.ph (incompatible with IE -Under Renovation)
Enjoy Reading :D Cheers!

 
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Step 1: Tool & Materials

Picture of Tool & Materials
It's recommended to use a solar panel rated at least 3W-10W at 6-10 volts. This is done to shorten your charging time. My parts and materials cost me 725php ($17/ USD). The links below are just alternatives. In the next page, I gave a list of cheap, quality powerbanks from DealExtreme.com products w/free shipping". The price is up to you, try to hunt down clearance sales.

My Parts - (w/ Alternative Links):
1.) Solar Panel (mine= 10V 400mAh | 3W)
2.) USB PowerBank (2800 mAh - w/ battery indicator)
3.) 4 Port USB Hub
5.) 7805 Regulator Chip
6.) Micro USB Cable (A stripped end)
7.) Leatherman Multitool (from: Instructable Prize)
8.) A short length of stranded wire.
9.) Superglue (Gorilla or MightyBond)

Step 2: Choosing Your PowerBank (Optional Step)

Picture of Choosing Your PowerBank (Optional Step)
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Here's a variety of powerbanks I recommend. Products derived from "DealExtreme.com" + free shipping
You can chrage your powerbank even if devices are plugged to it. You can skip this step, if you already have a powerbank :D

The Price List:
1.) 2600mAh External Battery Mobile Power Bank ($6.30)
2.) Compact 3000mAh Portable Rechargeable Power Bank w/ LED Indicator ($9.20)
3.) Power Bank Aluminum Alloy Housing Case w/ Protective Board ($10.40)
4.) Ultrathin External 4000mAh Power Battery Charger w/ Touch Control ($14.30)
5.) Ultrathin External 4000mAh Power Battery Charger w/ Touch Control (Black Edition $14.30)

Step 3: Soldering The 7805 Regulator

Picture of Soldering The 7805 Regulator
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Since my solar panel produces 10 volts (3W), while the powerbank needs to be fed with 5V of USB power, a regulator must be added in order to charge the powerbank. Without the 7805 regulator, the powerbank's internals might get damaged due to over-voltage.

1st.) Follow the simplified schematic diagram above, read them carefully!
2nd.) Solder the micro USB plug first, to the 7805
3rd.) Solder two wires on your 7805, to be connected to your solar panel (+ & - )
4th.) Use a small droplet of superglue to mount the regulator in your solar panel's terminal block.
6th.) Trim the heat-sink mount of your 7805 chip if necessary. 
5th.) Solder the two wires of your 7805 to the solar panel. Observe polarity! (+ & - )

FYI, The switching regulator, gets more juice from your solar panel!
Since the 7805 is limited to 1 Ampere, you might want to buy a HIGH-EFFICIENCY 5v Switching Regulator from DealExtreme.com for only ($3.80 + Free Shipping)!

OPTIONAL: You can now charge your device directly from the panel, even without the powerbank! 

Step 4: Mounting Your Devices

Picture of Mounting Your Devices
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It's now time to mount your devices. I used a heavy double-sided adhesive to mount the powerbank and the USB hub behind the solar panel. If you plan to mount these devices permanently, it's ideal to use hot-glue or epoxy, for them to stay still. 

1st.) Mount The PowerBank
2nd.) Connect the charging cable of the solar panel to the powerbank's charge-input.
3rd.) Plug-in your USB Hub/Port to your powerbank's output.
4th.) It's now time to charge your devices! Just plug them in you USB Hub!


Step 5: Unleash 4 Ports of USB POWER! It's Ready :D

Picture of Unleash 4 Ports of USB POWER! It's Ready :D
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Plug your devices and your done! Thanks for reading!

Stay tuned for more projects!
Please support and visit my site: ASCAS.ph (incompatible with IE -Under Renovation)
1-40 of 164Next »
that's really useful!
ASCAS (author)  andrea biffi1 year ago
thanks!
What is the powerbank for they are really expensive when your trying to make multiples of these things. Could I still make one of these with a 6v solar panel without a power bank.
ASCAS (author)  rabbidturtles991 year ago
Yes you could! But a power bank acts as your battery reservoir, when there is an absence of sunlight, the powerbank serves as your powersource.

I don't think it's practical to build your own powerbank, since AA battery packs are really inefficient + takes longer time to charge. Second, why make one if you could buy one for only $6
cwozny ASCAS12 days ago
If you're using an L7805, wouldn't you need a solar panel with a minimum output voltage of 7 W due to the 2 V dropout voltage of the L7805?
kamhagh ASCAS8 months ago

nice guide :) im planning to use lipo instead of the powerbank, but also, that way i will need a lipo charger+ a boost circuit that makes 3.7 to 5v and a charger to charge the battery from solar :D

i dont think boost circuits are easily found in my country , so im planning to make my own :P

the whole reason that im doing this is to learn :D more than battery problems :P

also if I was using a battery pack that held 4 AAs and they were rechargeable would that be capable to replace the powerbank and if I used a 6v solar panel and the usb port from a car charger to hook up to the regulator and all
agis681 year ago
its a nice cheap and clean way to manage your charges......
ASCAS (author)  agis681 year ago
It's true! Now my parents will have a peace in mind, now that I don't have to charge my devices on the outlet 24/7. Instead, all of them are being charge 24/7 on the panel with a $0 bill :)) Cheers!
benwade1 year ago
I'm going to vote for you! I love this, not just because it's useful (and cheap) but also because it's very doable. Even I can put this together. Thank you!
ASCAS (author)  benwade1 year ago
Thank you very much! It's a good thing, I didn't stick to my original plan, which was assembling the whole setup from bare parts.
DragonDon1 year ago
Awesome idea! Going to look into doing this! Favoured and voted!
ASCAS (author)  DragonDon1 year ago
Thank you very much! Well appreciated. I'm planning to make a site with a independent domain, I tried weebly, but it wont let me upload my own codes. I'l give wordpress a try =D
Also, it seems your domain is available for purchase! Might wasn't to look into that. Or just start a free blog on WordPress.com.
Great job and instructable - well done.
kenbob1 year ago
Very thorough and well written instructable! Great job!
Possibly dumb question, do you need a diode to prevent power from draining into the solar panel from the powerbank when it is dark?
ASCAS (author)  kenbob1 year ago
Thanks! Well its not dumb at all :D, actually most powerbanks have a built in diode. Adding an extra one might cost some powerloss, specially when the proper specs are not observed.

The 1N4007 series is only limited to 1 ampere, while the 1N5402 can reach up to 3 amperes. So to be sure its good to add one. The Voltage & Ampere rating of your diode must be higher than your solar panel's rating. Thanks for the positive feedback! :))
I got a 6V 3W solar panel
So do I need to add a regulator chip to charge the power bank
And can it charge a 10000 mAh power bank
Thank you
Hi
Very nice project
But I have a little problem
Rabbs355 made it!1 month ago

Works great, except I got a power pack that is unable to charge at the same time as discharging. Thanks for the good info on the regulator. I have added the 5v output but also another plug so I can also use the 12v output if required. Thanks.

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Praveens1 month ago
BhoomikaJ2 months ago
BhoomikaJ2 months ago
blackie.sage2 months ago

Maybe someone can help me. I chose this instructable because it was the most simple and straightforward one and I've never done this kind of thing before.

I have a 5v/3w panel, the 7805 regulator, a 10,000mAh powerbank, and a 4-port usb hub.

I charged the powerbank via wall outlet prior to putting together the panel, and then discharged it with my phone to see how many charges I could get out of it. Worked fine.

But now that I've put together the panel (I've triple checked all connections) the powerbank lights up like it's charging, but it's stuck at 2 of 4 bars. It will sit in the sun for days and not budge. Just does the charging blink and nothing else. I would hope it's not discharging back into the panel (I assume blocking diodes would be built into the powerbank making it unnecessary to have one coming from the panel) but I can't be 100% sure.

Is it because I have a smaller panel but a larger powerbank (capacity-wise)? The input for the powerbank is 5v, and I understand that panels won't always output their exact voltage, but even in direct noon sun it doesn't charge. I don't have a multimeter to measure output.

I don't know which would be better: Buying another identical panel and wiring them in series, or buying a smaller powerbank.

tim.payne.3362 months ago

im going to make this except im going to use a universal usb connection and a 2.5 w, 5 v/500 ma solar panel

mpmuebles2 months ago

Very usefull inforamtion,I will try to apply this

meghaf016 months ago

Hi All...

The charger is highly compatible with every digital device
that works under 5 v and battery capacity of 10000 mAh. It supports almost all
digital devices, including smart phones, laptop, tablet, iphone and ipad. It supports
to every device to charge anytime and anywhere.

...........................................

<a
href="http://feyeshoppy.com/solar-mobile-charger"> solar mobile
charger </a>

Soler PB (3)-500x554.JPG
meghaf016 months ago

hi.

The Solar power bank, a device that has introduced the tremendous
combination of the advancement and the conservation of the natural resources. It
is very surprising that how many new gadgets can be powered by the concept of
the solar energy. This vast list includes the top most name of the solar power
bank that is utilized for the charging of the mobile phones, tablets, i-phones
and other electronic devices.

.......................................................

<a href="http://feyeshoppy.com/solar-mobile-charger">
solar mobile charger </a>

meghaf016 months ago

hi all...

Power bank 10000mAh is
highly compatible with the tablets, i-phones, i-pad, smart phones and other
digital devices. A small device with the enormous storage of the solar energy
which is ready to transfer it into your smart devices.It has li-ion batteries and advanced solar
cells that can supply power up to 5V under 10000mAh.It can be charged either by the adaptor or
USB port.The power bank will
never allow your mobile phone battery switched off. You can carry this natural
wireless charger anywhere and can charge your cell phone even in the pocket.

.................................................

<a href=" http://feyeshoppy.com/solar-mobile-charger">
solar mobile charger </a>

Soler PB (3)-500x554.JPG
meghaf016 months ago

hi all...

Power bank 10000mAh is
highly compatible with the tablets, i-phones, i-pad, smart phones and other
digital devices. A small device with the enormous storage of the solar energy
which is ready to transfer it into your smart devices.It has li-ion batteries and advanced solar
cells that can supply power up to 5V under 10000mAh.It can be charged either by the adaptor or
USB port.The power bank will
never allow your mobile phone battery switched off. You can carry this natural
wireless charger anywhere and can charge your cell phone even in the pocket.

.................................................

<a href=" http://feyeshoppy.com/solar-mobile-charger">
solar mobile charger </a>

Soler PB (3)-500x554.JPG
meghaf016 months ago

hi all...

Power bank 10000mAh is
highly compatible with the tablets, i-phones, i-pad, smart phones and other
digital devices. A small device with the enormous storage of the solar energy
which is ready to transfer it into your smart devices.It has li-ion batteries and advanced solar
cells that can supply power up to 5V under 10000mAh.It can be charged either by the adaptor or
USB port.The power bank will
never allow your mobile phone battery switched off. You can carry this natural
wireless charger anywhere and can charge your cell phone even in the pocket.

.................................................

<a href=" http://feyeshoppy.com/solar-mobile-charger">
solar mobile charger </a>

Soler PB (3)-500x554.JPG
meghaf016 months ago

hi all...

The power bank is a device that allows phone charging
anytime and anywhere without power supply and connectors. A lightweight,
portable and handy product that can be fit into your pocket with charging the
smart phones. Among huge varieties, the Solar Power Bank is the best power bank
to deal with.

Feyeshoppy is an online shopping store.

........................................

<a
href="
http://feyeshoppy.com/solar-mobile-charger">
>
10000mAh power bank </a>

hi all..

Mobile phones are becoming every one’s need and the whole
world is getting merged into the smallest mobile phone. Our daily routine
starts with the mobile alarm and ends up with checking up the social networking
notifications. One small device becomes substitute for all the gadgets and
devices. However, for enjoying the uninterrupted services, we must keep our
mobile phone charged all times. It is not possible to keep our mobile phone
full time charged because of the high usage and high conservation of battery.
To resolve this issue, the wide series of power bank has been introduced by
Feyeshoppy.

Feyeshoppy is an online shopping store.

.........................................................

<a href=" http://feyeshoppy.com/solar-mobile-charger"> solar mobile charger </a>

05.jpg

hi all......

Feyeshoppy is an
offering latest technology of external mobile charger as new Solar Power Bank
that has amazing features to provide you with the more benefits. The solar
battery charger is a light weight and too compact that enables easy handling
and easy moves, especially made for the users who love to use latest technology
and want to conserve the nature. It is based on the concept of the conservation
of the solar energy that has been implemented in the gadget to save and utilize
the resources.

.......................................

<a href=" http://feyeshoppy.com/solar-mobile-charger"> solar mobile charger </a>

06.jpg

hi all......

Feyeshoppy is an
offering latest technology of external mobile charger as new Solar Power Bank
that has amazing features to provide you with the more benefits. The solar
battery charger is a light weight and too compact that enables easy handling
and easy moves, especially made for the users who love to use latest technology
and want to conserve the nature. It is based on the concept of the conservation
of the solar energy that has been implemented in the gadget to save and utilize
the resources.

.......................................

<a href=" http://feyeshoppy.com/solar-mobile-charger"> solar mobile charger </a>

06.jpg

hi all......

Feyeshoppy is an
offering latest technology of external mobile charger as new Solar Power Bank
that has amazing features to provide you with the more benefits. The solar
battery charger is a light weight and too compact that enables easy handling
and easy moves, especially made for the users who love to use latest technology
and want to conserve the nature. It is based on the concept of the conservation
of the solar energy that has been implemented in the gadget to save and utilize
the resources.

.......................................

<a href=" http://feyeshoppy.com/solar-mobile-charger"> solar mobile charger </a>

06.jpg

hi all......

Feyeshoppy is an
offering latest technology of external mobile charger as new Solar Power Bank
that has amazing features to provide you with the more benefits. The solar
battery charger is a light weight and too compact that enables easy handling
and easy moves, especially made for the users who love to use latest technology
and want to conserve the nature. It is based on the concept of the conservation
of the solar energy that has been implemented in the gadget to save and utilize
the resources.

.......................................

<a href=" http://feyeshoppy.com/solar-mobile-charger"> solar mobile charger </a>

06.jpg
rennem20026 months ago

I used this for a science project, and got an A!!!! Thanks so much

yhdesai7 months ago
which battery should i use
m using lm7805 instead of powerbank
yhdesai yhdesai7 months ago
and it charges
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