Instructables

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 148Next »
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
kamhagh ASCAS1 month 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! :))

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
rennem200210 days ago

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

yhdesai19 days ago
which battery should i use
m using lm7805 instead of powerbank
yhdesai yhdesai19 days ago
and it charges
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rwijkniet1 month ago

ik have a 12 volt 12 watt solar panel can you it's make

What is output current
What is output current
SparkySolar1 month ago

I love this instructable thank you so much

rwijkniet2 months ago

can you sent me a link where do you buy the solarpanel dx.com?

kevinrivera2 months ago

Do you need a junction box when soldering the 7805 regulator to the positive and negative, or do you just superglue the 7805 to the back of the solar panel? I'm confused.

groundbit2 months ago

Where can you buy the micro usb with two wires in the philippines? i dont really like to buy from the internet.

groundbit2 months ago

I almost made it!! but i just lack the two wired micro usb.. Where did you get that?

kdomjan1 year ago
Hi! I have solar panel 4w 18v max Amp 220mA , and power bank 20000mAh 5v !! Did exactly the same as you in therms connections 7805 and it works but can't fully charge my power bank! Do you think I have to big pb ??? Please help
ImranK2 kdomjan3 months ago

Hi, Did you modify your original design? If yes, would you please tell me what did you do? I also have a 20000 mah power bank i want to use for this project.

Thank you

ASCAS (author)  kdomjan1 year ago
Oh yes! 20,000mAh is indeed a large powerbanks 0_0. I don't think the power ratio is balanced. The larger the powerbank the longer the charge time, unless you buy a larger solar panel.

You'll probably need to buy a smaller mAh powerbank, around 2800-5000 mAh. Or buy a larger solar panel instead, but if you plan to upsize your solar panel then you need to buy a "High-Efficiency Voltage Regulator". I don't think the 7805 is fit anymore to regulate power from a solar panel higher than 4W.
nathconley1 year ago
Very cool project! I'm going to make one of these! I'm kinda upgrading it tho, I'm gonna use a 5000mah power bank and a 12v 6w panel! I've already done all the specs on it, and it's gonna work out perfect!

i was planning to use a 20000mah power bank. If you have made it already, may i have the specs or any suggestions? I need this to charge my ipad3 (11000+ mah battery), iphone4 and a small camera.

what are you planning to charge with 12 v 6 watts?

Thank you

ASCAS (author)  nathconley1 year ago
Thanks! Your idea sounds great, BTW :D
bennetdiy3 months ago

How the switching regulator can help you getting more juice ?

bennetdiy3 months ago

I dont get how the switching regulator can help you getting more juice from the solar panel, any idea ?

1-40 of 148Next »