Extensive research on small solar systems <5 watts led me to this little inexpensive ($12.99) charger from harbor freight.  Sure it is big, but it is also 12V at 1.5 watts and cost less than some 1 watt panels when shipping is included (http://adafruit.com/products/262).  it is a 17.5V? open circuit but who wants that awkward voltage? 12V is a nice round number so i kept the trickle circuit and stepdown in.
I took apart the car charger part and did my own little edits to it and made it into a solar source.
The regulating circuit and stepdown were included, the teardown of picture 2/3 was just to show what the car port adapter looked like inside.
I also had the cell in my window powering an LED for a couple weeks......just for fun
Where did the trickle circuit and stepdown come from?
sorry, I think i forgot to mention that, I made this a while ago but the solar charger came with it

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Tags: Solar panel
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