Hello! This is my first instructable so let me know what you guys all think!
For the longest time, I had been wanting a charger that I didn't have to plug in, one I can depend on when I am outside. SO This is what I came up with. An awesome easy to make solar charger! Many of the parts can be easily 3d printed!
So I will be showing you how to make a decent charger capable of charging an ordinary smartphone, battery backup, etc. over USB! The inverter says around 1-2 amps but do some math with your panel! I can't guarantee that! It can charge my LG G3 up around 10% in about 20ish minutes. But it does work and it is very handy :D
Step 1: Materials
• Clips to hold a solar panel like mine
• Stand for the panel like mine
• Case for the voltage inverter
• These can be found on the Thingiverse page for the project. (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1362371)
• A 20v~35v to 5v inverter mine so happens to have a USB port on it, which makes things very easy (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0140GZ55O?ref_=cm_sw_r_other_awd_0jLPwbQAQ0EWR)
• And of course, a solar panel! I have an old Instapark panel that's around 21v, any panel around that voltage should do!
• Soldering Iron
• Hot Glue Gun
• 3D Printer
• Your person
I have included the stl files for those squeamish to click links :)
Edit: It looks like the inverter is no longer available however this can work as well: http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00CGRMGZM/ref=pd_aw_sim_sbs_23_1?ie=UTF8&dpID=51QOrvkVzOL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL100_SR100%2C100_&refRID=06Y4M3383J5K5H75S1FT
Step 2: How to Assemble and Wire
First thing first is you need to 3d print the enclosure for the inverter, now you can use whichever one you can find, making a case for them isn't too hard, you can use an awesome program called 123D Design to make one, it is a very easy program to use! :D
Now my inverter has a little place to solder two wires to power it, I have the contacts labeled on the images. All you need to do is solder your wire from your solar panel to the charger inverter and then slide it into the box, I used a liberal amount of hot glue to make all of it stay and to insulate the wires from shorting or damaging. You pop on the lid and you should be good to go.
I glued the wires and the charger box to the back of the panel to be used.
Step 3: Time to Take an Adventure
The clips that you can print are to be used to Zip-Tie the whole assembly to a bookbag, bag, etc.
With the stands you can set it on the ground and let the panel soak up the sun!
Now you are off to enjoy your charging! Go on an awesome hike that you can still use your phone on!