How to Make a Cheap Solar Usb Charger





Introduction: How to Make a Cheap Solar Usb Charger

In this instructable I am going to show you how to make a solar usb charger from old garden lights 

With that charger you can charge every device that uses the usb port to charge like : (mp3 player, iphone,psp's etc.)

(In my solar charger i put some led's to be able to use it as a torch)

Step 1: What You Will Neeed

1) two solar panels from garden lights
2) 4AA rechargable baterys
3) 4AA baterry holder
4) one female usb connector
5) a small button
6) a case
7) some wires
8) three 3.6v led's
9) two 1n5817 blocking diodes
10) one dpdy 6 pin push switch
11) one 150 ohm resistor

Step 2: Taking the Solar Garden Lights Apart

Open the solar light and take the solar panel out of the light

Inside there is a small circuit where you can take the two diodes and also some leds

(the battery that come with the light will be about 800mha. we don'd need that low capacity.The capacity that we need from each baterry has to be about 2000mha)

Step 3: Diagram

Now you need to heat up your soldering iron and wire every thing as seen the diagram so be carefull and make sure that all the connections are covered with electrical tape

Step 4: Some Photos




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    Can the smaller round ones be use and how do I know how many I will need?

    Could you do this without the leds? How would we change it to do this

    since you post about 3 years ago I doubt i will get a reply but, my son is doing a solar power project and wants change something into a solar powered remote. Will using the panel from a garden light work directly? I'm not sure how to set any of this up

    hello! if you are talking about a tv remote it might work.

    Actually a ps3 remote. They house a rechargable 1800 mah battery. We bought a 5v solar panel that if we can somehow create a way to mount it and plug into a mini usb we could hand it in a window to charge. Directly. He has to make an invention and although it wouldn't be overly practical, for his 3rd grade science fair, it would be a great way to show how to use solar power In a way a child would understand. I just want to make sure we don't blow up any hands or remotes in the process.

    it should work. the chaarge will be slow ut I see no reason why it would not work. I would recomend checking the voltage output of the panel just to make sure its around 5V or you could potentionaly damage the remote.

    Could you possibly re-post the schematic with labels that will download in PDF format?

    Could you please send me a copy of this design also? I'm trying to solder your charger here but my iphone 4 doesn't get charged. HAve to say I have soldered everything except the solarpanels. But my batteries are chaged so I guess the LEDs should at least work or the iphone should charge?


    In order to charge an IPhone or apple device you actually need to use a different set-up as apple devises need more input than just a charge. The usb cable has 4 wires.. red & black for power and green and white for data. The IPhone and other apple devises use the green and white wires to confirm that the charger is compatible with it. so you will need a different circuit in order to charge your apple devises.

    NiMH will show a higher voltage ( 1.3-4) The nominal voltage is close to NICd at 1.2.
    Some solar lights use two cells so it is a good idea to put the solar cell on a voltage tester in bright light and use accordingly