What's so cool about Mr. Buzz?
- Uses flexible solar panels that are extremely light, unbreakable and can be mounted on nearly anything.
- Rechargeable batteries in the cup let you charge / power your device even if the sun isn't out.
- Total power storage of around 2,500 mA, more than enough for a full iPhone recharge, or multiple recharges for smaller devices, like a shuffle.
- Has a USB 'Type A' jack, the same jack that's on your computer, so you can connect to any USB device.
Step 1: FAQ
Mr. Buzz is a solar powered USB charger. A flexible solar panel (PowerFilm) is used to charge Nimh batteries, so Mr. Buzz can charge up your USB device even if there isn't any sun.
What can I charge with it?
Mr. Buzz uses a 'Type A' USB Jack, the same style USB jack that's on your computer, so it will physically connect to nearly any USB device. That said, some devices don't like being charged by a battery pack or solar panel.
Usually, if you plug your device into your computer and it needs to install software before it begins charging, it will not work. Here's what I've tested:
Apple iPod: Mini, Nano, Shuffle 1G/2G, Classic, Touch, iPhone
Creative Zen Micro
Nintendo DS (with an adapter cable)
ATT Fuze, aka Touch Pro
PS3 Bluetooth Headset (in holder)
Verizon PPC 6700 (HTC Apache)
Creative Zen Stone
So far, any device that doesn't work with my usb wall charger will also not work with Mr. Buzz. I've tried;
PS3 Wireless Controller
Xbox 360 Wireless Controller
How long to does it take to recharge?
It should take the same amount of time as if it were plugged into a wall charger or any other device. To charge my phone from dead to 75% takes 90 minutes (same as a wall charger).
How much juice does it have?
Total power storage is about 2,500 milliamps. This is enough to charge my phone (which has a 1,300 mA battery) about 2 full times. An iPhone's battery is 1,200 mA, so you should about 2 charges, too. Smaller devices (like a shuffle) will recharge many, many times.
What batteries should I use?
You should only use rechargeable AA batteries (Nickel-Metal Hydride). With 4 batteries, Mr. Buzz provides 4.8v-5.2v.
Do I have to use batteries?
Yes - the solar panel slowly trickle-charges your batteries, and they aren't large enough to directly power your USB device.
Mr. Buzz was designed by James Long at Lil' Brother SMT Assembly. A kit or bare PCB are available at Gadget Gangster.