Step 8: Adding Extras.

Several months after finishing this project I still feel the urge to add further functionality to my portable solar generator. Since my headunit has a front USB port I used a traditional 4GB flash memory stick, trouble is that 4GB isn't much space for music and large memory sticks of 32GB or larger are a bit pricy, I thought why not buy a USB powered hard disk drive and incorporate it into my box. I visited Curry's electricals and purchased a Western Digital Bus Powered SE 500GB drive for £39.99.

Being an external box it was prone to knocks and drops so I decided to mount it inside my solar generator with a separate USB port on the side so a separate cable can be connected to this port and then to the headunit, or even to the PC to edit music on the drive. Another problem appeared, with the drive mounted inside I couldn't see the LED indicator to make sure it was safe to unplug the drive, therefore it was necessary to have an external LED mounted on my box. I designed a circuit that uses an LDR blu-tacked to the hard disk drive LED to flash when the HDD light flashed, instead of opening the drive and physically connecting an external LED that would void the drives warranty. The circuit diagram is shown here, designed to run off 12 VDC to power an LED between 2-3 volts in my case, an LED mounted tidily in a 3mm panel mount clip from Maplin's for 34p. Now I can have my music powered by the sun, currently I have 2700+ songs on my HDD, however my particular Sony headunit can only read 128 Albums max at 500 Songs per folder, this is a problem for me because I can't fit all my music on that I'd like to.
This looks awsome, however if you could have made it a slight bit smaller or added something like this. Perhaps you wouldent even need the Tv Screen at all <br>you could connect:<br> <br>mini itx motherboard.<br>500gb sata hard drive.<br>2 gig ram.<br>duel core 1.6ghz processor. <br><br>i think if you did them improvements it would be a 1 of a kind thing that could possibly be one of the best ever built! <br><br>http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/12-VGA-TFT-Touch-Screen-Monitor-Car-PC-GPS-B12-/370269880656?pt=UK_Computing_ComputerComponents_Monitors&amp;hash=item5635ce0150<br>
a TFT touch screen from a car to be used in a house right........ why the hell would you want to look at a small screen in your home? <br>He used a car radio as there 12 volts and often have good tuners in them and maybe had it laying about.... <br>Lastly this is an Assumption on my part but i going to run with it, because this guy made this for his home and wanted it portable i would think this guy is in a rented place like most people now days, so therefore it is portable, i also live in Rented property and installing a Solar system for rented property is a nightmare in some cases would not be worth your time in other cases you would not be allowed in nearly all cases you only stay at rented property for about 4 to 10 years if lucky thus this guy made a portable solar unit that looks great.
This is like the best solar party power station ! Well done on building this!
Excellent guide! Your attention to detail and well-thought out design is very inspiring. I especially appreciate the time you took to detail your calculations! Most of the time, authors fail to provide that info, if they even did the calculations themselves, at all!<br><br>Keep up the good work!
An amazing guide - thank you for sharing your knowledge, and hey thanks for you advice on youtube - all the best,<br><br>Coooooperman :)
When I first looked at the photos, I thought &quot;wow, huge box for only one battery; what's up with that?&quot;.<br> <br> But then I realized this is a solar-powered portable entertainment center. Not bad at all (but maybe the title is a bit off).<br>
Where can I find the wiring diagram pls ?<br>
<p>I really like this set up you have and I am wondering if it will work for me? let me explain my situation. I have to decided to go on a very extended camping trip. yes, living out of a tent to save up some money. I have everything figured out but my electrical supply and was wondering if you could help me. I don't know if you have ever camped much, but the price of ice is climbing and I won't be able to do it where I will be. I need a power source that will supply a dorm refridgerator freezer, trust me the freezer is big enough for an ice tray, and also my laptop and to charge my phone. all my lighting will be propane or coleman fuel. I have my heating and cooling for personel use figured out.</p><p>thanks in advance, </p><p>Robert</p>
<p>I found good support on http://inplix.com</p>
<p>First of all, good job. My question is, do you have any documentation on building the junction box.?</p>
<p>this is so awesome!!! </p>
Good project and a professional finish, and Geek Sexy, i assume like my self you live in a Rented property due to the fact you using this at home, you have inspired me. <br>I currently working on some idea's to make a portable power system for the house it would be on wheels, but i plan to make it grid tie with some way to just plug in the meter box.
Good work. I love to utilize natural resources like sun, wind, water to generate power.
Commercial Solar Panels are Expensive!<br> <strong>Fact: </strong>It will take you more than 10 years to pay back<br> <strong>Solution: </strong>Using Surplus Solar Cells You can get pay back in 1-2 years<br> There is an Engineer from Chicago his name is John Sommer<br> He explain it All in his <a href="http://topdiysolarpanels.com/" rel="nofollow">Solar Panels Website</a>
woa this is crazy!
One problem why have a tv on camping?? it's for the fun of camping. I mean I am twelve and I think that that is sad :(
ya but if you live in a area with regular power outages it would be nice. and the radio is nice if you are having a party
Forgot to include this last time. oops. It is a great write-up though.
You could also build your own solar panels for cheaper.
want this work long from want can run off this OK ? can tell me all write me hear or at my e-mail. espiritwild09@aol.com tell thing you have time OK? thank you for your time

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