If you have any comments on how to improve the documentation then please do not hesitate to say :)
Step 1: The Components Needed
The Copper Stripboard contains rows of copper tracks. Each track is electrically separate from its neighbour. It contains holes for your components. The boards I supply are larger than needed, this will allow you to expand the system at some future date.
The Batter Holder ... errrr holds your batteries.... and comes with two pins, one for the positive and one for the negative ends, they will be soldered into the stripboard.
100 Ohm resister - at one point this was needful in the kit as the LED couldn't cope with some of the voltages in the experiments - however the new LEDs do and the resistor is simply in there because it is advertised as such! Maybe you will have need of it when you expand the system.
LED - this is a high intensity light emitting diode. 3.2-3.6V forward voltage, with 10000mcd at 20ma. A LED must be placed in the circuit the correct way around. The longer leg should receive current from the positive terminal/direction.
1N5817 DIODE - this diode allows current to flow in only one direction - this prevents battery power discharging through the solar panel at night. It drops about 0.2V from the system. This blocking diode also needs placing in the circuit in the correct orientation. The diode has a circular band across its barrel at one end of the diode. This should be closest to the negative/ground.
Wires - Usually I include at least 4 wires - a black and red wire for the solar panel, a brown wire as a jumper and another wire for use in unsoldered testing.
Solar Panel - This image shows the back of the solar panel. On your solar panel in the centre of the left side and the right side you will see a small panel of smooth metal - this is the negative/positive terminals. I have marked the positive side by adding black dots on that side. This solar panel will output a max of 3V at 150ma.
Warning - I suggest you read the whole document before making any experiments - information is contained throughout the document which will improve your understanding of charging batteries using solar power.
HINT - you should probably purchase a multimeter and learn how to use it - this will tell you important information on typical voltages and currents you solar panel will produce in varying weather situations.
It is quite possible to use this kit without having to do any soldering at all - however at some point you will need to so I include both soldered and non soldered options.
http://www.kpsec.freeuk.com/solder.htm is a good site explaining soldering.