One of the most popular projects for new Makers is creating their very own Solar USB Charger. While there are many right ways to do this, there are also many highly inefficient ways. In 2011 I posted deigns on how to put a simple USB charger in an Altoids tin. While this proved to be a very useful and fun project that design hasn't held up well over time. With each new generation of cell phone or MP3 Player batteries get bigger and my original design proves to be less useful.
This guide will show you step by step instructions on how to make your own Solar USB Charger as well as files on how to make a nice looking laser cut wooden box. This charger will charge most small USB devices such as cell phones, mp3 players, iPods, and iPhones. These direction are designed to use parts from my Solar USB Charger 2.0 Kit though you can also find many of these parts elsewhere online. You can also choose to ignore the laser cut wooden case aspect and use a different enclosure, though I'd recommend not using Altoids tin anymore.
This project was designed for beginner Makers and students. It requires a base knowledge of soldering. While you can charge small gadgets, this project is not appropriate for camping or to be relied on for extreme emergencies.
Time: 30 - 60 minutes