This is a bit of an unusual build, as it's hard to define as a single object. It uses a Solar-powered battery to power a phone charger, two sets of LEDs and a USB port. But it is very useful and being housed in a book, looks pretty cool too :) It certainly solved my first-world problem of being too far away from wall socket to charge my phone. Total cost for me came to £14 but I had some parts already. If you were starting from scratch, I would estimate about £18 all-in.

You will need:
For all parts:
A Book (small enough to be easily portable, big enough to fit all the gadgetry in)
Craft Knife
Soldering Iron
Helping Hand (see my other instructable #shamelessplug)
Wire cutters/strippers (you can use a small penknife)
Magnets (4 to 6 fairly strong and small ones)
PVA Glue
For the Phone charger:
A solar powered phone charger (spend at least £10: anything cheaper will be useless. I used a PowerBee model available on Amazon)
A phone (yeah...)
USB type A PCB mounting socket
For the LED lights:
3 x 3mm superbright white LEDs (about 5000 mcd) (all the electronic components in this Instructable are available in the UK from spiratronics.com)
3 x 3mm superbright colour cycling LEDs (about 5000 mcd)
Either a SPDT or a DPDT slider switch
6 x 47r carbon film resistors
Microswitch (or lever switch) with normally closed contacts

You can make this Instructable without including either the USB socket or the LED array, comment if you're not sure how.
Let's get started!

Step 1: Electronics

Getting the electronics right is the most important part of this project as it can dictate the size of book you will need. If you have a Breadboard (electronic type, not kitchen utensil :P), this is a great time to use it and make sure all your circuity works. The basic circuit diagram is included in the pictures, along with my breadboard version. If you don't have access to one (they're very cheap) you can just solder it all together, as I did next (see picture).
N.B. The reason I've soldered to the microswitch's normally closed contacts is that when the book is closed, the lever is pressed down, turning the circuit off. This means that the LEDs turn on automatically when you open the book. You can replace it with a normal toggle switch if you don't want it to turn on automatically. The slider switch lets you choose which LEDs are on: either torch or disco mode :)

If you want any further help or a walkthrough on this part of the project, please comment.

About This Instructable




Bio: I'm an Engineering student making cool stuff in my spare time, mostly modelmaking and electronics - at least, it's cool if you're as ... More »
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