Introduction: What's Inside? #4: Solar Garden Light! (Salvaging Electronic Components)

This is a solar garden light that suddenly stopped working. Why not take it apart? :)

Step 1: What's Inside?

I've added notes on the pictures to explain the components, You can see them by hovering your mouse over the pictures.

Solar Panel

350 Milli-Amp hour NI-CAD Battery

1 LED

Useless short legged resistor

3 small screws

Do you like taking apart electronic devices? I've made a collection of a couple"What's Insides" If you're interested:

https://www.instructables.com/id/Whats-Inside-Takin...

Comments

author
gizmologist made it!(author)2015-09-01

That "resistor" is an inductor. These devices use a voltage booster circuit to drive the LED, and the only part not inside the blob is the inductor, otherwise known as a coil.

author
Yonatan24 made it!(author)2015-09-01

Does that mean that the resistor helps to higher the voltage?
Is that even possible?

author
gizmologist made it!(author)2015-09-01

As I said, it is not a resistor. It is an Inductor. A circuit with an inductor can indeed raise voltage. This is how those cell phone chargers that use 2 AA batteries work. They take the 3 volts from the batteries and turn it into 5 volts for the USB output. Look up "Joule Thief" on this site or Google and you'll get plenty of examples.

author
Stan1y made it!(author)2015-08-29

I've got several of these that are slowly dying mainly because they are not very water proof,I told my wife they have salvagable parts now I'm vindicated /

author
Troutd made it!(author)2015-08-29

How do you clean solar panel?

author
Yonatan24 made it!(author)2015-08-29

I use alcohol pad wipes (The ones that are used to clean gadget screens and glasses)

These are the ones I use:

http://www.officedepot.com/a/products/744125/CURAD...

author
Yonatan24 made it!(author)2015-08-28

If you want to charge batteries that have a higher capacity, You'd have to have a bigger solar panel that can supply more current...

The resistor is useless for me because I wasn't able to salvage it because the legs were really short

author
nathanaloysiusbash made it!(author)2015-08-28

Wow so simple. No charging circuitry or anything. Hmm. makes you wonder if larger batteries could be charged in that simple way. I don't think the resistor is probably useless. I really dont know what it's for, but it's got to be for something. Maybe limiting the current charging the battery or acting as a buffer between the battery and the led so as not to stress it. I dont know. At least in the minds of the manufacturer there had to be some logic to justify the additional component.