I had a solar charger, but wit the years the complex electronics supporting it gave up. But when I took it apart I noticed that the panels them selfs were still working. Wanting to reuse them I came up with this. A programmable solar charger.

by a simple shorting block and headers you can 'program' it so the output is:
  • only from a single panel (left or right)
  • the solar cells are in series
  • the solar cells are in parallel.
I will try to explain here how you can make this yourself.

Step 1: What you will need.

  • A wooden plank (or a project box) to put it in.
  • A soldering iron (and solder of course)
  • Wires in different colors (just one color will work just as well, but can be very confusing)
  • A shorting block and headers (or something else you see fit for the job, if you have enough switches, they should do the job just as well)
  • The most important: solar cells.
  • Triangular piece of wood (optional: it only serves to make the protecting case)
  • Some way to make a variable outfit. I got a gadget key chain at a festival which should charge your phone. It had a cable where you could fit multiple outfit plugs in. but multiple cables should work as well.
  • A hot glue gun
  • A saw
  • A drill
  • Sanding paper
ok i like this very much and have u thought anout using lighter wood or even plastic that looks like wood i like ur project voted for
this instructable is originally an entry in the green contest, but now only the hurricane laser contest is in the header :( <br>thank you very much for your vote!
Thank you very much!<br>I have considered other materials, but I really like working with wood. Only the board where the electronics are glued on is a quite dense wood (from a wine case) the protective box is much thinner and lighter. The box parts came from left overs from making a house model. I try to reuse as much as possible.<br>plastic for the cover could work, but plastics ain't green ;-)
ok but it looks good
i wonder where i can buy solar panel like that
As soon as I posted this a few of my friends wanted that I made one for them, so I'm searching for some panels as well. <br>Just google &quot;buy solar cell&quot; or &quot;buy solar panel&quot; that brought me to this: http://sunboy2011.en.made-in-china.com/product/fbUQBlKHnOck/China-5V230mA-Small-Epoxy-Resin-Mono-Solar-Cell.html <br>but I'm going to the local electronics store to ask their opinion where I could buy solar panels. <br> <br>ps: The panels in this project are actually barely strong enough to charge my phone but they cant charge iPods or smart phones so you might want to take this into account when buying new ones ;)
Very nice project. Thanks for sharing. :-)
No problem at all. ;) <br>If I don't do something productive in vacations I go nuts, so this is really fun to do for me.

About This Instructable


77 favorites


Bio: I'm currently studying chemistry at the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium. my interests go as far as electronics, mechanics, gardening, sewing, woodwork,... I ... More »
More by Jakwiebus: Sexy advent calendar How to engrave glass. programmable solar charger
Add instructable to: