Introduction: Solar Cell Phone Charger for Idiots Like Me

Picture of Solar Cell Phone Charger for Idiots Like Me

edit: this thing did not work! back to the drawin board. I will redo this whole idea because I'm just too stubborn to give up. that and I now has a bunch of sola panels and no garden lights lol. but I have been studying up on circuits and how to wire things and I will figure it all out. I want to make this charger so I can have a way to stay connected even when out in the woods or on vacation.::::::;: this is the basis for my idea. I will update this as I get pics and more info. but I wanted to at least get this posted and start getting feedback. im going to use a car cigarette lighter USB charger and several solar panels to reach twelve volts. I have four so far that reach around 5-6 volts. I just want to power/charge a cell phone due to my job site has no power. size of this contraption is not an issue. I just want to use things I already own and not spend a lot. I can solder and have made several 9V led lights for various purposes. I am still learning though so be kind.

Step 1: Gather Materials

Picture of Gather Materials

materials I used.
soldering iron-bought one from radio shack long time ago.
solder- same with this stuff it works ok .
hobby razor- dollar general for a buck.
multi meter- $5 on amazon.
solar path light-(Westinghouse turbo rocket for a buck each at Walmart)
USB charger for cigarette lighter plug. this one was free and a giveaway. I have bought a good one for five bucks and recently picked up 2 more for a dollar each at a dollar tree store.

Step 2: Prepare Materials

Picture of Prepare Materials

the solar panels came from cheap Walmart lights called Westinghouse turbo rocket. I took the solar light part off the clear lens, unscrewed the led and pulled it out of the way. I snipped/pulled the wires away from the battery holder and solar panel holder. I removed the wires and left the solar panels wires. I took a hobby knife or box cutter and cut away the plastic surrounding the solar panel carefully. after prying out the panel I checked the wire connections and prepared the rest of them. I then took the cigarette USB adapter and dismantled it. I took the charging circuit out and and removed the clip that hits the side of the cigarette socket. I then soldered the panels together with positive to negative. I did this with six panels and checked the voltage after time I added a panel. I stopped when the voltage reached 12volts. I then soldered the wires to the positive tab and the negative to the connection that is the USB female.

Step 3: Testing

Picture of Testing

after I made all the connections I tested the voltage. 12volts! yes! it was a hair over at like 12.08 or so. I then checked for voltage at the USB connections and I only see .95volts. the led is NOT lit and it is not charging my phone. so back the drawing board. also need to test it on a car battery connection to ensure the USB adapter is still working.


gbayliss (author)2014-06-10

Good luck with your project. I have a commercial solar charger for my phone is useless. If I want any real powerI have to charge the internal cell first trying to run it on solar alone is poor. Keep researching I'm sure you will succeed

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