Introduction: Solar Rc Conversion

Picture of Solar Rc Conversion

This instructable will teach you how to use the sun to your advantage. Those silly little remote controlled cars always drain the life from my perfectly good batteries and i wanted them to stop, it's really not nice you know! To solve the problem i bought some rechargeable ones but then i had to take them out and wait for them to charge while my car sat sadly un-driven and alone. so i mounted a recharger right on top of it!

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

first you will need:

a hummer from radio shack ($7.99),
a solar walkway light, a screwdriver,
some pliers and electrical tape, a
soldering gun, a hobby knife, and 2 AA
rechargeable batteries.

Step 2: Open It!

Picture of Open It!

now open the rc car and take out the display stand screws.
take off the body.

Step 3: Prepare It!

Picture of Prepare It!

cut off the axle (it sounds bad but its not it helps when you solder it)

Step 4: Dissassimble It!

Picture of Dissassimble It!

take apart the solar light (the solar panel is already gone)

Step 5: Cut It!

Picture of Cut It!

cut out the sun roof and run the solar panel wires through it

Step 6: Solder It!

Picture of Solder It!

solder the solar panel's wires to the battery leads

Step 7: Sew It Up!

Picture of Sew It Up!

tape anything that needs tape and put the screws into the body and the rechargeable batteries in . The batteries will charge if left in the sun. Although it doesn't run directly off of solar power it does store the suns energy and put it to use as well as cut down on the amount of batteries in garbage cans.This is just a small scale but in the future i have hopes that this same basic principle will be used on full sized cars. The solar panel wouldn't be from a light and the batteries wouldn't be AA's but it would be nice to park your car outside in the morning at empty and when you go to see a movie at night its all charged up.Thanks for looking this is my first instructable!


charles gray (author)2013-05-20

A solar conversion is a fun and educational way to bring new zing to an old toy RC car. Although hobby-size solar panels produce low currents more suited to charging batteries than turning motors, they can still supply enough juice to run a small car with low power requirements.

explosivetron (author)2008-09-14

ok wait a sec..... where is ur blocking diode? if you dont have one of them... it sounds silly but the battery will just give the solar panel back the energy when the solar panel isnt supplying current.... also how many volts does the hummer require to run.... if it uses 4 normal AA batteries thats 6 volts if you use rechargables it gives it only 4.8V... it just seems a bit tacky just to whack the solder leads from a rubbish solar panel into battery leads.... u might have to use the power from the batteries and the solar panel to get the thing to run... i dont know... did u already get it working.... please tell me how it worked because you cannot hope to charge 4.8 volts with a solar panel that only gives 2.... i dont know it could be more.. u might need to wire two solar panels in series to achieve the right amount of volts and use a 5 volt regulator with a heat sink

Mr.NHRA (author)explosivetron2008-09-14

yes it worked and i forgot to ad the step when i added a switch to the solar panel so it wouldn't blow itself up.

bwb4 (author)Mr.NHRA2011-11-06

Um.... could you please explain that to me?

amando96 (author)explosivetron2009-02-24

a transformer?

explosivetron (author)amando962009-02-24

nah a regulator... coz a transformer steps down the voltage and current depending on rating and how many winds it has... it's drop is proportional to the number of winds in the coil. A regulator is simply that... it regulates the voltage ... not sure about current so you can go above the voltage and not damage the circuit, but it doesnt generate the difference if your under there like $4 aussie

12V (author)explosivetron2009-05-13

a transformer will only run on ac! but it can step down or up a voltage.

explosivetron (author)12V2009-05-13

I think you can get DC transformers.... im not sure... but I didnt suggest it was DC haha, but it can transform AC into DC like in your phone or ipod charger

12V (author)explosivetron2009-05-13

if you want 6volts you need 5aa batteries (1.2x5=6)
4 batteries is 4.8v
it should not burn out if you use 7.2v but your car will be faster!(6 batteries)

explosivetron (author)12V2009-05-13

I know that, i was merely commenting on the fact he thinks that a rechargeable battery has 1.5 volts... i could have suggested he needs 5 for 6volts, but without enough voltage from the solar panel, the batteries are not going to charge. the other thing is if you increase the volts it will not burn out striaght away but it will eventually scrap the motor. Its like using 12volts on a 6 volt motor... sure it will run super fast for a while until it just dies.

Mr.NHRA (author)explosivetron2008-12-25

sorry if i am not very good at these instructables im just 12

explosivetron (author)Mr.NHRA2008-12-25

hey man thats cool... at least ur not instructing people about stuff they could kill themselves with. but yea this looks like a really good project.. its about being environmentally friendly which is good.. youll soon learn more about electrical stuff.

Mr.NHRA (author)explosivetron2008-12-26

thx and I'm trying

Mr.NHRA (author)explosivetron2008-09-14

it runs off of two AA s and that's 3 volts

explosivetron (author)Mr.NHRA2008-09-14

1.2 times 2 equals 2.4V for a rechargeable

kudach (author)2010-05-06

Do you have any better pictures of the leads... my car looks nothing like that on the circit board.... i cant figure out how to connect the pannel to the leads

Mr.NHRA (author)kudach2010-05-07

 Just where the metal from the battery compartment comes through the plastic frame. Be careful to get the positive on the positive and so on.

mr.RC (author)2010-02-11

nice dude i like it i did this project in 06 i won gold but not trophy

overall nice hummer :)

Mr.NHRA (author)mr.RC2010-02-13

 good enough for me! How do you start a group? ill try to figure it out until you get back to me

mr.RC (author)Mr.NHRA2010-02-13

hey yea did you see my instructables they are good i got 30 views in 4 hours.

ill try to find a way to make a group ok.

Mr.NHRA (author)mr.RC2010-02-14

 yeah i didnt see any of them lol i read them though.

mr.RC (author)Mr.NHRA2010-02-14

i published it yeterday and i allready have 52 views

Mr.NHRA (author)mr.RC2010-02-11

 Did you like enter it in a contest or how did you win anything?

mr.RC (author)Mr.NHRA2010-02-12

no your project was similar to mine i won gold at the science fair.

do you want to be friends and make a group?

Mr.NHRA (author)mr.RC2010-02-12

 yeah "The Science of RC's" group if you can prove your 13!

mr.RC (author)Mr.NHRA2010-02-13

i am 12 but in 6 more days ill be 13

mr.RC (author)2010-02-12

no i won it in my science project in 06. and im 13 years old :) wana be freinds yes or no pls say yes

mr. clean (author)2009-12-06

you definatey should have put a blocking diode in the positive line of the solar pnnel to keep the batteries from dischargeing through it, use the one from the solar light  they are usually good ones with very low voltage drop.

Mr.NHRA (author)2009-06-16

Yeah! 5000 views!!!

budsiskos (author)2008-08-10

could this run directly off solar and not use batteries how did you wire the solar panel in?did you connect the negative lead to the positive bater terminal or the negative one?

Mr.NHRA (author)budsiskos2008-08-11

no it cant run directly i tried. and no i put the negative on the negative.

12V (author)Mr.NHRA2009-05-13

the solar panel does not produce enough current the solar panel produces about 50ma and the car needs 600ma and that's why the batteries go flat so quickly. the battery will charge with only 50ma but it takes about 18 hours to charge but the battery releases this energy very quickly and discharges much more quickly than it charges.

explosivetron (author)Mr.NHRA2008-09-14

you could run it directly if u found a solar panel capable of supplying the right amount of Voltage and current say 6V at 500ma... maybe one capable of supplying that when its not a full capacity

awang8 (author)explosivetron2009-01-08

But then you'll need lots of sunshine... It ain't no work indoors if directly.

Sorry. People usually like bad grammar.

Mr.NHRA (author)awang82009-01-12

correct i planned on driving it on the sidewalk in front of my house which is outside. i should have thought of indoors

budsiskos (author)Mr.NHRA2008-08-11

ok, but about how long does it take for the panel to charge the batteries?

Mr.NHRA (author)budsiskos2008-08-12

like 12 hours

thepaul93 (author)Mr.NHRA2008-09-16


novato16 (author)2008-11-07

OK then what step did u skip so i dint blow my self

Mr.NHRA (author)novato162008-11-18

i skipped the "solder a switch to the red wire on the solar panel " step

budsiskos (author)2008-08-09

what solar light did you use?

Mr.NHRA (author)budsiskos2008-08-10

a rainbow light it was like 20 bucks

explosivetron (author)Mr.NHRA2008-09-14

if u dont wanna pay $20 go to some cheap shop... i dont know about america but there is many cheapie shops with decent solar lights.... get about 5 for $20 and it gives you more to work with

Mr.NHRA (author)explosivetron2008-09-14

ya, i actually had one that the bulbs burnt out on so i salvaged it. thanks and good idea.

heavydeath (author)2008-08-17

good idea i am making on to fit a tank how many volts should i use if my tank runs on six

explosivetron (author)heavydeath2008-09-14

u answered ur own question.... but any way if ur tank runs on 6V then u need 5 rechargeables and solar panels capable of supplying 6V to charge the batteries

Mr.NHRA (author)heavydeath2008-08-21

idk i think like mabey 10 but like i say idk

Mr.NHRA (author)Mr.NHRA2008-08-23

ya! use a regulater! thanks neardood

Arepa (author)2008-09-10

Hey what rechargeable batteries are you using.. I'm thinking of making my own Li ion polymer cells. Also if you dont mind me asking.. how heavy is the hummer? any chance tt you know hte motor's torque? Thanks!

Mr.NHRA (author)Arepa2008-09-10

im using some green batteries i got at wallmart. they were in a 5 pack. i dont know how heavy or how much torque the hummer has. ( it didnt show up on my scale )

About This Instructable



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