Introduction: Solar Charging Phone Charger on Steroids. Intro and Parts.
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When at the lake, out in the field, camping, picnicking, or have a power outage a backup battery to charge your phone is a great thing to have. Most backup batteries you can buy over the counter are sometimes not enough reserve power to weather a storm or have no way to charge them without AC power.
This power box runs on a 12 volt 7 amp hour battery. If you only charge your USB devices (phones, tablets, etc) on the 12v power port you should be able to charge a device up to 20 times before charging is needed.
For this build i will use solar charging and have a "quick charger" for standard AC charging.
parts required (or watch video)
5 lengths of wire (around a foot)
12v power port.
3 amp solar charge controller. The one i use has a diode to prevent power loss into the solar cell and has an internal replaceable fuse. Can be found on amazon.
On off switch of some kind.
Sealed lead acid battery. I used a 7amp/hr SLA battery easily found online or in any electronics store.
Solar panel. A rollup or flexible solar panel would be awesome for this. i don't own one, Just make sure the panel you use is set up for 12v charging and is no more than 2.5amps. Panel i used was a 10 watt good quality panel that pushes about half an amp at full power.
Step 1: The Wiring Testing and Running.
In the video i show how to wire up all the electrics.
I made this with electrical connectors instead of tinning everything together. The reason for this is so more people who don't have an iron can make one too. I do recommend tinning all the connections if you have the tools.
The way i have this box setup you are able to charge the battery and run your devices OR you can use just the solar panel to run your devices (if solar panel amperage is strong enough)
If you want to run on pure solar you can turn the switch to ALL OFF, hook up the solar panel and your usb or 12v device. This may not work for most power hungry devices on solar power.
To run the battery and charge the system turn the switch to ON. When the solar panel is connected with the switch ON the battery will charge.when you have no devices hooked to it.
Quick(er) AC charging:
The quick charger is how you charge from standard AC wall power. I used a 14.4v 1 amp (1000ma) power supply. The power switch on the box needs to be in the ON position before charging. charge time on the quick(er) charger should be around 5 to 6 hours for a full charge.
Step 2: Found a Box! Let's Make It Fit.
I found an old GPU box to use as my container. I bet the community can find (or print) cooler cases but i like to use what is around and free. This is when you start mocking up all the parts. You can do this any way you want. fitment will vary with whatever box you use.
Make sure you have plenty of room for wires.
Step 3: Securing the Electrics.
I drilled holes in the top of the box to fit the power port and the switch. Two holes were drilled in the box to show the lights on the charge controller.
All wiring will be installed the same way it was hooked up in the previous step. Everything in the box will be secured with gobs of hot glue to make sure it all stays solid.
Step 4: Charging With the Panel.
Time to test out the finished product.
Using the solar panel the battery is charging (switch must be in ON position)
Step 5: Finished Product.
Here it is! All of the power you could possibly need to keep your phone alive in the wild. Easily charged from solar power or the quick charger. A handle was made from scrap wire so i can carry it around.
If you have any questions feel free to ask here on Instructables or on my YouTube channel Thriftstore Hacker on YouTube
Participated in the
Solar Contest 2016