Does a zener diode work the same as a rectifying diode? Answered

I am making a solar charger and I can only find zener diodes and the voltage and amps I need, do they work the same as a rectifying diode? Thank You!

Question by JaredsProjects   |  last reply


Can you power an LED diode using headphone wiring?

If I were to cut up a pair of headphones for the wiring, would I be able to us them to power an LED diode and connecting one end of the chopped off wiring to the LED and the other to a 9V battery. Would it work? 

Question by ViktorS16   |  last reply


How do I connect a wind turbine to a battery bank through a 1N1190A blocking diode?

Diode I have is seen here http://www.reuk.co.uk/40-Amp-Blocking-Diode-1N1190A.htmI am building the "Chispito" turbine, but I don't have the blocking diode they recommend, I have this one.

Question by groundhog593   |  last reply


How do I select the proper diode for my solar panel battery charger? Answered

I have a solar panel that puts out 3V at 40 mA. I have seen the Instructables on the site and read them all, and while they explain why you need a diode, they do not tell how they decided on which one to use. What goes into this? I would like to know how to calculate these things for myself.

Question by phalanx447   |  last reply


Help me with choosing proper diode for my solar panel battery charger

I am have two of these solar panels:http://www.flexsolarcells.com/index_files/OEM_Components/Flex_Cells/pages/Flex_Cells_Individual_06_SP42_37.phpVoltage4.2 VCurrent22 mAVoltage (oc)5.9 VCurrent (sc)30 mAI have connected the two in parallel for more current. I am making a charger for 3.7V mobile battery. What would be the most appropriate diode to use?Thanks for your help.

Topic by huzefa   |  last reply


solar cells can someone instruct me where to put the diode pos or neg .in the panel or down stream thanks ?

Solar cells can someone instruct me where to put the diode pos or neg .in the panel or down stream thanks ?

Question by junkyardenergy   |  last reply


How could you hack an incandescent light bulb to last longer?

I found a youtube video (can't find it now) that showed how to attach a silicon diode to the cap of a bulb before inserting into the socket. Apparently this reduces the power so the filament burns cooler and lasts for several years in constant use. However the video wasn't very clear, especially for someone like me who knows little about electronics. Could someone do a fool-proof hack instructable? There was also mention of a commercial version which I can't find anywhere. It was a diode-cap combo that you place between the bulb cap and the socket. Or are there any other ideas? It would be timely with all the health concerns over CFLs and the imminent  lack of availability of incandescents! With thanks.

Question by sollysolly   |  last reply


How does the joule thief circuit work? Answered

The best i can figure, the current coming through toroid turns on the transistor, then the collector drains the current to the negative, while pulling it from the emiter back through the diode to the collector? if i am correct, how would this boost the voltage?

Question by revelae   |  last reply


cheap easy pyro detonators!!!!!

Get some silicon diodes 3 for a 1.99 at radio shack or cheaper online tape one to a match and ad 6 to 12 volts to it and after a few seconds it will overload and get real hot! then it with ignite the match which will then ignite the visco fuse. original idea from jolly roger creator of anarchist's cookbook

Topic by struckbyanarrow   |  last reply


How can I safely charge AA batteries with solar? Answered

I am going to build a solar charger, but I am not sure if it is safe to just apply the power from the solar panel, with a blocking diode, to the batteries to charge it.  Will this method hurt the batteries if they are charged for to long.  Could I just open up a regular battery charger and use the components in that? Thanks in advance

Question by JaredsProjects   |  last reply


Has anyone converted their Christmas string or icicle lights to solar?

I'd like to learn how to connect a small solar cell to power my Christmas lights so I don't have to plug them in. I expect that this would include some rechargeble batteries, and a blocking diode? What about resistors? Any help with this idea and the steps involved would be welcomed.

Question by arnold54   |  last reply


I am a beginner on LED lights. Do you have an instruction manual on how to connect LED lights?

I am very interested on working with LED lights but don't know which end to connect first nor how to compute for diodes, resistors, etc., and how to connect them. I hope you can help me. Thanks and more power.

Question by    |  last reply


Stepper motor Wind Generator Help!

 I need to know how to wire up my Stepper motor for my wind generator to get as much volts and amps.  It is a PM55L-048-HP69 Taken out from an old HP Printer. HERE IS THE DATASHEET All I need is someone to explain to me how to wire it up and make a rectifier for it. THanks Much!!!

Question by azngiant1212   |  last reply


230V 50 HZ Microwave does not heat with my 230V 60 HZ Power Line Supply

My brand new European oven that I bought did not heat from day 1. The table turns and the grill works, but the microwave function does not. I know a little about the HV transformer, the capacitor and diode and magnetron. What could be the problem ? If the line frequency is the cause what can I do to convert it ? maybe change the capacitor for one of lower capacitance ?

Question by spin707   |  last reply


i need help please, with solar cells! please please :) Answered

I need to charge my iphone on the go, i have solar cells in an array to total up 4.5 volts, i have a diode ( black, gray stripe on one end) connected to a female USB plug, the little iphone adapter puts out 5 volts, please help me if you can! thank you for your time!

Question by led235   |  last reply


Planning my simple solar powered USB charger

1. Would this circuit work to charge batteries and a USB? and then the batteries charge the USB at night? http://img12.imageshack.us/img12/5403/circuitr.jpg. (the solar panel is changed: it's 6v 200mA) 2. I need a diode to prevent battery discharging, and maybe a voltage regulator for USB. Does anyone know where i can get this and where i can put it? 3.Is this solar panel a good fit for the circuit and my needs? The battery and USB are in parallel so voltage would be fine? 4. To connect the USB, just connect positive to red, and negative to black, right? Also i hear you need to bridge the other two connections as well to make them work with my iTouch, how do I do this?

Topic by FireFreek 


Solar Cell/Panel Wiring?

Here I have 2 questions inside a question. 1. How to connect 2 or more solar cells/panels; series, parallel or some other, third way so....for example if I have 3 solar cells that give 5 Volts each, I connect them in some way and in the end have 15 Volt coming out... My question is hot to connect the solar panels to the the output described??? 2. Now that I have, for example 15 Volts coming out from these 3 small panels, I need to store that electric energy somewhere...So would a diode just to ,point, the electricity and a ultra capacitor to store it ,or does it have to be a circuit that involves rechargeable batteries and a special recharger circuit.

Question by comodore   |  last reply


Replacement electric razor foil

Does anybody know an inexpensive way to replace the surface foil on an electric razor? I think it's called foil anyway; it's the metal part that contacts the skin and is a mesh of small holes for beard hair to pass through. The raw foil stock must be relatively cheap to fabricate; maybe there is a way to get a sheet of it and put it on the original frame from the shaver. Most replacements are almost the price of a whole new shaver. And I haven't even found a replacement for my modified, ancient Braun system 123. After the shaver died I resurrected it and made it solar powered by tearing out the charge circuitry and batteries and replacing them with two batteries and a diode that plugs into a small solar panel from a garden light. This worked perfectly for years until the foil wore through last week.

Question by snotty   |  last reply


How do I hookup 1 solar panel to trickle charge my 2 connected RV batteries?

I want to trickle charge my RV batteries (which are connected to each other) using one solar panel. If I hook it up to one of the batteries will that cause an imbalance in the charge between them? Or since they are connected, will it even out? Or do I need to connect it to both of them individually? Do I need to connect a charge controller between the battery/batteries and solar panel or will the built-in charge controller in the RV suffice? The solar panel does have a built-in blocking diode. I'm trying to learn all I can about solar power -- hope you can help me.

Question by arnold54   |  last reply


help making solar charger please read?

I want to do many things in life, one of them being able to harness the sun..., anyways, hi all, im interested in making an iphone charger such as this one https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-make-a-solar-iPodiPhone-charger-aka-Might/ now i dont really want to spend much money on this (he says i need about 70 bucks) i have about for good panels that say i should get 2v at 20amps but i get more than 2v, i have 2 diodes i got from radioshack so i think im covered there, any ideas or thoughts on how to do this would be great, also i want to learn the formula for calculating what ratio of amps and volts i need to charge a battery thanks all

Question by tylak   |  last reply


ceiling fan wind turbine

I am in the middle of building a ceiling fan generator/wind turbine.  I know that the electric current produced is AC (I think it's 3 phase...it has 3 wires coming out of the fan). I do not know electricity that well, and am learning as I go... I would like to use the wind turbine to drive a small garden water fountain pump that is 120 volts.  What do I need electrically to complete building this wind turbine? Does anybody have any suggestions on resources on how to connect such a device electrically?  (Do i need a diode, rectifier, ???)  Does the voltage produced by spinning the generator have to equal the volts required by the device ( small water pump)?  Thank you for any and all help as I'm trying to learn and hopefully complete this wind turbine by summer.

Topic by Jesusistheway   |  last reply


I need Magnets arrangement for a wind power using car alternator N42 (20x10x2.5mm) magnets are glued on modified rotor ?

Hi all, I am modifying a car alternator to a PMG .The winding system is 3 phases the diodes are still connected to have a DC voltage and the rotor circuit has thrown away. The rotor have been machined and a steel pipe is weld on it to adjust the diameter.On the surface of the steel pipe I glue the 14 N42 (20x10x2.5 mm) magnets N & S pole alternately to have 7 pair of N&S poles.The number of poles is 14/ph.I am not getting good result at 1150 rpm it gives 15 volts & at 1450 rpm --> 20 volts.But i need around 15 Volts at 300 rpm how could I get it? Please advise magnet arrangement note that gap between magnets and stator is about 2mm. Hasen

Question by hasenbaksh   |  last reply


Need help making a permanent magnet alternator

Hi - I have need of a small electric motor, and came across something called an altermotor.  This is a converted car alternator that requires a permanent magnet rotor assembly, the removal of the diode pack and a controller.  This is also supposed to be good for up to 4HP off 12V.  I've worked out everything but how to make the permanent magnet rotor.  Does anyone know how to do this?  I'd like to do this with high quality neo magnets, preferably with more than 12 bar magnets.  A car's alternator is the perfect size for the application, which is to run an air conditioner compressor for an electric car conversion.  A single 12V deep cycle battery would be able to run this allowing me to have air without cutting vehicle range since it would be able to operate off its own power system this way.  I'm not set on using a converted alternator though, if anyone knows a suitable 12V motor about the same size as an alternator that can produce at least 1HP and spin at least 2000RPM.

Topic by Inswitch 


Genie model 209 Garage Door Opener schematic

I took our Genie garage door opener apart [the light wasn't working and I read where that was probably caused by the 555 timer] and thought I'd carefully drawn a schematic before doing so, but I failed to label where the 3 wires from the receiver connect to the terminal block on the main unit, and also where the 3 wires from the main unit connect to the terminal block. Regardless, I have the unit back together and when the remote is pressed the receiver relay clicks, but that's the only thing that happens. I'm fairly certain the problem lies with a component on the internal motor controller board. And NO ONE gives out this kind of information. I can't even find it for sale !! But I'll be derned if I'm going to pay $50 for a new controller board when I'm almost 100% certain the problem is a $.59 diode or the like. Plus, I like a challenge and hate getting beat. Any and all help would be very much appreciated. Possibly I could find someone who has the same model unit and they could diagram theirs for me, possibly someone knows where to obtain the real thing. Thanks !!

Question by eagleshadow   |  last reply


Why do I need a switch for a solar battery/usb charger?

 I just browsed online and skimmed through other peoples' projects and failed to notice everyone using a switch. I then thought about it and my 4 solar cells where scavenged from lawn lights that used a light sensitive switch (can't think of the word at the moment). However I had already put my idea to work (without a switch) and I drained the batteries to around 1v a cell by charging my phone over night, and then I happily placed my charger out in the sun without anything hooked up via usb and when watching voltage it was going up at an ok rate. Well hours later I go back to check on it and the voltage dropped back down, now my cells are under 1v a cell. The solar panel is hooked up positive to the battery pack positive, there is a diode between, then after that connection a usb female connector is put in after that, and they are all grounded to the same line. I am confused as to where the batteries could have drained to, and why everything can't be in parallel, although I admit I am pretty newbish, but the logic still doesn't make sense to me. Thank you for your time. (sorry the image looks like it was drawn b a 3 year old)

Question by downgrade   |  last reply


solar panels questions

In the quest to turn my garage 'green' I started with a purchase of a Sunforce 60 watt solar panel charging kit. I already own a 12v 15amp charge controller that I bought from Green Energies. The Green Energies controller is bigger than the kit supplied so I'm currently using this one. My questions; The Green Energies charge controller is supposed to have a blocking diode in it. When I put my volt meter on the leads going back to the panels (panels dis-connected, controller still hooked to battery) I'm getting approximately 10 volts. Should there be any reading at all? I went out this rainy morning to see if there was any power coming from my panels. To my surprise I read 8-10 volts (depending on cloud cover). This leads to my next question. It is worth adding a boost converter? I suspect the amperage would only be that of the incoming voltage, not what it is boosted up to.. Close? If my guess is correct, my 5amp (system at full power, rated at 24vdc), would only be about 1.6- 2 amps @ 8- 10 vdc. I also suspect the controller is stealing some amperage. 0.5 amps??? That should leave me with at least 1 amp coming in and giving me a 10 amp day. Not bad for a rainy day. Right, wrong or hopefully close? I'm not seeing my battery come up to full charge. I'm using a marine deep cell acid battery from my boat. Every 5 years I replace it to insure the boat will start as needed. Paddling that craft back to shore is not an option. One reason could be the fact of the battery being 5 years old and it will never get back to full. Second I believe would be the draw going back to the panels at night. Will the panels draw power?

Topic by olddawg   |  last reply


12v solar panel/battery setup project- NOT lead/acid

Hi, I have a project that I'm trying to design/build and could use some help/advice with some of the electrical theory. I feel like this should be really simple but I'm having a lot of issues. I have done a lot of googling but can't seem to find applicable answers so I started my own thread. Any help will be greatly appreciated! If I can solve this, I will be happy to write up a detailed instructable so that others can use this information as well.  The short version: Trying to build a lightweight solar panel>battery pack>UHF radio charging setup. Nominal voltage is all 12v. I'm having difficulty regulating amperage between the units. The long version: My friend is in charge of a campsite which needs to have a 2-way radio on at all times. They need to be able to charge these radios on-premise because they are out there for a little over a week at a time. A solar panel seems ideal for this application. The whole charging setup needs to be lightweight since it is a >10 mile hike into the campsite. Ideally, I would like to use an array of NiMH AA batteries because they are small, relatively cheap, and can be replaced easily if there is an issue. I am also under the impression that they handle repetitive charge/discharge cycles well. I am not married to that though so if there is a compelling reason to use lipo or something else, I am open to that. The radio: is a Motorola Radius CP200. The wall charger that comes with it outputs 14v at 1.5 amps. The battery in the radio (according to the sticker on it) is 7.4v 16.21Wh lithium ion. Setup 1 that I've been trying: I have a 12v solar panel charging a pack of AA NiMH batteries. I started with an 8-pack holder but moved up to a 10-pack to increase voltage and total mAH a little. I've been using little voltage regulators in between the solar panel and the batteries as well as between the batteries and the radio. These function as diodes and help me get the correct charging voltage. My problem is that I can't regulate the amperage. The battery pack will pull as much as it can from the solar panel, and the radio will pull as much as it can from the battery pack. What ends up happening is when I first plug the radio into the battery pack, it works fine. But after a couple minutes, the amperage skyrockets to like 3 or 4 or more amps. The voltage regulator hits some sort of thermal protection limit and the whole thing shuts down. I tried throwing this amperage regulator in there as well to keep it below 1.5 amps, naively thinking that it would just affect the amperage and not the voltage. But what happens is when it's in constant amps mode, it just cuts the voltage to compensate and keeps the total power the same. Setup 2 that I've been trying: I thought maybe since I was having issues with the 'smarts' of these batteries charging and discharging, I would switch over to USB battery packs since they have a lot of built-in protection circuitry. I got this solar charger, an older version of this battery pack, and used the same voltage regulators to step up the voltage from 5v to 14v to charge the radio. I get the same issue of high-amperage discharging of the battery pack. I tried using this step-up converter between the battery pack and the radio but it doesn't seem to work or maybe I'm not using it correctly (I can't seem to get the adjustment pots to actually do anything...). It seems like I'm thinking about current wrong or something. Any suggestions or insight into what's wrong with my approaches would be super helpful. If anyone has any suggestions for radically changing my approach, I'm open to those as well. Thanks for reading!

Topic by Cking0987   |  last reply