Intro: Solar Cell Phone Charger Made From Old Parts and An...ALTOIDS TIN ... What Else??
What do these 2 items have in common? Well you might carry them together in a purse or backpack. By the end of this instructable they will have a lot in Common.
I'm gonna show you how to take the guts from an old LED landscape light and make it into a portable phone charger. HERES THE DISCLAMER " I HAVE NO IDEA HOW ALL BRANDS OF CELL PHONES WORK AND I"M NOT AN ELECTRICIAN SO TRY NOT TO KILL YOU NEW $400 PHONE. I JUST KNOW IT WORKED ON MINE"
Step 1: Stuff You Will Need for Your Solar Cell Phone Charger
First you will need..
Altoids tin (empty)
Solar Cell small 6 v 3 1/4" x 2" or smaller
(I used the guts out of a cheap landscaping LED light. If you can find one that doesn't work its prob the battery, and we don't need them)
NOTE: I'm not electrical genius but every cell phone I have had in the last few years has a 3.7v lion battery. The wall charger I have for my phone now puts out 5.7v and so does the solar cell??? So I'm guessing that any solar cell 3v to 6v might work. My old wall charger works for my phone and it's out put is 3.7v. I have tested little solar cells in the sun and 3v cells will put out 4v easy. If you read the back of your wall charger and find out what the output is and match that to a solar cell you should be in business.
Velcro (with the stick back)
Plug in charger (that fits in your phone an old one car or wall)
Soldering Iron (solder)
Voltage Meter (If you know how to use it ..or you can wing it and maybe blow up your phone)
Hack Saw Blade
Step 2: Prep the Solar Cell and Other Stuff
I got mine out of a broken land scape LED light. The kind you poke in the ground and use to light the path. Once I got it free of the plastic shell. I cut the solar cell free of the battery and the circuit board. Then I used a hack saw blade to cut some old plastic bits off the back of the plastic mounting board the solar cells are attached to so it will be flat.
I check the cell (in the sun light) for polarity that means which contact is + and - (if you don't know how to use a voltage meter search the ALL KNOWING INTER-WEB)
I also checked the polarity of the plugged in charger I marked the + wire with tape. Then I cut the wire in half. We only want the side that goes in the cell phone.
Step 3: Prep the Altoids Tin
I put some electrical tape on the inside of the tin to protect against possible shorts.
Next I soldered the charger wires to the solar cell + to + and - to -.
Step 4: Attach the Solar Cell to the Lid
I used some sticky sided Velcro and stuck one piece to the center of the solar cell and one to the center of the lid. I also covered the exposed wire and contacts with some electrical tape.
Step 5: I Think Your Done
Stick the solar cell in the lid, plug in your cell phone and point it at the sun.
You can now toss it in your bag and forget about it. Just remember about it when your almost out of juice and need to make some calls. I found I can even charge it under strong indoor lighting.