Solar Phone Charger/Lighter

Introduction: Solar Phone Charger/Lighter

This is a crazy and unsafe project I made for my school electronics class. I came up with this idea because my friends and I go camping a lot and I thought to myself, Wouldn't it be cool if I had a solar charger and an electric lighter? I decided to create the idea and being new to electronics this was my best attempt. This project is INCREDIBLY UNSAFE but have fun making it!

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Step 1: The Materials

The first step in this project is to gather the materials. You will need:

-2 9V batteries

-30 Gauge Nichrome wire

- AA battery holder

-2 AA rechargeable batteries


-1 Pushbutton

- Solar Panels(The bigger you have the better)

-DC-DC Step-Up Converter(Greater than 1 Amp)

-3D Printer

Step 2: 3D Printing the Case

You can do this step whenever you want, I suggest it be done now so the print will be ready when you're done with the project. I will leave the STL files attached if you want to make this project. I forgot to apply glue to the base and the print ended up curving in the back, so watch out for that.

Step 3: Setting Up the Lighter

The lighter in this project is completely electronic; the materials needed for this section are the two 9V batteries, the nichrome wire, the pushbutton, and a little bit of wire. Tear open the first 9v battery(dead) and remove the black rectangular object. Solder a wire to either terminal. Next, solder a wire to a push button and then solder the other end of the wire to the other terminal. Take a small piece of nichrome wire and solder it to the button and the other wire. Be extremely careful here! This is not safe at all and any modification to it would be greatly appreciated. Press the button to heat up the wire, if it is a good battery you should be able to ignite paper. I would recommend desoldering the nichrome from the button, it will make things easier later.

Step 4: Setting Up the Solar Panel

Depending on the size and shape of your solar panel(s) the next steps may vary. Solder wires to the positive and negative terminals of the solar panel. Next, solder a diode to the positive wire connected to the solar panel. Finally, put the wires through the slits in the 3D printed case.

Step 5: Connecting the Battery Pack and Converter

Locate the large square hole on the inside of the 3D printed case. Place the battery pack with the AA batteries in it with the battery pack's switch facing the outside. Next, add a little bit of hot glue to secure the pack in place. Next, connect the positive wires from the battery pack and the solar panels together. Do the same for the negative wires. Finally, solder the wires to the positive and negative terminals on the USB connector board respectively.

Step 6: Putting in the Lighter

To integrate the lighter into the project was a bit tricky. First, disconnect the battery and the snap connector. Desolder the button and the nichrome wire attached to the button's wire. Insert the nichrome wire through the circular hole and resolder the button to the wire through the small square. Resolder the nichrome wire back to the button's wire to complete the circuit. Now, put a small dab of hot glue on the pedestal and put the 9v battery on. Finally, connect the button to the snap connector.

Step 7: Finishing Touches

Finally, put the USB into the rectangular hole in the center of the case and put a little bit of hot glue on it to hold it in place. Also, put hot glue on your solar panels to secure them to the case. I would also recommend sanding down the rectangular piece from the second STL file to make it fit nicely. I hope you enjoyed making this crazy and dumb project I made.

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    Nice design. Never run out of batteries no matter where you are.