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Can anyone help me out with my project? Answered

Little help with my project. 

I think ya'll could help me with my project. I have no experience in electrical engineering other than a 4th grade science fair project on the difference between parallel and series circuits. And 1 high school electronics project that I messed up, but still have that project & it works due to teacher tinkering with it.

So now I'm attempting to tinker with electronics. I've taken a Paper Jamz amplifier that was powered by 4 aaa batteries and modified it to be powered by a 6v 300ma ac/dc wall wort w/o destroying either.

Whoa who!! Now time to try something a bit harder.

This project is to make a attractive desktop Solar USB charger, dual stereo amplifier, mp3 player system (Pandora's Box). Seeing Joshua Zimmerman of BrownDogGadgets.com's heavy duty solar charger in a tin & USB charging circuit I believe that my project is possible. I will probably be purchasing both of them and hack together a Dual USB solar charger with 2 AA batteries. 

Looking over this post could someone draw a schematic in "English" with missing parts added?

So I've started to tinker. Here is a list of all the things I have. Got pictures of some of them but not sure if I have to go pro to post.

(* Not married to some of these parts)
2 Paper Jamz amplifiers 8ohm 1w stereo speakers (each powered by 4 aaa batteries)
1 5v 200mA solar panel *
1 Paper Jamz battery pack * (4 aaa batteries) Not sure what batteries to use. Can power both amps w/ 1 pack.
Coby 1gb USB mp3 player (playback functions powered by 1 aaa battery)
1 Micro USB MALE - USB A MALE cable cut and stripped.
Breadboard, hookups for wiring. To avoid soldering.
Audio hookups: 4 3.5mm M - M, 2 3.5mm F - F coupler, Stereo Y adapter 3.5mm M - 2 F  Y adapter
Cigar Box enclosure. Internal dimensions (open no lid space): 2.25"h x 7.5625"w x 6.1875"d. external closed: 2.6875"h x 8.375"w x 7.0625"d

So I've powered both of the amplifiers with one set of AAA batteries. I'm thinking that they can be powered by the 2 AA batteries from the solar charger. Let me know if I'm right here.  

I would like to attach my USB micro male whip to a circuit, through box to charge my BlackBerry PlayBook. I think it needs 5v 1.8a for charging. Don't know if it also needs fake data voltage for charging. I've tested my phone with the USB micro whip, AAA power pack & it charges. For ease of construction I'll be using the breadboard & hot glue circuit parts together.

Seeing that the mp3 player only needs power from the equivalent of a aaa battery, what is the best way to reduce the amperage from the two AA batteries so not to burn out the Mp3 player? Going to mount it against side of box with USB MALE adapter going through back wall. Use dowl rod pieces for buttons on side, battery hookups faceted inside.

All components sending/receiving audio via 3.5mm audio patch cables.  Paper Jamz amps wired in parallel through breadboard to power pack. [power pack, breadboard (not mounted)], audio ports, speakers. Speakers mounted to sound board suspended from lid. Would like to mount solar panel on outside of box lid.

Nothing mounted is set in stone but the audio ports & speakers are fixed in place. 

Thanks in advance hope ya'll can help here. & if your going to Maker Fair Detroit this weekend have fun.

Thanks again, 


Josh Kalbow

Remember to Zombie proof your projects. 


Now you will need voltage regulators on that vapor-ware  Big solar-gadgit
lest you destroy those nice toys

Solar 6V_REG.PNG

It means I agree with Iceng and the voltage regulator circuit needs to be between the batteries and the mp3 player.

So the Voltage regulator circuit from Iceng will reduce the voltage from 6v to 1.5v?

That regulator will accept as much as 35 Volts and
  • reduce it to 6 Volts when the variable resistor is 912 ohms
  • reduce it to 3 Volts when the variable resistor is 336 ohms
  • reduce it to 1.5 Volts when the variable resistor is 48 ohms

So the 48ohm resistor will output 1.5v from 6v input to this circuit? The power will be coming from 4 AA batteries that will be charged from the solar panel.

Not sure what all the symbols mean on this either. The .1uF Cer? Got the resistors fine & voltage regulator.

Thanks for the schematic.

With the LM317 you will need to put 4.5 volts in for 1.5 volts out.
There are better regulators for smaller voltages but the LM317 should do.

Thanks for the schematic drawing of a circuit with the voltage regulator. But would it need to between the batteries and solar panel or between the batteries and audio amplifiers, mp3 player.


4 years ago

At least you are detailed in your question.

It won't work on an ordinary desk top ( lack of sun there )
Otherwise a 6 volt solar-cell array and a $4 voltmeter is a starting point.
If in noon sunlight you replace the batteries and measure less then 6v or 4v
then put another identical solar-cell in PARALLEL and measure again...

Repeat the process until your at 5v and your stuff is working :-)

Moma said go big.

The solar panel will be charging 2 AA batteries. In turn the AA batteries will charge and power the audio components.

Going to get heavy duty solar charger from browndoggadgits.com which does exactly that.

Moma must be giving you vapor-ware [ browndoggadgits.com ]  doesn't exist !

You know how to use a volt and amp meter ?

So spelling is not my strong suit. It's http://www.browndoggadgets.com

Red to negative & black to positive, right?

No problem if your meter is digital,  it will simply display a minues sign.

And if you get the unit with the 2.6 amp hour battery then that regulator will
work to feed other lower voltage devices.

At this time, I must let you know about small switching regulators, that you may
buy as a kit.

Switchers use less battery to make the lower voltages you want !
In fact switcher regulators can raise above the battery voltage ! !

So 4 AAA batteries in series & 4 AA batteries in series both put out 6 volt. Well then that may change things.