How To Make A DIY Solar Cellphone Charger [Fits In Altoid Box]

In this quick instructional guide, we are going to show you how to make a DIY solar cellphone charger for less than $50. You can use it as a science experiment or you can simply buy what’s available here.

If you want to continue with this fun project, let’s get started.

Step 1 – Get All Items You Need

Materials

Tools

Step 2 – Prepare DC To USB Converter Circuit

The DC to USB converter takes the AA batteries and turns them into 5V required to charge our USB device. Since we purchased our DC to USB circuit, we are good to go.

You can rip one off from a spare USB device, but we highly recommend you just buy one to save time.

Step 3 – Build Solar Panel Connection

Take the 1N914 diode and solder the diode directly to the positive solder tab on the back of the solar panel.

Next, solder the the battery pack negative wire to the negative tab on the solar panel.

Make sure to orientate the black bar on the 1N914 diode away from the solar cell other wise it will prevent power from flowing into the circuit.

Test – take a multimeter and test the voltage before the next step.

Step 4 – Connect Battery Pack

Solder the positive end from the battery pack to the positive end of the diode.

Install 2 rechargeable NiMh 1.2V AA batteries (2000 – 3000 mAh) in parallel connection so it can boost the capacity to 6000 mAh total. They are more reliable, easy to find, and easy to replace.

Step 5 – Build Charger Connection

Solder the solar panel wires (positive and negative) to the DC To USB Converter Circuit, then solder the battery pack wires (Positive and negative) to it as well.

It should look like this:

Test – Plug in an USB cable and test it out!

Bam! it’s working

Step 6 – Install Inside The Altoid Box

Use the tin snip to cut out an opening for the USB port.

Next, Apply glue to the bottom of the DC to USB circuit board and the battery holder to the inside of the altoid box.

Done!

Wrap Up

If you like what you see here, please check out more DIY projects on this website.

If you would like to just purchase a field grade high speed solar panel charger for serious use please check them out here.

Related Content: How To Make Solar Panel Out Of CDs

Ying Xu

Graduated from the University of Kansas with an Aerospace Engineering degree & served 4 years as an US Air Force officer. Experienced with basic survival skills, weapon system security,  technical disaster recovery, and system troubleshooting

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