Building A Portable Solar Power Radio
Portable solar power energy can have many practical uses. Hunters and campers benefit from the many uses regularly. Building your own solar powered radio isn’t difficult, and it’s a good thing to have on hand. Here’s how to make one for yourself.
Supplies for Building Portable Solar Radio
- Portable Radio (one that requires 2AA batteries is the best kind)
- 2 NiMh rechargeable batteries
- A 4.5V solar panel (can be removed from a Solar Garden Light)
- Silicone IN4001 semi-conductor
- Soldering unit
- Voltage Meter
- Double-sided Tape
Most of the above supplies can be purchased from specialty electronic stores. You may have to search online to find a few of them.
Remove Solar Panel
You’ll want to start by removing the solar panel from your solar garden light. You will want to choose a garden light that has 8 solar strips. These strips need to run the full width of the panel. You can usually carefully pry the panel out by removing the lens and using a screwdriver to gently pop the panel out. Once this is out you can just cut the connector wire and take it out all together.
Connect The Radio
If you’re lucky enough to have a radio with a built in socket for a main adapter, then this will be very easy for you. You just need to have a jack plug that will work.
If you aren’t so lucky, you will need to rewire the unit. To do this you will need to take the rear panel off the radio. Identify the positive and negative connections, you may want to use a voltage or multimeter to do this. Solder the positive to the red and the neutral to the black. You may need to drill a few holes in the back of the plastic radio panel to bring the wires through.
Install Solar Panel
You are now ready to begin working with the IN4100. You will need to solder it to the positive terminal on the panel itself. You will need to ensure that the black band is facing away from the solar panel to make sure you have the connections installed properly. You will also need to use the meter to ensure the connections are good.
At this point you can finish the project up. Use the double sided tape to position the solar panel on the radio. Try to make sure it is as centrally located as possible. You may be able to place it on top of the radio if it was built with a stand. Attach the positive and negative wires to the respective places on the solar panel using the soldering device. Tape everything up to keep it secure and cover any joints that are exposed.
Purchasing A Solar Radio
If this all sounds to complicated for you to do, then you can always purchase a solar powered radio. You can find these ranging in price from $45-$80. You may be able to find them for less expensive at online auction sites.