Anyone who has an old radio, a couple of hours off, a solar panel and wants to replace fossil fuels with cleaner and more sustainable sources, can give a second life to their electronic device by turning it into a solar radio. If you want to try, we will tell you how to manufacture this system step by step and for less than 5 euros, as long as you have a disused equipment that you can take advantage of to give it a second life.
Solar radio materials.
These are the materials that you will need to create your solar radio:
- A portable radio that uses 2 AA or 3 AA batteries.
- A solar panel reused from a solar light of about 4 or 4.5 volts.
- BAT43 diode or IN4001 silicone rectifier to minimize voltage losses.
- An iron welding machine and about 2 meters of red and black cable.
- Two or three NiMh (Nickel Metal Hydride) rechargeable batteries with a minimum capacity of 800 mAh per unit.
Instructions for making a solar radio.
Step 1: Solar panel.
The first step of the project itself will consist of enabling the solar panel from which the radio will be powered. To do this, choose one of 8 strips that are running, so that it has 4.5v – 80 milliamp output.
For this project we have opted for a panel incorporated in a solar light. If you use the same formula, remove it with a screwdriver and very carefully. Next, cut the cable that connects the panel to the body of the bulb to remove it completely.
Step 2: Connect the radio.
If your old radio has a socket for network adapters, connecting the panel will be fairly straightforward. You will simply have to find a connector that fits the panel and check that the polarity is correct.
Then follow these steps with your old radio:
- Open the back and, with the battery inside, identify the positive and negative connection. For this you can use a multimeter.
- Solder the red wire to the positive and the black wire to the negative.
- Punch a small hole in the plastic to allow the cables to exit when you put the radio back together.
Step 3: Avoid voltage losses.
In this step you will have to solder the BAT43 or IN4100 blocking diode to the positive terminal of the panel to avoid voltage losses. Make sure that the connection is correct through a multimeter.
Step 4: Final assembly.
Attach the panel to the center of the radio with a foam tape. If your equipment does not have any type of support, fix it at the top. Next, solder the positive and negative wires from the radio to the panel and cover the joints with tape or heat shrink.
With this, your solar radio will be ready for use without any energy cost. Do not forget to expose it from time to time to sunlight, so that it recharges and you can continue listening to it as long as you want.
Original and complete project in Instructables. Via gotwind.org
Turn a battery-operated radio into a solar radio step by step
An old radio, a solar panel and a little manual work, with just that you can turn an old radio into a self-sufficient solar radio.