We use lots of electronic gadgets that run on a battery. When you are using these gadgets for longer duration, you need to charge the batteries more often. If you the gadget for longer duration, then you have to spend more time on charging the batteries. There is a solution to this problem. You can create a solar charger that can help your e-reader to work continuously.
And this will help you to reduce the charging time. Here, we will see how to make such solar charger.
This task is moderately difficult. You don’t have to be very expert in the electronics field. But you should have some basic knowledge of the device you are modifying along with some terminologies of the hardware. You should know the basic knowledge of dismantling the device and putting it back together.
It requires maximum one hour to complete the task. If you are not well aware of the technical things you might take some extra minutes. If you are ready with all the necessary equipments, it won’t take too much time.
You should be ready with all the necessary resources so that you will finish it off quickly.
1. An e-reader
2. A Schottky diode, you can get this at any electronic shop.
3. MAX1551 or MAX1555 IC. These are integrated circuits and accept operating input voltages up to 7V, so very easy to implement.
4. A small capacitor for MAX1551/1555. Capacitors are generally made up of ceramic material.
5. SOT23 to DIP breakout board. It is very hard to solder the wires directly to the integrated circuits because they are too small to do this. You can buy it from eBay.
6. Apart from these main things, you will need some wires, a soldering iron, solder, a dremel and padded double sided tape. A multi-meter can also be added in your inventory.
7. Solar panels.
The estimated cost of all the material is not much. You have to pay for the electrical parts. Its price ranges from brand to brand. Also there is a difference in the prices on some websites.
1. Open the e-reader: The first step is to open the e-reader. As it doesn’t have screws, opening e-reader is quite tough job. Open it gently with the thin tip of the screw driver. After opening the e-reader, remove all the wires from the main board. Inside e-reader, you will find four screws holding the circuit board with the body of e-reader. Remove screws and take out the board.
2. Cut a hole in the back cover: You have to make a hole in the back cover where you want to put the solar panels.
3. Wire the solar panels together: Wire the two panels in parallel direction.The two “+” and “-” should come parallel on the panels.
4. Put solar panels in the e-reader: Make sure that you are using strongly padded double side tape to attach the panels to the metal shielding. The solder pads should be located at the top without covered by the double sided tape.
5. Soldering the MAX1551/1555 (Integrated Circuits) to the breakout board: This is very critical step to perform. Here are the steps:
a. Place small amount of solder on both the pads.
b. Place the IC with the help of clamps on the board.
c. Put a little pressure on IC and heat the legs so that solder will go in between the legs and board.
d. After cooling down of the solder, make sure that your connections are made properly.
6.Wire the panels to the battery: You have to solder the wires properly to the positive and negative points of the solar panels. Don’t forget to put the capacitors in between.You have to solder another pair of wires to the positive and negative terminals of the battery. Cut the tape in case you need to do. After soldering the wires, put the tape back to avoid the short circuit. Also, put some tape where you want to put your IC to avoid any short circuit due to the contact with shield.
7. Put e-reader back: Now, you have to put together all the screws to fix the e-reader back. Put the display of the main board back to it’s place. Put all the covers back. Now you are ready with the device.
Frequently asked questions
From where to buy the ICs and the remaining material?
You can buy all the required material from the electrical shop. You can buy it from internet websites.
How to recharge the device?
To recharge the device, you have to go out in the sunny area and expose the solar panel to the sun. This will help you to recharge the e-reader.
You have to make sure that you are exposing the solar panels to the direct sun. Initially it takes a little time to recharge but afterwards the process becomes smooth.
Things to watch out for
You have to take care that all the connections are made properly. Do not forget to use the strongly padded tape to avoid the short circuit as the wires are exposed to the metal material.