Camping Light Retrofitted As A Solar Recharging Station

With grand plans of tenting out for several days at a music festival [Josh] needed a way recharge his portable devices. In the past he’s lugged around a 12V battery with him, but this year he wanted to make things easier. He ended retrofitting a camping light to do the job with the help of the summer sun.

The first step of the project was to source some rechargeable batteries. He toyed with the idea of Li-Ion cells but ended up going with NiMH because the charging is more forgiving and he got them at a great price. Because of the lower operating voltage (1.2V versus Alkaline’s 1.5V) he needed to squeeze two more into the lamp housing. Here you can see that he just managed to get them to fit in the wire-run area down the middle of the case.

Next comes the recharging circuit. He based his design around an ATmega44, using a voltage divider and the ADC to detect when the batteries are topped off. During the day this is connected to an external solar panel and it’s ready to charge his phone when he gets back at night.

8 thoughts on “Camping Light Retrofitted As A Solar Recharging Station

      1. Nope, you are both wrong. His website’s top level domain suffix is .nz, so you can be 100% certain he is in the Southern Hemisphere… no “probably” or likely about it. :)

    1. Earth’s northern hemisphere contains most of the planet’s land, and roughly 90% of its human population.

      …and a domain name is an indicator, but certainly no proof :)

      Oh, and nice hack btw ;)

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