Anyone who has an old radio, a few free hours, a solar panel and wants to replace fossil fuels with cleaner, more sustainable sources, can give their electronic device a second life by turning it into a solar radio. If you want to give it a try, we will tell you how to make this system step by step and for less than 5 euros, provided that you have disused equipment that you can take advantage of to give it a second life.
Solar radio materials.
Here are the materials you will need to create your solar radio:
- A portable radio that uses 2 AA batteries or 3 AA batteries.
- A solar panel reused from a sunlight of about 4 or 4.5 volts.
- BAT43 diode or IN4001 silicone rectifier to minimize voltage loss.
- An iron soldering 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 be to activate the solar panel from which the radio will be powered. To do this, choose one of the 8 bands that are in operation, so that it has an output of 4.5V – 80 milliamps.
For this project we opted for a panel incorporated in a solar light. If you are using the same formula, remove it with a screwdriver and very carefully. Then cut the wire that connects the panel to the bulb body to remove it completely.
Step 2: Connect the radio.
If your old radio has a socket for network adapters, then connecting the panel will be fairly easy. You will simply need to find a suitable connector for the panel and verify 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.
- Drill a small hole in the plastic to allow the cables to come out when you put the radio back together.
Step 3: Avoid voltage loss.
In this step, you will need to solder the blocking diode BAT43 or IN4100 to the positive terminal of the panel to avoid voltage loss. Make sure the connection is correct via a multimeter.
Step 4: Final assembly.
Secure the panel to the center of the radio with foam tape. If your equipment does not have any type of bracket, secure it at the top. Then solder the positive and negative wires from the radio to the panel and cover the joints with duct tape or heat shrink.
With this, your solar radio will be ready for use without any energy cost. Remember to expose it to the sun from time to time, so that it recharges and you can continue listening to it for as long as you want.