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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Earlier this month a heatwave came through my town, forcing us to lose power for almost 10 hours. This got me thinking... At the very least, I need my cell phone to have power. IMO communication is key in almost every situation. Now I'm pretty sure that when SHTF there will be no cell service, all the lines will be jammed or just plain wiped out. However, a smart phone still does tons of things without service. My flashlight app for example has a flashlight, morse code, emergency signal, etc. So I started to look around to find out how to build my own solar powered phone charger. Yes, you can buy one for $50+ but where is the fun in that? It does require soldering but even the most beginner can put this thing together.

I like this set up personally because you don't have to charge the LIPO battery using solar power. If your power hasn't gone out yet, but it looks like it will soon, or you are expecting a big storm to come through, you can charge the solar charger with a normal wall charger. Then, hours later and left with no power, you plug your phone in, and the LIPO battery charges it. It is slow going, but if your phone is dead and you have to make that one call to check on family etc then you can. I also like it because it's small. Everything except the solar panel itself fits in an Altoids tin can. I put velcro on the back of the solar panel and have it attached to my GHB all the time.

Now keep in mind, you don't have to use this to charge a cell phone. Anything that runs off of a usb will work. Say your power is out and you have a little desk fan that plugs in via usb.. (or you have rigged your own little fan that goes into a usb) When the power is out (or when SHTF) and its 100 degrees out, it would be nice to have a little fan going for your family. I do own a hand crank emergency/ solar powered radio. It has a usb plug on it to charge things in an emergency. However, if/when SHTF, I want to use this solely for the radio.. any updates or info is great. I don't want to use up the charge on it for other things.

How to make a solar iPod/iPhone charger -aka MightyMintyBoost

I used this website. It is pretty clear cut, and I think everything ran me about $30 tops. (I had a lot of of random parts laying around) I think it took about an hour from start to finish.
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