Building a Solar Phone Charger: Wires and Tubing

What You'll Need
Cell phone charger
2 solar panels
Small sleeve of 4 length - shrunk to fit with heat
Large sleeve of 4 length - shrunk to fit with heat
Soldering iron
Small paintbrush

Having a solar phone charger is excellent planning in conjunction with the global warming crisis. If you find yourself in an urban blackout situation, you will be independent of the resultant chaos. If you have moved off the grid permanently to some mystic rural paradise, you will be free to load up from the sun anytime. No matter where in the world you are solar power will keep you talking.

Step 1 – Getting the Right Stuff

Buy a cheap cell phone charger. A car charger is ideal as it is cheap and has a good length. You probably have a charger already but you will be required to cut the plug off the one end to make the solar charger, so rather use an extra one, as the chop is irreversible.

Two solar panels are necessary for this design and can be bought from any electronic equipment supplier. If you struggle to find them due to the area that you live in, order the solar panels online for home delivery. 

Joining the wires together will require a soldering iron, piece of solder, and flex. 

Step 2 – Preparation

It is now time to chop up your phone charger. Holding the cell phone plug in your hand measure off to 2.5 ft and cut off the rest of the lead. Strip about 2.5” of the outer plastic sheath. Now strip off ¼” of the top of the inner wires and slide the whole piece of large size sleeve onto this large cable.

Cut off the excess from the two wires on each solar panel, leaving a 1” section. Strip the top¼” of this remaining piece leaving the copper wires inside visible. Slip four 1” sections of small sleeve over the black wires to cover the joins that you will make in the next step.

Step 3 – Soldering and Heating

Using a small paintbrush, paint the red wire from solar panel A and the black from solar panel B with flux. Solder the two leads using the soldering iron and a lump of solder until they fuse. Pull the small sleeve that is on the black wire over the join and heat with the gun until it shrinks into place.

Feed the small sleeve onto the red wire of the big cable. Using flux and your small paintbrush, paint all the remaining exposed copper wire tips. Solder the red leads from the solar panel to the red lead of the main wire. Repeat this procedure with the black leads from the solar panel and from the big cable. Fit the large sleeve down over the leads that have been soldered together. A short burst of heat using the gun shrinks it down and covers the joins.

Step 4 – The Final Test

Test your new solar cell phone charger by connecting it to your phone and putting it under an intense light in your living room. If the cell phone starts charging you have got it all right.