I appreciate all types of DIY project, but I have an affinity for solar related projects. I like the re-charging capabilities, powering homes potential, overall running our lives as we know it. I have ideas for running an entire tiny home on solar and wind, there is couple of other ideas of using hydro as well. I think an iconic project would use them all to run a useful function. There is also a special place with me renewable energies:
I have an affinity for solar related projects, and music in general; so naturally a radio that can recharge using solar panels while out hiking is a logical next move. Standard radio controls, Scan, Volume, and 3 Saved Channels and power switch. While I was out hiking, I commonly ran out of battery juice on my devices listening to music, tracking GPS, and Geocaching as I travel around. I needed a radio that could recharge while I was using it, and hold a charge for the evening; the Solar Radio idea was born.
A main focus was using parts that I already had instead of just ordering parts, which I find the "easy way". I used almost all existing parts, I didn’t have enough 100KΩ resistors, other than that everything was used from parts existing. :)
I used 4x 6V 300mA solar panels with some 9V clips for the recharging system, and a light and durable ABS plastic 5x5x2.5 for the housing. I didn't want buttons that could be pressed inadvertently or anything complex to break down, so I went with some copper sheets with 100kΩ pull-downs that picks up moisture on fingers good and a basic power switch. Went with a 3.7V 2600mA battery and since it is oddly shaped, I had to build a holder re-purposing some Ethernet ports, came out great. Cut a hole in the middle and mounted a speaker that was able to produce sound at a decent quality, better than I originally thought when I started testing the speakers I had.
I wanted to leave the option to still use headphones so I cut a spot for the headphones next to solar re-charging port. Looking back, I should have made it turn off the main speaker once the headphones are plugged in, but that can be on the next version. All in all, takes about 2 hours to re-charge from a dead battery to full charge, it's great. After the final initial charge everything is working out just as I planned.