Easy build – $6 solar battery maintainer

Using Dollar Tree/Walmart etc solar garden lights, this project allows the trickle charging of seldom used 12V batteries.
A simple project, also useful for old solar lights where the onboard battery has worn out.

A design for better eye appeal, would be to remove the cells from the plastic housings, but the emphasis is on easy.
This project took about an hour to make.

If using new lights, don’t forget the great parts inside.
A battery holder
Ni-Cd battery
Oscillator circuit
LED
Video Rating: / 5

20 comments

  • Houtje Boom - Be Creative 5 months ago

    What diod did you use and where did you place it in the circuit???

    Reply
  • Jared Hohman 5 months ago

    Good video, have all the facts straight, it is already setup so you don't drag on forever, and aren't over promising. Most the videos of this type are riddled with misinformation. It is a few years later now, but you can currently get 2 1.5W 12V panels off ebay for $6.79 shipped, which would be about 250mA. Your setup would work ok for the smaller battery that you have though as a maintainer.

    Reply
  • Ben Parmer 5 months ago

    Hi,
    Dont you need to put a solar regulator/diode in line to stop the solar panels frying the battery?

    Reply
  • WeActOnImpulse Official 5 months ago

    Cool video thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  • Slider2732 5 months ago

    Hey, no problem, looks like it didn't show up πŸ™‚
    These panels have now been taken out of their plastic casings and sit on top of a large PC speaker case…the 12V battery sits inside underneath and is well protected from strong sun. That's the update.

    Reply
  • midtro and minkus 5 months ago

    Wow I actually toutched the dislike button to

    Reply
  • Slider2732 5 months ago

    S'ok, a guy in Canada used to accidentally hit dislike on every video for a while lol. Had a look at my stats thing one time and noticed the trend.

    Reply
  • mikego 5 months ago

    Sorry accidently touched the dislike button.

    Reply
  • Mongrel Shark 5 months ago

    I was more thinking other end of the scale… green pc core, with 10 gauge πŸ˜‰ ever seen a charge oscillator with super thick wire?

    Reply
  • mikego 5 months ago

    Your're gonna become a yt giant at this rate!lol. Nice job.

    Reply
  • Slider2732 5 months ago

    Indeed, worthy of micro projects for one thing. They're not as efficient as blocking oscillators that are hand made, but ya can't beat the 4 pin tiny configuration and 1 inductor !
    Plus, what to do with a bunch of circuit boards, when the solar panels and batteries are removed ?! lol

    Reply
  • Slider2732 5 months ago

    Cheers for dropping by Tec πŸ™‚

    Reply
  • Slider2732 5 months ago

    Yep, if you don't pull the battery tab on a new light it will light the LED in the sun.
    The 5252F is a functionally similar 4pin, but I like the clever auto detect without a photocell on the YX805.
    In tests here, the Westinghouse lesser diameter lights run all night on their 150mAh 2/3rd AA's, and are comparable to these garish ones on their 200mAh AAA's. The Westinghouse will dim though, whereas the dollar store ones simply quit. Black blob chip on the Westinghouse shown.

    Reply
  • Slider2732 5 months ago

    Cheers for dropping by again. It's not pretty with these lights panels, but runs well.

    Reply
  • Slider2732 5 months ago

    Yeah, if you scale up in all terms, then you'll push more amperage through. When wound with silly gauge, like high 40's the amperage throughput wouldn't electrocute a bed bug πŸ™‚

    Reply
  • Lidmotor 5 months ago

    Nice. OUbrads is probably thinking what I am—–what else can we do with the YX805 chip. It's another 'Dishwasher' project. I can just see a teacher handing these out in a science classroom and then simply saying, "Ok kids now make something different out of it." There is alot of potential in that $1 solar garden light. Imagination runs wild.

    Reply
  • OUbrads 5 months ago

    Remove the AAA batt from this and the light will come on in sunlight. The batt must be in place to provide the switching from charge to light. Trying to find out more about the YX805 chip and single inductor oscillator. It looks like the chip may have a 10k resistor built in. Im my observation, the dollar store outperforms the wally world (westinghouse) fixture. Will give the maintainer a go, thanks slider for all the great ideas.

    Reply
  • wjewell81 5 months ago

    great idea slider thanx for the vid.

    Reply
  • Mongrel Shark 5 months ago

    A blocking oscillator that allows the battery to charge with transistor on, and then switches off and spikes an inductor into the battery could be good. I've been meaning to try it with the tip 122 10w solar oscillator I'm running. I' thinking thicker inductors would put more AH in…

    Reply
  • Slider2732 5 months ago

    Cheers πŸ™‚

    Reply

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