Amazingly Simple DIY Solar Charging Station!

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Credit: NBC News

Planning to go off the grid or already made the move? Then I’m sure you’ve either started, or already done, a good amount of research into what you’ll need, what type of home you’d like to have built or build yourself, as well as various other skills, tools, etc, that can help you along the way. These are not decisions to be taken lightly, and unfortunately, unless you have unlimited funding, you are often going to be at least somewhat limited in what you may be able to do, at least to start with. This is where learning various DIY methods can really come in handy. These can be for big ideas and projects or even just smaller needs and wants that give you a bit more convenience and safety for your off grid life.

On the smaller end of the scale is a DIY concept for a phone (or other gadget) solar charging station. Sure, there are plenty of ready made products out there already, but learning to build one on your own will help with the basics for possibly larger projects, or even on the fly repairs to gear you already own. Plus, it is something cool to do, and could be fun to do as a family project, allowing each member of the family to come up with their own design to add their own character to their personal charging station.

You’ll need the following items to get started:

B-Grade Solar Cells (These are simply cheaper than A-Grade cells, but they will have minor cosmetic damage that won’t impact their functionality)

Bus Wire

A Battery Bank (Portable phone battery banks that come with their own USB cable are a good start)

A Soldering Gun

Rosin Core Soldering Wire

Wire cutters/strippers.

A medium to large picture frame (or other base material to hold/contain your finished product).

You’ll need to use the soldering gun and wire to help connect your panels, and the battery pack will be a good source to store the power you generate with your solar cells without investing much into anything too fancy. I’ve seen them for only a few bucks at stores like T.J. Maxx, Ross, Walmart, or even Big Lots. For a complete step by step guide, check out this instructional video. “How to Build a Phone Charging Solar Panel from Scratch”