Re: Discuss: Solar Charger & battery pack for the Raspberry

TheWhiteDragon
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Re: Discuss: Solar Charger & battery pack for the Raspberry

Postby TheWhiteDragon » Fri Jun 29, 2012 11:48 pm



TheWhiteDragon
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Joined: Sat Jun 02, 2012 9:00 am

Re: Discuss: Solar Charger & battery pack for the Raspberry

Postby TheWhiteDragon » Thu Jul 12, 2012 12:35 pm

hey cotton,

back from honeymoon, hows the design & build going ?
let me know when its ready and ill send you some electric money :)

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cottonpickers
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Re: Discuss: Solar Charger & battery pack for the Raspberry

Postby cottonpickers » Fri Jul 13, 2012 6:36 am

TWD: Hi, hope it was a good one :-) Well as usual I got a couple of (minor) set backs! so had to tweak the design a little. I had made the hole for the switch too small but tried to 'jam it in' which is never succesful LOL! I will also need to marry this to the existing panel or shoot all the way up to the 1000ma panel (which may be too much for the cells) as I now realise that the 450ma panel is 5v when it needs to be 6v . Anyway upshot is that the first version was a write off :o

However, the tweaked design is coming on nice. Here's how its looking this morning:
Image I always love it when you can see your item look just like your design !!

It should be done by the end of the weekend for a Monday posting - so long as the rest of the build goes ok. No elec. money needed. Just need a little more time....

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cottonpickers
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Re: Discuss: Solar Charger & battery pack for the Raspberry

Postby cottonpickers » Sat Jul 14, 2012 7:58 pm

TWD: Well, the 8 cell Pi charger is complete and tested -woohoo! It can work with either 4 AA cells, or 8 AA cells. I'd recommend putting in similar cells (ie similar age/ charge) as 'weak' cells will pull down the others a little. I had to marry it to the existing 330ma panel though as it was that or 800ma which I think may be a little too much without going to D cells. I'm going to take a few photos tomorrow and post here. If you can PM me an address to post it to I'll pop in the post on Monday morning. No payment needed - it was a genuine offer of a present, and now I have an 8 cell design.

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cottonpickers
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Re: Discuss: Solar Charger & battery pack for the Raspberry

Postby cottonpickers » Sun Jul 15, 2012 3:00 pm

Here's how it finally turned out - fortunately there was a little sun in the UK today to test! - all working nicely.

With 4 cells I think it will give you around 5 hours use, and with 8 cells 10 hours. It *should* be able to also charge your portable TV, but I had to leave the USB port a little loose as its such a tight fit (I need to redesign that area a little more) so be careful if you use that port to charge your TV - just watch as you remove the lead.

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TheWhiteDragon
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Re: Discuss: Solar Charger & battery pack for the Raspberry

Postby TheWhiteDragon » Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:02 pm

thats a great looking box cotton,
cheers for the present ill send you my details now :)

TheWhiteDragon
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Re: Discuss: Solar Charger & battery pack for the Raspberry

Postby TheWhiteDragon » Wed Jul 25, 2012 10:11 am

collected the charger from reception, cheers cotton, just need to dig out some batterys and fire her up.
thanks cotton i owe ya one :)

giorgosmit
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Re: Discuss: Solar Charger & battery pack for the Raspberry

Postby giorgosmit » Sat Aug 04, 2012 12:15 pm

Hey cottonpickers! First post here, and first of all congrats on the brilliant ideas about the rpi! I have ordered an rpi without really having a specific use in mind, and my brain now is ablaze with ideas. Chief among them is using the rpi, plus your solar charger and some AA batteries as a small persistent server and putting it out on my balcony so it can gorge itself with sunlight (in Greece we have more of the blasted stuff now than we know what to do with it). Just one small suggestion, if I may: Would it be possible to make a cover for the rpi, so that it can be completely enclosed while mounted on the solar charger? I'm not asking about a badass milspec watertight job, just a plastic cover. I get a little uneasy seeing the pi exposed like that.

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cottonpickers
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Re: Discuss: Solar Charger & battery pack for the Raspberry

Postby cottonpickers » Sun Aug 05, 2012 7:50 am

lol - we could do with some of your sun! on AAs you can likely run all day in the Greek sun, but the batteries will only have a little juice left by then (so would not be able to run 24x7. -my D cell solution is capable of 24x7 but if you don't need that then the aa solution should work.

let me take a look at how to make it more waterproof. i should be able to something, especially if its used over wifi and vnc (no leads needed) give me a week to see what i can come up with.. ..

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cottonpickers
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FS: Raspberry Pi Battery Pack and Solar Charger Ver 7

Postby cottonpickers » Thu Aug 23, 2012 7:17 am

Here is a Solar and Battery unit suitable for the Raspberry Pi.

Its a neat way to power your Raspberry Pi:

1. You can power your Pi directly from the sun using the solar panel and 4 x nimh batteries (not supplied) which act as a 'buffer' if the sun goes in

2. or... You can let the sun charge the batteries using the solar panel during the day and then switch on your Pi when you want to use it. - great to use free energy.

Of course, you can use the solar battery pack to power other Micro USB devices but the size of this panel is just perfect for the Pi and would form the nice basis for making a Solar Pi Project box.

This is a hand made unit not a professionally made device! - I made one for myself and find it very handy that I thought others might be interested. As you can see it includes a nice box to put the pi into - a great snug fit with holes made for the external connectors.

The panel supplies a little over 300ma (so for 3000mah nimh batteries means that it is charging at a perfect C/10) and has blocking diodes to prevent battery discharge.

Typical Pi version B users are finding that they are using about 400ma an hour with various keyboards, mice, network and TV plugged in and running, so when in full sun it could run from mainly solar and when the sun goes in the batteries will seamlessles take over. Even using much lower capacity AAA cells (which also fit) my kids played on Scratch for over an hour and half in the dark with juice to spare at the end. AA cells hold about 3 times as much energy so you should have plenty of power.

The panel is large enough to charge 3000ma AA nimh batteries in under 10 hours or my smaller 750ma nimh AAA cells in under 3 hours. So you could leave in the sun in the day, and use the Pi in the evening.

The Raspberry Pi and Batteries are not included, but the micro USB lead obviously is.

This model has a
* Switch so you don't have to keep pulling the lead out to swich it off (but switching it off won't stop the batteries being charged)
* Blue LED so you can see when the batteries are being charged by the sun
* USB Socket so you can charge other USB devices like phones. Add $5 or £3 if you need added Apple circuitry to charge ipods/phones/pads
* USB Lead, so in winter you can just plug the lead in to a USB socket to charge the batteries (won't fully charge them this way) and run the pi when the batteries are flat and theres no sun

This model is also 'Linkable' If you buy 2 units and connect them together you can use twice the solar capability and twice the storage capacity.
Image



Price Including postage: £24.99 to UK
Price including postage: £27.99 to EU
Price including postage: £29.99 (or $49) everywhere else in the world

Paypal address: Image
How to order: Send payment via paypal and put 'Solar Pi Charger V7' in the paypal Notes field. For your protection, please don't use Paypal gift. If you also want confirmation when its posted, please just post a short reply to here with a note saying payment sent and include your forum name in the paypal note field, I'll then reply here when its in the post box..


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