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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I decided to throw together a solar generator over the holiday weekend, so I ordered some items off amazon and I had ordered some panels from solar blvd



I went to wally world and sears and picked up the rest of the parts



so after I had assembled all the parts, I set the battery in the bottom of the toolbox



I used some cardboard to help keep the battery from moving around



after looking at it and thinking how to lay everything out, I decided to center the battery in the box which also made it more stable





Once the battery was set, I put the tray in and messed around with placing the inverter, it fit into the tray well, but the sides blocked the outlets and the posts



so I took my blade and jig saw and cut out the sides



and set the inverter, the resulting gap was good for running the wires





I screwed down the terminals to the posts



and mounted the inverter



and ran a 12 volt connector from the batteries



I traced out the speakers and used my razor to cut out the holes





I mounted the charge controller between the speakers, this location works well also because it sits under the lip of the lid which will protect it from the rain



and wired up the speakers



and wrapped some electrical tape around the speaker to secure the wires



I used some sheet metal screws to mount the speakers so that they would self tap into the hard case



 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I picked up a cheap mounting kit and broke all the tabs off the bracket and traced out the opening



I used my utility knife and cut out the opening



and set the radio down into the bracket and set it the hole, I popped on the face plate for the radio and it locked the radio in place snugly



the only thing not waterproof is the speakers, but I can run a silicone bead around them to fix that



I wired up the power and the ground



and the speaker wire, making sure that the positive and negatives were correct



all wired up



and ready to fire up



the next day I hooked up the solar panels, only thing I didn't like about these panels was there wasn't a lot of options for mounting them together except for the 2 sets of holes



So I went and picked up some bolts, a hinge and some screw plates. I also bought a switch



I used the screw plates to mount the panels together





I stood them up to see how well the angle was with them leaned up against the handle



I needed to mount the hinge so I drilled out the frame for mounting



and bolted down the hinge



I decided to mount the 12 volt plug in the side to make it more professional looking, so I drilled out a hole



and popped in the outlet



much better looking and water tight



I bought a switch to kill the radio from the battery when not in use. Like all of today's electronics, the radio will still drain the battery even when shut off



I drilled out a hole and mounted the switch



and ran the wires down below



I grabbed the current wiring set up, the bundle on the right with the red, yellow and blue is the power feed

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
ran the red and power side of the switch together and tied the negative side in with the yellow and blue bundle



already to rock and roll



next I drilled out a hole to feed the battery from the controller



ran some wires



and hooked them up to the output side of the charger, paying attention to the negative and positive terminals



I pulled in the slack to clean it up a little



next I had to wire up the panels



I ran the wiring under the wire bracket



and made sure to pay attention to the positive and negative again



got both sides hooked up



I had to wire them in parallel so I drilled out a hole in the frame to run the wires from one panel to another





stripped the wires



and connected all positives and all negatives together and ran out a single feed



I decided to hard wire the 12 volt terminal to the battery since the inverter already clamps to the posts, so I cut off the clamps



and wired everything up, at this point we were live except for the panels going to the charge controller



I mounted the panels to the bracket built into the handle



the handle collapses allowing the panels to lay flat



and standing



I decided I didn't like it mounted there because the bracket was kind of flimsy and I could just see it breaking, so I drilled out the handle which was more sturdy



and remounted the panels, I also liked that they stood up higher which allowed the panels bottom to rest right on the box and not just the edge



I hooked up the panels to the charge controller and we were producing energy



it is all complete



 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
price break down

12v clip on adapter 5.02
400 w inverter 26.84
charge controller 34.95
tool box 60
radio 49.97
speakers 29.95
wire 8
dash kit 18
panels 75.38
battery 80

for a total of 388.11

compare that to the prices of the ones online that are 2000 dollars. My specs and theirs are very close except they have a single 45 watt panel I have 2 20 watt panels. They also have a 1500 watt inverter while mine is a 400, but it only costs another 80 dollars to upgrade to a 1500 watt inverter. If you take away the stereo and upgraded the inverter you would still be about the same price point though.

if anyone wants my material list I can post it, peace
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
if you wanted to just build a solar powered boom box, you could do it for much cheaper, you wouldn't need the inverter and you could use a smaller panel. Just run 12 volt. good luck!
 

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kvr28,
Thanks for the great how-to.
Have you experienced any issue using the modified sine wave inverter while charging or running electronics?
 

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I am building a Solar Generator for back up power where did you get the tool box. That is about what I have been looking for looks like I could put 3 batterys in it and my inveter on top of them. Most boxes i have seen so far are to small inside for 1 battery let a lone two or more and i like the wheels on it .
 

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Are you tracking the charge on the battery while you are playing the radio? Just wondering if it's keeping up with your usage.
 
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