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Just in case you did not know, those solar walk way lights use rechargable batteries. Set those solar lights out in full sun. Remove the batteries during the night - that way they do not discharge.
 

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Good ideal.
I have a few of those, but mainly thought of use, strictly for a second source of emergency lighting.
I also got, several years ago, these rectangulal solar chargers, that will do a couple of AA's, C's and D's.
Takes awhile to charge them when completly dead, but it does work.
 

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I liked your orginal post better Kev,

The great thing about these lights is you can use them to recharge AA batteries, in the sun light. But when you buy them they have to say that they are 3 volt (for 2 AA batteries)
 

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the power went out here a few times during ice storms and a couple of hurricanes. I brought in my solar lights, and set each one in an empty glass jar. This doubled the amount of light they put out. Still its a weak light, but in the bathroom, it was enough light to be able to pee and I didn't have to worry about kids knocking over the flamed lit candle in there instead. Put a kid near a flame and they will play with it. So they were great in that respect. Even with 4 of them, you still could not see to cook a meal with them, but they do light the way around your house enough to keep you from bumping into the furniture. Remember the jar trick, it really increases the output of light from them much like the globe on a kerosene lantern does. I used a thin empty olive jar, a big mayo jar, and the light output seemed to be the same either way, so any empty jar is good.
 

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Getting Ready
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Great

Thanks for the idea, I never even thought of tapping that resource.
 

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Hello all,

Also note that if you use the adapters you can get C/D batteries from your yard lights

http://www.greenbatteries.com/battery-adapter.html

The ones in the link are not the best - just an example

So, if you have a LED flashlight that takes C batteries then you can recharge as long as the sun is out - it just wont have as long a life as a regular C battery

This solar plus adapter solution will also eliminate the need for a solar charging radio as your batteries meet this need.

Now, if I could only find a hand crank way to battery charge when the sun is not out...

Anyone know of a hand crank gadget that uses AA/AAA batteries that we could use the same swap thinking on???

Thanks
 

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AAAH GET TO ZE CHOPPA!
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one of the projects far down on my "to do" list is get a 12v battery + solar charger rig. Then you can charge stuff from the 12v and keep it topped off during the day with the solar panel.
 

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I made one for $6 and tax. Got a 4.5 volt solar cell for $4.95 and a AA battery holder (two batteries) for $1. In business.
I'd like to use a small panel I have, it is 2.4W @ 17.5V can I put my AA batteries in a holder and just put the terminals from the panel to the ends of the holder? I don't know, TIA

Cheers

:confused:
 

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I've found over time and depending on your seasonal extremes that water can find its way into some of the cheap solar lights, a simple smear of silicon around the edges of the pv cell on the light can make a big difference between dry batteries and corroded batteries.
 

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I'd like to use a small panel I have, it is 2.4W @ 17.5V can I put my AA batteries in a holder and just put the terminals from the panel to the ends of the holder? I don't know, TIA

Cheers

:confused:
As I understand it you need a diode in between to keep the solar panel from pulling the charge out of the batteries when there is insufficiant sunlight.
 

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So, when SHTF, you run through your neighbors yards and swipe all their solar lights..

I just picked up a bag of about 10 of them at a Yard Sale for a buck.. Batteries are all dead but, no biggie there. Just gotta grab a couple dozen and I'm in business..
 

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you should also really use some form of voltage regulation or get a charger to go between the solar panel and the batties so you have some " smarts " in the system - keeps your batteries healthier too !

dont want exploding ni-cads waking you up in the middle of the night

As I understand it you need a diode in between to keep the solar panel from pulling the charge out of the batteries when there is insufficiant sunlight.
 

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As the voltage of the Solar panel is 17v i would suggest to get a 10cell AA battery holder, then you can hook up the solar panel to it directly without any worries of over charging,

You may need a diode to stop the batterys discharging into the panel, which you can get from radio shack or just salvage from some old equipment lying around

They look like this
http://img25.imageshack.us/img25/508/1n4001.jpg
Think of a diode as a one way valve for electricity

The white band on the diode signifys which way the electricity flows, shown also by the diagram below the picture which shows a triangle and its pointing to the line this is the direction the electricity flows towards the line.

Some solar panels like the ones you buy for keeping a 12v auto battery topped up when its sitting have a built in diode so you could hook that up directly to a 10cell AA holder and it should work fine.
 

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anyone has experience with rechargeable Powerflare?
since in CA, I can't buy flare guns, I am considering them as an alternative.
I wonder how visible they are
 

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As the voltage of the Solar panel is 17v i would suggest to get a 10cell AA battery holder, then you can hook up the solar panel to it directly without any worries of over charging,

Some solar panels like the ones you buy for keeping a 12v auto battery topped up when its sitting have a built in diode so you could hook that up directly to a 10cell AA holder and it should work fine.
Thank you, yes the solar panel I have is like this, I've just read the box and it says there is a built-in blocking diode to prevent reverse charging. So all I need now is a 10cell AA holder and I'm good to go.

Thanks everyone

Cheers

:thumb:
 
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