Because we live in California, we were talking about earthquakes and the question came up on how to recharge a smart phone. These phones use USB cables. Rechargers usually don’t have those.
Several years ago, I bought a SolarVerter F6220 solar cell panel. It can replace four C, AA or AAA batteries (6 volt @ 220 mA). But it doesn’t have a USB connector.
I have a bunch of extra USB cables, so I took one apart to see if I could adapt it.
It’s pretty easy. You can do this in 10 minutes.
- Unplug the USB cable.
- Use scissors to cut the cable near the big USB plug.
- Use a razor blade and gently cut around the cable, about an inch from the end. Pull the rubber cover off.
- Under that is woven wire; this insulates the cable from electrical noise. Snip it away.
- Next is a thin paper wrapper. Remove it.
- There are several strands of string (to strengthen the cable). Clip those away too.
- You now have four wires: red, black, white, green.
- The white and green wires are data wires. Clip those too.
- The red and black wires are for power.
- The (+)red wire is power.
- The (-)black wire is the ground wire.
- Gently trim off the rubber insulation. You end up with about a half inch of bare wire.
- At this point, you’re ready to power your phone. Put it in a sunny spot. Connect the wires to the solar panel. Bingo! Your phone starts charging.
- It doesn’t matter if you reverse the wires. If it’s wrong, it won’t charge. That’s all. If it’s not charging, switch them around.
- If you want to get fancy, you can use solder to clean up the tips. I added little alligator clips. But it’s not necessary.
Bring on the earthquakes! 🙂