Solar charger shuts off

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by Phoenixdadeadhead, Apr 5, 2009.

  1. Phoenixdadeadhead

    Thread Starter New Member

    Apr 5, 2009
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    Hi I am an electronics dummy, but I still like doing my own work, so here's my problem. I have a solar charger (output 5.5 volts @ 500 ma). It has self contained batteries. When I connect it to my phone or usb battery charger it will charge for a minute (give or take) then shut off. My guess is that it thinks the batteries are fully charged, since depending on how low the batteries are it will go longer b4 it shuts off. What can I do to fix this? Can I fix it with some kind of inline fix?
     
  2. thingmaker3

    Retired Moderator

    May 16, 2005
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    Are they NiCad batteries?
     
  3. Phoenixdadeadhead

    Thread Starter New Member

    Apr 5, 2009
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    no the internal batteries are lithium ion. Although I have not taken the panel apart to confirm this.
     
  4. thingmaker3

    Retired Moderator

    May 16, 2005
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    Let me make sure I understand what you've got...

    You stick this thing out in the sun for a while and it charges its internal batteries (Li Ion). Then you bring it in and use it to charge your cell-phone battery or some other gizmo. It only provides charging action for a moment or two.

    Is the above correct? If so, how much sun do you get where you live, how many hours do you leave the solar charger in the sun, and what is the ambient temperature?
     
  5. Phoenixdadeadhead

    Thread Starter New Member

    Apr 5, 2009
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    You got it, it will also charge off of a usb. It said it would take 8 hours on usb to charge, so I have mostly been trying to use it after charging it on the usb, but I have also tried charging it next to my solar charger for my truck which consistently produces 14.8 volts and 1.5 amps. The temp has been ranging from 50 to 70 degrees depending on the day. From what i have read on this style of solar cel/pda/camera charger, they will shut off when they think the batterie is full. So what I am wondering is if I can put something inline (in the wire between charger and chargee) that will let the charger think the item is still dead? If the phone is close to dead the charger will last for a few minutes b4 shutting down.
     
  6. Phoenixdadeadhead

    Thread Starter New Member

    Apr 5, 2009
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    some more info that might help you in ur awesome attempt to help me. The solar panel, while under an incandescent light produces 2 volts, and the internal battery which i believe is fully charged is at 4.2 volts, and the output line is at 5.5 volts. While I was attempting to check the voltage on the output, my hand slipped a few times shorting the line, each time the charger shut off, just like it does when I am charging
     
  7. Phoenixdadeadhead

    Thread Starter New Member

    Apr 5, 2009
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    would a picture of the circuit board help? I would be happy if it just had a reset button, because when the charger's batteries are full it seems to charge longer as well, but when it shuts off the only way I have found to reset it is to plug it in. Unfortunately I will not be able to plug it in on the appalachian trail.
     
  8. thingmaker3

    Retired Moderator

    May 16, 2005
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    Do you have a model number and manufacturer name?
     
  9. Phoenixdadeadhead

    Thread Starter New Member

    Apr 5, 2009
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    all it has on it is Solar Charger. I bought it from china, and I figured I would need to tinker a little for it to work right. I had it charging 2 AA batteries today, and it lasted a bit over an hour b4 shutting off. Which is fine, but to reset it u need to plug it into an USB.
     
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