Solar Charger

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by Sam Stephens, Oct 8, 2014.

  1. Sam Stephens

    Thread Starter New Member

    Oct 8, 2014
    Hi there, I'm fairly new to electronics so bear with me.

    I am trying to make a Solar USB Charger to charge my Iphone etc and I have have the circuit (attached below) but there is a problem.

    In the circuit there is a micro controller called ATtiny13v-10su. I know where to purchase one from but I am unclear on how to program it as the link on the PDF takes me to a page that no longer exists.

    1) How can I program the ATtiny13v-10su?
    2) Will it be possible to replace the ATtiny with a PIC?
    3) If i can program the ATtiny will the code be challenging? (I have done very little with programming)

    Regards, Sam
  2. Lestraveled

    Well-Known Member

    May 19, 2014
    I am amazed at how complex this design is to perform such a simple function. What is it about this charger that you are attracted to? If you just want to be able to charge your cell phone from a solar panel there are simpler and cheaper ways to do it.

    As an example
  3. MrChips


    Oct 2, 2009
    It appears that you can purchase the PCB and the programmed ATtiny13 from

    Contact elektor and inform them about their broken links.
  4. Sam Stephens

    Thread Starter New Member

    Oct 8, 2014
    This circuit is for a project in college so it needs to be complicated. I think I will just contact elektor and ask if they can provide a working link.

    Thanks for the quick replies!
  5. wmodavis

    Well-Known Member

    Oct 23, 2010
    I presume you are in a technical/engineering program in college. You state that the project "needs to be complicated".

    IMO the best approach in design engineering is the KISS principle. "Keep It Simple Student!"

    "Needs to be complicated" is contrary to that and I think it is mostly counter productive though there may be some slightly offsetting advantages.

    Lestraveled raises this point with an elegantly simple solution though I believe their may even be a simpler solution.

    In general ...
    - More complex = more difficult to design, manufacture & test.
    - More complex = often more costly. (In industry your time is a big part of the development cost. ex. You are having to spend time finding a part perhaps difficult to obtain or out of production and may need to be programmed & by your admission you have done "very little with programming" therefore either using up more of your time to learn programming or hiring it out to someone else. Don't get me wrong, learning to program is good, helpful, productive and more but.... Just saying.)
    - More complex = ( add more reasons here that it is not necessarily a good route to go when there are simpler solutions)

    If all this is just to learn, I can't argue too much with that but In the long run you'll be much better off to learn and focus your learning on the KISS principal.
  6. wayneh


    Sep 9, 2010
    I hope I'm not the only one chuckling. :rolleyes:

    Don't they teach elegance anymore, where simplicity trumps complexity?