Harbor Freight 1.5 watt Solar Battery Charger

Harbor Freight 1.5 watt Solar Battery Charger

Tests of output volts and amps produced before and after removing the blinking LED. Both overcast sky and bright sunshine. I hook up a DC to DC Buck Converter and explain it a bit. I run a USB charging port, I charge a camera and a cell phone. I use the panel to make a batch of colloidal silver. I test the panel with a simple solar charge controller. I charge a 12v- 3ah lead acid battery. This solar panel is not weather proof because it’s designed to be used on the dash of an enclosed vehicle.

19 Comments on “Harbor Freight 1.5 watt Solar Battery Charger”

  1. Hey Cryptic Cricket. I have not seen any new gun building vids in some time.
    I have always admired your craftsmanship and know how you have shown in your builds.

    If you have decided to keep building but just not document it here on YT then i figure
    you must at least be up to building a home made 105mm artillery piece by now.

    Ok maybe not a howitzer but at least a breech loading 105mm recoiless rifle.

  2. I just bought one.
    The instructions warn about leaving it in and over charging the battery.
    Is this the case with this unit. Or was that a. Generic solar warning.?
    That is my only cig lighter plug in the dash.

    I was thinking og adding a seperate plug direct wired straight to battery.
    What fuse / isolater / selonid would i need in line here ?

  3. You can't determine the power of that panel by multiplying the short circuit amps by the open circuit voltage. The true power of that panel (before your buck converter modification and diode removal) is going to be about 73% of that 2.2 watts you came up with. about 1.6 watts. Same with the power after modification (73% of 3.83 watts is 2.79 watts) your modification increased the power of the panel about 74% which is still very impressive I will have to use your modification to my panel as well. They make an even smaller higher frequency buck converter that sells for about 99 cents I may use that one. Thank you for your video.

  4. Hie Guys ? I am not sure if a solar battery can be charged with an electric charger ( from electricity supply )

  5. hey cricket I followed this to a t and the max I would get was 19 vdc on a overcast day also when I hooked to a bucket converter the led panel would not light up so I took a reading at the converter and at that point (input) I was getting 2.9 vdc.any clues what I'm doing wrong

  6. I know this video is from 2014, but just bought one of these panels from harbor Freight, they no longer have the LED. The back of the boxes still says they do, but they do not. Guess they learned that they were draining power.

  7. I tried this. Although the buck converter will regulate the voltage to whatever you want, the amperage output is insufficient to actually run anything. I planned on using this on a small fishfinder on my kayak. However, even at a minuscule 170ma, this solar panel just isn't big enough to power anything directly (excepting something that just needs a few volts perhaps). It was easy enough to stabilize the unloaded output to 12v but as soon as any load is added, the voltage immediately drops to about 4v (in bright daylight). It may still work fine for a trickle charger but I haven't tried it for such.

  8. I am a complete moron when it comes to electronics. Would this panel be able to charge a 7.2v 1800mAh NiCd RC battery? I'm going to be making a poor man's night-vision goggles that run off an rc battery and want a way to charge it if the power ever goes out. I have 2- crank flashlights with usb chargers so you can charge a phone or other usb device with it but not sure how to charge an RC battery with it. I'd buy a few of these solar panels too if they'd work. Any advice is appreciated.

  9. I purchase eBoot 6 Pack LM2596 DC to DC Buck Converter 3.0-40V to 1.5-35V Power Supply Step Down Module. I tested the output at the panel after I cut the wire to the light and it was just over 22 volts. When I hook up the buck converter and test the connection ( input drops to around 2 volts. Registers nothing on the output connection. Did I buy the wrong converter?

  10. Coolest part abt. this video is the little buck converter. I ordered some of these immediately after watching your vid. Don't trust the HF meter though…I bet it is several TENTHS of a volt off. Very inaccurate. I have two of them, and there really is't a way to calibrate them.

  11. You need to measure the voltage, while the load is applied. If you want to squeeze a bit more power, then use a mini mppt converter board, they are relatively cheap on ebay.

  12. Thanks for the info. I have recently purchased a Portable Powerpack/Battery Booster for some off grid camping. I don't plan to use it a lot other than to play music off mp3/phone and a bluetooth speaker. Would a 2.5 watt solar panel be able to charge the 12volt portable battery pack (12 volt DC charger)?

  13. Got my physics 11 final exam tomorrow, man i would rather be learning about electronics opposed to dynamics, kinematics, etc. They should honestly be teaching useful skills like this in school, good video you got my subscribe.

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