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Old 06-15-2011, 10:40 PM   #1
kiki12345
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Kobo E-reader Hack Lets You Recharge Using Solar Panels

Have a Kobo e-reader and want to be environmentally friendly at the same time? A hack on Instructables will allow you to do just that by charging the e-reader with solar panels instead. So in a sense, you may never need to charge the device again.

The hack, devised by Instructables user "Flapke," uses solar panels along with a Schottky diode. From there, you have to take the e-reader apart and cutting out a hole for the panels to fit.

When adding the panels, Flapke notes that you'll want to make sure you line them up in parallel (negative to positive and so forth) and wire them together. To make sure the solar cells stay put, use some double-backed tape. Then carefully wire the panels to the battery with the Schottky diode (again keeping note of positive to negative), tidy away any stray wires.

This hack sounds useful, but you'll probably need to give your Kobo a fair bit of sun exposure to really see the benefits. Flapke points out that due to the uneven charging curves of lithium-ion battery-powered e-readers (they'll charge quickly to a point, but then charge more slowly until full), the current of the solar panels cannot exceed 10% of the full capacity. If capacity is full, make sure you don't over-charge the e-reader by keeping it out full sunlight, unless you want the device to stop working.

If you want to give the solar charging hack a go, check out all the steps on the Instructables page.

And don't forget to tell GeekTech if you manage to get another type of e-reader or tablet running off solar panels too!
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Old 06-15-2011, 10:58 PM   #2
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Neat. I'm a little too unwieldy with tools to try something like this myself, to be honest, but I would love a solar powered reader... I was just mentioning that a few days ago to someone, actually. I would love to see pictures of this hack.
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Old 06-15-2011, 10:59 PM   #3
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Negative to positive is a serial wire up... parallel is negative to negative, positive to positive...

I find less work in using a PowerBee solar charger with integral Lithium polymer battery... when fully charged, it has about 2.5 Sony eReader charges available and doesn't need holes hacked into the reader...

Last edited by elcreative; 06-15-2011 at 11:02 PM.
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Old 06-16-2011, 02:56 AM   #4
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Would a link really have been too much to ask for? Here you go:
http://www.instructables.com/id/Solar-charging-ereader/
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Old 06-16-2011, 03:48 AM   #5
Ken Maltby
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If you put the solar panels on a slip-on cover you could use the current USB/charging
connection or make your "mod" one to add a barrel connector.

Luck;
Ken
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Old 06-16-2011, 08:01 AM   #6
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Presumably this would work with any battery powered device of similar battery strength? That would include all eink devices and many mobile phones. My Blackberry wall chargers are interchangeable with Kobos and Kindles.

But, yikes, looking at the actual instructions ... waaaay too complicated for me. Why not just sell a case with the cells embedded?

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Old 06-16-2011, 01:13 PM   #7
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Something about the idea of taking power tools to my ereader...just doesn't sit right with me. If it were someone elses, though, I could probably muster up the courage to destroy it.
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