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Solar Flashlight


The Solar Flashlight Kit is a custom project designed by Brown Dog Gadgets and distributed by Level Up Village. The circuit is designed to charge the batteries at all times. Flipping the toggle switch will turn the LEDs on and off. This project does not require soldering.

Difficulty: Moderate

Build Time: 30 minutes


Instructions
Video Guide below 

Tools you'll need:

Wire Strippers

Screwdriver

Included in the Kit

1 x 3 AA Battery Holder (pre-wired)

3 x AA Rechargeable Batteries

1 x Solar Cell (pre-wired)

1 x Toggle Switch (pre-wired)

1 x 1N914 Diode

2 x White LEDs (pre-wired)

1 x Terminal Block, 2x4

 

Diagram

Below you will find a circuit diagram for reference as you build the kit.

 

 

Step 1: Strip the Wires (Optional)

All of the wires in the kit should come pre-stripped, but you can make the exposed leads a little longer if you like. It may be necessary to nip the tip of the wires coming off the Battery Pack before stripping.

Step 2: Connect Wires to the Terminal Block

Starting at one end of the terminal block, insert and screw in wires in the following ports. When inserting more than one wire into a terminal it is helpful to twist them together first. Tug lightly at your connections to make sure they are tight enough. Wire colors may vary.

Terminal 1:      Solar Panel positive (+) wire (Red)

Terminal 2:      Battery Holder positive (+) wire (Red)

                        Switch wire (either wire will work)

Terminal 3:      Second Switch wire

Terminal 4:      Solar Panel negative (-) wire (Black)

                        Battery Holder negative (-) wire (Black)

Wiring for the other side of the terminal.

Terminal 1:      Diode positive (+) wire (without a black stripe)

Terminal 2:      Diode negative (-) wire (with black stripe)

Terminal 3:      LED positive (+) wire (Red)

Terminal 4:      LED negative (-) wire (Black or Green)

 

Step 3: Batteries

Put batteries in your battery holder.  If your LEDs don’t turn on, flip the switch.

Congratulations! You have a working circuit! 

Common Issues

1) Putting LEDs in backwards. Diodes, LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) included, only allow current to flow in one direction. If you put them in backward, current won’t flow and they won’t light up.

2) The solar cell won't charge the batteries.  Diodes act like one way valves for the flow of electricity. If yours is installed backwards the solar panel can’t feed power to the battery. Instead the battery is feeding power to the solar cell, which can destroy it over time. When installed correctly, the diode will prevent this from happening.

3) Nothing turns on at all.  You may have a loose connection, check to make sure all the wires are tightly secured. If the wires are alright, try different batteries, yours might be dead. 

4) The batteries are super hot/ smoking/ on fire.  This means you have a short circuit somewhere.  Take the batteries out and check your connections.




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Lesson Plans
Check back, lesson plans will be available soon.