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Solar Antique Radio
Posted on Thursday, June 19 @ 07:04:02 EDT
Topic: Güneş panelleri
This is not a robotic project. But a nice one which is very fun to work on and also would be very useful at home or outdoors when completed. An FM radio which works with solar energy. The design looks like a classic wooden radio repplica from the front although it is much smaller in size. The back is where 2 small solar panels are located.

I've made the radiobox by using 6mm marine type plywood which had remained from building my small sailboat and had been lying around since then. The radio chassis is a box with dimensions 15 x 15 x 5 cm.

First i've cut out the plywood pieces to form the box, sanded them a bit and sewed the pieces together with copper wire in the desired shape. Any wire, even plastic ties can also be used for the purpose. The method is in fact used in boatbuilding mainly and called as "stitch and glue boatbuilding". And I guess this is the first time the method is used for building a radio instead of a boat hull. :) You may find additional info about stitch and glue method on our boatbuilding site . Then i've glued the pieces which are being held together by the stitching wire, using the putty i've prepared (mixed wooddust with epoxy glue). All the inner and outer parts of the plywood box are also covered with multilayers of epoxy.

The box was very strong when the putty cured.



I've opened two holes on the front face of the box for the volume and tunning dials. And many small holes where i thought the loudspeaker would be mounted. I've made the frontface easily openable by only unscrewing two screws for enabling later access in case of a problem.

read on for more info and photos............

I've used a ready made radio kit which is being sold on the market for around 8$. The kit has also inclued a 8ohms, 0.25 Watt loudspeaker. I've bought a folding & telescopic antenna which is suitable in size to fit the dimensions of the radio.



The radio kit works with 3V DC. So i've used two mini solar panels which gives around 150mA on 1.6V each. Connected in serial, these two panels supplied a good 3.2V to the kit under full sunlight. Though the radio kit consumed very little energy, now the radio works in the shadowy areas also.



The same solar panels being used on our robot bugs. A sample bug with pic microcontroller and some lightsensors which avoids shadows and wanders under the sun all the time..




At the back side of the box, i've made a rectangular opening which is large enough to take both solar panels inside. And the panels are held in place by a transparent plexyglass window screwed on them by two screws. The plexyglass would also protect the panels from impacts.



The antenna, radio kit and the loudspeaker also screwed to their places by suitable size screws. so the radio is completed. Though the panels are at the back side of the radio, it is possible to use it at home, just in front of a window. Put it next to the window with its back (so the solarpanels) facing outside and the dials & speaker looking towards the window. Some days later i've fixed an additional layer of plywood at the front of the box to give the radio a more classic look. Later sanded it overall and painted with a special wood paint which gives wood an "OLD" look. After a final coat of varnish, the radio reached its final stage of building.

Have fun and make solar radios ;)

 
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