Sunday, February 19, 2017

Solar Watch Charging

A few years ago I bought a Solar watch that wasn't holding a charge.  Being the kind of guy I am I built a solar watch charger, stuck the watch in it and let it charge for a week.  Works great now, holds a charge for a week or so.  That was back in 2012 and I have talked about it a few times on the Internet since.  I tried to drum up some funding for producing a short run of a few thousand Solar Watch Charging boxes, but, short sighted dorks couldn't see the value.

My first Solar Watch Charger (SWC) was a cheap, plastic, watch box that I stuck a 12v LED in the top of.  I wired it to a 12v adapter.

Later I built a few others, timers, batteries so I could travel with them, etc.  I worked with a timer on You Tube and in the post I discussed using it for an SWC. ( Don't watch the video if you are looking for a solar watch charger, I don't show it being used for that, although, I am currently using it for that purpose.

I actually hooked it up to an aquarium light I bought off of eBay.  I used to have the light plugged into a regular timer, the "geek" timer is just because I like messing with stuff.  I used those double sided tapes they use for those hooks that can be removed from walls to attach the light to the side of the jewelery box.

I broke the aquarium light clamp because the clamp was designed to fit on a wall thinner than the wooden toolbox I use as a jewelery box.  I leave the top open, but, I could wire lights into the lid so I could close it, I just haven't done that yet.  (comma splice) The light comes on for about an hour a day to keep my solar watches charged.

There is a guy who took my idea, ran with it and built a really hokey device.  He used to sell it for $10 bucks, then more, now it runs almost $30 on Amazon.  People have built lights in watch boxes.  All pretty simple stuff anyone can do really cheap.

The easiest way to charge a watch is to just set it somewhere and put an LED flashlight on top of it.  Just buy a cheap, short, LED flashlight, turn it on and put it on top of the dial.  Leave it for a while.  Yeah, sometimes the flashlight falls over, but, anyone can prop it up.  This is the main reason I couldn't get funding, everyone wanted to know why anyone would buy something they could do with a $1 flashlight.

There are these LED puck lights, buy one at a dollar store, put it under a shelf and shove your solar watch under the light.  Easy Peasy.  Costco sells LED Puck lights that have a timer built in and a very cool remote.  I had to wire a wireless remote into my timer to turn the lights on and off.

There are hundreds of ways to solve this solar watch charging problem.  I've shown a few here and discussed another.  I like building stuff.

Still, I imagine people will be producing SWC systems into the future.  Any of us who own more than one watch needs a way to keep our watches charged.  I like the aquarium light best, so far.  I can keep 8 watches fully charged in my jewelry box pretty easily. 

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