A Solar Backpack

NPR Do-It-Yourself Project

NPR's John Kalish did a DIY story on building a solar charging station in a backpack to charge an iPod. In addition to a call to Jameco, we thought this might be a project others might like to try.

Solar Backpack
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Inspiration cam from a dead battery!

Walking to the subway stop near my loft in Manhattan the other day, I was listening to my favorite podcast when all of a sudden the battery in my iPod conked out. This was annoying, so I detoured to an electronics store in Brooklyn called Dijitalfix, which sells a knapsack equipped with a solar-charging system that would have kept my iPod playing.

When I got there, owner David Auerbach showed me the backpack, which has three solar panels and can charge iPods or cell phones. It's nice, but a bit pricey. "This one is $200 and it doesn't sell well," he said. He said he's sold fewer than 10, even though he's had it in the store for two years.

I asked Auerbach if I could make one of these myself.

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