Thursday, November 12, 2009

Easy Listening

12-volt radio
We are always looking for creative ways to save energy and power, and we also love to listen to music. For us the solution was a 12-volt car radio to run off of solar.

We picked up a used car stereo at a yard sale for $3.00. My husband built a cabinet for it to be mounted into, which is just big enough for a 12-volt battery to sit at the bottom. We went online to find the specks for our brand of radio; found out which pin was power and how to hook up the speakers properly.

We mounted the stereo in the cabinet and connected two 5 watt solar panels to the battery (probably one would be enough, but we had two so we used both).solar panels to 12-volt radio

There were two power connectors on the radio. We connected the one that holds memory to a fuse and to the positive side of the battery. The other power connector (which turns the radio on and off) we ran from the fuse to an external switch, which acts like the key in a car. That way when we turn off the radio (by the external switch) there is no power draining the battery.

We then connected the speakers, which are mounted on the walls and ceiling through out the house.