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Ever wondered what it would be like to have your own hotspot no matter where you went? Well now you can with this portable solar powered Wi-Fi repeater. This little mod is simply a wifi router connected to 5 AA batteries that is charged with the built in solar panel and all mounted into a little cigar box. I used this in the back window of my car and no matter where I am at I am able to surf the net and check email within 150 feet of my car.
Here is how it works:
First there is the solar panel. This panel puts out enough voltage and current to run the wireless router without the batteries. The batteries are simply there to act as a flywheel in case of clouds, shade, etc. The panel then recharges the 5 AA batteries which in turn supply the energy needed to run the router.
The router runs a custom firmware called dd-wrt that automatically scans for open hotspots and then connects to the strongest signal it finds automatically. It then repeats the signal locally so you can surf the net with a more reliable connection. No need to search for open hotspots, it finds em and connects to the strongest for you.
This comes in handy as one is at work and their car sits in the parking lot all day long. Then when I come out for lunch I am able to immediately login to my asus netbook and check email, etc.
Notes; This router (Linksys WRT54G v8) will run on up to 12 volts 1 amp or 12 volts 500ma or 6 volts 500ma. I know because I personally tested it with other wall warts of these voltages and amperages.
The solar panel puts out 7.5 volts @ 500 ma in direct sunlight. So no charging circuit was needed as the panel is unable to over charge the batteries due to the fact that the batteries voltage is too close to what the panel puts out in regards to voltage. Now you might be asking how can this router take such different voltages and amperages as stated