Automatic switch for solar charger

Hello all. I'm New to the forum and arduino. I have a problem and wanted to know if there are any practical solutions.

I have an iPhone and a solar batter charger (see link below). The charger needs to be manually switched from charging itself (in the sun) to charging my iPhone.

Question: is there a switch that can be made to trigger the charger based on how much light is being shown on the trigger? Example, in full sun, charge the solar charger, in pitch black, charge my phone.

Phone is always connected via USB.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00DLUYSPO/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?qid=1401138595&sr=8-1#

The need to be switched manually could be the reason for the 70% discount, but it might noit be a bad idea, and I don’t think you need an Arduino to fix it. If you propose to do anything, you are going to have to open the device and see how it is wired. You may find that the fix ix as simple as getting rid of the switch, which may be there only by virtue of a wrong theory, but you may also find that you are making the wrong assumptions.

I believe iPhones, and I suspect Garmin satnavs, will not accept a charge from an inadequate current source and you can be sure the solar cell will be inadequate by itself, hence the battery, but I can’t see a problem with getting a charge from the battery while the solar is still connected.

But I think you might find you don’t actually need to do anything, the switch is only there to ensure that all the power from the solar panel is going to the battery, even if the phone could actually do with some, i.e. it is not a matter of must but a matter of preference. This is not such a bad idea if you are short of sunshine.

Much appreciated. I will buy it and open it up to see what's up. However, I anticipate a button acting as a "switch" because the instructions say to press it for 3 seconds in order to power up the unit.

As a side note, do you happen to have or know who makes solar chargers (with a battery pack) like the one on amazon but doesn't have the switch altogether? Maybe I'm just looking in the wrong place.

Assuming further, if I can't bypass the switch, and I replace it with some basic processor that can do it for me based on the amount of light beings received into the processors solar sensor?

Cxzsaq:
Much appreciated. I will buy it and open it up to see what’s up. However, I anticipate a button acting as a “switch” because the instructions say to press it for 3 seconds in order to power up the unit.

As this is a portable device, this button may simply be a measure to prevent turning it on by accident.

As a side note, do you happen to have or know who makes solar chargers (with a battery pack) like the one on amazon but doesn’t have the switch altogether? Maybe I’m just looking in the wrong place.

No. You may find something on eBay.

Assuming further, if I can’t bypass the switch, and I replace it with some basic processor that can do it for me based on the amount of light beings received into the processors solar sensor?

I don’t know how you would do this, and I don’t think you need it. Even if you did do it, it is something you may subsequently question. I have a solar system that feeds high voltage pulses off a coil in low light, rather like the ignition circuit in a car. Your device may, and indeed should, be similar, and it just might explain the switch. I only point this out as it may be more complicated than it first appears to be.

Nick_Pyner: The need to be switched manually could be the reason for the 70% discount, but it might noit be a bad idea, and I don't think you need an Arduino to fix it. If you propose to do anything, you are going to have to open the device and see how it is wired. You may find that the fix ix as simple as getting rid of the switch, which may be there only by virtue of a wrong theory, but you may also find that you are making the wrong assumptions.

But I think you might find you don't actually need to do anything, the switch is only there to ensure that all the power from the solar panel is going to the battery, even if the phone could actually do with some, i.e. it is not a matter of must but a matter of preference. This is not such a bad idea if you are short of sunshine.

ok - here are the details on the charger. you can see the push button. if i just break it off, will that essentially by-pass the button concept? or do i need to replace it with some 'one way' diode? Button on bottom left: Button top left: Back

I'm afraid I can't comment, and all these pictures do is confirm the last sentence of my previous. Note though that the switch is momentary, so adding a diode or by-pass changes the state from momentary to permanent, and I don't think that will be what you want.

As I said before, the switch may be there to ensure that all the power from the solar panel is going to the battery. The instructions might confirm this.

The (great) complexity, and a couple of the components, suggest this has a capacitor discharge mode, but I don't know if the switch has any bearing on this.

Thank you