Solar Panel Preparation

Splice or Adapt?

The first verison of the solar charger came with a 4mm DC barrel jack on it. On older versions (4mm) it would come with a converter cable.

  • If you have an older v1 charger, you can use the terminal block method above OR cut the adapter cable in half and splice the 4mm connector onto the panel. The panel will plug right into the board but its more work.

Other 6V Solar Panels

If you have a panel with something other than 2.1mm or 1.3mm connector, you'll need to remove any existing connector. Cut off whatever connector is on

Gently remove the outer casing without nipping the inner wires.
Strip and tin the inner wires.

Method 1

For this you'll need a 2.1mm Terminal Block Adapter but its really simple. Just open up the screw terminals, slide the red wire into the + hole and the black wire into the - hole and retighten! Now you can just plug it directly into the charger (or adapter cable).

If You Have a Pre-2013 Solar Charger

This method is a little tougher, but results in a nicer cable. You'll need some heatshrink as well as some item with a 2.1mm DC barrel plug (like the 2.1mm adapter)

Cut off anything on the opposite end.

And carefully strip off the outer sheath.
You'll want some longer wires on this side, maybe 1.5" (3-4 cm).
Strip just the ends of the wires and tin them.
Place a big piece of heatshrink onto the cable, and then two shorter and smaller pieces on each of the wires.
Solder red to red and black to black, keep the heatshrink away from your soldering iron since it may shrink too fast!
After the solder cools off, pull the smaller shrink onto the wires and heatshrink them!
Then pull the big piece over everything!
And heatshrink it (with a hot air gun if you have one, or carefully with a lighter if you don't).
That's it! Check with a multimeter, in the sun, to verify that you have a open circuit voltage on the plug.
This guide was first published on Jul 29, 2012. It was last updated on Jul 29, 2012. This page (Solar Panel Preparation) was last updated on Sep 16, 2019.