This solar powered portable Wi-Fi repeater is capable of providing a hotspot anywhere and anytime. A little cigar box is used to house all the components including the solar panel that charges 5 AA batteries where the Wi-Fi router is connected. The images of the finished product are shown below as it can be placed in the back window of the car for the possibility of checking email and surfing the net within 150 feet.
The Linksys WRT54G router will run up to 12V 1A or 12V 500mA or 6V 500mA while the solar panel can provide 7.5V at 500mA in direct sunlight. Since the batteries voltage is too close to what the panel can provide in regards to voltage, no charging circuit was needed as the panel is unable to overcharge the batteries. Any voltage ranging from 6V DC all the way up to 24V DC can be handled by the built-in voltage regulator in the router as shown in the image below.
In case of clouds, shade, and other hindering factors, the batteries are simply present to act as a flywheel although the panel can provide enough voltage and current to run the wireless router without batteries. The 5 AA batteries will in turn supply the energy needed to run the router after being recharged by the panel. A custom firmware known as DD-WRT is running on the router to automatically scan the open hotspots and then connects to the automatically found strongest signal and then repeats the signal locally for surfing the net with a more reliable connection.
From the image below, the router can be seen mounted into the cigar box along with the 5 AA battery holders although it could run on 10 AA batteries. The next image shows a better view of the battery holder.
The cigar box is made of wood and the antenna sticking out is shown in the side view of the box below. Depending on the orientation of the box, the antenna can be rotated so it can be adjusted. The toggle ON/OFF switch can also be seen on the next image although it is not necessary to have one. The original AC plug is also included but plugging into the wall mart is also possible.
A lot of force has to be applied between the sides in order to get the board to go into the box and there is no need to glue or secure it since the router is literally jammed into the box so tight. A video of this mod is shown below.