Making your own solar panel adapter cables
Over the past year, I have built up quite a collection of power stations while doing reviews for The Prepared. An issue I ran into is that the one solar panel I have can only charge one of the three power stations because the plugs are not interchangeable.
Looking at all the power stations and adapters, I realized they have one thing in common, a car cigarette lighter adapter. I couldn’t find an 8mm (size of the solar panel cable) to cigarette lighter adapter on Amazon or eBay, so I decided to make one.
Note: This type of DIY cable making is very straight forward and hard to mess up for my small use case. While you can make your own cables and adapters for larger setups and different connectors like MC4 or Anderson, make sure you know what you are doing so you don’t fry your system or shock yourself.
Even the parts for this build were difficult to find, with AliExpress being the only place I could get them. I like Aliexpress because things are often a fraction of the price for the same item you would buy from a reseller on Amazon or eBay. The parts are shipped in from China, so they take a while to get here, but these arrived very quickly in less than a month.
If you haven’t ever done any electrical work like this before, it’s not that complicated. Pair up the red with red and the black with black wires using electrical tape, or for a stronger connection, solder it together as I did.
I twisted the cables together, applied some solder, then slid some heat shrink tubing over the connections to insulate and protect them.
The finished product worked perfectly and I now can charge all three of my power stations from the one solar panel.