A few weeks ago we shared Instructable’s handy DIY guide to building your own solar-powered USB charger. Now, the website has provided a guide to creating a solar-powered charger for rechargeable NiMH AA and AAA batteries with a twist – it’s made from a playing card!

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This cheap and easy project only takes 10-15 minutes to do, however you will need a couple of PV silicon cells. Other than that, they only parts you really need are a playing card, some solettes, some magnets and super glue. Solettes can be purchased from suppliers in China, such as these.

The complete material list is: copper tape with adhesive backing, super glue, a couple of playing cards, 4 NdFeB magnets between 1/4″ – 1/2″ diameter, 1/32″  – 1/8″ thick, 4-8 solettes (depending on what type of additional indicators or dark-current blocking diodes you add to the basic charger) and a few AA rechargeable batteries.

Optional extras include a schottky diode, an indicator LED and some form of rigid backing such as a scrap piece of 1/8″ thick acrylic. Once you’ve assembled all those parts, you’re good to go!

Click here to download a PDF of the complete instructions or alternatively, watch the below video.

+ Instructables