There’s a new IT bag in Los Angeles. Solar DJ Mark Farina has outfitted a thrift store designer bag with one of our 1.3 Watt solar panels and battery. We think the design is quite clean and Mark is taking requests to solar-up your bag.
Credit to Mark for all photos. He can be reached here.
Please note, this design is a bit underpowered compared to the usual Voltaic bags which have three 1.3 Watt panels so charge times will be proportionately slower.
Step 1: Parts and Tools
1-3 1.3 Watt Panels ($30-$90)
1 Circuit Box Set ($3)
1 JetPack Battery Set ($75)
1 used/salvaged handbag, preferably with a flat front
Sharp knife
Super glue
Needles & thread
Step 2: Cut slot into backing behind front panel
Cut an opening just wide enough to fit the panel through. Be careful not to sever the front panel.
Step 3: Cut a hole in the front panel to match the panel size
You want this to be exact. Trace the border first and then cut carefully, making sure not to cut through the backing. If you make the cut a bit smaller than the panel, the fabric can cover up the edges of the panel.
Step 4: Attach the panel to the backing
There are a variety of ways to connect the panel to the backing including screws and rivets (just drill holes in the corner of the panels), but super glue can work as well as long as you don’t put a lot of force on the panel while wearing the bag.
Step 5: Manage the Wires to the Battery
The battery clips nicely inside this bag, but you will need to connect it to the solar panel via the circuit box. The box allows you to string multiple panels together and also prevents power from flowing backward out of the battery into the panels. Since the circuit box is lightweight, you can cut and glue small pieces of velcro and glue them to both the box and the bag. This will keep it secure and out of the way.

A few well-placed stitches will further keep the wires where you want them.

Step 6: Place the LED
The circuit box set comes with an LED. When enough light hits the panel, the LED illuminates. Cut a small in the front of the bag where you want the LED located. Connect the LED to the circuit box and slide it to the hole. Another stitch here will keep the LED in place.
Step 7: Take the bag out on the town.

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9 Responses

  1. Stacey Layne

    Please indicate how a cell phone or other electronic device be plugged into this.

  2. SumPunk

    Where did it mention she ruined it? To me it only looks like she made it better…


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