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Following a recent purchase of a $1 solar panel from eBay, I decided to try powering a graphing calculator with it. The 80x55 mm panel supposedly provides 1 watt at 6 volts. Here's the setup:




And here is the result:





I did use a partially broken TI-81 in case anything went wrong. Under direct sunlight, I was able to use the calculator with contrast setting of 2. The screen shut off as soon as I entered the shade, and the screen froze on whatever was last displayed when going back in the sun. Next to a 60 watt bulb, the display was on but extremely faint, and the calc did not power on under a 200 lumen LED.

Perhaps a TI-80 or a 3.3v calculator with a larger panel would fare better indoors, but I don't have any to test yet. I suppose that this would be more useful, though still unwieldy, if I can get it to run indoors.
Getting 1$ stuff from Ebay is a fun thing sometimes, because some stuff is great, and some garbage
Looks to be a nice sunny day to be doing some calculating!
  
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