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Solar Power Workshop Coming Up!

The class will be held on Saturday April 23rd, starting at 11am. No pre-registration is required. Payment for materials can be made with cash or preferably by paypal.

Oakland's new hackerspace, Ace Monster Toys, is offering a public class in building small solar power systems. You'll learn how to build anything from a solar powered bike light, to an emergency power charger, to taking your bedroom or field research site off the grid. The emphasis is on being safe, cheap and practical in a small footprint, where the whole system can be moved.

The class will be on Saturday April 23rd, broken into two sections: 11am to 1pm will cover how power systems are built, and 1pm - 4 will be a chance to use Ace Monster Toy's tools and experience to build your own system. The Theory class will cover:

  • A hands on walk through the parts of a solar power system, from battery to solar panel & all the parts that go between.
  • How to calculate the right size of solar panel and battery for your needs.
  • Where to shop for cheap & safe parts.
  • Useful electronic theory ( How understanding watt calculations will keep you from getting ripped off on ebay)
  • Legal and safety issues. ( Why you'll be spending a lot on fuses, and how to build something that could pass an electrical inspection)
  • How to secure your solar panels.

The afternoon workshop will allow anyone to assemble the wiring and fuses needed to make a system. We'll have a few batteries, charge controllers, inverters and solar panels for you to test out your system, and will help you to calculate how what type of battery and panel to buy. We'll have a few items for sale, but most people should order from the vendors. When the parts arrive at your house, you'll be able to quickly plug everything together and be confident it will work. Depending on attendee interest, we may schedule a follow up session to finish construction. Attendees will need to pay for parts used, most systems will use $15-40 in parts.

Ace Monster Toys is a Hackerspace in the SF Bay Area in Oakland (quite near Berkeley and Emeryville). The address 6050 Lowell, near Alcatraz and Sacramento. You can find driving instructions on our website at

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Ace Monster Toys is a non-profit hackerspace based in Oakland, CA, dedicated towards education, hacking, and maker culture.

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