Forum upgrade to SMF 2.1.2, still working on re-theming.

Main Menu
Welcome to Solid State Guitar Amp Forum | DIY Guitar Amplifiers. Please login or sign up.

June 30, 2022, 06:08:19 AM

Login with username, password and session length


How to build an amp to run on solar power

Started by luteski, May 04, 2018, 08:20:21 PM

Previous topic - Next topic


Or to find a way to continue playing electrified music as the cost of energy rises.
Battery power is an option, the newer designs require less energy.
In the future playing to smaller audience, perhaps back to crystal radios with tiny ear buds for the listener?
I just do not see a future for stadium rock.


Perhaps this should have been phrased as a call for alternative ways to pump up the power.
What happens when the grid goes down, or the cost goes too high?
Back to the future, we are all unplugged.
No easy answers.
No cell phones.
There are still ways to get loud.
Use natural acoustics.
Put more power into your vocal chords.
Use higher tension strings and play with more energy in your hands and body.
Fine tune your ears and learn to listen.
Use the power of silence.
In a quiet hall you will be able to hear a pin drop.
If you do not abuse your ears, you will hear the bees wings moving.
Get ready, a Brave New World is upon us.


Your heart is in the right place, but I think you don't see the economy of scale.

I got my start in electronics 65 years ago with a little crystal radio kit.  But remember, the power to actually drive your headphones comes from the radio transmitter nearby.  You want music?  Listen to radio, they make those with crank handle chargers and solar.  No reason you couldn't put an input jack on one for guitar.  But it won't play loud or long.  But would easily be done.

It will be a long time until electricity will be too expensive to have.  And at such time as that becomes the case, the last thing on my mind would be electric guitar.

I go to a stadium to experience a SHOW.  I can listen to the same music VERY cheaply at home.  So the solution to the arena problem is already here, someone can stay home now.  People like to be a part of something.  I like football, so does my sister.  I like the game, so I watch it from home on TV.  She likes to be a part of an event, so she has season tickets and sits out in the weather to watch.  Neither of us can get what the other wants... and that's ...OK.


Yes, the answer is not more power.  Just a different approach.
We are all part of an big electric circuit, the power runs thru us.  Just stay grounded.
Go to the show, or become the show.
I want to talk about how we can get by with less.  I love the tubes but 300 volts will be hard to find in the future, and if the politics get in the way no more imports.
It will be easier to deal with battery or 30 volts generated by hydro or solar.
or a wind mill.  Today it is easy, play your air guitar.
In the future you may find it difficult to find a source for strings for your guitar.
Think about it, and get ready for the future.


Are you familiar with class D amps and switch mode power supplies that make amps much more efficient, for example markbass ?
Perhaps the future has arrived and you are missing it?  ;)

J M Fahey

"Read"  this Audiobook (just play it in the background while you do something else which does not require concentration) : Make room make room!!! by Harry Harrison.
Written in the 60´s, it predicts a super populated World with all resources worn out for good, no more farm animals, no more fish, only crops are Soy and Lentils.
50 Million people just in New York City.  :P
No oil, no energy, people runs fixed bicycles connected to generators and batteries to cover minimum power needs.

Curious, I checked how much power can a standard Human produce (not an Athlete): some 60/70W for a couple hours or 50W steady all day long.

Not sure about Solar Power but doubt it will be much more, *per person* , if it has to power *everybody* .... say 400 or 500 Million people.

So forget tubes, air conditioning, fridges, clothes ironing , elevators, power tools, and anything power hungry.

We *will*  be able to keep our basic Electronic "toys": tablets, phones, maybe a well designed Laptop, radios, maybe a low power TV set so life won´t be that boring.
Oh, and low power lighting such as LED lamps.

Although most will have to work 12/14 hour shifts since we won´t have machine power to help us any more.
Back to the farm and horse/Ox pulled ploughs?
Back to manure fertilizer? (forget current synthetic fertilizer made from Oil).
Why not?
Amish and Mennonites (we have quite a few in Argentina and neighbouring Countries) never left the old ways and all I know seem to be *happy*  people.


And what would you do with that solar lap top anyway?  The internet would no longer exist.

J M Fahey

So what?
Internet is not the only Laptop use, by far.
Of course you must have interesting content already loaded.  ;)

I have literally thousands of books loaded, which mostly don´t read because I waste too much time on the Net, plus all you can do with a Computer, including games.

If SHTF, to begin with people will have to spend many work hours every day just to survive, definitely from sunrise to sunset, so actual use might be not much more than one hour at night, before going to sleep.

My Father was a Country Doctor and we kids LOVED to go with him to visit patients, in the late 50´s early 60´s most did not have electricity of any kind, workday was "all daylight hours" and at night kerosene lamps were used for, say, 1 or 2 hours, and then ... to bed!!!!

Only "Estancia"(cattle ranch) owners had *some*  electricity: huge banks of 32V batteries normally kept charged with Winco wind generators, and a backup Lister diesel engine for emergencies.

Single cylinder, a large heavy flywheel needed because piston only pushes 25% of the time (4 cycle engines) , once started they never stop unless you shut the fuel lines.

I have seen a few pre-WW1 ones running for more than 100 years now, tough little beasts, and very fuel efficient.
Nowadays they run on "Biodiesel", a fancy name for purified Soy oil, so if Oil dissappears from the face of the Earth, they will continue chugging along, although output power is not very high.

Bill Moore

Thanks for the memories, Juan! As a kid on the ranch, we would spend a week or more at a time at a couple of "camps". Really decent places, (us boys had a bed on the screened porch). Had a propane refrigerator, and stove, usually hung a quarter of beef in the shade in the porch covered with a tarp. Not old Lister power, but WWII Navy 4 cyl generators, usually run for an hour or two, and then lights out, they too were pretty efficient! The neighbor west of there had a Wincharger, and batteries, had lights as long as you wanted at night, even in the bunkhouse, (and a radio!) The kitchen even had a toaster! I don't remember staying up too late at night, as morning, (and breakfast) came before full sunrise! We took turns wrangling the horses, and since it was dark, we would look for old man Tom's white mule, to find the stock.


@ OP: if you want to play guitar powered only by solar power, use an acoustic guitar and become a vegan.



Number one answer, well I dont know about that vegan part.
Quote from: R.G. on June 26, 2018, 06:35:45 PM
@ OP: if you want to play guitar powered only by solar power, use an acoustic guitar and become a vegan.

I like the idea as well.

You could set up solar for 1 or 2 outlets in your home.
Plug your amp into it.

If your thinking more mobile, they have battery powered amps. You could get one of those portable solar powered chargers.

Jazz P Bass

Yeah, but, the solar power supplies are meant for phones & such at 3-5 Vdc.

An amp battery (I am thinking like a Crate portable amp) typically runs on 12 Vdc.


Yeah I see what you mean, you'd have to take a break to charge the batteries.