Schumacher 12 Volt Solar Battery Charger – Maintenance For Your Battery

Do you sometimes let your vehicle set up for long periods of time between uses? Do you have a riding lawn mower that sets up for the winter? Batteries sometimes have a hard time maintaining their charge when not being used for long periods of time. The schumacher 12 volt battery charger is like maintenance for your battery. This charger will help keep your battery in tip top shape when not in use for long periods of time.

I bought one to try it out.

I bought one to try it out. I have a diesel truck that sets up in the winter. I use it all the time in the summer for the yard work I do all summer. It has really worked out well so far. I did have to replace the batteries about mid winter this year but they were already 8 years old so i really cant complain. I use the truck very little in the winter but I like the idea of being able to jump in it and go if I need to.


  Installation was really easy. The hardest part for me was mounting the solar panel. I mounted it on 2 one by fours I had in the shop and attached it to my carport and ran the wiring over one rafter and down the side closest to where the battery is in the truck. After the solar panel is mounted all the wiring is plug and play after that. Each wire has a plug that matches up with the next one. The solar panel has 4 screw holes made in it but the panel itself is made of plastic so be careful not to tighten the screws down to hard it can crack and damage the solar panel.


When I ordered the Schumacher 12 volt battery charger all the research I did before buying it I discovered that in order for everything to work properly I would need to also order a regulator to go with it. If you hook the solar panel directly to the battery it will over charge the battery( I tried this and it was true) without a regulator the solar panel was charging at around 16 volts which is way to much for just battery maintenance that much voltage will damage a battery in a couple of hours. So the regulator was a great investment. I also purchased a 25 foot extension wire just to make sure that I had enough wire to reach the battery in the truck. It is better to have to much than not enough. The charger comes with the clamps to hook up to the battery as well as a plug to plug into your 12 volt power outlet in your vehicle. Just whatever is easiest for you to use. With the plug you dont even need to raise the hood of your vehicle.

Safety Measures

As with all batteries a person has to be careful about creating sparks around a battery. After the charger was mounted and the regulator was mounted I hooked up everything in a reverse order so as not to create any sparks. I first hooked up the clamps to the battery then hooked up the clamp wire to the regulator by hooking the plugs together. The regulator is clearly marked as to which wire plugs where. All the plugs are the same so be careful where you plug things. Then plug the solar panel to the regulator and installation is complete. One word of caution is NEVER start your vehicle with the solar charger hooked up. The alternator on your vehicle can create a power surge that can damage the solar panel. When you need to disconnect the charger it works really well to unplug the solar panel from the regulator then unplug the clamps or power outlet plug from the regulator then disconnect the clamps or plug from your vehicle. Batteries can explode if you create sparks around them because of the gas they expel during charging. Always remember SAFETY FIRST. 


When the solar charger is not in use it is a good idea to take down the solar panel and store it away till the next time you need it. The solar panel is weather resistant so it doesnt hurt to get it wet but I always store it away you know personal preference I guess. The regulator is not weather resistant so I mounted it in a dry location. I left the regulator mounted where it was since it was in a dry location anyway. Since I use the charger mostly in winter the solar panel is exposed to some pretty harsh weather elements. Be sure to keep the solar panel as clean as possible. Snow and ice build up may slow the charge rate down. Ice and snow will eventually melt so I wouldnt get the ladder out unless it was really bad. The safety first motto applies here also.

Putting it all together

I purchased the Schumacher 12 volt solar battery charger to maintain my truck batteries in the winter and so far it has done a terrific job. The Schumacher brand of battery chargers have been around for years of course they were all ran off electricity back in the day. My dad bought an electric Schumacher battery charger when I was a small boy and I still have it today so I knew it was a good brand. I bought the Schumacher solar battery charger because I wanted a maintenance free charger that I could hook up for all winter and not worry about anything and with the regulator I never worry about overcharging. I also dont have electricity in my carport so that made going solar the right choice.

My Amazon Affiliate has the Schumacher SP 400 12 volt Solar battery charger and maintainer for $49.01

The Schumacher SPC-7a controller is $31.02

The Schumacher EC 25 25 foot extension is $7.00 if you need extra wire for your installation.

If you have any questions or comments please post them in the reply section below. As always I would like to thank you for reading my post. I hope you found it helpful.  Michael Cox.

Have you ever wondered just how solar products work? Please read my article on the science of solar.


Solar Lighting Your Way

Solar Powered String Lights Outdoors – Decorative Lights On A String

Have you ever pulled up in your driveway at night and thought WOW my house looks like it is an abandoned house? There are no lights on in the house and no porch lights on and if you didn’t know any better you would think nobody lives there. Then you look at your neighbors house accross the way and notice they have solar powered string lights outdoors. The little decorative lights on a string. How cool is that?

A little string light history

Solar string lights evolved from the olden day christmas tree lights. After electricity became popular in every household people decorated their christmas tree’s with electric lights with the little screw in bulbs which was a big step up from candles that caused many house fires. Then after that it became popular to run an electric cord outside and put up those kind of lights around the outside of the house which was ok as long as you kept them out of the weather.Then finally light bulbs started to improve and they became weather resistant. Now outside lighting is taking a new twist with solar lighting starting to become popular.

Uses For String Lights.

There are many different uses for solar string lights. Of course there is the outdoor lights that you put up around the eve of your home. Then there are the solar string lights you can decorate trees or add accent lighting to your gardens they even look good around gazebo’s. I have seen them used as driveway markers and accent lighting for driveways. Solar string lights can also be used to weave into fencing if you have any fencing around your home. Some places of business use them around their signs and small billboards. The applications are endless. Your imagination is key on this one. Solar string lights look good in about any way you can think of.

Styles of Solar String Lights.

Solar string lights come in many styles. They have different shape lights and different colors. Some can be programed to blink on and off or just stay on constantly. There are small lights and larger lights of course the style you choose kind of depends on the application and where you may want to use them.

You may be wondering just where can a person get some good solar string lights. I have an affiliate that has a very large selection at reasonable prices. I put together a small selection below of course they have a lot more than I can possibly fit on this page. I hope you found this article helpful and as always I want to thank you for reading. Happy Lighting Michael Cox

If you have any comments or questions please put them in the reply section below.

Have you ever wondered just HOW do solar lights work? Check out my article   The science of Solar







Telling Time With The Sun – Solar Power Old School

The sun has been helping people tell time for centuries. Back long ago sailors used to tell time with sun dials. Of course everyone used sun dials not just sailors but everyone worldwide. The sun would cast a shadow on the dial and people used the shadow to tell the time of day. Telling time with the sun is solar power old school. Most people think of solar power as a power source to power lights and gadgets but actually solar power has been around for centuries.

I always thought that if the sun was involved in making something work, well that item or gadget must be solar powered so if you need sunshine to power a sun dial it must also be solar powered.

sun dial

After doing a little research on new solar gadgets I ran across a SunWatch Astrology Sundial Pendant Necklace that I thought was pretty neat. I thought it would be great to have one when hiking or camping. You never know when your wrist watch may break or the battery may give up and if you are camping or hiking you may be miles away from a jewelry store.

The SunWatch Astrology Pendant Necklace is also kind of a novelty item as well. It is one of those conversation pieces you can talk about around the campfire at night. Besides who do you know that has one already? This necklace is kind of a new take on a very old concept of telling time with the sun.

Besides this will probably be the only watch you will ever own that does’nt need a battery or never needs winding.This watch comes with a lanyard so you can wear it around your neck so it is easily accessible although you could carry it in your pocket but we all know what happens to metal objects when you carry them in your pocket. They become worn and you would’nt be able to read the numbers and symbols on the watch any more.

The SunWatch Sundial Pendant Necklace comes with (get this) a 1000 year warranty. I could’nt hardly believe it either but that is what it say’s. This would be the perfect gift for that hiker or camper that has everything and really needs nothing but you want to get them something anyway. Oh did i mention it also comes with complete instructions. Without instructions I would be totally lost I don’t have a clue how to read a sundial.

The SunWatch Sundial Pendant Necklace sells for 22.95 at Amazon(my affiliate). Remember the perfect gift for the person who has everything. Once again I would like to thank you for reading and I hope this article was helpful. Michael Cox

Have you ever wondered how solar gadgets work? Check out my article on the science of solar  If you have comments or questions please put them in the reply section below.

Solar garden lights

How To Get Rid Of Gophers And Snakes Without Poison-Use Solar

Have you ever just decided one day to take a stroll out in your yard only to twist your ankle in a gopher hole? Or take a walk by your flower garden and look down and see a big snake coiled up in your petunia’s? Or scare up a mouse in the weeds around your house and notice the mouse is looking for a way to get inside your house? Are you looking for a way to get rid of gophers and snakes without poison?

Did you know that there is a solar product that can help with all of these problems and provide a little nite light in your yard or garden at the same time? It is called a solar mole and snake repellant with mini led garden lamp.

This Upgraded Solar Sonic Mole and Snake repellant vibrates and emits 400-1000 HZ variable low-frequency sonic pulses every 40-50 seconds to repel burrowing rodents. It is safe for use around pets and children. No chemicals, no poison, no sprays or traps and they are safe to use on farms or in your gardens or anywhere you have a pest problem..

  •  This unit takes about 2 to 4 weeks to completely rid your property of pests. Since spring is trying to come around but has’nt officially gotten here yet if you start early enough you might not have to wait the 2 to 4 weeks. It should take care of the problem before it starts.
  • As with all solar powered items there are no wires or cords to trip over. This is one of those items that you set it and forget it. Thats the best kind.



This unit is charged by a polysilicon solar panel to accumulate power for operation. The solar module charges the battery during the day and runs the unit, while night-time operation is enabled by the battery. Choose the best sun situation enabling the solar panel to receive the light directly. The small LED light night light will come on automatically at dusk and off at dawn.

  •  This unit is very durable and uses high grade ABS plastic material and is weatherproof and has UV-protected construction, which can protect the unit against water splashed from all directions, and withstand rain, snow, or the harsh sun..
  • This unit is very easy to use just connect the cable connector from the spike to another connector under the top part, and attach the spike to the top then insert spike into the ground and keep the top part at least 4″high from the ground, then turn ON/OFF switch and enjoy the pest free environment you deserve.
  • This unit sells for 35.99 at Amazon (my affiliate) which is a good price since it is a package of two.
  • Get yours  HERE . If this product is not exactly what you are looking for there are many different styles to choose from. You can check out a bigger selection here.
  • I hope this article was helpful in your battle against some of the pests that come with spring and summer. As always I would like to thank you for reading. Happy spring Michael Cox.
  • Have you ever wondered just how solar product actually work? Check out my article on  the science of solar .
  • If you have any questions or comments please use the reply section below. Thanks


Awesome Solar Toys – Cure The Summertime Blues With Solar

Another school year will soon be coming to a close. Yep school will be out for summer vacation and right now they are jumping up and down shouting HOORAY. But what happens a week or two after school lets out? Then you here, mom I’m bored. I don’t have nothing to do, I’m bored. Never fear Awesome Solar Toys to the rescue. What better way to Cure The Summertime Blues Than With Solar Toys?

Toys have changed so much over the years. All the new toys on the market now are really cool. They didn’t have these kinds of toys when I was growing up. All we had was toy cars and tonka trucks. I bet I moved a ton of dirt when I was a young boy.

Solar power is fast becoming the wave of the future. Solar toys could be a neat way to introduce kids to solar power. They can learn and have fun at the same time. I done a little research on solar toys and found some really neat solar toys I would have loved to have had when I was young.

For the young men who love to build things and experiment and see what happens If I do this. How about a solar mechanics set? They can build up to 20 different model cars and gadgets and robots. The set includes a photovoltaic cell and electric motor and also includes a 60 page instruction manual and ideas of all the cool stuff you can build. This is great for passing those long afternoons. The solar mechanics set sells for 49.99 at amazon

Lets not forget the little girls out there. Solar power has a lot to offer them also. What little girl doesn’t like rainbows? I found a solar powered window mounted rainbow maker. This unit has a special crystal inside that reflects light in all directions to create the rainbow effect. It attaches to the window with a suction cup. This would make a nice addition to any little girls room. This also works at night after fully charged. This unit measures 6 by 1 by 2 inches. Just right for most windows. This solar rainbow maker is 30.00 at amazon.

For the more advanced students out there how about the Solar Lab 1.0? This kit is a little more advanced because it teaches kids about how solar cells work and how they can be used in real electric circuits. . The SolarLab 1.0 contains 10 step-by-step labs in a clearly-written illustrated manual to guide you through the basics of solar electricity. You will Learn:All about solar photovoltaic electricity and the history of solar, how to build circuits to power different devices, how to use a digital multimeter to learn about voltage, current, power and resistance, adding voltage with series circuits, adding current with parallel circuits, how to build a solar battery charger and LED light. The Kit includes: Comprehensive 44 page manual with 10 lab exercises, multi-voltage solar panel with adjustable stand, digital multimeter, motor with fan blade and stand, LED’s, diode, resisters, battery holder, batteries, and test leads. The Solar Lab 1.0 sells for 49.99 at amazon

Now for the smaller kids like 2 to 6 year olds there are all the different little solar toys. I call them bobble head solar toys. They are the toys that people put in the window and they dance around or their head bobbles(hence the name bobble heads). There are so many bobble head toys out there it would be impossible to list them all here. All the little ones will watch them for hours while they do their little dances and bobbles. Please go HERE to see the whole BIG list of bobble heads.

As with anything solar they work on batteries of course the sun charges the batteries through the photovoltaic cell. After thousands of cycles of discharge and re-charge the batteries will become unable to hold its charge and will need to be replaced for continued use of the solar product. Batteries come in all sizes and descriptions so if you find yourself in the need of replacement batteries please go HERE to find the replacement batteries suitable for your solar product.

Hopefully this article will help with the summertime blues. I would like to thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed the article and found it helpful. Thanks Michael Cox.

Have you ever been curious as to how solar power works? Please visit my article  science of solar to learn more.

If you have any questions or comments please put them in the reply section below. Thanks Michael.

Solar Cemetary Decor – Honor A Loved One With Solar Crosses

Solar crosses are becoming more popular today than ever before. Cemeteries are becoming dotted with them everywhere. More and more people are turning to solar powered cemetary decor as an alternative to buying flowers. Besides cemetery crosses are close to the same price as flowers and they last a lot longer. Why not honor a loved one with a solar cross?

Solar crosses come in all sizes and colors and have many different ways you can display them. They look great in memorial gardens or maybe even your own flower garden at home.

After doing some research on solar crosses I discovered that amazon (my affiliate) has great deals on solar crosses, They even have one for special tributes to our fallen hero’s our military veterans.

Just a thought, I wonder how cool it would be if a cemetery like arlington had a solar cross for every gravesite there. I bet it could be seen for miles around. With veterans day qiuckly approaching a solar cross would be a great tribute to a fallen veteran who gave his all for our country. To read more about solar crosses please visit Here 

Have you ever wondered how solar products actually work? Please read my article on the science of solar .

I hope you enjoyed this article on solar crosses and thanks for reading. If you have questions or comments please put them in the reply section below. Thanks Michael Cox.

If you didn’t find exactly what you were looking for please visit here to see the full selection of solar crosses. With the broad selection here you are sure to find just the right cross for your need.




Solar Lighted Humming Bird Feeder – Hungry Birds Are Humming Everywhere

With spring quickly approaching I was reminded about a friends birthday that comes around next month. I asked the BIG question ( what would you like for your birthday?) the response was – I want a solar lighted humming bird feeder. Well I know humming bird feeders are cool because it is fun and interesting to watch humming birds, but i asked WHY? The reply was hungry birds are going to be humming everywhere this spring. I want to be ready!

I have to be honest I had never heard of a solar lighted humming bird feeder before. I know solar items are just beginning to gain popularity but I am pretty sure humming birds don’t feed at night so why would they need a light? After a little research i discovered that the light was’nt for the humming birds.

The light was for night time decor. My friend told me she gets to watch the humming birds during the day and watch the multi-colored light show at night which is solar powered.

I want to apologize here. This hummingbird feeder is sold out. Amazon is offering one for 100 dollars which is way to expensive. I will update this when they get some in stock. Please check back later for I will update this as soon as they get more in stock. I apologize.

After doing a little research I found one at amazon for 100.00 which is the cheapest price i found. All the reviews i read on the humming bird feeder most of them were positive. The biggest complaint i read about was everyone thought its size should have been bigger. This humming bird feeder is 6 by 5.8 by 10.1 inches. So i guess it is a little small but that makes the humming birds seem bigger RIGHT?

Of course lets not forget the light show at night. This humming bird feeder has humming bird images inside of the reservoir and when the solar light changes color at night it really makes for quite a show. Of course being solar powered it does’nt require electricity so that means no ugly wires to see or trip over and you can hang it anywhere. Of course it does require sunlight to charge the battery. So don’t forget to make sure the humming bird feeder gets some sun every day.

Here I have to apologize again. I checked with the company that make these feeders and they have completely discontinued this item. I can not seem to find any type of solar replacement. I am kind of hung out to dry here because I am selling solar products and since this is no longer available all I can offer are regular humming bird feeders (not solar) . If you would like to view a selection of regular feeders please visit  HERE . I apologize for any inconvenience . Michael Cox

Have you ever wondered just how solar lights work? Check out my article on  the science of solar

Once again I would like to thank everyone for reading and remember humming birds get hungry too  Michael Cox

If you have questions or comments please put them in the reply section below. Once again Thank You.

Smart Solar Bird Bath Fountain – Dirty Birds Need Help

Spring time will be here before you know it. All of our flower gardens will be in full bloom and we will be on the porch or strolling in the yard admiring all the spring beauty. A smart solar bird bath fountain would be a great addition to any garden. Besides dirty birds everywhere are counting on us to lend a helping hand!

 Introducing the Athena Glazed Ceramic Bird Bath Fountain. This fountain has Solar on Demand battery Technology to provide constant performance on cloudy days. This fountain charges fully in 1 to 2 days of sunlight and runs up to 6 hours on a full charge.

This fountain has a patented under water solar panel and pump system. You know sometimes birds have accidents so with the solar panel under water it stays clean and worry free. The solar panel is completly sealed and water proof so no worries there.

Maintenance on the fountain is also easy and trouble free. Just drain,wipe down and refill. The dimensions on the fountain are 21L by 21W by 28H in inches.

The construction on this fountain is Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete. I know if you think CONCRETE well it must weigh a ton but the actual weight is only 29 pounds! As with all solar products there are no wires to  worry with or trip over or try to hide in this case. Just fill turn on and enjoy.




  Birds are very comical creatures. It is alot of fun to watch them bathe and play in the water. And of course the fountain also creates a soothing effect on a spring day. Just sit back and relax and listen to the trickling water. Of course some birds will bathe with the fountain on and some might not. I guess that would be a trial and error thing. Try it both ways and see what happens. On behalf of all the dirty birds out there they (as well as myself) thank you for reading. Michael Cox.

If by chance this bird bath fountain is not quite what you were looking for please visit here for a full list of different styles and prices.    Additional Fountains.

If you have any questions or comments please put them in the reply section below. Thanks again Michael Cox.

Have you ever wondered just how do solar products work? Please visit my website page  science of solar  and find out.

Top 5 Solar Bug Zappers – Put Some Zap In Springtime

I know it sounds crazy to think about bug zappers in january but they came to mind the other day. The weather in south arkansas is really crazy. Its warm one day and freezing the next. The temperature reached a scorching 60 degrees and i sat on the back porch soaking up the warmth and low and behold a mosquito feasted on my arm. I was amazed to see a mosquito out when just 2 days before the low temperatures were in the teen digits. The first thing that came to mind was that if they are out now I can only imagine how bad its going to be when springtime gets here. So with that in mind I thought why not do a little research and find the top 5 solar bug zappers and put some zap in springtime.


Number 1 on the list is Sandalwood NK 63 Bug zapper and garden light


.  This bug zapper is solar powered and has a 900 volt electric field. Thats pretty powerful of course it also zaps other flying insects besides mosquitos such as biting flys and anything else that likes to feast on you. This bug zapper also comes with a 5 volt electric charger for those days when the sun refuses to shine. It is recommended to fully charge the unit before its first use then let the sun take over. This unit is completely portable so its perfect for all outdoor activities such as camping.It has a rang of up to 3000 sq feet. It is priced at 52.44 at amazon. Not bad for a springtime investment.



Number 2 on the list is the westinghouse electronic UV LED bug zapper  

This bug zapper made by westinghouse is also pretty powerful. It has 300 volt electric charge that zaps insects. It has 6 purple UV lights to attract insects and has an auto on off switch built in which means it comes on at dusk and goes off at dawn automatically. Also great for those overnite camping trips. The price on this unit is 52.02 at amazon. Also a good investment for spring and summer..

Number 3 on the list is the GutReise bug zapper which also doubles as a garden or yard light. Also solar powered it has a switch to change the modes between bug zapper or garden yard light.      

This light also has on at dusk and off at dawn mode. Also comes with a yard stake but has a handle for hanging. This unit is also waterproof just like the other units listed above. This model will run 72 hours on a full charge on garden light mode and 3 to 4 days on bug zapper mode. This model also is great for camping and all outdoor excursions. Since it has a hook it can even hang on a tree limb. This unit is priced at 49.99 at amazon.

Number 4 on the list is the APGtech indoor outdoor solar bug zapper   

This unit is also waterproof. This unit can also be used indoors after it has been charged in sunlight all day. It also has a hanging wire attatched which makes it also good for camping trips. This unit has one other advantage and that is it has a bigger base so you can set it down on a flat surface so it would be perfect for a night time fishing trip. Just set it down in the boat and fish without mosquito interuptions.This unit sells for 20.99 at amazon.

Number 5 on the list is the Luckstar Solar Mosquito Zapper This unit is also waterproof. What makes it unique is it is also commercial grade. It is made like a yard stake but it covers 1 and a half acres. This unit is even used around hospital entrances and areas that require a little more coverage than others. It is not a portable unit but sometimes you want a unit that you can install and forget it        This unit sells for 36.99 at amazon.

This rounds out my top 5 mosquito zappers. On a final note mosquitos are really dangerous insects. They carry many different diseases. I have a friend that lives in kansas that contracted the west niles virus from a mosquito. It was very dangerous for he almost died from the disease. His brain swelled and he didnt recognize any of his family members. Lets wage war on mosquitos this year. There are a few ways to help cut down mosquitos such as – get rid of any standing water that may be on your property. Mosquitos lay eggs in standing water. Junk tires that have water in them is a good example. Even check animal water bowls frequently and change the water out every few days. Be safe and try to have a great spring and summer. Lets get those pesky mosquitos before they get us!   Thanks for reading  Mike Cox. If you have a comment or question please use the reply section below. Thanks

Have you ever wondered just how solar products work? Check out my article on the science of solar





Solar Step Lights – Watch Your Step

Have you ever went down a set of steps at night and you could’nt see the next step? It is a little scary walking at night in total darkness but steps are the worst and most dangerous. Now you can watch your step with a set of solar step lights.

Falls are one of the leading causes for emergency room visits today especially for elderly people. Lighted steps and walkways are a great safety measure against falls at night

As with all solar lighting. Solar step lights require no wiring or electricity so no worries about tripping over wires. All you need is some daytime sunlight to charge the battery with and you are good to go all night long.

Solar step lights are easy to install. Most models have peel and stick tape on the back. Some models have wood screws for people with wooden steps so mounting them is a breeze.

There are several different styles of step lights to choose from. Some styles are unique to different applications. You can choose your step lights here.

Light up the night for safety. Make your home a fall free home. Do it for yourself or for the people you love and remember to watch your step. Thanks for reading  Michael Cox

If you have a question or comment please use the reply section below  Thanks

Have you ever wondered how solar lights work? Check out my article on the science of solar.