Maker and crazy-awesome craftster John Wilson designed the Stella amp awhile back and has recently made an improvement: solar power.
He writes on Crazy But Able, "When I designed the Stella amp a couple of years ago, I realized that I could make the amp run at 3 volts. I knew right then that I wanted to make a solar powered version of the amp. A few months ago, I grabbed one off the shelf and picked up everything I needed from Adafruit to make it happen."Turns out, the ingredients list is short -- just a solar panel, a solar charging circuit, a battery and a thermister which helps protect the battery in extreme temperatures. Another important ingredient, of course, is a cigar box which works as a handy holder that doesn't require much effort in the woodworking department. You can of course design your own box if you choose.
Wilson gives relatively detailed instructions on what he did to create the amp, which you can use if you want to make this solar modification yourself after you pick up a Stella Amp kit, which also earns brownie points from us because it is 100% open hardware.
Here is a video of the Solar Stella hard at work during a music session:
So if you're a musician and like being handy with tools and alternative energy sources, we recommend this as an afternoon project!
hat tip to MAKE