I am working on a circuit for my deer feeder.

I now have a 6 volt power source running the spinner on the feeder and it has a 6 volts solar panel recharging the battery.

I made a new circuit control out of a disposal camera circuit trying to make a shocker device, of two cages, one interior and one exterior isolated separately and the shocker circuit connected to them, I get 300 volts to my cages. This circuit requires a AA 1.2 volt battery.

How can I make the AA rechargeable battery, charge off the existing solar charger?

I have an idea but not sure. Can I go off my solar charger that's existing and cut the voltage using a resistor circuit with a diode or make another circuit of several diodes in series and get down to the 1.2 volts?

Or option 2 second-ally build a 1 volt 1 amp solar panel supply, adding a diode and connect that to the 1.2 volt battery that I want to keep charged for my shocking device.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ No time to write up a proper answer here, but the search term to look for is "buck converter". \$\endgroup\$ – Hearth Jan 30 '19 at 20:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm a little curious what you need a shocker for on your deer feeder? \$\endgroup\$ – Ron Beyer Jan 30 '19 at 20:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @RonBeyer he mentioned raccoons in his original post, which I tried to focus and structurize a bit, so the "raccoons are tearing everything apart" was redacted. \$\endgroup\$ – Marcus Müller Jan 30 '19 at 21:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Hearth A buck converter? To what? The deer are just fine the way they are! \$\endgroup\$ – duskwuff -inactive- Jan 30 '19 at 23:17

To charge a NiMH cell from 6 volts you need a circuit that limits both the voltage and the current. You might be able to arrange resistors and diodes to trickle-charge an already charged NiMH cell but it's hard to guarantee that this will keep the cell charged but not overcharge it, especially if the load on the cell varies at all over time.

However if you already have a 6 volt battery that's being charged from the solar panel, it's not clear why you need the NiMH cell at all. You just need to regulate the 6 volts down to 1.2 volts or so for the supply to the shocker circuit.

Have you measured how much current the shocker circuit draws? If it's no more than 100 mA or so, a linear regulator will work just fine. I'm sure there are fixed-voltage 1.2 V parts, but an LM317 is readily available and will deliver 1.25 V with the adjust terminal tied to ground:


simulate this circuit – Schematic created using CircuitLab

The capacitors are there for stability, but you might be able to get away without them; the resistor is there to guarantee the 10 mA current draw that the LM317 needs for proper regulation, but if the shocker circuit always draws at least that much then you could leave that out. At 100 - 200 mA current draw the LM317 won't need a heatsink but at higher currents it would - bear in mind the heatsink tab is electrically connected to the output pin.

If you need more current the LM317 will supply up to 1.5 A, but you don't want to throw all that solar power away as heat. In that case a DC-DC converter ('buck converter') is the way to go. These are widely available on eBay with either fixed or adjustable voltage output - just check that the input voltage, output voltage (range) and maximum current match what you need.


Lookup the datasheet for a Ni-MH AA rechargeable battery cell to see how much voltage it needs (1.4V to 1.5V) and about 380mA to charge for 6 hours. If you simply use a resistor to reduce the current to the 1.2V battery then the 6V spinner might not have enough current to spin.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Audioguru If I keep my voltage of 6 volts from the solar charger to the 6 volt battery which run the spinner and go back up the wiring from the solar charger and parallel another circuit knocking down the voltage to the 1.2 volt AA rechargeable battery will that work and keep the 1.2 battery charged also. In follow up to other comments the raccoon tears into the feeder and steal the corn for the deer. \$\endgroup\$ – Bill Downey Jan 31 '19 at 2:26

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