How to Build a Solar Powered Wi-Fi Repeater for Under $20


Building a solar powered Wi-Fi repeater can extend your wireless network's range and provide internet access to remote areas of your home or property without running new cables. With the right components, I was able to build one for under $20. In this guide, I will walk through the full process so you can build your own affordable solar powered Wi-Fi repeater.

Benefits of a Solar Powered Wi-Fi Repeater

Here are some of the benefits of building a solar powered Wi-Fi repeater:

Required Components

To build your own solar powered Wi-Fi repeater, you will need the following components:

Step-by-Step Build Instructions

Follow these steps to assemble your solar powered Wi-Fi repeater:

1. Set up the router as a repeater

The TL-WR902AC is a dual-band wireless router that can also operate in repeater mode. To enable this, connect to the router's web interface and go to the Operation Mode section. Set it to Wireless Repeater mode.

You'll need to enter your existing wireless network name (SSID) and password so the router can connect to it. Hit save when done.

2. Connect the solar panel to the buck converter

Solder longer leads onto the solar panel's positive and negative terminals. Connect red wire to positive, black to negative.

Connect the red wire to the input positive screw terminal on the buck converter. Connect black to the input negative terminal.

3- Connect buck converter to router

The buck converter will step down the solar panel's voltage to 5V for the router.

Solder longer leads onto the buck converter's output terminals. Connect red to positive, black to negative.

Attach the barrel jack adapter to the output wires - red wire to the center pin, black to the outer sleeve.

Plug the barrel jack into the router's 5V power input.

4. Install in enclosure

Install the router and electronics into a weatherproof enclosure or plastic tupperware container.

Drill a hole for routing the solar panel wires inside. Seal with silicone caulk.

Use adhesive to mount the solar panel to the lid angled upward.

5. Position for best sunlight

For optimal solar exposure, install your repeater enclosure high up with a view of the southern sky. Ideal locations are on the side of buildings, fence posts, or exterior poles.

Angle the solar panel to face direct sunlight as much as possible.

Usage Tips

Here are some tips to get the most out of your solar Wi-Fi repeater:

With this cheap solar powered design, I was able to extend Wi-Fi coverage across my entire property! Let me know if you have any other questions.