By Evan Ackerman

There are lots of ways to charge USB devices on the go using disposable or rechargeable batteries, but none of them are as small or as cheap as this DIY one. It’s basically just a female USB connector stuck to the top of a 9v battery, with a voltage regulator in the middle to make sure that there’s only 5 volts coming out. Total cost? If you have a soldering iron and a scrap female USB cable, the voltage regulator will run you about $1.59 plus tax at RadioShack (which I refuse on principle to call “The Shack” like they want me to). The real beauty of this thing is that you don’t have to use a 9v battery. You could use a whole series of D batteries, for example, and go on vacation for a month with your iPod.

Now, yes, you do have to know how to solder if you want to make one of these yourself. But seriously, soldering is easy. And it’s fun! You get to MELT METAL! You can pick up a basic soldering set at The Shack for all of eight bucks, and there are a bazillion beginner guides online (try Instructables or even YouTube). So, have a fun afternoon and learn a useful skill while making a handy little gadget at the same time. Or, you can always just do it with glue, you wimp.

[ AnythingButiPod ] VIA [ Gizmodo ]


  1. FYI – Even the you refuse to use “the shack” you did so in the second paragraph. On that note, I remember reading about the name change, but does anyone use it. I still call it Radio Shack, but not on principal, just because I could care less to remember to call it the shack.

    This looks like a DIY that I may actually try. Seriously, if your a reader of this blog, then you probably have multiple female usb connectors around.

  2. I'm going directly to “The Shack” after this. Yes, I do believe I'll head down to “The Shack” in a minute. You know, a trip to “The Shack” is in order here. Anyone want to accompany me to “The Shack”? Evan?

    The Shack is “Da Shack”! And you didn't think it could get more creepy, did you?

  3. I think that I have all the pieces lying around at my house actually.. Including all the pieces needed to make a voltage regulator.. Just a few resistors and a mux.

  4. “soldering is easy.” Yes it is, I was doing it in Highschool. Electronics class was one of my favorites. I don't know if I'll be doing this anytime soon, but I would like to give it a try to see if I could. I think I still have my soldering iron in the closet at home… now if only I have solder too. That might be the real question. I suggest to newbs to buy a solder picker not a sucker. I always melted those things. The picker is the metal like strip that you place near the solder that would pick it up instead of sucking it.

  5. Or you can just solder it correctly the first time. Then the picker sucker battle doesn't matter.. Or you could be all fancy and get one of those suckers that has a vacuum and a hot tip that you set down over the wire to heat the solder and suck it up.. that would work too..