Introduction: 100% Working USB Charging Adaptor for Creative ZEN V Plus MP3 Players

Picture of 100% Working USB Charging Adaptor for Creative ZEN V Plus MP3 Players

Here i will describe what you really need to charge your ZEN V plus with every 5VDC power supply!

1. You need the following parts:
- a Mini-USB connector with 5 soldering pins inside from a standard USB-A to Mini-USB cable (see picture 2)
- for the complete adapter a Mini-USB plug (see picture 3)
- a 470 Ohm resistor (SMD (code 471) or metall film because they are smaller as standard resistors)
- soldering implements

For myself i've made an adaptor (see picture 1, 4 and 5) to use my motorola RAZR power supply (see picture 1).

On the pictures 6 and 7 you can see that the (my) adaptor works!

To use this adaptor on every PC/Notebook you need additionally such an standard USB-A to Mini-USB cable (see picture 2).

Step 1: This Is Picture 2:

Picture of This Is Picture 2:

An standard USB-A to Mini-USB cable:

Step 2: This Is Picture 3:

Picture of This Is Picture 3:

Mini-USB port

Step 3: Second Version That Works: (i've Not Tested It, It Comes From an Universal Adaptor for the ZEN V Series)

Picture of Second Version That Works: (i've Not Tested It, It Comes From an Universal Adaptor for the ZEN V Series)

The second version uses 2 resistors, 1 kOhm and 2kOhm!

In this wiring diagram you can see, how the both resistors are connected:

Step 4: These Are the Pictures 4 and 5:

Picture of These Are the Pictures 4 and 5:

Picture 4 is from inside the Mini-USB plug

Picture 5 is the complete adaptor with heat shrink sleeve on each connector

Step 5: These Are the Pictures 6 and 7:

Picture of These Are the Pictures 6 and 7:

In picture 6 you can see the motorola RAZR powersupply, the adapter and my ZEN V plus in charging mode.

In picture 7 you can see my ZEN V plus too in working and charging mode.


MarianR20 made it! (author)2016-10-05

The 470 ohm resistor diagram works for my Zen V Plus.

Thank you.

ejohn (author)2011-10-25

The Second version with 2 resistors, 1K+2K work for my ZEN V plus.
The 470ohm version does't work

graywolf83 (author)2011-05-23

thanks you so much, i was make it complete

joerns (author)2010-03-07

I stumbled upon another possibility to make a Zen V load (at least my one does) when I opened a very, very cheap charger. It had the D+ connector (green cable) connected to GND (black).
I tried multiple setups and ended up with this. Note that it isn't standarts compliant unless you remove the resistor (but then of course your Zen won't charge any more ;). Use it on your own risk ;)

lcole1 (author)joerns2011-04-14

Well, shorting the 'green' wire on an ATX computer power supply causes the power-supply to turn on. I have seen a lot of these 'homemade' charging schematics on the internet, and am at a complete loss as to why anyone is 'powering' the data +/- pins (pin 2 & 3). You are putting power into your data ports...where pin 1 and 4 are all you need to power. Then again, I am not familiar with many of these specific devices being 'charged', and so a trickle feed to the data ports may be required to cause the device to accept a charge. I see this as highly unlikely, but not definitive.

Keep this in mind, that a computer does NOT output data or power to pins 2 & 3 for any device, once it is connected, or data is being transmitted; however keeping it plugged in will charge it.

I do not recommend powering against your data-pins. I have blown up more than one motherboard circuit due to 'accidental' powering of the data circuits. Last note: test your charge circuit WITHOUT powering pins 2&3, before adding that 22k resistor circuit shown in the diagram above...most devices will charge with only pins 1 & 4 in the circuit.

lcole1 (author)lcole12011-04-14

I just noticed that your diagram is 4-pin, above, but if the zen is taking a mini-USB plug, then actually you are dealing with 5-pins. Now it makes sense. The 4th pin (beside pin-5) is not a redundant pin, but is used to tell the device if it is a controller or a peripheral. If power comes through pin 4, then the device knows it is a peripheral, and acts like one...hence, it knows to take a charge. Now it makes sense why you are using a small trickle through the 22k resistor are fooling the 4th pin into seeing a trace-voltage, so that it knows to act like a peripheral and take a charge from the computer.

SIMPLE! Ok, makes sense. The Zen is actually 'computer saavy', and with the mini-USB plug - it isn't just there for looks, it is actually taking advantage of the 4th pin signalling to prevent 'surge' or 'amateur' building chargers without understanding the charge circuit requirements. Interesting...

chetka (author)2010-10-25

I did the first mod with 470Ohm resistor between 1st & 4th pin today. It works flawlessly with Zen V Plus (2GB, latest firmware) and some no-name USB charger, rated at 1000mA. Thanx to luemmel, you saved me a lot of money and effort trying to find original charger. :)

nicas (author)2009-10-16

I would like to propose another way of doing things using previous comments
of  LUEMMEL and NERGAL8 that I used. Instead of modifing a cable I modified the USB CHARGER. I opened a USB charger, one of those commonly sold everywhere, and I disconnected the WHITE and GREEN cables from the output, so only the RED and BLACK cables where left connected (the two outer ones +5 & GROUND), then I soldered a 470 Ohm resistor between the BLACK and GREEN pins of the usb charger (the one next to the black pin). The system operated normally on my ZEN MOSAIC. I found this way easier and can be used on any car usb charger too.

IsoZ (author)2009-09-09

Have you been thinking, how does this work with the PC with same cable without these resistors?

Isn't it clear the data signal (pins 2 and 3) are used with PC? There is no signal number 4 in the bigger USB connector. There is only two data, +5 and GND.

The signal 4 is defined as "ID" in the standard (

Have you tested grounding or +5 (susing resistors) with data signals?

tinnyjl (author)2009-08-16


luemmel (author)tinnyjl2009-08-16

read the post from nergal8 on Apr 9,2009.

tinnyjl (author)2009-08-16


luemmel (author)tinnyjl2009-08-16

For the creative ZEN V plus it's exactly a 470 Ohm resistor:
color code: yellow-violet-brown-gold* or silver* (metal film resistor: yellow-violet-black-black-red*, brown* or green*)
SMD-Code: 471

The colors marked with * are the tolerance in percent:
gold: +- 5
silver: +- 10
red: +- 2
brown: +- 1
green: +- 0.5

ectatomma (author)2009-07-27

Thank you so much for this Instructable! I was trying to modify my USB charger whit different resistor configurations for the iPod without success until I find your Instructable. I managed to test this version with a 1k 1/8 W resistor and a potentiometer adjusted to 2k in a breadboard (my solution due the strong desire to do this project and not having a 2k resistor around. Just measured with a multimeter while turning the tip until I had 2k) and it works great (look at the charging icon in the picture). It puts 1.75v to the unused pin of the mini USB connector at 21.5 uA (micro Amperes), so it would be perfectly safe to use SMD resistors (If I'm not wrong, them should be 102 for 1k and 202 for 2k, shouldn't?). I also measured the charging current: 420 mA.

hirondel (author)2009-05-15

I have just finished working this one out for myself, and was looking for a way to post it. My conclusion (I did measure this on a charger) that you need +5v on the (extra) pin next to the -0v pin was correct! Except: why the resistor? Are we worried that something is going to draw too much current and burn out? As the voltage is definitely 5, I myself see no reason for a resistor.

nergal8 (author)2009-04-09

For my Creative Mosaic, i only had to connect the 470 Ohm with one of the data wires to the ground wire, worked like a charm

jaxthecob (author)2009-04-04

Do you think this will work with my zen vision m?

SlightlyNormal (author)2009-03-10

WORKS GREAT! I used the design on step 4, took a Motorola phone charger, hacked the mini pin, soldered a 470 Ohm (unfortunately I only had a standard resistor, so it looks goofy) from pin 1 (+5V) to pin 4. Then I tested it, it worked; Then I coated the exposed wires and pins with hot glue (incredibly handy stuff) and now I have a Creative Zen V wall charger. Yay! (Lol, date's wrong on pics)

csiress2 (author)2008-09-22

Question: I went to Radio Shack to find a 470 Ohm resistor, and they had three different ones: 1/8 watt, 1/4 watt and 1/2 watt. Which one do I need? Thank you for your Instructable and for your help.

adashi (author)csiress22008-12-03

It doesn't matter, take the smallest... No real current flows through that wire, it's just a pull-up, for voltage sense.

k97544 (author)2008-06-15

Thanks, this provided missing info for me. Googled "USB pinout" and I liked which shows that the resistor you specify is using an "undefined" pin - which explains (for me) how the Zen detects it and knows what to do. Normally when attached to a USB port the Zen charges but will not play ("docked" for file transfers), and just connecting the 2 power wires the Zen plays but does not charge (wtf?). Now, as your final photo shows, it does both.

Mine was an ugly project, though, since the unused pin was not connected to a wire in the USB cable I used. So I whittled off all of the molded plastic and got down to the metal parts, then inside of that I chewed away more molding material to see that the unused pin didn't have any accessible solderable metal showing - it's a tiny plug! So I removed it (firm but gentile pulling) from the 5-pin plug and used a pin from my wife's sewing basket to replace it - by sticking it through the hole the original pin left and letting it stick out in back far enough to attach the resistor etc. Some hot glue to replace the molded material, ugly electrical tape to hold the metal plug body together and cover the resistor etc., and it works.

Thanks again!

adashi (author)2008-04-30

Thanks luemmel! Finally a working solution... I was looking for a way to charge my Zen Microphoto when I'm away on ski vacation, without carrying my laptop. Tried several USB charger (including Motorola's) and nothing worked. Even a small embedded circuit running Linux that could connect a flash disk - failed to do the job. So, I took the Moto charger and made the changes (connected 470R between pin 4 and VCC on the female connector of the charger) and voila!!! Not only it works, but it's even recognized as a genuine charger and does not turn on the Zen, only charge it. Recommended!

Ruettiger (author)2008-03-18

How would I modify a universal USB wallcharger with a female USB plug on it. And uses a regular USB cable with mini USB on one end for use with my Zen V Plus? Would this instructable still apply?

Sadam and Osama (author)2007-12-29

And do the resistors have to be soldered to the Female part of teh Mini USB? can it be done on the male connector?

Sadam and Osama (author)2007-12-29

If I dont ahve mini-usb entender, and I do this to my Mini USB plug, it'l lstill work with other non-creative devices, right?

moep (author)2007-08-07

The resistors lower the 5v input to 3.3v to trigger the charging, correct?

Miranda (author)moep2007-12-21

No, they don’t have anything to do with the voltage; I think they just “activate” the “USB-recognition system” in the Zen V PLUS. I may add that I don’t like the inability to use “drag and drop” without the original S/W in V PLUS, I may leave this platform in favour of Sandisk because of that reason. Creative’s idea of having special cables and special software to run their VERY nice peaces are a serous weakness’ to the company. But that’s my personal opinion only.

Oorspronklikheid (author)moep2007-08-20

I believe the resistors just tells the device what is plugged in , example : usb , charger

exactly. the resistors connected to +d and -d simulate a pc connection...

Miranda (author)2007-10-16

My last comment wasn’t very clear, English is not my native language (needles to say) … What I’m trying to tell you is; use any USB device but just add two resistors (5,6 kohm) from the two signal wires down to ground. This will make the Zen player believe that there is a computer in the other end and open up for charging the battery. In my case, I don’t need to set up and “hard drive” within the Zen, it work perfect any way. But in may be that some players require the 128 MB HD set up. If you have an old charger adapter with cable from almost any cellar phone (main or car) you may use it together with the one half of an USB cable that fits in the Zen. Just ad the tiny resistors in the same location as where you carefully solder the two cable ends together and of you go! Good luck

paulodsm (author)Miranda2007-12-20

Does it work good for Zen MicroPhoto? thanks!

Miranda (author)2007-10-16

A much simpler way of solving this issue is to solder two 5,6 kohm resistors from the signal in and signal out pin, to the – 5v pin (ground) in the bigger USB A connector (or any place in the system). Doing that in a cigarette lighter to USB plug is no problem at all and it works like a dream with any standard USB cable.

Karel Jansens (author)2007-08-26

Just in case this may be of help to fellow searchers for the elusive Zen Charger of Doom: I just discovered that the mini-usb charger that comes with the Packard Bell "Store and Play 2500", a 120 GB hard disk that can play media files directly to a tv, does charge the Zen V as well! So if you have one of those disks lying around the house (they're essentially a lazy man's media centre!), you just bought yourself some time for the mod in this instructable.

Karel Jansens (author)2007-08-25

1. Am I correct in assuming that both mods will work for the Creative Zen V? I don't have a "Plus". 2. I'm not that proficient in electronics, and the "GND" part (from pin 5 to pin 5) has me slightly worried: It does mean "ground", right? And is this a connection I have to make, or is pin 5 already grounded? 3. (Yes, I keep going) I'd actually be more interested in a "female Nokia"-to-USB cable, seeing as my whole house is invaded by Nokia-compatible chargers. Am I correct in that such a cable would have the USB pin 1 connected to the + on the Nokia side, and pin 5 (GND?) to -? Oh, before I forget: Nice one!!!

T3h_Muffinator (author)2007-07-29

Question: How'd you figure out which pads were +/- etc etc. I'd like to do the same for various other electronic devices. By the way, make sure that the razr charger's output V and I is very similar to that of the ZEN chargers... otherwise, you might screw up your ZEN.

luemmel (author)T3h_Muffinator2007-07-30

The pinout of the different USB connectors can you find on

The RAZR power supply has 5V @ 500mA.

LasVegas (author)2007-07-28

This is a forum topic, not an Instructable. If you haven't built it, how can you show how to build it? If you did build it, show us how you built it and the process of building it.

luemmel (author)LasVegas2007-07-28

I've build and tested only the first (my) version because it's more simply :)

LasVegas (author)luemmel2007-07-28

Yes. I finally figured that out only by looking at the pictures. The Instructable would be much more valuable if you were to show the step by step of building the cable adapter rather than giving a synopsis in the intro and then little more than example pictures in the steps. I understand schematics, but I assure you that a very large amount of people trying to read your Instructable would be lost with little more than a schematic explaining the process.

latobada (author)LasVegas2007-07-28

here here.

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