Introduction: $3.00 Altoids Charger (EASY BUILD) (CHEAP)

Picture of $3.00 Altoids Charger (EASY BUILD) (CHEAP)
I know your thinking i have seen hundreds of these but have you ever seen one so easy to build?


Things you will need :
  1. L78MO5CV Voltage Regulator
  2. Toggle Switch
  3. LED [ any color :) ]
  4. Female USB port
  5. Resistor (sorry forgot what ohm it is you can use a decoder on it and i will post a pic of the resistors)
  6. Resistor (sorry forgot what ohm it is you can use a decoder on it and i will post a pic of the resistors)
  7. Some type of board to solder connections on to
  8. 9V battery Clip
  9. Some type of Board

Step 1: STEP 1: Soldering L78M05CV Voltage Regulator to Board

Picture of STEP 1: Soldering L78M05CV Voltage Regulator to Board

Soldering L78M05CV Voltage Regulator To Board\
Follow Picture Diagram




Ideas for scrap mettle
  1. LED Legs 
  2. pins from old components
  3. Metel Wire

Step 3: STEP 3: Solder Female USB to Board

Picture of STEP 3: Solder Female USB to Board

Solder Female USB To Board
Follow Diagram

Step 4: STEP 4: Adding the Power

Picture of STEP 4: Adding the Power

Solder The Positive (+) And Negative (-) 9V Battery Clip Wires To Board
Follow Diagram


Picture of STEP 5: SOLDER SCRAP METTEL PINS TO Toggle Switch

SOLDER SCRAP METTEL PINS TO Toggle Switch (Same thing as step 2)
(Click on step 2 for merle pin ideas to use)
Follow Diagram

Step 6: STEP 6: Solder Toggle Switch to Board & LED

Picture of STEP 6: Solder Toggle Switch to Board & LED

Solder Toggle Switch To Board & LED
Follow Diagram

Step 7: STEP 7: Solder Resistor 1

Picture of STEP 7: Solder Resistor 1

Follow Diagram 

Step 8: STEP 8: Solder 2nd Resistor

Picture of STEP 8: Solder 2nd Resistor

Solder 2nd Resistor


Picture of TEST TIME

Test to see if it works!

Step 10: STEP 9: Line Tin With Electrical Tape

Picture of STEP 9: Line Tin With Electrical Tape

Line Tin With Electrical Tape To Prevent Shorting Out 
Or Put HeatShrink Tubbing On All Wires 

Step 11: ENJOY =]

Picture of ENJOY =]


xodiax (author)2013-12-17

Get off! I think it's a pretty cool little project. Thanks Snow! You took the time to explain (with photos) and even sourced your parts. So, it's not a Segway! To all of the "newbs" and curious people out there, go ahead and build it. If nothing else, you will get a little practice with your soldering technique and end up with something that could actually charge your phone even if you have to "steal" a battery out of your meter to do it. To all of the members who obviously have way to much time on their hands and would be better off not using a soldering iron, show Me something. You value your keyboard time and opinion more than anyone else. S.T.F.U. and make something better. I'm sure your first project was far more interesting and probably put satellites into orbit! Oh yeah, it's you. Never mind. Stay off the keyboard if you can't appreciate quality, and effort, large or or small. You probably don't really belong here anyway....

dsantil71 (author)2013-12-16

Hats off to you. For a 16yr that's cool. A lot of 16 yr olds are dropping out of school & don't know what mAh or ohm even means. Keep it up! Don't let these haters get to you.

citanul22 (author)2013-12-11

Doodz! It's got a skull and biohazard on the PCB! Why you all be hatin on it!

Word snow1434! Dis iz TIIIGHT bitchiz!

snow1434 (author)citanul222013-12-11

THANKS MAN! this means a lot

snow1434 (author)2013-12-10

I will be GIVING AWAY a
3 MONTH PRO MEMBERSHIP that I received for being featured to the first person to tell me the CORRECT resistors I used (both) I forgot and don't feel like decoding it right now message me your answer first person wins DONT COMMENT ANSWER I WILL UPDATE POST LATER WITH CORRECT ANSWER

damaltor (author)snow14342013-12-11

The blue resistor is a current limiter for the led. It should have around 100 ohms, but anything between 80 and 330 will work.
The brown resistor is useless because his both ends are shorted anyway, so it can be left away.

robsbots (author)snow14342013-12-10

If I've seen the colours right I would guess at
Blue Grey Brown 680 Ohm 5%
red black black black brown is 200 Ohm 1%

Kolby12309 (author)2015-11-19

instead of the circut use 2 9 volt batteries in seiries with a $1 dollar car charger, you can use almost all the power in the batteries that way

brunodiaz20 (author)2014-07-05

Could I use a 7.2v 3000mAh NiMH battery?

jbomb0826 (author)brunodiaz202015-10-09

I believe the voltage regulator he's using can handle up to 3 amps so I would say YA just not any bigger

KeithM9 (author)2015-06-25

I built one using a configuration close to this one (minus the circuit board, resistors, and LED). My only big difference is that I used 2 9v batteries connected in a parallel circuit through the switch to the voltage regulator. Although the voltage regulator runs a little hot, it gives my design a little extra kick to last a little longer and charge larger my Samsung Galaxy Note 3 for example.

baecker03 (author)2014-08-23

you can buy various sizes of copper wire at hobby stores

nickarmy525 (author)2014-07-16

How do you charge the pack itself?

brunodiaz20 (author)2014-07-05

Could I use a 7.2v 3000mAh NiMH battery?

gluvit (author)2014-04-18


printrbot932 (author)2014-03-18

Will it work on iPod touch?

cheezyguy5 (author)printrbot9322014-04-07

If you add the extra resistor between pins 2, and 3

aalejo (author)2014-02-09

i dont want to down the user or maker of this system your circuits its self is waste of time i mean i dont want to say bad because i made it before you make it lm3805 is 5v regulator but it cant be use as a charger and put a resistor it will say its charge horray for that !!! but its not charging you why the modern phone a mah that need make your system i was you use a li pol or li ion and dont use regular bat use a hi amp and volt choose 18v ten thousand mili amps per hour and for that top some more caps rated 30v 470 or much hi micro farad and some diode for sure done multimeter for make sure the rate will flow to 5volts ok if you dont understand me let me show it to you ill post my own work for you im not insulting im just a bro that your work will be perfect aight!!!!!!!

_Revelation_ (author)2014-01-19

Are you absolutely sure that this is a safe way to charge an iPhone or any other type of device

cambo7474 (author)2014-01-12

Where did you get the board

blface (author)2014-01-08

Nice build

DoItOrDie (author)2013-12-24

Um, I'm kind of at a loss here. What it it you want to charge with only a small 9v battery as the power source?

snow1434 (author)2013-12-10

Thanks for all the comments I GOT FEATURED AGAIN and If you want me to build a high quality charger i will but it's going to have to be bigger and it will me more expensive and complicated

Jakob2803 (author)snow14342013-12-11

A quality charger won't be bigger, it will probably be smaller. This one is way too big for what it does.

snow1434 (author)Jakob28032013-12-11

well i think i accomplished my goal for this post if you can make a quality charger thats smaller i will be sure to check it out and favorite your post as always thanks for commenting it helps to improve my posts

kumar0257 (author)snow14342013-12-21

sir plz tell me correct that how much ohm resister u used in it

chiraghira (author)2013-12-15

i have a question can i use a lm317t?

poody (author)2013-12-10

What is this, 2004? How did this get featured?

Chikpeas Brother (author)poody2013-12-15

If you don't like it, make your own instructable.

snow1434 (author)poody2013-12-11

no its 2013 and your still not featured

poody (author)snow14342013-12-11

Oh snap, you got me good. You're right, "my" [sic] not featured. I'm not sure what the point is if 9 volt batteries and 7805s are what's considered feature-worthy.

-max- (author)poody2013-12-12

Many great projects are useless! Think about it, Almost always anything you can build, somebody sells it cheaper and better version.* For example; These phone chargers on the market today can deliver over an amp of current to 2 USB ports, offer a battery life reading, and have much higher capacity than this thing will.

*By better I mean better efficiency, refined features, warranty that it will work, etc. As well as aesthetics and design.

snow1434 (author)-max-2013-12-12

if this website is meant for absoulute professionalism and engineers to design every little detail about the project they make then i would not be telling you how to make it i would be selling it I'm 16 give me a break

Akash jaiswal (author)snow14342013-12-13

wht????? u r jst 16???? really hats off u bro.....dat certainly means a lot in ma country i.e INDIA

-max- (author)snow14342013-12-12

I understand. I like making electrical projects as much as you, my favorite build materials are usually hot glue, super glue, and duct tape. I just makin my point that projects don't have to be useful (the infamous LED blinky? dare I say). This project is useful, although not as professional, as you say, but that does not matter, its all in the name of fun!

snow1434 (author)-max-2013-12-12

i agree sorry for all this mis understanding i unstained your point all is well :)

-max- (author)snow14342013-12-12

No problem! I didn't make my point clear enough.

YoYo McEpic (author)2013-12-14

El mamma Mia! Del taco epico no? Dou nois espanual?

laffinm (author)2013-12-13

You spelled metal "mettel"

starphire (author)2013-12-12

I think if you described it right away as not just a cheap and easy altoids-type USB charging device, but also as something that might be really useful someday in an emergency situation (like: there's a zombie apocalypse, and the only batteries left in your house or the abandoned store are 9V ones) you would not be challenged to defend it so much. yes, it CAN be super cheap and made from very common parts, but it's also true (as many have correctly pointed out) that it would be a poor choice for regular or longterm use as a charger. You can't deny that the consumables cost will quickly outweigh the initial savings to make it after just a handful of batteries, so why not make that clear right off rather than let some poor kid find that out the hard way?

thegrendel (author)2013-12-11

Interesting project. A schematic would be nice, and also a diagram of the female
USB socket (pointing out power and ground pins).

snow1434 (author)thegrendel2013-12-11

i will remember that when i put my new charger thats "efficient" on here sense everyone complains about it

thegrendel (author)snow14342013-12-12

Don't take the criticism unkindly.
It's an interesting project, and early versions
of every one of our projects here have warts and flaws.
It's part of the learning process.
I'm sure your future take on this will be superb.

damaltor (author)2013-12-11

This is a poorly designed, poorly described and poorly working charging device. There are lot of better, more efficient, better described instructables on this topic on this site. Why did this get featured?

damaltor (author)damaltor2013-12-11

Also - did you notice that you added a resistor between the two middle USB pins, while the usb pins are shorted anyway? I mean... WHY???

snow1434 (author)damaltor2013-12-11

look below

damaltor (author)snow14342013-12-12

I have seen that. So.. why is there a resistor AND a short circuit between the pins? The Resistor is absolutely useless.

Jakob2803 (author)damaltor2013-12-11

I fully agree. :)

profpat (author)2013-12-11

resistor are:
red black black is 20 Ohms 1/4 watts 1%
blue grey brown is 680 ohms 1/4 watts.. but you can omit this resistor since looking at the board, the tracks are shorted together at the usb socket end..

nice work snow!

biozz (author)2013-12-10

nice but the resistor on the D pins is rather useless if you have them shorted like that

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