Introduction: Another Altoids Ipod Charger

Picture of Another Altoids Ipod Charger

Alright this is my first Instructable and I made a different version of the Altiods ipod charger. I made my first version off of another instructable but i wanted to make it my own so i made this one

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

Soldering Iron
Lots of wires
dremel or something to cut the altiods case
drill bits
9v battery clip
5v Regulator
Resistor (im not really sure which one)
female usb (www.

this is a pic of the regulator

Step 2: Hooking Up the Battery and Switch

Picture of Hooking Up the Battery and Switch

Hook the 9v Battery clip up to the batter
Take the red wire (positive) from the clip and solder it to one end of the switch
then solder the other end of the switch to the resistor and solder the resistor to the positive side of the led

Step 3: Led to Regulator

Picture of Led to Regulator

Now solder the other end of the led to pin 1 of the regulator (there should be a schematic on the back of the regulator box.
Next take a black wire and solder it to the middle pin of the regulator aka the ground.

Step 4: Wiring the Ground

Picture of Wiring the Ground

Solder a wire going from the out of the regulator (pin 3) and solder it to pin one of the usb port.

Take the wire you soldered onto the ground (pin 2 of the regulator) and solder it to the negative of the battery.

Ok now the confusing part. Solder another wire onto the negative of the battery. Take the end of that wire thats not connected to anything and connect it to pin 4 of the usb. Sorry if this sounds confusing

The picture should help a little.
I also tried to make a schematic in paint

Step 5: The Case

Picture of The Case

Its time to modify the altoids case. You can do however you want really all i did was drill a hole in the side for the switch
I also drilled a whole in the front for the led

Next i took my dremel and put two slits down the side for the usb and then u just put everything in


rwinter3 (author)2014-02-03

I have built this circuit for my ipod 5 but when I flick the switch it doesn't work?

Nitro_Hawk (author)rwinter32014-08-09

The charger needs to have a certain voltage across the Data- and Data+ ports in between the negative and positive pins on the type A female usb.

BuggyBoy (author)2014-07-16

I used a 330 ohm resistor for the LED... this might help

also a heatsink might be a good idea if the regulator gets too warm.

genuis321 (author)2014-02-26

It's a 150 ohm resistor

corbitt_27 (author)2013-12-17

What happens when the batteries run out of power

agm88 (author)2013-01-07

i have an ipod 4g and afraid to build this because im afraid to blow the batery
can any one help with a safe ipod charger

guitarcrazy189 (author)2010-02-11

will this work for the ipod touch 3g?

Good idea..

Here is something that would work for the touch and iPhone!

Master T

sorry man, but from what I've heard, the newer ipod touches and iphones and even the ipad use the data lines to charge in addition to the power lines in a usb cable

shantanu007 (author)2008-07-19

for some reason this wnt charge my ipone 3g and every thing is wired correctly even the light turns on.

penuwana (author)shantanu0072009-01-07

dude the iphone uses pin 2 and 3 along with the five volts from 1 and 4, 2 has 2.5volts and pin 3(of the usb or firewire) is 1.8volts look it up 1 found this out too

shantanu007 (author)penuwana2010-07-19

Thanks man this worked for me

CaseBoy (author)shantanu0072010-07-19

you have to connect the the 2 middle pins together.

soundman3103 (author)shantanu0072008-07-20

You need to take the light off. thats my momentary fix ill try to figure out how to wire it in. When you turn it on the voltage goes down to 4 but you need 5 so if you take the light off itll go up to five

shantanu007 (author)soundman31032008-07-25

Would getting a 6v regulator fix the problem?

soundman3103 (author)shantanu0072008-07-28

thats not a bad idea just check the voltage before you plug it into anything im not responsible for damaged stuff

yano (author)soundman31032008-08-26

usb ports normally put out ~5v, so 6v would probably be too much. I don't know if it would do any damage, but I wouldn't try it personally I've heard that some of the newer iPods require you to ground the circuit, so you might want to try that

DYLEGO (author)yano2008-12-01

6v regulator goes to 1v led first, bringing it down to5v

FrostEnergy (author)2010-03-28

Just a word of advice to any of you who plan to use that circuit for anything of worth, dont! its not safe enough to charge them with out frying them over time. I have posted one that is basically the same, with some capacitors used as filters, the 330 ohm resistor can be anywhere between 100 and 330 ohms, and the 15k, can but substituted with a 10k, havent tried anything in between!

FrostEnergy (author)FrostEnergy2010-03-28

HungryJoe (author)FrostEnergy2010-05-26

I'm trying to make a USB charger to run off a 7.2v battery (long story), how could/should I adapt your design for this different voltage?

FrostEnergy (author)HungryJoe2010-05-26

well, simply make sure your capacitor (just the one before the regulator, the 100 uf) has a voltage that is higher then your input, for example. if your putting a 7.2v pack into it, those are about 9 volts full, for a new battery, so make sure your capacitor is at least 10 volts or so. after that, just keep an eye on the regulator, the higher the voltage you put in, the hotter it gets, so get a heatsink on it! cause any voltage above that 5 will turn to heat. any other questions, just let me know!

pablosartor (author)2009-03-23

actually giving less voltage to the regulator by adding the resistor in front might be beneficial so that the regulator does not heat up as much. This works if you are sending more than 5v out of the resistor otherwise it is pointless and agree with bomberman 3 on his circuit. In addition this will not charge your iphone. for the iphone to charge you will need to use pins 2,3 on the usb with a +2.7volts and -2.7 volts in addition to 5 volts on 1,4. Good Luck People : )

jmcg_ian (author)pablosartor2009-07-13

how would you go about doing this for an iphone?

protonrules (author)jmcg_ian2010-03-31

this will work exactly the same for an iPhone, they charge in the same way.

how would you make it so that pins 2,3 are getting a +2.7 volts and a -2.7 volts?

binary_man_1010 (author)2009-08-17

the resistor should be a 220(u)-1k(u) the 220(u) color code is a red, red, brown, gold or silver(tolerance) and the 1k(u) is brown, black, red, gold or silver. the perfected one would be thee 220(u) range. the one showed in the picture is a 10(u) resistor and it would burn out the ipod because the voltage would be to high. ~~~binary_man_1010~~~

errr, no that's not right for two reasons:

Reason 1: resistors resist current not potential difference
Reason 2: the resistor is there to protect the LED and not the iPod its self

 will this one work? and product number is 2062317 thanks bro

guitarcrazy189 (author)2010-02-13

when ever i made the charger and i plugged my sisters ipod nano 3g in it turned on the ipod on but it didnt charge it and when ever i put my ipod touch 3g into it it did not do anything.  i was wondering if it was beacuse the new ipod touchs are like the iphone and i need to change the wiring.  also i used a 10 ohm resistor, is this to much or too little? someone help!!!

kdyches17 (author)2010-02-12

This does not work for my ipod touch 3rd gen. What would i need to do to it to make it work???? PLEASE HELP!

guitarcrazy189 (author)2010-02-11

what kind of resistor do yiou need to make the device?

techman9 (author)2010-02-09

i have a video nano and when i plug it in it lights up but does not charge, I thought that the ipod cables were wired different, mabe not ge back to me please

tomtortoise (author)2009-12-29

I made this and used it on a usb light and the led flashed then went away it is not the bulb being burnt out because i can do it again also i nave nano 3g it lights up but no charging.i tried an enV 3 it sais charger not reccomended but starts to charge.

xAxrules (author)2009-12-29

It's a cool charger, i used this mainly to figure out how to wire up the regulator. I found that the regulator get's warm, I haven't had it on for a long time yet, so I don't know how hot it gets, but I would reccomend a heatsink for the regulator.

wassap (author)2009-12-08

Thanks Binary Man, you could have just saved my ipod

wassap (author)2009-12-07

That pic is awesome!. Great instructable too.

TarzanJr (author)2009-08-17

I forgot to put the resistor in and when i tried it the light bulb blow out so fast but it was very bright next time i am going to video tape it. It was pretty cool!

roroanozolo127 (author)TarzanJr2009-12-06

i did that and the led blew out so i replaced it but now it wont work

roroanozolo127 (author)2009-12-03

were can i get a female usb port

fourier (author)2009-11-08

It should have no problems charging an Ipod.  However, Iphones are a different story.  The iphone will "test" the charger by first trying to sink a large current on the data lines.  This is to insure your charger can handle the current that Iphone needs to charge (it has a bulkier battery) If your charger is able to sustain a certain voltage during this sink, it will allow it to charge.  Unfortunately, this configuration cannot charge the iphone.

arty654 (author)2009-10-12

ill this work on my ipod nano 3rd gen

acosicris (author)2009-09-28

hmmm.. altoids are not availble here in our country, so I'm using the tin of wristwatch similar to altoids tin.

bomberman3 (author)2008-08-31

I think this would work better for the LED

cmart20 (author)bomberman32009-07-21

I did this with radioshack 9v alkaline battery, spst submini toggle switch, 150-ohm carbon-film resistor, 5mm / 1.7 / volt 20mA / 3000mcd red LED, 7805 5VDC regulator. The female usb that I'm using i got from a usb port and all the 4 metal pins inside came off but I put the pin 1 in and pin 4 back in thinking they are the only ones i need. I finished this project but its not working what did I do wrong?

binary_man_1010 (author)cmart202009-08-17

the new ipods are different, yes pins 1 and 4 are the charger but 2 and 3 are also used to tell the ipod that it is charging.(2 is D- and 3 is D+)D=data

bomberman3 (author)cmart202009-07-22

Are you sure you put the pins in the correct positions? Also, it may not fix your problem, but if you have a 1.7 volt 20 ma led hooked up to 9v (as shown in my schematic), you would need a 390 ohm resistor, not 150.

cmart20 (author)bomberman32009-07-22

yes i did hook the pins correctly because my ipod(3rd gen nano) will be off and when i plug it in it turns on the ipod but doesnt charge it. I was thinking it was the resistor too but i dont know much about them so i didnt know which one to get. thanks ill try it out with a 390ohm resistor.

bomberman3 (author)cmart202009-07-22

This is a good website for calculating resistor values for your LEDs.

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