Instructables

Charge USB devices with paper

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Oh and a 5V source, like any 5V source I used an old phone charger. 

The reasoning behind this is the need to charge my mp3 player and only having a spare phone charger for a phone I no longer use, so I reckoned there was a way based on the fact that I managed the exact opposite when my phone died. 

I wouldn't say I set to work so much as stared at a plug for a while. 

I managed not to use a single tool and only two materials... So no list.

You'll have to forgive me on some of the photos, I've had to use my phone for these since it's the only camera with a short enough focal distance I have at the moment, so they're all a little washed out looking...

If you liked this instructable then please vote for it in the USB contest, which is in the voting stage now! 
 
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Step 1: Rip the end off the cable

I just yanked the plug off and exposed the end of the inner wires by stripping a quarter inch off each end with my thumbnail. 

Basically grip the nail where you want to strip, bend the cable over the back of the nail, press your nail down hard and pull the cable. 

Image below's borrowed from another of my 'ibles...

Step 2: Eh what now?

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At first my notion was that I could just poke at the contacts in the male plug before realizing the metal outer would short the connections... 

However that gave me the notion of making the male plug a female plug for this purpose, yes this instructable has forever muddied the waters of robot and computer sexuality, at least it'll slow down the terminators...

So get a bit of paper...

Step 3: Dots.

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Hold the USB plug down and draw two dots marking the outer two pins, if they're facing upwards ground is left and +5V is right

Step 4: Holes.

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Poke two holes in the paper with a pen, slide the wires through a little so they lay flat on the back with just the exposed copper showing. 
DJ Radio2 years ago
I thought it was just the paper and then I saw the 5V cord thing. I am disappoint.
inhaos2 years ago
it's cool
and here's a perfect solution for you
http://www.inhaos.com/product_info.php?products_id=29
good luck
cheers!
GregorN3 years ago
It is real simple but is good way to get crossed 5V and GND and destroy USB line in computer.
killerjackalope (author)  GregorN3 years ago
Hence explaining which is which, granted theres no computer involved and devices re protected against that issue...
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killerjackalope (author)  doublewomit3 years ago
Hmm that's weird, possible wire mixup or the power lines are touching data lines, in an ipod connector pins really are small so dirt or a sliver of wire could be grounding a data line to the plug without being very obvious to the eye
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killerjackalope (author)  doublewomit3 years ago
Its odd that would mess it up, try recovery mode and see what happens
This setup never uses the computer - uses a 5v power adapter and adds a really ghetto usb female plug to it.
I have the exact same mp3 player! I have never come across someone else with the same. Do you think this would work with an iPod Touch?
The iPod touch would not work, since it requires the "apple identification chip". Basically meaning you have to pay apple a hundred billion dollars if you want to charge without a computer.
killerjackalope (author)  RoddyTheGreat3 years ago
Yeah though an ipod's significantly more expensive, take care with it. Thats funny about the mp3 I found it under my bed after two weeks of parties nobody wanted it back
technoguy943 years ago
Wait, did I miss something? What actually powers it?
killerjackalope (author)  technoguy943 years ago
An old phone charger though any 5v source will do the job just fine.
Kryptonite3 years ago
Nice job! Good phone camera, by the looks of it, too.
killerjackalope (author)  Kryptonite3 years ago
Thanks, the phone is a godsend, replaces a compact in most situations
I think I might just make this charger.... I'm pretty sure I've got a 5v somewhere.
killerjackalope (author)  Kryptonite3 years ago
Cool, take pics. I have plans to make more weird things aswell
kcls3 years ago
Nice 'ible. An ingenious idea! Did you change the title? I seem ti remember it being something more confusing...
killerjackalope (author)  kcls3 years ago
No but check out my published might be one of them
see when i was looking at the intructables newsletter i saw the first picture and was totally like wtf. i thought this is going to be really stupid, but then when i looked through the instructable its almost incredible. such a simple useful idea. sorry for doubting you
hey mitchel is 19 3 1993 ur dob ?
actually its the 9th, but yeah?
oops, okay :D
killerjackalope (author)  mitchell9319933 years ago
Thanks, I kinda made the tile a bit odd, glad you liked the ible
yeah well when i first read it i thought it was something daft like running a current through paper. but its a really simple sort of... mount i guess.
killerjackalope (author)  mitchell9319933 years ago
I will make that happen now! The title is a misnomer i suspect
no, i dont think you should. I probably wouldnt of clicked on it otherwise. It a great instructable, and the title leaves alot to the imagination, something that people might want to find out more about
killerjackalope (author)  mitchell9319933 years ago
So running a current through paper wouldn't be awesome? I just thought of how to make a fully fledged female plug... Thanks, glad you enjoyed the instructable
deathorange3 years ago
You wernt kidding about the rip off from that pic xD.
killerjackalope (author)  deathorange3 years ago
Grab the connector and yank, I dont believe in scissors
Lol I don't believe in scissors either... but wire strippers are nice ;)
killerjackalope (author)  sqeeek3 years ago
Reading this on my phone the word wire was missing on the screen, hah strippers
citizen2513 years ago
I love it.

But I have resolved not to use it until I'm in a cold hotel in Budapest and my iPod (which has all my secrets that I'm supposed to deliver to someone named Natasha encrypted within my Doobie Brothers songs) has died and my charger was confiscated when the Magyar Garda took my backpack (intolerant jerks). I'll still have my phone charger because it was still in the wall when I went out to the internet cafe.

Thanks from the future. Your country owes you a debt of gratitude. Or will...someday.

citizen251
killerjackalope (author)  citizen2513 years ago
Good to know it'll be a useful asset to the world.of espionage
nubie3 years ago
This is most excellent, if you are planning such a thing go ahead and buy a USB extension cable from the $1 store and cut it open for this. I have done this or similar before myself. My favorite is bending the pins in a Molex (PC drive connector) and then just inserting a standard wall wart onto the positive side, can power up PC fans that way with no tools to make a desk fan.
killerjackalope (author)  nubie3 years ago
The point was that i didnt have a female cable to do it with
bobbym5293 years ago
Very MacGuvyer-ish. :-)
killerjackalope (author)  bobbym5293 years ago
Cheers, quite a few of my projects are...
worldgnat3 years ago
If I'm not mistaken, there should be diodes built into these devices to prevent wiring errors from "blowing up" the device. This is really a novel idea - I love it. It might be cool to draw up a cut-and-fold diagram in a vector drawing application to make it neater and more replicable. Nice work!
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