Instructables

Make a Zen micro/USB wall charger from a phone charger

Use an old cell phone charger and a usb socket extention cable to make a wall charger ( this does not come boxed with the zen micro and costs £30 ). This is very easy to do.
 
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Step 1: Get a cell phone charger, one that will charge at 5 volts ( the usb voltage ) it should say this on the charger. I use one from a Sagem myV-55. Cut off phone input socket and expose the wires.


Step 2: Get a USB extension cable with a Type A female socket on it, cut off the Male socket and expose the wires.


Step 3: On the phone lead the Red wire is power and the Black is earth ( use a multimetre to double check )


Step 4: On the USB the Red and the Black correspond, cut the White and Green back out of the way they are not used


Step 5: Solder the matching wires together and tape them seperatly, i have also use heat shrink tubing (put it on the wire before soldering)


Step 6: Plug in and your ready to go, this worked for me no problems and took only 15 mins


CaseBoy4 years ago
I am trying to make a solar charger for my cell phone. So would the black  go to black an and red to red?(sounds like a stupid question, but just want to be sure.
I don't know if your question was answered or not. I can tell you that if you are using a solar panel without a charge controller, at the very least you should insert a diode on the panels output to prevent it from draining your battery when the light level drops or night falls.
thanks
Oh and yes, Black to black and red to red.
ejohn3 years ago

it is not a real Zen micro USB wall charger. I think it can't be fast charging.
You have to deal with the D+ and D- pins, resistor is needed to add.
a post for this problem:
http://www.anythingbutipod.com/forum/showthread.php?t=7421
http://www.anythingbutipod.com/forum/showpost.php?p=131981&postcount=11
ejohn3 years ago
it is not a real Zen micro USB wall charger. I think it can't be fast charging.
You have to deal with the D+ and D- pins, resistor is needed to add.
a post for this problem:
http://www.anythingbutipod.com/forum/showthread.php?t=7421
http://www.anythingbutipod.com/forum/showpost.php?p=131981&postcount=11
teamost3 years ago
I don't see the point of hooking the phone charger cable to a female USB plug, only to then plug a standard USB cable into the female USB plug. Why not just solder the phone charger cable to a stripped cable that goes directly to the small male USB plug that goes directly into the MicroPhoto? Is that one extra connection necessary for some reason?
620729293 years ago
Tried this on my Creative Zen, works great. USB cable made in China wire colors not standard.figured them out with the help of a USB diagram. thanks.
Gizmodan9234 years ago
Tried it. It worked. It even works with 5.2v and 800 mA. Used it to hook up speakers in my rec room, i can charge and play my mp3 player at the same time. Great instructable!
Schuscod5 years ago
C i dont c how u guys r getting this to work i hav a itouch 2 g and i had a usb extender and a motorola 5 volt ac adapter so when i spliced the motorola charger the wires had no colors or anything so can someone help plz ive tried over 10 diff adapters with diff volts so plz help
Peter3D7 years ago
Make sure your adapter delivers DC (=), NOT AC (~). If the voltage is too high, use a 7805 to get 5 Volt output.<br/>
Derin Peter3D6 years ago
DC(=) AC(~)
benhudson7 years ago
This looks truly great... but I've tried it twice and still no luck. As far as I can tell its all together right. At first I decided I would do it without solder, and just spliced the wires and taped them. The thing in the top right hand corner of my Zen said it was charging, but 24 hours later, no actual progress. As it was a 4.5V charger, I gave up on that and got another. Second charger was weird. No red or black wires, but a single insulated white wire, with what looked like wire shielding around it, like USB cords have. But as there were no other wires, I guessed that the white was live and the uninsulated mess was earth. This time I used a connection box thingy to make it less permanent. Hooked it all up right, charging logo comes up, but no charging. Just in case, I swapped the unmarked wires around and plugged it in. Instant crack and player shuts down. Looks like it's reset it but luckily it hasn't. So anyway... as I'm the only one that's having problems, is there anywhere where I could have gone wrong? Are all USB leads suitable? (By the way, on the first one I used a female one, but on the second I used a mini male to go straight into the Zen as that's all I need to charge. Thanks for a good instructable none the less.
I think this has to do with the proprietary configuration of the Zen (Zen V in particular). This guy here explains an easy work-around ...

http://offbe.at/blogs/sample_weblog/archive/2007/04/18/charge-creative-zen-v-plus-without-software-installed.aspx

Confirmed.
Unit2256 years ago
Brilliant!- built this in 5 mins with only an old phone charger, usb extender (type a male to type a female) and wire strippers and it works great. Needed this real bad for upcoming trip *shudders at thought of 10 hour car ride with 4 little kids* Thanks!
Ruettiger6 years ago
I bought a MP3 or USB wall charger and it doesn't work with my ZEN V PLUS despite using the original cable or a regular USB cable. How do I modify this to charge my ZEN from the wall.
namit7 years ago
Built this in matter of minutes very nice for on the go. Just wondering about the cable layout Charger - RED -> <- Green - usb Charger - BLACK -> <- White -usb and plug it in and the mp3 player says its charger. But does it matter if i connected the black to green and red to white or would it just not charge?
dean-101 namit6 years ago
the green and white are data cables. when i made one i always isolate the green and white to avoid the mp3 player communicating with its self. the red wires and black wire should be the only ones to connect
acornman7 years ago
Ben Hudson ... your problem may be due to the fact that many cell phone chargers are rated at 500mA ,but some mp3 players like for instance the Zen Jukebox require 1.5A charging. I discovered this when I made one of these rigs and got the result you did. Also I experimented with a homebuilt solar charger ,this again did not deliver enough current and far from charging the mp3 player it actually sucked the juice from it!
NRen2k57 years ago
Wow, can't get much simpler than that. I wonder how many other USB-charged devices are this easy to splice to charge from the wall.
blart7 years ago
Looks cool... i must try it...
karthik137 years ago
Does it HAVE to be a 5V mobile charger.. ? Can I safely(to an extent) use a 5.7V charger? Dunno if i'll be able to get my hands on a Sagem charger.. any other options?
namit karthik137 years ago
I think it mainly depends on device that your plugging in. My iriver has been pluged in for a few hours and is going ok. and when i put muiltimeter on it said 5.7v.
khromes7 years ago
my charger had 4 wires, which made connecting with the usb cable very easy,red,white,yellow, or green are positive leads,whereas black,blue or brown are negative leads. those usb extension cables are very handy for this purpose, they can allow you to power or charge any other usb devices, just as sebamop said.
khromes7 years ago
nice charger, i made one too. mine is from a siemens phone charger, and i had gotten it from my mom. the usb cord came from my local dollar store. mine only cost $1
CACO7 years ago
Can I use a Motorola AC power supply, With an USB-2 (mini) to charge my ZEN MICRO PHOTO.It's 5V output@550mA .. Is that Safe ???? Thanks
Dude Thanks alot you just saved us couple bucks lol For anyone out there this thing really works is crazy By the way you can use output v5.3i did this with a sanyo 8200 charger great stuff.
franch018 years ago
Well done and thanks for the write-up! I'm going to try this tonight!
Sebamop8 years ago
Really really nice! But, I think it would be much more practical tu leave the cellphone charger intact and stuff a female charger connector to the female USB and Presto! you got one charger for your cellphone AND your PDA/PSP/iPod/etc
murph38_998 years ago
Great stuff... on a related note, make one for your car too! http://www.instructables.com/ex/i/E4F0DC40DC6710289F96001143E7E506/