Introduction: Old TV USB Hack for $0.00

Picture of Old TV USB Hack for $0.00

I have an old crappy TV I got as a floor model at Circut City when they closed their doors.

It's got a built in DVD player and 2 HDMI ports but no USB port...

Now, We just bought a new house and I figure why not stick this thing in garage? I dont care if it breaks, gets packed with saw dust etc....

I could just run a micro USB cable threw the low voltage box along with the AC adapter cord, but I hate wires. so logically I figured.... INSTRUCTABLE TIME!

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Step 1: Opent the TV

Picture of Opent the TV

So TV's are dangerous! Make sure yours is completely discharged or you know what the hell your doing before you do this!

Any electrical device could cause serious injuries or death! Modifying one could cause fire or worse!

Now, for every one else... Remove the wall mount and all the screws you can find.

Pop the TV open and look for the 120v ac adapter and cut any tape, wires, cable ties etc...

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Step 2: Drill

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Drill a hole in a discreet place that is big enough to fit your micro USB threw.

Note: You may need to step threw bits to get the optimal size.

Quick tip: Use some scrap paper to catch the shavings. This will help to prevent shorts and keep metal shavings from sticking to the speaker magnets.

Step 3: Who Doesn't Have This Crap Laying Around?

Picture of Who Doesn't Have This Crap Laying Around?

Take an old crappy 120v to USB adapter... Preferably one that is slow like this thing unless you have others or something else which demands more power.

The output on this adapter is only 0.7 A! Enough to power a chromcast or take 30+ hours to charge your phone...

Take some spare wire that matches or exceeds the current TV wiring. I just happen to be running a bunch of electrical so I have 100's of feet of 14-3 laying around...

Take 2 short pieces and bend the wires threw the holes in the prongs.

Scratch the prongs! This is a nessisary step to get solder to hold to the slick prongs. Mine just happen to already have been scratched threw years of sliding around a junk drawer.

Next solder! Preferably not with the crappiest soldering iron ever!

Once cool slather it with liquid electrical tape, heat shrink it, electrical tape it, plastidip it.... Just makesure it cant arc!

Step 4: Snip Amd Strip

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You dont need the ground. So just cut the + and - or, Hot and Neutral or Power and Ground...What ever term works for you.

Strip the wires...

Step 5: Wake Up the Cat

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There is no reason for this step. It is optional. You can skip it at any time... If your any reason you get lost durring this Instructable . Please revert back to this step before proceeding.

Step 6: Be Anal

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I wrapped it again cause I could. Sue me!

Step 7: Nuts!

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Wire nut the adapter in. Now I should suggest that you could locate this port where it could be accessed if you plan on using this port for other things. That or pick up a USB extension and make that external.

Step 8: Stuff It In

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Where ever works... Use tape, cable ties, velcro, double sided sticky tape... I don't care what you use its your TV!

Now pull the wire through!

Step 9: Close Up Shop

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Put the screws back in. Pull the cable all the way out... or what ever you need... Your call...

Step 10: Plug It In

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DM me if you need instructions on how to do this.

Also please leave your phone number, address, full name, checking account info, credit card number / date of experation and the 3 numbers on the back. Also your social security number and a copy of you birth certificate to verify you are who you say you are!

Step 11: Make Sure It Works

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Just make sure it works before you go all crazy.

Step 12: No Visable Wires

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Well just 1 wire. At least it's manageable vs. 2 wires, extension cords etc... Still need to clean it up a bit but a zip tie works until I paint.

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MrP24 (author)2017-02-25

thx what a complet tuto

Rushrv (author)2016-12-29

in Step 10 you forgot billing zip code with the credit card if it differs from physical address.

Damn! Your right! FAIL!

oliveira.igorm (author)2017-01-02

why do you have an adapter to connect the chromecast to hdmi?

It comes with it and the adapter and it works not only to make it flexable ti hidenit a bit better but also as an extension for the chromcast's internal antenna.

elfercho (author)2017-01-12

Nice idea!!!!

Thank you!

soilwork (author)2016-12-18

Step 6 LOL

I aim to please! ?????

"Be Anal" I believe that you're talking something like analogic right?, but if you do speed reading and appears "Be anal" that make me laugh :P

pandadude (author)soilwork2017-01-02

soilwork maybe you're not a native english speaker if you don't get this joke, I don't know? Look up 'anal retentive' he means what he says by 'be anal' but only as a joke.

lol I miss read as


electrifier (author)2016-12-19

You could also see if the TV already has a 5v output on it's PSU and solder your micro USB cable directly to it. This would save you messing around with dangerous mains voltage wires.

asadabdul (author)electrifier2016-12-28

Dangerous main voltages? The real danger is in Step 5. Some men just want to watch the world burn LOL.


lol not this one thank god!.. lol

Waking up a cat always have an inherent risk XD

rybitski (author)electrifier2016-12-28

True, but what if the extra load is outside the capacity of the PSU? Without a lot of reverse engineering you can't know for sure. 99% chance that it wouldn't cause any issues, but I digress. 120 isn't anything to be afraid of if you take the proper precautions.

Great instructable!

Ronald MontyM (author)rybitski2016-12-28

chromecast is not an over toaster.
also, power supplies that are in our appliances are usually rated at least 1.5 or twice, that's how the engineers specs out a power supply to compensate for surge and extra load.

rybitski (author)Ronald MontyM2016-12-28

I agree with everything you said. Also note that you used the term "usually" as in not always. Both of statements are in agreeance, all I'm saying is that without specs it is uncertain.

sp72 (author)electrifier2016-12-20

Yes. I would definitely prefer this. All you'd need is a pinout for microusb plug to figure our +5V and gnd and a multimeter to check which color wire on the cable are connected to them. Solder directly to the power output board on the TV. Done!!

Withered Perception (author)sp722016-12-21

Sadly this TV is so damn old that there is no 5v. ?

all electronics work with 3.3,5 and 12v your tv definetly has them

timingworks (author)2016-12-28

Very cool hack! I would not have attempted that before reading this... Now I want to buy a slightly old TV, old enough to not have a USB but new enough to have an HDMI.

Yeah, This thing has been in storage for so long that I could be 100% certain that the system was de-energized. But honestly if I found a good deal on another I would do the same thing again!

Ronald MontyM (author)2016-12-28

Why not just plug directly to 120v outlet? just so to hide one skinny power cable?

this $0.00 hack cost you more, you now have a device that's being powered 100% all the time even when the tv is off.

If I'll be doing all this trouble, I'd rRather tap onto the 5vdc regulator of the TV pcb, (or buy a $1.50 5vdc regulator and tap onto the DC line), that's the most logical thing to do.

Eithor way if its pluged into the wall, into your usb on the back of your TV, or this your going to have both the TV and the dongle powered at all times. So that squashes that. If I pluging it into the wall I would now I need to deal with a 4' micro USB and some form of extension which means I'm not cleaning up wires I'm adding to the mess... Plus this TV is plugged into a WeMo WiFi switch so when I'm done with it I can press a button on my phone and shut the whole system down. I will just add a step so you can see my reasoning behind hiding the wires.... Again wires piss me off so I wanted to hide them not make them stand out.

BrianS133 (author)2016-12-28

I don't understand what your doing here, since theres already a HDMI port on the TV? Running power to the Chromecast? Is that was this is?

Google's Chrome Case requires external power to power the dongle. It cant get power from the HDMI.

hdmi doesnt have enough current to provide for any device so you need external power. MHL v2 supported devices might work without an external usb.

GuillaumG (author)2016-12-28

There's something simplier: you can plug the Chromecast on the wall with an adapter, just like you do with a phone. :)

The point to this was that I didnt have extra wires hanging around. The closest plug is 10' away... So I would eithor need add a socket behind the TV, buy a ultra long micro USB or use an extension chord all of wich where what I was trying not to do.

Tachyon (author)2016-12-21

I would certainly recommend putting a rubber grommet in the hole the USB cable passes through to prevent shorts.

I ended up finding a piece of wire loom that I slipped over the wire, threw the holes and zip tied onto the cable.

rafununu (author)2016-12-20

You've got a stoned heart to wake up this so kind cat.

He was pretty bummed I was downstairs messing around. I woke him up and he came running down to hang out!

smpcorp (author)2016-12-19


Suraj Bhawal (author)2016-12-18

I'm stuck at step 5

Thank god it's optional or you would be screwed for what could quickly turn into an infinite amount of time.???

dan3008 (author)Suraj Bhawal2016-12-18

quick bug fix for that step, please insure cat exists and is alive. If the cat does not exist, or is dead please skip this step

Suraj Bhawal (author)dan30082016-12-19

Ah thanks! in my case the cat doesn't exist.

About This Instructable




Bio: Instagram: withered_perception Photographer and Aerial Photographer. Proudly Collaborating With HISTORY COLORADO.
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