Instructables
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Picture of Quick 'n' easy USB charger
My iPod Touch was dying and I didn't want to turn my laptop on just to charge it. But then I thought of an old laptop charger I had that was still good, so I got to work. And so I have hacked together an USB charger.
 
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Step 1: List of things you need

Picture of List of things you need
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You need:
wire cutters
wire strippers
switch
three alligator test leads
USB car charger
Old laptop charger: 20V max, 1.5A is reasonable
DMM ( optional)

Step 2: Prepare the laptop charger

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First, cut the DC out cord in two. It doesn't matter where. Mine was shorted in a few places so I cut it before the first split. Then you need to cut the outer insulator about an inch. After that, remove 1/3 of the shield. This shield will be your ground or your positive rail, depending on the charger. After you remove the shield, you will have 2/3 white insulation in the center. Remove 1/2 of this revealing the center wire. You should now have 1/3 shield 1/3 insulation then 1/3 wire. The charger is now ready. Use the DMM to verify that the charger is correct in voltage and that the center wire is indeed positive.

Step 3: Connecting the USB charger and switch

Picture of Connecting the USB charger and switch
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Now for the easiest part of the instructable. Grab one the test leads and connect it to the outer terminal of the USB charger and to the ground of the charger. Grab the next test lead and connect it to the positive rail of the charger and to the switch's common terminal. The last lead goes from the switch's any other terminal to the center connecter of the USB charger.

Step 4: Verify it works

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Plug the laptop charger in and flip the switch. If the USB charger has an indicator LED it should light up. Else you have to plug something up to it to see if it charges. No big deal as that was the whole point here.
philip422 years ago
Cute - but why bother? Replacement USB AC chargers are about $1 - brand new (at my local Dollar Store).
tridecagon (author)  philip422 years ago
I was using what I already had on me. Plus, going to go buy one would defeat the purpose of not using my laptop - it would have been too easy.
philip422 years ago
Cute - but why bother? Replacement USB AC chargers are about $1 - brand new (at my local Dollar Store).