Introduction: Super Simple Ipod Battery Charger (Altoids Tin)

Picture of Super Simple Ipod Battery Charger (Altoids Tin)

Super Basic 5v regulator circuit

Step 1: Get the Goods

Picture of Get the Goods

You will need:
1. A 9v or greater battery
2. A 9v battery clip
3. A lm7805 or lp2954 5v regulator (Sampled from Maxim-Dallas)
4. A female Usb port (also sampled but from

Step 2: The Circuit

Picture of The Circuit

This is the most complex circuit you will ever see in your life.

Step 3: Test!

Picture of Test!

My camer caouldnt capture this but if you did this right the little charging or charged icon should appear in your upper right hand corner of the screen.


joshr123 (author)2013-08-24

THIS WON'T WORK you need to put around 2volts threw both data pins

inthesand (author)2009-02-19

I made a charger with AA rechargeable batteries and it works for a little while, but then the Ipod says its done charging when its not yet full. I'm thinkin maybe cause the AA's are not enough power. I say that cause regular AA's are 1.5 V but these rechargeables are 1.2Vs, ( I just remembered the difference). Any ideas as to why the Ipod stops charging after that little bit?

mr.break_it (author)inthesand2009-03-31

Can i use the LM75A Regulator instead of the LM 7805? if not, can someone please post a link where i can get a sample LM7805. ty

chua_erei (author)mr.break_it2011-09-05

If i am not wrong its the same thing

zack247 (author)mr.break_it2010-02-06

i pulled one from an hp scanner

I don't know exactly why it does it, but I would guess it may have something to do with the current, not the voltage. I tried charging my 1st gen iPod Touch (w00t) on a mintyboost and it didi the same thing.

zodthekonquerer (author)2009-05-05

Yeah, what should I do if the charger icon doesn't appear on my ipod, but the charger is clearly on?

zack247 (author)zodthekonquerer2010-03-09

it wont work on iPods, their cables have something special about them

chua_erei (author)zack2472011-09-05

Its not the cable its the USB

zodthekonquerer (author)zack2472010-03-11

Yeah i know that now. All the storebrand chargers have resistors in them to tell the ipod to start charging.

max1zzz (author)zodthekonquerer2010-04-28

just connect d+ to d- (pin2 to pin3) and newer ipods will think it is a charger

tobyscool (author)max1zzz2010-12-10

you sure that it will work because im gonna buy the material :D

it doesn't work with new ipod models.
go to this website for the one that works with new ipod models and iphones

Artificial Intelligence (author)2008-03-20

I don't think, it's good idea to use a 9V battery, cause they only have a capacity of approx. 250mAh, so in my calculation, the battery will only last under an hour.

heyyyyyy!!!!!you copied my character!!!!!

dudemanclc (author)joinaqd2011-02-28

wow wait a second thats my character

Maybe you copied mine, cause I've been on 'ibles for longer time than you :o :o :o

maybe we both copied from google!!

Yes. I think you're right.

i changed my image...Wall-E is too childish..

stallsworth (author)2008-02-01

why dose it heat up so much

dudemanclc (author)stallsworth2011-02-28

because it feels like it

geeklord (author)stallsworth2008-11-20

Alot of digital things you take apart have 5v regulators in them(I found one in a dish receiver) and some of them have little screw on or awesome clip on heat sinks.

joinaqd (author)geeklord2009-01-14

i found one in a temperature thermometer for measuring the room temperature (I bought it for 1 dollar)

zack247 (author)joinaqd2010-03-09

if you live in canada, i bet i know where you got it.

the common issue with linear regulators is the heat, it is commonly used to supply necessary voltage for PC components who needs very little current (<=100ma). Heat indicates severe efficiency loss, sure its simple but those 9Vs will cost alot more on the long run.

input voltage = 9, output voltage = 5, say your drawing 500ma, a full load for any USB port, then your looking at (9-5)x0.5 = 2 watts of heat. the LM7805 by itself will cook itself to ~120C before internals shutdown

without a heatsink you will start to smell the solder smoke pretty fast.
Last time I tried something like this I thermally epoxied the LM7805 to a 3 watt capable heatsink, tied the input pin to a 12V source, the output pin to a 5V 40mm fan mounted to the heatsink and made myself a little space heater _

if the heat gets to you, an alternative option would be a zener diode of some sort...something like 1N4732A with ~193mA sustained current. Zeners diodes are cheap you could place several in parallel to share the overflow current once whatever your charging are up to ~5volts.... I'm sure theres an instructable for that here somewhere

tyeo098 (author)stallsworth2008-02-01

Because thats how the 7805 gets rid of the excess heat.

markee2 (author)2010-11-07

The schematic is very simple. i have also another version of simple
iPod charger using transistor 


toogers (author)2010-06-26

the battery would last longer when idling if you put a switch to cut all power to the regulator, electrons still flow through when not charging.

lorddavis6 (author)2010-05-04

you need voltage regulator ( L78M05CV )

LiporXT (author)2009-05-01

also I have constructed a 9v portable usb charger, beautiful project I compliment

zack247 (author)LiporXT2010-03-09

now that, is smooth. it looks just like a regular 9v battery clip. ingenious. brilliant. smart

Bartboy (author)LiporXT2009-05-11


willymakesstuff (author)2009-05-16

does not work cant someone post one that really WORKS

tyeo098 (author)willymakesstuff2009-05-16

It works if youre not a 3rd garder, cmon people this is the simpliest circuitry. If you read the comments, it DOES NOT work for IPT and iPhone, because they require a signal on D+-, thats how they get you to buy apple accessories.

snelpiller (author)tyeo0982009-12-16   I did this one, same thing just added 2 wires and resistors, works like a charm!

Dgunz56 (author)tyeo0982009-06-30

sooo this doesnt work for ipt? and if not how do u make it work? bigger battery?

willymakesstuff (author)tyeo0982009-05-16

ooooooo sorry i was using this for itouch and iphone

it works i just made it today

Pyromaster951 (author)2009-08-30

I think you can charge an iPhone/ itouch if you bridge the data lines with a 10k resistor

Zem (author)2009-08-10

So, (Correct me if I'm wrong.) it looks like the negative from the battery, the ground pin, and pin #4 from the USB all connect, correct?

555mst555 (author)2009-06-18

does it matter which way LM7805 faces??......coz the only thing i know is that the middle pin is ground....then the 2 pins are my problem....which side is in or out? pls help:( p.s....i tried connecting up everything by hand(holding the wires together) and i noticed the heatsink on the LM7805 became VERY that usual?....i used a new 9v batery

omnibot (author)555mst5552009-07-22

Rule of thumb is that any text on the component should be facing you and not be upside down.

555mst555 (author)omnibot2009-07-23

ok thx :)

joearkay (author)2009-06-30

i swear ipods dont work with regular ipod chargers like urs. dont they need to detect resistance bectween poins 2 and 3 to work?

ttrat (author)2009-05-30

What I don't understand is, the battery for the ipod can't be a larger supply than the 9 volt, so why the quick drainage?

crazyhalofreak (author)2009-04-21

could you just use batteries that add up to 5v, or is the 5v regulator needed for the ipod to accept the charge?

mr.break_it (author)2009-04-01

This will Drain the Battery VERY QUICKLY, in a matter of 20 MIN

Morte_Moya (author)2007-07-26

I like it. Here is the one I did a few months ago.

tyeo098 (author)Morte_Moya2007-07-27

ooooo fancy

About This Instructable




Bio: Cool, another box!
More by tyeo098:Time lapse photography with a webcam[A cheaper way to] Play Videos from your ipod on the BIG[er] SCREEN!!!Super Simple Ipod Battery Charger (Altoids Tin)
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