Introduction: Super Simple Phone Charger

Picture of Super Simple Phone Charger

This could possibly be one of the most simplest phone chargers you can make. I wanted to make a charger that could use a 9v battery to power-up my phone. The worst thing about having a phone charger which you charge via USB is you never remember to charge it!

After looking through a few 'ibles I came across this one by Hobbyman. I loved the simple design and the discussions around the batteries and charging modules. I actually went out and purchased an Ultrafire 18650 battery, charging module and a regulator but still haven't done anything with them. I was contemplating adding a phone charger inside an umbrella handle (still might!), but decided to make this simple charger instead.

I wanted a way to have a charger that I could replace the battery whenever it went flat. This way if I'm away from mains power, I can just buy a battery from the shop and charge away.

You virtually only need 3 parts to make this charger, a 9v battery holder, a battery and a step down voltage regulator. You don't even need to solder! The total cost including battery is about $7 to make.

I have charged my phone from flat to charged on one 9v energiser lithium battery. I suggest you get a good 9v battery to get the most charge possible.

Step 1: Parts to Gather

Picture of Parts to Gather

Parts:

1. Voltage regulator - eBay

2. 9v battery holder - eBay

3. 9v battery

Tools

1. Pliers

2. Good glue

3. Phillips Head screwdriver

Step 2: Cut the Wire

Picture of Cut the Wire

Steps:

1. Place the regulator on top of the battery holder and work out how much wire to trim on the holder. Remember, you need to be able to open the holder to get at the battery so don''t make the wires too short.

2. Attach the wires to the terminal section on the regulator and make sure everything fits correctly.

Step 3: Glue Down the Regulator

Picture of Glue Down the Regulator

Steps:

1. Remove the wires from the terminal on the regulator.

2. Add some araldite glue or something similar to the bottom of the regulator and carefully place on top of the battery holder. The battery holder that I used has a built in on/off switch. This is important as you need to be able to turn off the regulator when not in use

3. Leave to dry.

Step 4: Final Steps

Picture of Final Steps

Steps:

1. Once the glue has dried, re-attach the wires to the regulator. Make sure that the polarities are correct, red to positive and black to negative.

2. Add the battery and test that the regulator comes on. There is a tiny LED that will come on which will indicate that it is being powered.

3. Plug in your phone using a iPhone cord or whatever type of phone you have and you should see it starting to charge.

That's it! You now have a charger that you can take anywhere. No worrying about charging as you ust replace the 9v when you need power.

Comments

aali40 (author)2015-10-01

How is it a DIY when all you do is plug in some wires and almost all of the things are pre-made ?

randyis714 (author)aali402016-05-17

Because, you are DOING IT YOURSELF! !

aali40 (author)randyis7142016-05-19

I just got myself a glass of water, WOW I DID IT MYSELF!

diy_bloke (author)aali402015-10-01

because you dont have someone else plug in the wires?

metejnik (author)2016-02-02

Can i power Arduino with this?

seldomsmith (author)2016-01-10

Good simple idea. Been looking for a cheap portable AUX. power pack for my GPS. (Internal bat. good for about three hours) Out stomping around in the boonys you can use that up fast. I used a 4 "D" battery pack rigged with a belt clip. Works Soooopoib!

Thanks.

aidanbae (author)2015-12-18

why not use a portable battery insted?

Gomi no Sensei (author)2015-11-30

Most smart phone batteries are 1500-3300mah.

A 9V battery has 50-400mah and at 500mw load has less than 300mah capacity.

You're also losing 30% of that 300mah thru the circuit.

Just exactly HOW much does this remaining 210mah charge your phone ???

Ref : http://www.powerstream.com/9V-Alkaline-tests.htm

RexS1 (author)2015-09-22

I've been using step-up regulators, £2.10 for 5 on ebay (e.g. http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/271875496151) along with 2 or 4 AA batteries. These work down to 0.9 volt, so they will extract the last bit of energy from the AAs; even partially discharged ones will deliver enough charge to get your phone working for a while.

lonesoulsurfer (author)RexS12015-09-27

I've had issues with using the cheap step-up regulators for my iPhone. I can't get them to charge! They work fine though for a Samsung and I used one in this 'ible.

there has to be a couple of volts on the data lines for iphones

scottinnh (author)2015-09-30

Boost converters will be much more efficent, and AAA batteries are far cheaper than 9V.

StevenS63 (author)scottinnh2015-10-01

YES! - also AAA/AA's can be rechargeable.

Kolby12309 (author)StevenS632015-11-25

you can get rechargable 9v batteries

IsaacS7 (author)2015-10-13

Could you use the regulator from a car charger to make this?

lonesoulsurfer (author)IsaacS72015-10-13

I think you would have issues as there wouldn't be enough amps. I could be wrong though

diy_bloke (author)2015-10-01

it is a good idea but the 9 volt batteries are relatively expensive.

you can try this boost converter

http://www.aliexpress.com/item/1Pcs-DC-DC-Boost-Co...

only 69 cts and it will boost even a single AA cel to 5V

threiner (author)2015-09-30

why should i use a 9v Battery to charge ones my phone?????

Doe_lioness (author)2015-09-30

Thank you I will be giving this a try after my in car charger died unexpectedly yesterday and had no way of charging my phone on the go ?

hobbyman (author)2015-09-30

Thanks for the credits and the nice instructable. ;)

qdogg (author)2015-09-22

I just checked some prices & a Lithium Energizer is $7.12 on ebay, a pair of ultrafires 18650's are at least $4.00 and often $8.99+. Be careful for knockoffs when buying Ultrafires or you could have a real fire.The regulator is about $4 and the holder $1, so if you can do this for $7 you need to rob some batts from your auntie's smoke alarm. How many charges can you get from the Lithium Energizer? If it's only 1 or 2 you'd be better off tying a string around your finger to remind yourself to charge the USB charger.

lonesoulsurfer (author)qdogg2015-09-27

True - you could however just use a cheapo 9v and use this to at least get some charge in your phone. I'm going to do some tests soon to see what type of charge I get from different 9v's and will post the results.

qdogg (author)lonesoulsurfer2015-09-28

Good plan! The local Dollar Tree here in town sometimes sells 2 9v alkalines for a buck.

rledsom (author)2015-09-10

if you used a rechargeable battery, could you attach a solar cell to the use?

lonesoulsurfer (author)rledsom2015-09-27

Yep, although I would suggest using a step up regulator like I did in this 'ible. I did however have issues with these regulators for my iPhone. They work fine though with Samsungs

xaenon (author)rledsom2015-09-15

I don't know how much input voltage that regulator needs, but many (if not most) rechargeable '9V' batteries are actually only 7.2 volts.

lonesoulsurfer (author)xaenon2015-09-16

Yep your right. a 9v solar panel would be able to charge the battery. Problem is the step down regulator has a range from 6v too 30v so you wouldn't get much charging time until the battery reached 6v. Saying that I'm sure the regulator would work on lower voltages than 6v - haven't tested that yet though

LucRik (author)lonesoulsurfer2015-09-22

Question about the regulator has a range from 6v too 30v .

Sir I have a old Paglight C6 battery 8Ah NiMH were 1 cell is damaged. Thats mean there left: 4 battery's 1.2 x 4 = 4.8 volt!

I remember that I contacted 2 year ago the Paglight store and there were told me that normally a complete (5 cells) the output voltage is above 15V open-circuit (no battery connected)
and it can provide up to 10.5V
on load (connected to a battery).
Also is there into the battery an
termed 'head voltage' that must be sufficient gives voltage to overcome cell voltage and resistance, in order to 'force' the pre-set constant current into the battery.

The question is, can the regulator that has a range from 6v too 30v be used with the high rate 8Ah D type NiMH cells that produce 4.8 volt?

To now when writhing I didn't see a link to order the regulator but I hope you find time to answer.

It would be great to use that type of regulator on a full charged 4 x 1.2 volt = 4.8 volt battery case that are D cells with high powers 8Ah.
This means I can use big power driving with the bicycle on the road for filming with the iPhone. Yes sorry I like to charge the iPhone 5 that needs current voltage of 5 volt.

Thanks to read the story.

Note: I'm not so technical but I do my best.

http://m.ebay.com.au/itm/191238811669?_mwBanner=1

Yes sorry I have find the link but to be sure I preference to wait for a answer.

Thanks

Luc Rik

LucRik (author)lonesoulsurfer2015-09-22

Question about the regulator has a range from 6v too 30v .

Sir I have a old Paglight C6 battery 8Ah NiMH were 1 cell is damaged. Thats mean there left: 4 battery's 1.2 x 4 = 4.8 volt!

I remember that I contacted 2 year ago the Paglight store and there were told me that normally a complete (5 cells) the output voltage is above 15V open-circuit (no battery connected)
and it can provide up to 10.5V
on load (connected to a battery).
Also is there into the battery an
termed 'head voltage' that must be sufficient gives voltage to overcome cell voltage and resistance, in order to 'force' the pre-set constant current into the battery.

The question is, can the regulator that has a range from 6v too 30v be used with the high rate 8Ah D type NiMH cells that produce 4.8 volt?

To now when writhing I didn't see a link to order the regulator but I hope you find time to answer.

It would be great to use that type of regulator on a full charged 4 x 1.2 volt = 4.8 volt battery case that are D cells with high powers 8Ah.
This means I can use big power driving with the bicycle on the road for filming with the iPhone. Yes sorry I like to charge the iPhone 5 that needs current voltage of 5 volt.

Thanks to read the story.

Note: I'm not so technical but I do my best.

lonesoulsurfer (author)rledsom2015-09-10

Yeah - definitely. You'd need to attach it to a 12v solar panel to ensure the 9v battery is fully charged though.

crypticrod (author)2015-09-22

I think your voltage regulator needs a plastic casing and not the battery. Good if you can enclose them both but for real life use you just need to expose the usb port and keep everything enlcosed.

I used the 9v battery case as it comes with an on/off switch. I wanted to make this as simple as possible so anyone could do it. There's def room to mod though for anyone who wants to take it further.

DonR6 (author)2015-09-22

Great idea! I wonder if there's a way to drop the interfaces in between - get rid of the battery case and USB socket all together... Glue a 9-volt battery 'button' connector to one side of the regulator and phone plug adapter put in place of the USB connector. So it might be smaller overall, though customized to just 'my phone' connector.

lonesoulsurfer made it! (author)DonR62015-09-27

You could def make it smaller and more compact. I went with the 9v case as it had a built in on/off switch and I wanted to make it as simple as possible. you could just attach it to a battery holder like the below, directly connect the regulator to the battery holder and add a micro switch

jliberman13 (author)DonR62015-09-23

You could, but I'd worry about the robustness of the joint between the phone and charger. Perhaps connecting a short portion of the phone end of a charger (plug plus a few inches of cable) directly to the board would be better.

FirstSpear (author)2015-09-23

Excellent little project. I had no idea those PCBs existed, Very handy. For those wanting to house the PCB as well, there's no need to buy a dedicated 9V battery holder, they could buy just the battery connector, and any suitable small project case.
The PCB used can't be shipped to the UK, so I found these on Amazon UK. The first is a little over £3 including postage.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Vktech-Cellphone-Charging-Supply-Step-down/dp/B00KONAKPS/ref=sr_1_242?ie=UTF8&qid=1443016279&sr=8-242&keywords=step+down+voltage+regulator

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Yeeco-KIS-3R33S-4-75-23V-Synchronous-Converter/dp/B0151FAIUU/ref=sr_1_214?ie=UTF8&qid=1443016232&sr=8-214&keywords=step+down+voltage+regulator

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Yeeco-High-efficiency-Synchronous-Rectification-Regulator/dp/B0151FAGSY/ref=sr_1_171?ie=UTF8&qid=1443016107&sr=8-171&keywords=step+down+voltage+regulator

http://www.amazon.co.uk/6~35V-Voltage-Step-Regulator-Module/dp/B013YF5CSW/ref=sr_1_193?ie=UTF8&qid=1443016172&sr=8-193&keywords=step+down+voltage+regulator

http://www.amazon.co.uk/6~35V-Double-Voltage-Regulator-Module/dp/B013YF7P9G/ref=sr_1_61?ie=UTF8&qid=1443015957&sr=8-61&keywords=step+down+voltage+regulator

Nice one. Cheers for the links!

HogHunter (author)2015-09-24

I love the simplicity of your design. Having said that, 9V batteries a pricey and I have plenty of 18650's for flashlights so I would probably go that way. Also I have a solar panel I use for topping off my camper's 12 volt battery. It would be nice to be able to switch to it as a source. I think I will give this a go and see if I can figure a way to use either 9V or 18650 or the solar panel.. Since I am clearly not as well versed in electronics as you are, I will likely end up with a pile of junk. I don't mind the journey is half the fun.

lonesoulsurfer (author)HogHunter2015-09-27

This really is a simple project so you shouldn't have too many issues. I went with the 9v as they are readily available and I would be able to purchase one and charge my phone on the go.

Good luck with your design.

frank.rios.7583 (author)2015-09-24

my cordless screwdriver is Ryobi 18-volt can I use the same thing as what you do with this 9 volt?

for sure. The regulator takes up to 30v so it would be fine with the 19v's

Fission_Chips (author)2015-09-24

Cool!

WackyPup (author)2015-09-22

wow amazing! What a simple execution! This is perfect to stick in my pack on hikes, I'm always afraid I'm going to lose my GPS in the middle of nowhere lol. 2 questions - 1, how can I cover the regulator to protect it? Would tape interfere with its function? And 2, can I use the phone while it's plugged into the battery or do I have to wait for it to charge? Not an important issue just something I would like to know. Thank you so much for posting this instructable, it's great! With this and a pocket full of 9 volt batteries, I can hike anywhere!

Istarian (author)WackyPup2015-09-23

I would think that a simply paper (cardstock?) or cardboard case could be made (with a vent) for the whole circuit and then duct tape applied to the outside for protection/water resistance. Anything is fine, but consider what kind of heat output the regulator makes before covering it up directly. If is a /switching/ regulators, which it may well be for this particular item, it should stay cool (you can cover it with almost anything). A linear one would produce a fair amount of heat. A plastic project box where everything can be secured and kept in your bag/pack with a sufficient long cable to reach/charge your gps unit might be best.

jliberman13 (author)WackyPup2015-09-22

For protecting the regulator, it depends on your confidence in the module and how permanent you're okay with it being. You could cover everything except the USB plug in epoxy or hot glue if you're fine with a quite permanent cover. Otherwise, wrapping it with something non-conductive and taping that down should work. As for using your phone while it's charging, you can do that, but it'll charge slower. If your phone is drawing more current because you're using it, the net current available for charging your phone will be lower.

WackyPup (author)jliberman132015-09-22

So, you mean just pour hot glue or epoxy over it? I don't have to protect it with anything first? I have no experience with electronics at all, so excuse me if that is a really stupid question lol. Hot glue would probably be a good idea, that is something I do have a lot of experience with. The neat thing about it is it works really well and then when you don't want it anymore you can usually just pop it off. I think of it is just a meltable plastic and it comes in really handy. So, if the electronics fail I should be able to just pop it off and replace it with a new one. Thanks so much for answering!

jliberman13 (author)WackyPup2015-09-23

The hot glue or epoxy is what protects the electronics. It provides a cover and seal for everything underneath it. You can see this in pocket calculators quite well. If you pop one open, you'll likely find a little blob of epoxy on the board. Underneath that is the calculator's processor. For maximum protection I would use epoxy. Since you're using epoxy to glue the board down anyways, you don't really have to worry about being able to replace the regulator either as you won't be able to get the board off the battery case. Just make sure all of your connections are really good. You won't be able to fix them if they come loose. I would also try to avoid using epoxy that hardens quickly. Those epoxies produce more heat and could potentially damage the circuitry. Note that I don't mean cure time. You'll have to know a bit more about how your epoxy works or at least acts. Some epoxies will stay completely liquid right up until they harden, and they harden in a matter of seconds. Those I'd avoid.

rustygray (author)2015-09-23

A link or more info on the voltage regulator would have been helpful. Other than that, excellent.

wbraddock1 (author)2015-09-23

You don't really need an indicator light. Your cell phone itself will tell you if the charger is working or not. Or at least if it is accepting a charge

About This Instructable

39,324views

605favorites

License:

Bio: I've always liked pulling things apart - it's the putting back together again that I have some issues with.
More by lonesoulsurfer:Book Safe With Hidden Magnet LockVacuum Tube LED CandleGas Propelled Rocket Launcher
Add instructable to: