Introduction: Ultra Portable Usb Charger With Cool Enclosure

Picture of Ultra Portable Usb Charger With Cool Enclosure

I just started geocaching recently and have been using my garmin car gps. It works pretty good other than that a long day (or night) can kill the battery. I was inspired by this instructable:

DIY More Efficient Long-lasting USB or ANY Charger

Now I really did not intend to do anything different than what was in that instructable. I was walking around the dollar store looking for a cheap project enclosure and I came upon the flashlight section. Eureka! The perfect enclosure with battery holder and switch included.

I did not like the lights available at the dollar store but managed to pick up an aluminum 3 aaa Noma LED light at another store that fit the bill almost perfectly.

Please check out my other instructables and I also have a diy podcast called

Step 1: Taking Apart the Light

Picture of Taking Apart the Light

The first step is to remove some of the guts of the light. I needed a vice to loosen the threads for the LED housing, but other than that it was pretty straight forward. The LED was desoldered to be used in a later project. I drilled a hole in the lens to allow a USB mini cable to squeeze through. Seems like everything is good to go at this point. I just have to wait for the Anyvolt regulator to arrive in the mail...

Step 2: Oops!

Picture of Oops!

So on arrival of the regulator I knew I was going to have a slight problem. The chip was a little to big to fit into the old bulb/reflector housing. What to do? I was on a bit of a time crunch and did not want to go buy another flashlight to rip apart.

Another thought I had was to make it more versatile by putting a female usb plug into it instead of the male mini. This would allow it to be used with other devices like an ipod.

I soldered the chip into the old LED wires (bypassing the resistor) I popped the lens off the end of the flashlight and fit everything together the best I could. The chip stuck out a good 1/8". I know I lose cool points for finishing it in such a ghetto way but I used hot melt glue to seal the end.

Step 3: Testing

Picture of Testing

Even though I used a volt meter to check everything out, I plugged my sons crappy old mp3 player into it first, instead of my gps. (I would have bought him an upgrade if it had fried)

I guess that even though this project did not go perfectly, the main point of it is that you could get a project enclosure with battery holders and a switch for a dollar by using a cheap flashlight.


Speffeddude (author)2015-01-28

Cool concept! This inspires the thought that a flashlight would make a good enclosure for a lot of different projects...

ryoneill (author)2014-02-14

What size regulator did you use?

kooljo (author)2013-12-10

how long do the batteries last in it?

wstepjim (author)2013-10-03

awesome Idea. I've been looking at Energizer Energi to power my phone Droid Razr cause with gps on and caching or hiking it dies in like an hour. Thanks so much cant wait to try this out.

jbaker22 (author)2013-04-01

Haow many volts are you getting from the batteries?

dave spencer (author)jbaker222013-04-02

You get whatever you set it at. I have it at 5v.

jbaker22 (author)dave spencer2013-04-02

if I put 3.7 volts in it will it damage it or take or even charge?

dave spencer (author)jbaker222013-04-02

I do not know what will happen if you give it a lower voltage, sorry

jbaker22 (author)dave spencer2013-04-10

My ipod did not recognize I was trying to charge it when I hooked it up to 4 volts

dave spencer (author)jbaker222013-04-02

I do not know what will happen if you give it a lower voltage, sorry

compamac (author)2011-07-10

Nice iPod

beantown53 (author)2010-03-18

To make it more compact, I would build in the USB connector into the front of the flashlight.

D@V1D (author)2009-06-29

nice ipod

TSC (author)D@V1D2010-02-18

its not a ipod it just looks like one

ithaley (author)2009-08-19

would it work with an ipod if you had the right cord?

dave spencer (author)ithaley2009-08-20

sure, anything that can run off of usb power can work here. I have charged my wife's ipod nano.

ithaley (author)dave spencer2009-08-20

ok thanks ill give it a try ipod batterys tend to die pretty fast

pancho del rancho (author)2009-08-05

im kinda new since like 3 weeks and wuts the vote for why and were cuz i like this 1

Arbitror (author)2009-07-15

What kind of MP3 is that?

dave spencer (author)Arbitror2009-07-15

just a crappy cheap ($20) one we bought for my son figuring he would lose it. I can't remember where we got it from.

Arbitror (author)dave spencer2009-07-16

That's the cheapest mp3 player with an LCD screen that I've ever seen!

N1CK4ND0 (author)2009-06-29

Another option would be to have the female USB like inside the end of the light instead of the cord running out of it. But overall nice 'Ible!

kelseymh (author)2009-06-17

Very nice. Potting with hot-glue (or silicone sealant) is a very good way to protect your circuit from corrosion and shorts. Doesn't look bad at all. I hope this is intended as an entry in the Pocket-Sized contest!

xACIDITYx (author)kelseymh2009-06-17

It is, and it's got my vote (when voting starts).

saxmaster765 (author)xACIDITYx2009-06-17

I think it's got my vote, too!

Fieldownage (author)saxmaster7652009-06-20

People! Four weeks left before voting starts and there is going to be more projects to choose from. Anyways, nice project!

FrozenStar (author)2009-06-17

Very nice!

haooken (author)2009-06-17

Nice. Definitely like the size. And that AnyVolt gizmo is pretty interesting. Definitely going to have to remember it for future projects

About This Instructable




Bio: I have had a few careers so far, soldier, school teacher, arborist, millwright. I love change and I love learning.
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