Introduction: Use Your Old (Mini-USB) Charger to Charge Any USB Chargeable Phone/MP3 Player/iTouch/iPhone/iPad for $1.61

Picture of Use Your Old (Mini-USB) Charger to Charge Any USB Chargeable Phone/MP3 Player/iTouch/iPhone/iPad for $1.61

Intro:
Now you can have a charger at home and at work! Or simply have a spare in your bag.
This instructable provides a practical way to use an old stored away Mini-USB charger from previous cell phones or devices you own(ed).
An alternate method to “reduce, reuse, recycle” your Mini-USB chargers, don't throw it away!

Assuming the following:
You already own 1 or several Mini-USB chargers from other device(s) typically phones.
You already have a USB sync cable that came with your phone. (i.e.: white cable that comes with iPhone 2G, 3G, 3Gs, 4G).  
Your device charges while plugged into a computer, if it doesn't then most likely will not work for you!

1. Voltage Verification of Old Charger: (go to step 1 for more info)
99.9% of the time, if the charger has a Mini-USB connector then it will have 5 Volts to power/charge any USB device.
It’s always good to confirm just in case some idiot company decides to use the same Mini-USB connector for some other application which uses a higher voltage...It's possible but not likely.

2. $1.61 Item Purchase: (go to step 2 for more info)
You will need to purchase a "USB Female to Mini USB 5-Pin Female Adapter". You can use the link below to purchase one from Dealextreme
Copy and paste the link below:
http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.26780~r.88371207

3. Setting up device to charge: (go to step 3 for more info)
All you do is connect both the old charger and USB charge cable to the adapter. That’s it! Your phone should start to charge.
 

Step 1: Voltage Verification of Old Charger

Picture of Voltage Verification of Old Charger


99.9% of the time, if the charger has a Mini-USB connector then it will have the correct voltage to power/charge any USB device.

It’s always good to confirm just in case.
* The voltage can usually be found on one side of the charger. (See photo for example).
   Label example: “OUTPUT: 5.0VDC 550mA”
You will need to verify that the “Output” is “5.0v” (five volts) More voltage may damage your phone, less voltage may not work but shouldn’t damage your phone.

* The “550mA” is called “Current” this will vary from charger to charger. The simplest way to describe its function in this scenario is: The higher the current the faster it will charge the lower the current the slower it will charge.
* Ideally a charger will have 1A… but most chargers use half of that which is: 500mA.

iPAD users NOTE: iPAD requires 2.1A but can slowly charge or maintain its charge with lower current only when it’s in sleep mode.  In some case when current is really small like 200mA or 100mA it will not charge at all.

Step 2: Purchasing the $1.61 Adapter Which Will Allow All of This to Happen!

Picture of Purchasing the $1.61 Adapter Which Will Allow All of This to Happen!

3. $1.61 Item Purchase:
You will need to purchase a "USB Female to Mini USB 5-Pin Female Adapter". If anyone knows of an alternate place to get it for less than $1.61, please let me know and I will post it as well. Otherwise you can use the link below to purchase one from Dealextreme, which I have personally purchased many items from using PayPal. Though it may take up to 12 days to arrive, the price is worth the wait for most items they have.
Click here for a direct link to the item.
or copy and paste the link below:
http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.26780~r.88371207
 
NOTE: if your current device requires 1A to charge but your old charger has an output of only 200mA or less this may not work and you might as well not purchase the adapter.  Though for less than $2 it might not matter to you.

Step 3: Setting Up Device to Charge

Picture of Setting Up Device to Charge

3. Setting up device to charge:
All you do is connect both the old charger and USB charge cable to the adapter. That’s it!

Your device should start to charge if it doesn’t, it’s possible the old charger does not have enough current (i.e.: 200mA) to start the charging process. If that’s the case you may ask your friends if they have old chargers they no longer use.  Or go to the local swap-meet and find a used one for $0.50 if you're lucky, I did!

This can also be used to charge MP3 Players, iPOD, iTouch, iPhone, iPAD, PSP, NDS & more see below:
For NDS / DSi you will need this cable for $1.98.
For PSP you will need this cable for $1.93.
For PSP/NDS/DSi & Gameboy charge cable to USB you can use this cable for $2.71.
For Nokia 9500 Communicator/8800/8600 Luna + More use this cable for $2.19 
For Motorola V60/V66/V360/C390 + More use this cable for $2.19
For Sony Ericsson T28/A2618s/F500i/J210i/J300i + More use this cable for $2.31.


If this doesn't work for you or you prefer to purchase low price chargers & cables in the US then I recommend: www.monoprice.com.  Located in Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730, but most of the items are also made in China.  Plus you have to pay for shipping.
They have a smaller selection of items for DIY projects but worth the time.
The LCD wall mounts are worth the price also recommended, I've purchased 2 already.


Comments

crzy engineer (author)2011-01-09

Great info.

Thanks!

escapefromyonkers (author)2013-04-13

i don't think using a charger that puts out more amps then the original charging device is a sound electronic idea. Unless your sure that the device has protection against overcharging and cut off relays when it starts overheating. . If you charge a device that is rated for .500 ma with a 1 amp charger, even though you made the contact fit, you may destroy the device.
Even the knock off chargers that are available at much lower prices for cells and iPods, should be checked to make sure the output in volts and amps is correct. Many of the knock offs have poor quality control , as do most of the cheap Chinese products i get from deal extreme. It is common for the chargers to be over voltages and over amps, resulting in destroying your expensive electronics.

dafoofoo (author)2013-02-28

You have to jailbreak your iphone and then install the TRON theme which can be found in Cydia. Of course there are many other themes and the possabilities are endless! Good luck...
You may want to check out this website for possible solutions to jailbreak your phone: http://www.iclarified.com/jailbreak/

eddy14777 (author)2010-07-08

I'm sorry to tell you this but the Ipad will not charge on this because it takes a different amount of amperage .

dafoofoo (author)eddy147772010-07-09

I tried not to clutter the intro. with redundant info that is mentioned on the 1st step. In my 1st step you would have seen in BOLD the following: "iPAD users NOTE: iPAD requires 2.1A but can slowly charge or maintain its charge with lower current only when it’s in sleep mode. In some case when current is really small like 200mA or 100mA it will not charge at all." You do bring up a good topic since most old chargers hardly go over 0.5A it is very unlikely that an old charger will have 2.1A to charge while using the iPad. Although I did find an old charger that provided 1A at the swap-meet which brings me hope. If anyone has tried please make a comment with Amperage i.e. 500mA, 0.8A, etc.

Fiction (author)dafoofoo2011-07-19

Any updates to this?

I'm trying to build a minimal solar iPad charger and would love to find out the lowest possible charging amperage.

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