IPod Charging Tins and Packs for Beginners...





Introduction: IPod Charging Tins and Packs for Beginners...

Inspired by many iPod USB batteries I've seen online and after seeing the small Sijosae Amps inside a 9V battery I designed and built this First Gen 9v battery adapter... the "moOSe v1". Named after 'Moose' my 6mo. old Choc Lab.

http://www.headphoneamp.co.kr/ftp/sijosae/Gallery/ - view Sijosae's Designs

Originally I was assmebling Radio Shack pre-made battery packs (2xAA or 4xAA) in Altoid tins with USB (5V) connectors. However these AA cells were large & required both frequent battery changes, low voltages, required cables and had poor charge times for a dead iPod...problems.

See Ted's excellent reviews: http://home.speedfactory.net/tcashin/ipodbattery.htm

Firewire has better potential, smaller packages and requires no cables. Newer iPods only...

Using rechargeable NiMh 9 volt batteries provide higher voltages for use with firewire than AA's, although most have only 700mAh while the AA batteries can be obtained up to 1200-2700mAh. However AA Packs of 6 or 8 can be awkward, heavy and hard to manage easily. Alkaline 9v's can be had online or at discounts as low as 55 to 99 cents ea.!

So we use 9v in series or parallel with firewire!

comments on AA vs. 9v batteries? Rechargeables vs. Alkaline dry cells

Step 1: Concept & Specifications

Idea was for a small and portable 9v or 18v solution to power, charge or provide extended time for iPod players. Powering both old USB and new 'Firewire' iPod's. Use less cables and be easily rechargable or re-loaded anywhere ...

Working on small Cmoy amps I found many small designs online I liked. The Duracell was perfect for a single 9V solution. An Altoid tin will easily house Dual 9v (serial or parallel) and provide power similiar to the Apple AC adapter and the IEE1394 firewire output from a desktop or laptop.

Having used USB powered at 5 volts this promised to provide better performance for both old and "new" iPod's.

Firewire specs: http://www.1394ta.org/Technology/Specifications/

Step 2: Regulated or Unregulated?

The iPod seems to use variable voltage and power inputs with wide current ranges...is regulated power needed with dry cells?

Regulated - comments?
I built some regulated USB 5V battery packs and direct wired units with both USB and iPod 30 Pin Dock connectors. Using the voltage regulators waste extra voltage as heat and requires MORE voltage and battery power than required.

Higher tech and higher cost is the DC/DC converters and the IC voltage regulators "LDO" - low drop off as well as (step up) or 'step down' SIP packages...very efficient...

The iPod's have some built in voltage and current regulation. See Apple specs. Batteries tend to provide stable consistant power as it drains down. Do we really need to also regulate and clean power from dry cells? The iPod's AC adapter also supports wide ranges of inputs and outputs at up to 640mA and 12.5v. Firewire from PC/Laptops will deliver IEEE 1394 via the standard at 12-30v that the iPod must handle 'without' the AC regulator...most PC sources for 1394 are also "unregulated".

both camps have points....your position and comments welcome.

Step 3: Parts and Sources

Parts and sources for some items...post comments for additional questions or ...better yet... cheaper sources!

I am considering buying bulk and reselling with discounts on some parts...what do you find hard to get or what are some reasonable prices?


Jameco - will Match or BEAT any pricing you can find...

just add "dot com" for suppliers websites...

Step 4: Next Projects !

My next projects...see comments

Post or email me for custom designed cable, battery packs, connectors etc...

Prototypes available for some projects...


Step 5: Future


Get smaller batteries etc...from cell phones or other "cheap" sources, gameboys, toys or other refurb or broken devices...PCB's for recharging...

New RC toys have great battery packs!



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    Can you be stupid somewhere else?

    It's ok, I still love you.

    Ipods vary by model so check for voltage. Older models and some new only use Firewire IEEE 1394 and supplies 9v-12v DC at 500+mA.

    Smaller units only require 5v at 500mA via USB for charging.

    Check your make/model. Some will change some not.

    All iPods are voltage/current sensing as are the wll warts and plugs.

    But always test and use proper grounding or voltage/current protection!

    if it wasts 50% no way is ther a alternative

    Using Discrete components will bleed off excess Voltage as heat.

    Using solid state voltage regulators or LDO's will step up Voltage and drop current or step down voltage etc.

    All the extra voltage or current MUST go somewhere. A complex regulated circuit is possible that allows proper mA and V+ to ipod and also allows monitoring of battery life or rechage for NiMH or LiPo sources but is more expensive and complex....

    from notes:

    Here are the pin outs...you must connect the numbered pins.


    you need to find which wire is the USB V+ and which is GND
    and then the Firewire V+ and GND
    then connect the commond GND to all th other GND.

    This will VARY BY CABLE. So test pins for dock end and find the cable that matchs pins on the dock connector. then solder those to a 9v snap connector

    Note: These pins were previously listed in reverse order.

    1FireWire Ground 1
    2 FireWire Ground 1
    FireWire Data TPB (+)
    USB Data (+) 2
    FireWire Data TPB (−)
    USB Data (−) 2
    FireWire Data TPA (+)
    8 USB VBUS Power +5 VDC (from computer) 2
    FireWire Data TPA (−)
    Accessory Indicator 3
    11 Firewire Power +12 VDC 4
    12 Firewire Power +12 VDC 4
    +3.3V Power (to power iPod accessories) 5

    15 USB GND 6
    16 Ground 6

    Serial RxD
    Serial TxD
    Serial GND
    S-Video Luminance 7, Component Pr
    S-Video Chrominance 7, Component Y
    Video Out - Composite Video (for ipod colour when slideshow activated)8, Component Pb

    Line In - Left
    Line In - Right
    Line Out - Left
    Line Out - Right
    Line Out - Common Ground
    30 Ground

    I have gone back and back through the article, and cannot find a reference to 500-Amps. abbtech - I think you need to re-read, perhaps you meant MILLI-amps (.001 amp)... Your normal house current regulation (breaker) in the U.S. is only 200 AMPS... and it only takes 1 amp at 1 volt to stop your heart... but alas you are quite correct... there is no way a 9v battery will put out 250 amps... unless it is a lead-acid battery about the size of a small car-battery, or some equivilant type of large current outrush device. But at any rate this is a GREAT hack... it shows initiative, and creativity in using small items and existing casements... I think the author would make a great BORG! ....All will be assimilated, resistance is futile. CircuitSorcerer -ride the lightning-