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

Picture of 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. - 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:

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

Picture of 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:

Step 2: Regulated or Unregulated?

Picture of Regulated or Unregulated?

The iPod seems to use variable voltage and power inputs with wide current 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

Picture of Parts and Sources

Parts and sources for some 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 !

Picture of 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

Picture of 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!


mg0930mg (author)2010-07-15

Can you be stupid somewhere else?

Robot Lover (author)mg0930mg2010-07-16

sure! No problem! Sigh...

mg0930mg (author)Robot Lover2010-07-17

It's ok, I still love you.

erckgillis (author)2010-02-01

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!

hornbadoing (author)2008-07-17

if it wasts 50% no way is ther a alternative

erckgillis (author)hornbadoing2010-02-01

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....

erckgillis (author)2010-02-01

Wow ! And I thought it was a Limited Edition U2 version...!

ptfuzi (author)2008-08-18 trying to do something like that, but i cant charge, i am using an ipod dock and i try to do like this photo

but it didn't please?!

erckgillis (author)2008-01-16

from notes:

Here are the pin 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

CircuitSorcerer (author)2006-07-06

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-

abbtech was refering to this posted image as it was a case of 144 9v cells...tied in half in series & half in parallel you could get a few hundred (Amp hours) from such small cells. 700mAh x 144cells = 1004A (502 half&half)

Even large Research or academic (lasers, masers or rail-run etst) use 12v lead acid or dry cell in series or parallel combos with massive capacitors to get many amps/Joules of power for testing ...the dry cells have large resistance and impedance whereas capacitors can "dump" and provide that megavolt and multi joules "kick"...


Ian01 (author)CircuitSorcerer2006-08-03

No, it's a few mA to stop your heart, I don't think the voltage matters.

correct. a 30v welder will kill you, but I've had (by accident) about 1k volts from a homemade tazer jump across my heart and it didn't even make my heart jump completely dependant on amps.

nice wording on my part about it jumping lol. but I think you get the idea.

see the Mythbusters episode? 500-800mA at 12-120v can be enough to stop your heart... can a cute girl...

LOL true, true. I saw that episode btw (the one about dropping appliances in the bathtub?) I was just saying it doesnt matter the voltage. people have been killed by 30v welders and I've had an estimated 1k volts across my heart with no problem. (my meter wont measure above 500....I think it was 1k tho)

and yes, I've had more than one cute girl stop my heart. lol

Yup, had to touch a co-worker who had a High power Voltage doubler accidently discharge on both his wrist during a repair job. yes it was unpluged, turned off... but was in circuit with four 50,000uf 220v capacators that were still partially charged. Ouch...he should'a been dead ,I used my boot and kicked his legs out. E

oh dude thats alot of amps........

abbtech (author)CircuitSorcerer2006-07-07

CircuitSorcerer, View the picture of the large case of batteries and hover over the comment...

pinski1 (author)2006-07-07

LiPo stands for Lithium Polymer. Try and charge a Lithium ion cell with that and you'll end up with grief, exploding batteries are bad.

Lithium based battery chemistries are pretty dangerous when your making/using non-comercial chargers, as in, buy them in a case from large comercial brands if your not too sure, or get someone who knows. Best buy lithium batteries with the charger, that way your generally garenteed to get the right stuff.

I know in the UK you can get 3000mAh Energizer rechargables. I've got about 8 or so and I use the engergiser recharger which holds four, so I cycle between to give me 6v for electronics prototyping.

The mini 12v batteries are pants. They have an absolutely minimum mAh rating.

mAh is how long the battery will last acording to the amps drawn. e.g. my 3000mAh batteries will last for 10 hours if I only need 300mA from them, should I need 3A (3000mA = 3A) then they'll only last an hour and so on.

erckgillis (author)pinski12006-10-06

LiPO's are recharged with custom circuits..(see attached) any AC/DC sources and some control curcuits... reuse or replace any LiPO when you know how!

admanrocks (author)2006-07-13

I dont understand how I can get free samples of the regulators, that site ( only lets me buy.
can you please help me?

erckgillis (author)admanrocks2006-07-15

Hum... did you try parametric search. You need at least 500mA for an iPod no more than 700mA. So with mA I found 577 linear regulators (I prefer LDO's). Always alternatives ... of those the 3v-9v Reg's I found 57... and those ...I found several in 5V for USB power...try UA78M05CKVURG3 or LM317MKVURG3 for FREE Samples

admanrocks (author)erckgillis2006-07-15

thanks! i just got a couple UA78M05CKVURG3's

erckgillis (author)admanrocks2006-08-20

Cool, I can always find a pin-out alternative from a competitor...or I emil them and say "samples please" or I go get their closest competitor...I love capitalism!

CircuitSorcerer (author)2006-07-16

All jokes aside, ERCKGILLIS... please email me on future projects... I want to collaberate. My current endavor is 802.11g range extendors... using old dish's .... I have a very lucritive associate... that wants talent like yours.... Alan

Alan, Sure thing...Working on new "in-line" clean power for iPods and a Li Po backup battery pack. Did not see your email on your profile. reply erckgillis at yahoo dot com... Ed

CircuitSorcerer (author)2006-07-16

I am riding the lightning Bro....

CircuitSorcerer (author)2006-07-14

abbtech, erckgillis: I did to the math... I counted 12 x 13 on the batteries which comes to 156. Erckgills says he would like to put half in series and the other half in series, and parallel the two for max voltage and current.... That makes 78 batteries at 9 volt in series... 702 volts ... ok of we take two banks of 702 volts at 250 MAh per batterie and parallel the two then that should yeild a total of 250 MAh x 2... or 1/2 AH (500 MAh) ... but it would have some heavy duty voltage... hehehe... actually if you paralleled all 156 batteries at 9 volts.. you would have 39 AMPS of current capability... or 351 Watts. The wattage capability works out the same on the math.. but it is CURRENT that makes a loud sound, not Voltage!!! That is why we use monster cable.... CircuitSorcerer -Ride the Lightning-

Laugh my a** off....

abbtech (author)2006-07-06

Nice job. Looks great! I am not sure about the case of batteries wired together giving you 500Amps though. There is no way a 9Volt battery will put out 250Amps!!!

erckgillis (author)abbtech2006-07-07

milli-Amps per Hour are how batteries are rated...see last two images...

abbtech (author)erckgillis2006-07-07

Must be a small typo... View the picture of the large case of batteries and hover over the comment...

erckgillis (author)2006-07-07

Moved CMoy amps to new instructables...

erckgillis (author)2006-07-07

Yes CS you are right Borg have access to all the same data...the ratings on batteries are different from regular AC/DC current...these are mAh (milli-Amps per Hour). As batteries cannot discharge instantly and have some resistance to current. So most 9v batteries are rated for 200-250 milli-Amps per hour, high capqacity NiMh may be had for over $5ea. that have 270mAh! AA batteries typically have 1200-2700 mAh! which is much a 9v and see the very tiny, super mini little 1.5v AAAAAA size batteries wired to give 9v (6 x 1.5v )... Crash you may be right except I also hack insides of iPods and reuse or replace their Lithium ion batteries and use as external packs...i'll update the steps & photos thanks...

Crash2108 (author)2006-07-06

Nice use of the 9 volt case idea floating around.. I'm am not sure if it is worth being hackadayed though..

About This Instructable




Bio: So what ideas would you like to try?
More by erckgillis:NES GBA and PSX games on your iPhone or iTouchApple iTouch/iPhone Hacks and firmware rollback SAFE Recharging of Exotic Batteries, NiMH, LiPO and  complex battery packs or multiple cells.
Add instructable to: