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How to power an MP3 Player with 6 Volt DC Motorcycle Battery Answered


I am creating an audio billboard, you all have seen billboards with words, this is a billboard, but there it also talks to you. WHY? Because I am here in Kara, Togo West Africa. In this village they speak 3 local language, and if very educated, they speak French, but if you really wanted them to listen, you would talk in Kabye.

I would like to offer free Malaria medicine to people, and this could save babies from dying, 1 in 10 dies that has the Malaria parasite. Mothers avoid going the lab, or taking the cure because it cost one weeks pay, about 7-10 dollars. The longer they delay, the more likely the baby is too weak, and dies. The need to know, money is the problem, but how to tell them, this audio box is to tell them money is there in their own language. But to make it work for one-month, or one year without maintenance is the challenge. I am will experiment with the device inside a Hotel signs, and try to have the Hotel help, they get an ad, and the public ad is served, help them, and they help.

The electricity goes off between 3 and 10 hours, sometimes more in Africa, about 200 countries and this box is not close to electricity lines, but next to water pick up spots.  I want to power a 6 Volt Radio I can buy here in Togo, West Africa with a 6 volt motorcycle battery.
I am hoping to have the radio run for 10 days, 24/ 7.

I can buy a 6 volt motorcycle battery easy, and can even charge it by connecting to a running cycle with alligator clips.
But, I need to figure out the correct way to set this up.

I learned today, I cannot buy a 6 volt battery charger here:
- So I put a diagram down below showing how to make one?
Is there a way to know when the thing is fully  charged?

What is needed to connect the battery the radio?
- I put a wiring diagram with a fuse and diode, is this correct?

This is a French speaking country, I speak ok French, but not the word needed to make this device.

I need help.

Andy Graham of HoboTraveler.com in Kara, Togo West Africa.


This experiment did NOT work.
It started making a horrible noise after running for 30 hours. I think the volts dropped from 6 to 5, and it needs to stay at 6 volts steady, The 4 double AA batteries inside the think must have a regulator to help it, I will keep trying to learn.

I want to make this device with only items purchased here, so the locals can copy the idea if they wish, and repair easy. I have he audio box connected now. I am going to allow it to run until it dies. first test.

There is a question? Does this radio device have a fuse inside it? Does it have a diode inside it, and am I just making being too fussy with the fuse and diode? How many batteries would be required to run this for one year?

You'll have to measure the consumption to make that call. I'd be tempted to use a solar panel, if it won't get stolen.

On the male plug that enter the Radio, the wire coming would have two wire. Is there a universal marking that tells me which one is positive? or Negative. Amps? There are batteries in the device, and I think it also has a internal battery. I purchased yesterday for 12 dollars.

Now I understand the -ve = Negative

Yes, I can make a graphic to explain, and keep working myself towards the goal. I must really be 100 percent clear on what I try to buy, the locals speak Kabye, and bad French, if I do not know exactly what they want, they just ignore me, and hope the foreigner leaves. Contrary to the American beliefs, the locals do not care much about money, they want easy money. If it take a lot of work, they just go back to talking with their friends.

Normally, I just walk around in shops, walk behind the counter, and grab what I need and self-service is OK, less work for the locals.

I was lucky today, I found two Nigerians who spoke great English to help me, Nigerians are business people, and invade other countries to do business.

Is this correct wiring? DC 6 Volt

All you need is the right plug. There will be shops in Togo that will have what you want - people fix things that break there.

I can get an male plug that can enter that female plug on the back easy enough, or hope. Then I need to decide which one is the negative and positive wire, and put the diode in line on on the positive side?

I am making a 24/7 speaker system, that will repeat a message, my friend Eric calls it the "Birdhouse."
"Free Malaria Medicine."
in Kabye, Cotocoli, and Ewe, the locals cannot read French very good, audio advertising is better.


It usually written on the device somewhere, but centre +ve is usually the way to go.

So you believe I do not need any middle converter between the battery and the player?

Not if its 6V in, DC you don't. You MIGHT like to put an in-line fuse, and a diode across the input, so if you connect the battery wrong, it will blow the fuse and not the player.


Ok, I understand diodes I think, I needed one for an extremely badly designed 12 volt solar pack I was trying to use in Uganda a couple of years ago. They only allow so much electricity to flow.
Diode on Wiki

So as you see it, 6 volts to 6 volts should work. I hope as the battery slowly dies the radio / usb / MP3 player is still ok? I think it will slowly just drop down, and stop, and I will need to recharge the thing. I am hoping to get 7-10 days of 24/7 running of the device out of one charge.
Thanks Andy Graham in Kara, Togo, West Africa.


They only allow current one way. Put it across the supply, after the fuse, so that no current flows when the supply is the right way, and blows the fuse if its wrong. I would've suggested you put it in series with the supply, but the loss of around a volt through the thing would probably be unacceptable.