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I have an idea for an instructable but I don't know where to start... Answered

I recently bought an ilo mp3 player because A) I'm cheap B) I don't need 30gb+ of space... my songs barely take up 2-3gb Anyway, it runs on a single AAA battery which is nice because it keeps the size/weight down but it's inconveniant to have to cart batteries around at all times :/ What I'm wondering is would it be possible to build some sort of AC adaptor that would connect to the battery holder? If so, what sorts of materials would I need?


Well, first you'd need an AC transformer to drop the voltage closer to what the player needs (1.5 V). And then you need to rectify to DC. Most likely you could get an adaptor from Radio Shack that will drop the voltage and rectify it. If you can't find an adaptor that outputs 1.5 V (±.15V approx.) then you'll need to construct a circuit to drop the voltage, you can do this with either a voltage regulator, or a voltage divider made of a series of resistors. After you get the proper voltage, you need to get the power to the device. You can do this by connecting alligator clips to the battery terminals or by opening the player and soldering in a power port where the battery terminals connect to the board. Make sure you check that your adaptor can output enough current to power the player. I'd guess most adaptors already can, but you should check anyway. The current draw for devices is usually listed in the battery compartment or on the cover. Also, the standard if you don't know what you're doing ask a friend that does to help you and so on. PS: Is it possible to power that player over USB? I can't tell based on the amazon.com description.

If I had any friends handy who are in the know, I would've asked already :P And I'm not totally sure about that... When connected via USB it automatically turns on and brings up the "USB Connected" screen on the player so obviously it does get power, but I don't know that it would follow that a USB-power-only cable would work.

Can you play music back while it's connected?

Sorry for the late reply :P

Dunno, haven't tried. I would now but I'm at work and don't have the cable on hand.

Also, assuming I *could* make some sort of USB charger... will the type of connection on the mp3 plyaer side make a difference? It's shaped kinda like two stacked rectangles, with one wider but shorter than the other one... See if I can't represent it well here:

    ________ __| [pins] |__|______________|

That kind of sounds like mini-USB, but if you can pull the battery and it plays music while connected to the computer you're good to go.

...Much longer than three hours >_> I had errands to run, class to attend, etc etc Anyway, what I did was purchased a 1.5 ~ 12v 300mA AC Adaptor from Radio Shack and some aligator clips. Hacked the plug end of the adaptor, stripped the ends of the wires, and twisted the strands onto the aligator clips (did this just outside the store so QaD had to suffice :D) It worked, but it's not an ideal solution. Would it be possible (with some creative cutting of plastic) to take a AAA size battery holder and make an "adaptor" of sorts? By which I mean the AC adaptor wires would be soldered/aligator clipped onto the batter holder which would be modified in such a way as to fit inside the battery compartment of the player? I'd prefer to not open the player because I'm looking towards a more temporary solution than adding a power port to the player and ruining it's sleek shell >_>

You probably could hack together a battery connector, but it might be easier to create a fake battery using a tube or something and contacts on the ends that are connected to the adaptor, that way you could just pop in the "battery" and things would work for you.

It'd probably be easier to use a wooden dowel with contacts on both ends. You can have the wires taped around the dowel to prevent them from being pulled off.

That's what I was thinking, especially since it's a multi-volt adaptor--power remote controls, GameBoys, ANYTHING with batteries :D Now to just make a pretty case and remember to take pics WHILE I do it instead of afterward >_>

Sorry for the double post but I forgot to add that while connected via USB it doesn't let me play music. Possibly because data wires and not just power are connected?

Alright, I'll get back to you on this in ~3 hours when I get home :D Thanks much for the help so far.

Alright peoples, one last question--what would you suggest as a connector between my "batteries" and the wires? I plan on making several AAA size, AA size, a few C size, a few D size, maybe a 9v or two, etc etc. My original idea would be to take some snap fasteners (like the snap on a pair of jeans) and solder the "prong" end onto the wires and epoxy/other the "socket" end onto the dowel. That way I can switch the battery size and flip the switch on the adaptor to get larger voltage running through and power all sorts of crap :D AC powered Maglite anyone ;)

More double posting >_> I had a slightly better idea for use which would take a bit more work to make... Essentially a metal plates soldered to the wires (one square, one circle to differentiate between + and -) and little metal pockets/sheaths on the battery :D Probably a bit easier on the connection than snaps. The other idea I had that wouldn't put as much force on the solder joint as pulling snaps open was magnets but I wasn't sure how they'd affect the electric circuit :/


11 years ago

1) Go to Radio Shack 2) Buy a power brick to plug in the all and give you an output of 1.5v 3) Go to a store and buy an altoids tin filled with whatever. 4) Throw out altoids in the tin, or eat them... 5) Cut small strips of the altoid tin. 6) Cut end off the wire of the power brick 7) Solder to the strips from the altoid tin 8) Go to Home Depot, with a AAA battery, and get a wooden dowel that will closely match the diameter of the battery 9) While you're there, buy some small tack nails 10) Go home, and cut the dowel to the size of the battery 11) Using the tack nails, nail the strips to the ends of the dowel 12) Put the "battery" into the mp3 player 13) if it doesn't turn on, turn it around. Who knows which way it's going 14) Mark the dowel with a plus where the plus side would be if it were a battery once you have it going 15) Sit back and "admire" how bad it looks, but how well it works.

You know, you really should read the whole thread before posting a 15 step reply! Man am I stupid!