DIY Altoids USB Apple/Samsung Charger




Introduction: DIY Altoids USB Apple/Samsung Charger

If you read my profile description, I say that I LOVE to build USB devices. I always am thinking of devices to charge next with that apple-like feature that tries to stop us DIY-ists to build our own chargers. You obviously know that Apple puts that into their devices (iOS 7 does not have that feature, haha! They forgot it :-D). Well, we always find a way to trick those devices into believing what they are suckling energy from is a $20 wall charger. In reality, it is a portable pocket charger, from our minds of the electronic world. I always like to use the nice, perfectly-sized Altoids! In various sizes, you can find the perfect sized one.

I used the regular sized tin, the one found at every grocery store. There is enough room for the battery, the boards, switches, LEDs, USB, and wires. This project will take some time, I split it up in days, one day you cut the holes in the tin, another you solder the main boards, the next you hot glue, etc. Clumped all together, if you are a beginner, it may take 2-3 hours. All together for me, it took about 2 hours total. Happy Tinkering!


Step 1: Gather All of Your Parts!

Here are all of the parts used in the project. I accidentally used 2 of everything except the USB, so don't do the same as me. It will save more time on the project!

9V battery clip- 1

9V battery- 1

on-off-on toggle switch- 2

22uF capacitor- 1

7805 5V regulator (If you have any better ideas than this, use it.)- 1

10nF capacitor- 1

33k resistor- 4

22k resistor- 2

10k resistor- 2

female USB- 1

perf board

LED (any color)- 1

350 ohm resistor- 1

Altoids tin (or really any casing)- 1


Soldering Iron


Hot Glue Gun

Wire strippers

Electrical Tape

*BEFORE ANYTHING- Wrap some electrical or duct tape around the USB. Cut it off so that it will fit around the outside of the USB. Don't cover up the pins. This is so we can hot glue the USB so that we can easily plug it in and out easily. The tape will not allow any hot glue in the USB.

Step 2: Lets Make the Main Board.

OK, this main board is not my design, but Matt.e.jenkins design.

First, grab your 22uF capacitor. put it first on the perf board and solder it on. Bend the legs apart and trim off the legs. Now, take the voltage regulator. If you do not know the pin out, google an image of one. Search "Voltage regulator pin out"... The middle leg is ground, and you must solder the ground on. To connect the volt. regulator to the capacitor, drag solder across the perf board. The left V.R. pin is the input, so solder the + of the cap. there. The right pin is the 5V output. Try not to trim the V.R. legs. Now, solder your 10nF capacitor after the V.R. The way my 10nF capacitor was made, you can solder either leg to the + or - input. This is the main board. We will deal with the voltage dividers later.

Step 3: Before the Main Board.....

Before the main board...

We must solder our toggle switch.

Mine is an on-off-on, meaning when the pole is in the center, it is off. When you flip it to either side, it turns on, so you can make a 2-in-1 project. So, it can have an iPod charger in one part, and a fume extractor in another. Well, you can use that kind, or a regular on-off switch. Solder the + input to the switch. The - can go right ahead to the board. Once the battery clip is hooked up to the switch, then grab a wire and solder it to the switch. Hook the other end of the wire to the + end of the board.

Step 4: After the Main Board...

After the main board, grab the other on-off-on switch. You must have this type, a regular on-off will not work. Solder the + going from the board in the center switch. Get two wires and solder them on either side (not attached) and solder them to a smaller board. Take the 33k resistors and solder them side-by-side. Solder one wire next to one of the resistors and solder together. Take the other wire and solder it to the other resistor. Only solder wires to the resistors, and do not solder the resistors together. Take the 10k resistor and solder it on the other side of one of the 33k resistors. Same with the 22k resistor. You can solder the 10k and 22k resistors together (their input legs). Now, put a wire between one pair of resistors. Take another and do the same with the other pair of resistors. Hook the 33k and 10k together with the wire. Do the same with the 22k and 33k pair. Now, the 33k and 22k resistors together in the V.D. will create a 2.5 voltage current to put in the 2 middle pins of the USB for apple devices. We will deal with the USB pin out soon. The 33k and 10k pair will create a 1.2 voltage current for Samsung devices.

Step 5: The USB

When you look at the USB with the pins facing up, the one on the left is the +. The one on the very right is the - input. The middle ones are the data pins. Solder the V.D. wires in those two center pins. I put diodes on the data lines, so that when one V.D. is being used, the electricity wouldn't go into the other one. Now, hook a wire up at the end of the main board from the + and solder it to the left pin. Solder the wire from the - of the main board to the right USB pin. There you go.

Step 6: Enjoy!

Have fun with your newly built altoids apple/samsung USB charger!

Have questions? put them in any section, and I will check!

Have ideas that I should make? Put them in the intro comments!

Homemade Gifts Contest

Participated in the
Homemade Gifts Contest

Be the First to Share


    • For the Home Contest

      For the Home Contest
    • Game Design: Student Design Challenge

      Game Design: Student Design Challenge
    • Make It Bridge

      Make It Bridge



    8 years ago

    I said a good camera to show the Samsung... Might as well use my bad iPod camera.



    8 years ago

    you dont have a camera but you build usb chargers for your Iphones and Android phones? smh.