10 AA Battery DC12V Socket USB Charger

I have many AA NiMH rechargable batteries that I wanted to use to recharge various mobile devices. My goal was to fully charge multiple devices if possible. After searching eBay for electronic parts, I came up with the idea of using a 10 AA battery holder wired to a DC12V car socket. I could then use any USB car charger to recharge my devices using the AA batteries.

Step 1: Parts Required

Acquire the following parts:

  1. DC12V Car Charger Cigarette Lighter Female Socket Outlet with Wire Leads
  2. 10 AA Battery Clip Holder Case with Wire Leads
  3. USB Car Charger with 1 or 2 ports and total current draw <= 3A
  4. Digital Multi Meter (DMM)


  1. The 10 AA Battery Holder connects the AA batteries in series
  2. The wire leads on the DC12V Car Charger Socket have a higher gauge compared to the 10 AA Battery Holder.
  3. I purchased my parts from eBay

Step 2: Assembly Steps

Assembly steps:

  1. Desolder and remove the red & black wire leads from the 10 AA Battery Holder
  2. Solder the DC12V Car Charger Socket red & black wire leads to the respective terminals on the 10 AA Battery Holder
  3. Use the DMM to check that the DC12V Car Charger Socket is wired properly

Step 3: Usage

To charge a USB device:

  1. Insert 10 AA batteries. Note: 2000mAh NiMH AA batteries will give the equivalent of 24Wh.
  2. Insert USB Car Charger into socket. For testing, use a USB Car Charger with LED light. The LED light should turn on if the Socket is soldered properly.
  3. Plug in USB device to charge.



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    2 Discussions

    DIY Hacks and How Tos

    6 months ago

    Most car chargers use a voltage regulator circuit to reduce the voltage from 12 to 5 volts. These circuits will usually work with lower voltages as well. You might be able to as few as 4AA's. Try taking batteries out of the battery pack and jumping the terminals with wire or foil to see if it can work with fewer batteries.

    1 reply
    XyclopsDIY Hacks and How Tos

    Reply 6 months ago

    Thank you for the suggestion. I'm looking to maximum Watt/hrs so I wouldn't bother with 4xAAs. However, if I move to NiMH C or D batteries then fewer batteries would give me the same or better Watt/hrs. 8xC@5Ah would give 48Wh and 6xC@5Ah would give 36Wh. 6xD@10Ah would give 72Wh and 4xD@10Ah would give 48Wh. :)