DIY Micro USB to Lightning Cable Adapter

About: My name is Taylor, I am an electrical repair tech by day and an engineer by night, after work or free time.

It seems like I was fixing my girlfriends ipod charger every other day and when I wasn't fixing it she was out buying a new one that would live a short life. The reason she was going through so many cables was because she bought the cheapest ones and over strained them. Cheap usb cords are a gamble. I have found several really well made micro usb cables for under 5 dollars at the same place she was buying the apples lightning cable. The price was the same but the quality was far from similar. All usb cables eventually run their life and what determines how long they live is the wire used and the adapters. Usb cables fail due to strain on the adapters. They are bent back and forth when used and this is what causes strain which leads to the wires/solderjoints breaking or shorting which causes them to fail. After seeing how many cheap apple cords my girlfriend ended up buying I decided to see if there was anything I could do. I wanted to get rid of the need to ever buy an apple cord again and after some thought I figured I could make an adapter that would couple another usb cord to the apples 8-pin adapter. Since micro usb cables are cheap, made very well and are everywhere I set out to make a female micro usb to lightning cable adapter. Doing this eliminates the need to buy another apple cord and allows you to use awesomely made indestructable abundent micro usb cables that are made to last to charge your apple product.

Step 1: Things Needed

For this you will need a cheap apple cord for the adapter and a micro usb female adapter. I found a perfect female adapter within my junk drawer. salvaging componets pays off! Micro usb adapters have very small pins that are really close together so hand soldering them are a challenge. The female adapter I found had extended solder pads for the four pins used. This really helped. Aside from the female usb and apple adapter you will also need a soldering iron, wire and super glue.

Step 2: Extracting the Apple Adapter

This is the only time where buying a cheap apple cable has and will ever pay off long run. We need a cheap cable so we can easily extract the adapter. The cable is made cheap but the adapter is promised to last awhile. This is the same cable my girlfriend bought on repeat. Simply find a seam and carefully pull back the plastic that is housing the adapter. I used a hobby knife and needle nose pliers for this step. Once you have the adapter exposed you can remove the wires.

Step 3: Soldering the Apple Adapter to the Female Micro Usb Adapter.

We have to join both adapters now. This means soldering the voltage, data-, data + and ground from the apple adapter to the micro usb adapter. Luckily all the connections were across from one another. I wanted to eliminate loose wires so I soldered them as close as possible so there would be no movement or strain within the DIY adapter. I stripped some insulation away from stranded wire and tinned all the exposed copper then jumped each connection.

Step 4: Make a Case

This part requires some thought. You can leave the adapter as is if desired or you can put it in a case of some sorts which adds strength. I had a small plastic usb case lying around and I shaped it to size then used some super glue to hold it forever shut! That is all it takes to make a DIY apple adapter that uses micro usb to charge your 8-pin apple devices! Thanks for viewing!

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    8 Discussions


    2 years ago

    didn't apple already sell adapter like this Here is the thing iam talking about

    My dads girlfriend has android that uses micro USB And the port you plug into phone bends and also breaks preventing you from charging I say your fact about micro USB stronger is false You can find third party lighting chargers that work and are stronger then apple mane wire

    1 reply

    3 years ago on Introduction

    I knew somehow that the old non-working (cheap) lightning cable will be reused, thanks for your instructables.

    1 reply

    3 years ago on Introduction

    wow what a fantastic idea as like you I had started to check things out to make some sort of lead that is better thaan Apples, i have bought dearer cables (Apple ones) and it lasted approx 4 months which is ridiculous, but I thought i would check out good old Instructables and i find yours.

    so I too am going to make a couple as my daughters are having the same problem.

    one question i do have is about how Apple changed how the devise sees the cable, so as to try amd make people only buying their cables. Now I am sure that the Techs from other companies have a work arojnd, so the the "cable not recognised" or whatever it was.

    so is that part all ok with the change.

    Thanks for sharing this Instructable as I am sure that you and I are not the only ones with this problem, So t

    once again THANKS, i think this has to be one of the Best and certainly one of the a Best Practical jobs about.



    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    thanks so much for the kind words! Apple will try anything to keep their customers 100percent loyal to their product but they charge way too much for a simple piece of hardware. This is currently working just fine on my girlfriends device with all the software updates. One thing that many chargers include is a voltage divider that targets the data pins on the device so it thinks it's being charged by a computer or apple wall adapter. So if that's what you're referring to, just be sure to include the data wires and it will work :) also insure the charger you're using can charge Apple devices. Basically just make sure there is some signal going to the data pins. androids and others aren't as finicky


    Reply 3 years ago

    it charges extremely well! I'll be sure to add a picture showing it in use.