D.i.y. Cheap Illuminating Phone Charging / Docking Station

Introduction: D.i.y. Cheap Illuminating Phone Charging / Docking Station

Well hello, I have seen a lot of charging stations for sale and made on this site, so here is my simplified cheapy ( dirt cheap I only bought the switches!) version, made with card, wire, wall paper an extension lead and some switches. it will charge 4 items, i use it for 2 phones a camera and an mp3 player, so,  a monster..... was...... born!!

This is my first instructable and I have no prior knowledge in anything like this other than what I could find online! so i know some of it is probably wrong but hey, I enjoyed it anyway and thats life!

(i'm sure i don't need to say don't work while any wires are plugged in to the mains, insulate all wires um, and all the normal safety stuff!) 

Step 1: Part 1

The guts.

Step 2: Stuff You Need!

As i said this is my first instructable, i want to and help people to invent!

O.k. as always, you don't have to follow this instructable word for word, if you read through and think 'i should use this!' then go for it (but sometimes it's easier just to copy!)

I know i could have been neater with my cuts/glue/wires etc, but it turned out ok, and i'm impatient!

I used;

My crappy work bench

1x 4 socket extension lead with length of choice
1x load of assorted wire
4x illuminous switches capable of about 4 amps (so get the correct fuse!)
1x gaffa or sello-tape
1x selection of female crimp connectors and crimping tool

1x pliers
1x hacksaw
1x phillips screwdriver
1x flathead screwdriver

For the body;

1x sheet fairly thick card (2x A4's worth)
1x paper glue
wallpaper samples of choice to decorate the 'station'
Sharp knife, (stanley/craft)
Cutting mat
scrap paper

 All optional-
1x wire strippers                         
1x soldering iron and solder    
1x super glue                              


Step 3: Begin and Hack!!

Get your extension lead and split it open! all of them are different, some screw open some just pop open.

Step 4: Hack the Insides!

Get your pliers and snip the metal plug holdings down to a better size.

Step 5: The Innards!

Remove the metal innards and hack into 4seperate plugs

Step 6: Check It.

So you should have something like this, remember they will be hidden so they don't have to be neat!

Step 7: The Tricky Bits

Now add wires to the metal parts by twisting, jamming or soldering, I twisted them securely on as I didn't have a soldering iron to hand, but they lodged between the metal and plastic just fine! I used red for live, black for ground and as Ii only had them, I used black for earth also. As you can see they are seperated quite safely. Then either glue or tape them back together.

Also i removed the lead and added a easy connector to it, we'll use it next.

Step 8: The Really Tricky Bits!

Get your lead, crimps, wires and switches ready for connecting together (nightmare for me), as there is no way we will all have the same switch, mine are round toggle switches, blue illuminating and about 3-4 ampage.

Step 9: Wires

you will need to cut and strip the ends of your wires, i used 4 "neutral"black and 4 "Live"red all about 3 inches long, first i added all the black wires to the neutral connection on the lead, then the red wires on the live connection.

Step 10: Crimpin'

Now crimp the connectors to the neutral wires from the hacked plugs

Step 11: More Crimpin'

now put the crimp connectors on to the neutral wires on the lead,

Step 12: Final Crimpin!

Now get your live lead and plug wire, twist the ends together (or solder) and crimp a connector to the end,

Step 13: Tighten Up!

Now you can connect the final 4 earth wires from the plug to the lead connection, and thats your insides done! Now it's time for an Easy view version!

Step 14: The Circuit! Easy Style!

This is a quick paint picture of the circuit, just so it doesn't look like an utter mess!

Step 15: The Switch!

Now just attach the crimp connections to the switch er, Bits? dont know the correct phrase, terminal maybe? Anyway do as it says, neutral from the plug to the correct terminal, neutral from lead to correct terminal and live to correct terminal.

I know all switches are different, so it's probably best to google it or ask at your local electrics shop. 

Step 16: The 'complete' Circuit

And this is it with the switch completing the circuit.

And yes i know it's in paint!

Step 17: But It Sure Beats This Pic!

But it sure is better than this picture of the completed station, i've skipped a few steps to show it by the by!

Step 18: Part 2

The station.

Step 19: The Begining!

First get your paper and draw a rough drawing of your station, get this how you want it so you can use it as a template, when you are happy cut it out and draw onto the card.

Now, check it again unless you have an abundance of card then cut that sucker out!

Step 20: Get Rollin', Rollin', Rollin!

Get something big and cylindrical and roll up your card so it will form a cylindrical shape and stand up. 

Step 21: Start the "ledge"

Now get a piece of card and draw a circle, make it the size you want the station to be, i just used a plate. Decide what size you want the first shelf to be and draw a line with a straight edge and cut with a knife.
Then get another piece of card and make the ledge shape, bear with me!! 

Step 22: Joining the Ledge

First bend the middle piece at the front end about 1cm to roughly 45 degrees, on the other side i just cut slots a little way in and halfway across each piece, now you can slot the pieces together, you'll wanna keep it unglued so you can access the insides.

Step 23: Tabs

Now just get any scraps of card and make 'tabs' to stick the ledge to the station so just glue these to the ledge wherever you want.

Step 24: Wallpaper

Lay the shelf parts on to the wallpaper samples you got from the shop(see, free!)and trace the outline, then simply cut out and glue on! when dry slice through the cuts you made for slotting and glue on the front piece to the part you bent earlier on, this is what i ended up with.

Step 25: The Sides

Cut your switch holes now (rather than forcing it through wallpaper later!) and add some support bits of card to the back which will glue the 2 sides together, and 1 to the front on the inside.

Step 26: Wallpaper the Sides

Now get your sides, lay it on the wallpaper of your choice and trace around it with a little extra to fold over and glue, then cut around it. Now Trace the inside shape and cut neatly.
For some reason i took no pictures of this? but i think if you got this far you can manage!
so glue all the card to  outside wallpaper, fold the extra paper on to the inside and glue, then glue the neat parts on the inside, then the front of the sides together and clamp as it will try to open. now the sides are finished!

Step 27: Breaktime!

Right, now get a sandwich and a coffee!

Step 28: Finish Up!

Now get your ledge and place it where you want it, glue it on and again clamp it to fix it in place, dont glue the top taps you need to get in there! sorry no pics again!

Step 29:

So it should be done now, just put the insides in and connect the switches up, just push them through and then connect, this is my final product, all i did was pull my charger bit through the front bit of the station and thats about it?!

Step 30: The End!

after thoughts- maybe better equipment, spend more time? it all took me about 3days, working after work, spare time etc, but probably took 6-8 hours? any questions go ahead!!

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    2 Discussions


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Very nice! I like your detailed info on the switches and hacked up power strip - those will be useful for me in other endeavors!


    10 years ago on Introduction

    yay! nice one, you are the most fantastical wizard person ever!!