Need a spare battery pack?
Lost your charger cable?
Rechargeable pack gone missing?
You can easily make your own battery pack that will take standard Alkaline or NiMH rechargeable AA batteries. The project is simple, is made of household materials and is of course safe and sturdy.
ToolsYou Will Need:
- A sharp cutter like a craft knife, pocket knife, Stanley knife, etc
- A pen or pencil
- A metric ruler (centimetres/millimetres). A 30cm one works good.
Materials You Will Need:
- Some moderately stiff, slightly thick cardboard. I used a flap off a large beer box, so you don't need that much. See the pictures for a better idea.
- Sticky Tape. Also known as Sello Tape. Basically, just transparent plastic tape that can be found in just about any house.
- Plain paper
- Aluminum foil, the type used in baking and roasting, etc.
The story behind the idea:
Every now and then I visit my friend in Newcastle. I take my Xbox controller along for co-op games. Last time I visited I was in a hurry to pack up and accidentally took one of his controllers instead of mine. My controller uses a AA battery pack that came with the unit, and my friend uses the Plug n' Play recharger kit. I didn't have a recharger cable at home so, after the recharge pack went flat, I set out to make my own battery pack.
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Step 1: Drawing the Pack's 'net'
First we need to make a 'net' for the battery pack. When the net is cut out an folded, it will become a rectangle.
First get your cardboard and draw the net on it. See the image below for the measurements.
Step 2: Cut Out the Net
Cut around the outside edges. They are highlighted in a green line in the image below. Then remove the net from the rest of the cardboard. Be careful with the knife.
Step 3: Score the Net
Now it's time to 'score' the net. Cut gently halfway into the net, along all the lines. Don't cut all the way through. This makes the net MUCH easier to fold into a battery pack. Again, be wary of the sharp edge on your cutting tool.
Step 4: Cutting the Top Flaps
Cut all the way through the lines that are highlighted green in the picture below.
These will form the top of the battery pack.
Step 5: Folding the Net
Start folding the net, as seen in the first picture below.
Then join the two edges with tape as seen in the second picture.
Now fold the two small flaps in (picture 3) but don't tape them.
...and fold the two top flaps in (picture 4) and tape them down. Note the direction the top flap points. The pack will be inserted into the controller with this flap pointing OUTWARDS.
Step 6: Adding the Foil
First get your foil and fold it into a rough rectangle that will fit in the bottom of your battery pack. Pack it down with something like a chopstick. I used a thin ruler. It's best not to make the foil TOO flat or else it won't make good electrical contact with the batteries.
Step 7: Adding a Label
Your new pack needs a label to show which way to insert the pack and how to put batteries in. Here is a previously made battery pack with a paper label on it. You could make a nicer one and print it out or whatever. Make the design similar to the one shown as this is the way the batteries MUST be inserted: otherwise it won't turn on. Note again the direction of the top flap. It is pointing towards the label. Make your label like this too.
Step 8: Make a Small Hole in the Back
There is a tab on the back of the Xbox controller's battery bay. You will need to cut a small slit on your battery case. This slit should be cut in the green, circled area.
Step 9: Finished!
Your battery pack is finished.
You can use normal Alkaline AA 1.5v batteries in it or NiMH AA Rechargeable batteries.
Make sure you don't mix Rechargeable and Non-Rechargeable batteries in it!
Follow the instructions on the label to insert the batteries. Then slide the pack into the controller and press the top firmly in.
It should stay there well, but dropping the controller or a very large rumble may make it come loose. If this happens, just push it back in.
If the controller won't turn on, try this troubleshooter:
a) Are the batteries the right type?
b) Are they inserted in the correct directions?
c) Are they both the same type of AA?
d) If they are rechargeables, are they fully charged?
e) You might need to put some loose foil in the bottom of the pack.
Also, always be careful when using knifes. They cut real bad.
Enjoy your new battery pack!