How to Make Darn Near Anything Run on USB!




As long as you have an extra USB wire with male USB end, and the thing you want to power runs on three AA or AAA or C or D batteries, you can hack it to run on USB power!

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Step 1: Step1 Clean/dismantle

dismantle and clean the thing you want to hack.
usually its very simple to take something apart,
the Darth Vader bank im hacking is held together with just 4 screws, which allows me access to the back of the battery tray

you dont want old battery acid all over your power leads so make sure its clean!!

Step 2: Step2 Strip USB

nip off the end of the usb wire that you dont need (the not-male usb-end)

carefully unsheathe the wires, there will be 4 of them. the black and red wires are the power. and the other two are for information. we only need the power wires.

Step 3:

there are two main power wires that supply the device with power from the batteries.

connect the black USB power wire to the Black power wire from the device. wrap with electrical tape.

and likewise with the red

Step 4: This Is Another Thing I Made Run on USB

i took thees LED battery operated  chain lights stripped off the 3-AA battery pack and attached usb

i use it on my moniter that has a USB power port that comes on with the moniter which i use to power my lights

its easy try it!

Step 5:

test YOUR device, if it doesnt work, swap the usb power wires.

if it does, reassemble and your done!

i youtubed a video of my test

hope this helps!

keep on hacking!

any questions feel free to comment and give high rating!

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    31 Discussions


    7 years ago on Step 5

    if you put an (CORRECT VOLTAGE) inline resistor to the positive side of the system, would that help prevent any form of burning out?

    1 reply

    7 years ago on Step 5

    One way to mitigate the risk of "burning out" is to use a phone charger with a USB port. That way, if the worst happens, you're out a $10 adapter, instead of a $1000 computer:)


    9 years ago on Step 5

    I do reccomend to recheck the connections before plugging the USB cable(positive to positive, negative to negative). Otherwise, can happen two things: *Your device won't work or *you can burn out both your device or your port, even worse, your PC can be burn out. SERIOUSLY, If you think you don´t know certain things about electricity, simply be away from this project.

    1 reply

    8 years ago on Step 5

    Stay away from this project unless you're absolutely sure that the power is the same. Chances are, it's not, and you'll burn out whatever you're trying to power. The USB port outputs 5 volts, give or take .25 volts. If what you're trying to power takes significantly more or less, there's a -very- good chance that it will burn out the device. If you want to check, it should say somewhere on the bottom or on labels on the device that you're trying to power.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    be careful, you can fry your board if you draw more then 500ma


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    if you would be so kind to check out the time stamp, my instructable was posted three months before yours was. How could you enter the same thing as ME into this competition ?

    Lance Mt.Jayceetoo

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Well you start by pressing the orange "Submit New Instructable" button up the top right cornner and... Out of parody, I'd make one but i actually respect you and your 'ible. Well done and good luck in the comp.


    9 years ago on Introduction


    hmm do you think i could run a bameboy sp using usb..also will definetley try to make some lights especially christmas ones whats the most you would recomend on a string?

    1 reply

    and tubanator, what about an emulator? its legal to have a digital copy of your games. so its legal to have all the games you own on your computer. if you had one you wouldn't need to usb-ify it.