USB Car Charger

charge your iPod or any usb device in the car with this handy little gadget made for only a few bucks!

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Step 1: Things Needed

Tools: Soldering Iron, solder Flathead Screwdriver, Razor Knife, Super Glue, Wire Cutters(mine are big cause they are my best pair but you can use any kind obviously.

Materials: you'll need a car charger that has an output of 5v. find one that has the same diameter cord as your usb cable. the little collar will go on easier.
You also a usb extension cord. if you can find just the female end thats fine cause its all you'll need.

Step 2: Dissasembly

take apart the charger that you are going to use. be sure not to break anything or lose the little fuse because without it you wont make a connection.
remove the board inside and identify the positive and negative wires. mine are red and black. red is positive and black/white is negative. sometimes they are labeled. If not you can use a volt meter but i didn't cause i do not own one.
De-solder the positive and negative wires from the back. (the green side)
make sure that the solder doesn't touch anything it was not touching before. the holes need to be open for your new wires to go into.

Step 3: Prepare the Usb Cable

cut off the female end of the usb cable leaving the desired length. i usually leave about 5 inches of cable. DO NOT STRIP THE CABLE YET! you will need to push the end through the little collar on the original wire.
push on the little collar from the other cable. sometimes it can be hard if the collar is long so i imagine you could use some oil but you will have to wash off the oil.
strip about 3/4 to and inch off the usb end.
the green and white wires are data send/receive so you can cut those ones off.

Step 4: Putting the Two Together

strip off just a little bit of the coating on the red/black wires and solder them in the holes from the top side. (the top side is not the green side).
trim any excess copper wire off with your wire cutters.
add a drop of super glue to the end of the plastic coating on the usb cable and slide the little collar up so that it gets glued into place. you may not need to put any super glue on yours but i did.

Step 5: Reassembly

put your new "guts" back in the old housing and put everything back to the way it was. you're done!

Step 6: Time for a Test!

go plug your device into your car for a test and if you did what i did then it should be working.

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    6 Discussions

    if the laptop charger was already dc then yes you just make it work but i dont know of any laptop chargers that are dc just ac. you might just get a power inverter to give you a ac outlet


    10 years ago on Step 6

    Correct me if I'm wrong, the charger voltage has to be tele with your iPhone intake voltage should be fine rite.

    1 reply

    Reply 10 years ago on Step 6

    again i dont own an iphone. all i know is if your voltage is the same as usb, so thats 5 volts, it will work. now i have had trouble with my little charger working with the newer ipods so that can be fixed by looking at some of the other instructables on here about the data wires and the resistors hooked up to them. look for that if you want. i know that both my ipods work with my charger and the ipod av cable. i dont own a ipod video but i got it for other reasons. anyways my av cable works with my charger and both my ipods. the ava cable i bought was 4 bucks on ebay. works and everything. so you could give that a try.


    Reply 10 years ago on Step 6

    i dont own an iphone so i wouldnt know. so far its only worked with my mini. i have a photo and it didnt work. maybe it had something to do with the two data wires. look into it on google or this site. good luck. -jimmy