Consolidating old Wall USB chargers can save spaceon wall outlet usage as well as move USB devices into 1 place to charge them rather then every other room trying to find an availible outlet to plug into. This USB Charging Box was made in under 30 minutes using common tools and scrap laying around the house.
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Step 1: Tools and Supplies
1. Soldering Gun or Pen - I picked mine up for $3 at Menards and the Solder came with it.
2. Hot Glue Gun- Also a $3 item at Menards
3. Wire Strippers or a utility knife works just fine.
1. A box or container of sort to house everything in. This should be sealable on all sides or permanently sealable at the end since there will be 120V exposed inside the box.
2. Wire-the gauge of wire does nkt have to be huge and we only need a few inches of 2 colors. My wire is scrap 18awg solid wire. Since these are USB chargers there is little Amps being pulled for the circuit therefore we need not worry about these wires getting to hot and melting or causing a fire.
3. USB chargers - I dont recommend using your nice expensive chargers for this project as you my want to take them with you to places outside the house rather then carry this box around with all your chargers soldered and glued inside. My chargers were aquired over the years and I have more then 20 of these laying around the house. If you need some i know Dollar Tree carries these for $1 each and the cheap ones are what I recommend for this anyway.
4. Wall plug for power - The cord I am using was cut off an old radio that no longer worked. if one is needed I recommend a $1 extension cord from a Dollar Tree ( if you have no Dollar Store im sure any hardware store carries cheap cheap cheap cords ) . Be careful if you are using a "Wall Wart" type for power since these are already designed with capacitors and limitors to change the current and amperage to the device. I originally was going to use an old one and realized it was a 9v wall wart with 150mah which would not have charged anything had I wired it in.
Step 2: Setting and Layout
Depending on your choice for a Housing you may not be as cramped together as mine. You need to lay out your chargers and precut your wire length (dont be shy on the length). You may notice one of my charges Facing Up has the plug contacts bent out. This is to 1. make it fit as it was to tall 2. so I could reach and solder the wires with the gun 3. to be able to better glue into place.
Once layed out it is okay to attach the wires and solder them to the contacts. Your joint will be much stronger if you put a U bend in the Stripped ends of your wire and loop them through the plugs. The wiring is fairly simple but I mocked up a quick diagram for those who may be new to wireing.
Step 3: Make It Permanent
Now the Usb Chargers should be conmected to one another and if you havnt conmected the power cord now is the time for that. For my Box I used my solder gun to melt a hole through the side perfect for my cord to go through. I also use this method later to make holes for the USB Plugs to connect through. Please be careful when doing this because the melting plastic can cause toxic fumes and make you sick or dizzy. This is best done outside or in my case since it is -15 degrees out I did this near an open window and I lit a candle to mask the plastic smell.
Once the wires are all connected bend the USB pluges to their appropriate position and cut or Melt out the appropriate holes to fit your USB cords through.
Step 4: Glue Into Place
The last step is to glue the plugs down into place. In my case I glues these into place before cutting the holes out of my Top Lid since it would have been difficult to judge their position. But the side plug was cut out before glueing down. Be sure to be generous with the glue we dont want these moving or breaking free.
Step 5: More Appealing
After taping the USB ports I sprayed single base coat of grey primer.
After 30 minutes I added different sizes of painters tape in random order and top coated with red.
Another 30 minutes and a single light coat of clear laquer to finish it off.
There is always room to expand or improve. I made this very quick with scrap laying about the house and I use it every day to charge my devices before heading to work. It also agrees with my wife by not taking up so many wall plugs :)
I later went back and added an LED circut to give it a better look and chargers should always have LED's
Participated in the
On a Budget Contest