| | 02-08-2010, 10:22 PM Thread Author #1
Homemade Charging Dock, Pod, Cradle etc. DIY How-to
First the finished product:
OK, So the reason I did this was because my sister-in-law is visiting for a couple weeks and she forgot her charger to her new 8900. I said that's fine 'cause my wife and I have an 8320, and an 8120, thinking that all Blackberry's used mini-USB.... that's when she showed me the side of her phone with a MICRO-USB port!!
Well, not wanting to spend $20+ on another charger, I immediately thought of the two contacts on the back for a charging pod, and quickly looked online for any DIY charging pod how-to's, but didn't find any.....
So, I decided to make one of my own...
1. Find old USB cable (or 5v, <1A cell phone charger) that you're not using anymore and cut off the end that went to whatever device it went to... (USB cables will be a little easier because the wires inside are already color coded for + and - whereas with an AC charger you might need to use a multimeter to figure out which side is +)
2. Strip about a centimeter off of the positive and negative wires within the cable and cut back any extra wires like the shielding and data wires. Tape them off with electrical tape so that none of the metal touches anything else. (I found it easier to carefully use a sharp exacto to strip the strands of the usb.)
3. Find a suitable plastic base to cut up. I used the bottom half of a travel soap case.
4. Place the phone in the center and trace where you will need to cut.
5. Cut out the center of the container. (I used a dremel, which made it very easy. If you don't have a dremel then you may just want to drill a bunch of holes around the tracing and then punch it out.) Depending on the type of plastic you choose, a knife may just crack it.
6. Test fit the phone in the cutout and trim any edges if necessary. You don't want it to be too tight where it hits against the buttons, or too loose where there's too much wiggle room. You basically want the phone to be able to just fit nicely in the cutout and drop straight down. I also sanded the edges a bit with some 120 grit sandpaper to make them smoother and prevent scratching the phone...
7. Find a medium-sized binder clip like this:
Mine was about an inch across. Take the two metal prongs out of each side by squeezing them together.
8. Using tin snips, wire cutters or your dremel, cut off the 90 degree kinked ends of the metal prongs (the part at the top of the center clip in the pic above). Careful if you use snips cause they may fly.
9. Holding your Blackberry up to the plastic base, mark exactly where the metal contacts on the phone line up with the back side of the cutout. Then mark four points: two immediately near the edge where you marked the contacts (about 2mm back), and two about 8-10mm behind that. Using a small drill bit, make holes where you just marked the points.
10. Now drill another hole near the bottom of the plastic for the cord to come through. This may vary in size depending on your cord, but mine was 7/32" for a USB cable.
11. Next push one of the metal prongs though each set of two holes, so that they are perpendicular to the cutout for the phone.
12. Now push the stripped end of the USB cable through the hole at the bottom of the plastic, and wrap the bare wires around each of the metal prongs. (They are tiny, so you might need the help of tweezers or needle-nose pliers.) Positive to the one on the left, and negative to the one on the right.
13. Then I soldered the wires to the prongs to make sure they had a good connection, but if you don't have a soldering iron, then I'd recommend just using electrical tape.
14. You then need to secure the prongs sticking out the top and cable sticking out the back. I used a dab of hot glue on each of them, but you could just as easily use more electrical tape.
15. Then tape the tops of the prongs that are sticking out with electrical tape, so they don't scratch the phone and you don't short anything out or shock yourself.
16. Finally, you'll need something to support the phone at the right height, so that the round part of the prongs will line up with the contacts on the back of the phone. For this, I used a small piece of neoprene rubber taped underneath the plastic case to act like a hammock for the phone, but you could just as easily use something like a matchbox to support it from underneath.
17. Lastly plug it in and enjoy your new charger!
I'll post more pics of the innards once its done charging if anyone is interested.. Enjoy!