7 life-saving DIY phone chargers you should build

While there is an ongoing debate as to who invented the telephone, it was nothing short of a game changer for the human race. It has evolved by leaps and bounds, transforming itself into what we all know today as the smartphone. And it is expected to improve further as technology advances steadily. But before that, we are all forced to constantly charge our smartphones until a genius innovates a phone without charging.

So what do you need to do when your phone is running low quickly and you don’t have access to a charger? Try making one of these seven DIY life-saving chargers below.


1. USB dynamo charger for iPod iPhone

You don’t need to be an avid cyclist to use a dynamo charger. This project allows you to turn one into a powerful charger that you can take with you on the fly. It’s small, portable, and the icing on the cake – it can efficiently charge your iPhone and iPod and other smart devices in your arsenal. The best piece? It’s just a two-wire connection, which means you won’t need any circuitry experience to put it together. Check out Instructables’ step-by-step guide to get started.

2. Solar charger for iPod / iPhone

This solar charger charges your iPhone not only via solar energy, but also via USB or wall wart. And it’s powerful enough to charge an iPhone, iPod, or any other smart device you own.

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You can rely on it whether you are walking off the grid with no access to electricity, stuck in an airport due to delayed flights, or even in the comfort of your own home. Just plug in the solar cell and then plug it into your iPhone when you don’t have access to power and set it aside for USB charging function when you get back to civilization. Check out Instructables’ step by step guide to build it.

If you are building this project because you go offline often, you should build one of these cell phone signal amplifiers to be self-sufficient.

3. Solar Altoids iPhone / iPod charger

Altoids are famous not only for being the curiously strong mints we’ve loved since the 19th century, but also for the iconic metal boxes they come in. The boxes are compact but empty enough to hold small accessories like earphones. With a little creativity, you can turn them into anything, including a life-saving solar-powered iPhone charger. It’s affordable, takes about an hour to complete, and is a great accessory, especially if you’re always offline and need a reliable way to keep your iPhone on.


You’ll need a charging circuit, an AA battery holder, a couple of rechargeable batteries, and all of the components listed in the easy-to-follow Instructables guide, to build this handy DIY solar phone charger from an Altoids tin. If you make this project successful, you will surely enjoy trying out some DIY phone charging station ideas.

4. Simple USB socket charger

Have you recently lost or misplaced your Apple adapter and don’t want to spend around $ 30 or more for one? If so, you will be happy to know that you can, with a 5V wall adapter, breadboard, a couple of pin connectors, resistors (one 10kΩ and two 100kΩ), jumper cables and a LED indicator, create a completely device. working wall adapter and save money as shown in the Instructables guide.

Before analyzing the related costs, note that most of the supplies needed for this project are readily available. You can even recycle them from unused or old electronic devices. For example, instead of buying, consider upcycling a 5V wall adapter from your first cell phone charger and cut a USB connector from one of the USB cables that remain idle in your old electronics stash. To match your creative phone charger, why not transform your phone case with these cool DIY ideas?

5. USB charger for iPhone / iPod in a tin box

If you found the Altoids tin charger highlighted above fascinating, you will probably love this version even more. It is compact and all components, from a voltage regulator, batteries and resistors, to the connected cables, are all held securely inside the box. So, the only parts exposed are the USB port, the switch and the LED to indicate when it’s on or off.

It undoubtedly takes the bag to be absolutely compact and its 2V output means it’s capable of charging an iPhone or iPod. Although the circuit is a little technical, the Instructables guide does a great job of breaking it down so that even the non-tech-savvy DIYer can try it out.

6. Use wasted heat to charge cell phones

This DIY project might be pretty technical, but it allows you to convert heat that would otherwise have been wasted and released to Mother Nature into electricity, powerful enough to charge your smartphone. Lets you kill two birds with one stone – save nature from further waste and money with a new charger. A thermoelectric unit is the heart of the project, but as highlighted in Instructables’ step-by-step guide, you’ll also need a heat sink, thermal paste, regulator, capacitors, and a female USB plug to make one.

7. Solar powered USB charger

Are you trying to go green? You can always start small by switching from an electric phone charger to this solar powered USB charger. While we have others on our list, this DIY phone charger stands out because it directly generates its energy from an array of solar panels.

It sounds complicated but, as shown in the easy-to-follow Instructables guide, it’s one of the simplest DIY phone chargers you can build on our list. You just have to connect the positive and negative solar panels, connect the wires to a controller, solder and glue everything together and boom! You have an efficient, fully functional solar-powered phone charger at nearly a quarter of the cost of buying a commercial solar charger. You can also go green by using your old phones to build these cool DIY projects.

Build a DIY charger, save money and go green

Smartphones are great, but being stuck with one that’s dying and not having access to a phone charger is incredibly frustrating. Fortunately, you don’t have to put up with the situation as you can always build one from scratch using the ideas above or borrowing some concepts to come up with an original and never-before-seen DIY version of the charger.

Note that most of the life-saving DIY phone chargers above are meant for iPhones and iPods, but you can always tweak them slightly to enable Android compatibility. Even better, they all maximize alternative energy sources like solar and wasted heat to generate power for your iPhone, which means you can skip the costs of buying a new charger and reduce your carbon footprint.

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