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Old 03-05-2007, 05:08 PM
Tobey's Avatar
Tobey Tobey is offline
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Default Guide: Turning an ordinary AC adapter into a charger

Turning an ordinary AC adapter into a charger

This was written for my ilo site with the ilo256 in mind, but will work just fine with the NS-DV--and anything else that charges over USB.

Items needed
  • A Soldering Iron + Minor Soldering Skills (I don't recommend it, but twisting the wires together and putting a dab of super glue on it will work too.)
  • A 4-5V AC adapter capable of outputting at least 500mA of power.
  • The female end of a USB extension cord, or a USB port bracket.
  • Heat shrink tubing (optional)
  • Electrical tape
  • Wire cutters, or a utility knife, or if you're really desperate, a pair of scissors.

I'm going to use a 4.5V AC 600mA adapter from an old Panasonic portable CD player (remember those things?) and a USB port bracket from a PC.

Ok, so first I took the bracket apart and then cut the black connector off the end. If your using a USB extension cord instead, now would be a good time to cut the male end off it. Cut the green and white wires completely off, those are the data wires and we don't need them. Now take the AC adapter and cut the connector off, we don't need that either. Strip about 1/4 ” or so of the insulation off of all the the wires.

And now to connect the wires. Black goes to black, and red goes to red. ...or so you would think.

Look closely at the wires, one should have writing, or a white stripe on it. That's the positive wire, you'll want to connect that to the red wire on your USB jack. The plain wire will go to the black wire. Sometimes both wires will have stuff printed on them (as shown above), if one wire has stripes on it, and the other has text, the side with the stripes is likely to be the positive wire. You still with me? Now if your AC adapter has two wires within one sheath, like mine does, it should contain one covered wire and one bare wire. The covered wire is almost always positive (red), and the bare wire is negative (black)

If you're using heat shrink tubing, you'd better slip it on the cord now, if you really did want to use it as there's no gettin' it on later! Or you could just tape the whole thing up, doesn't look as nice though...

Now if you're soldering, just hold the wires parallel to each other and put a blob of solder on them..

The extra wire you see in this image is the USB cable shielding, you can just cut it off
Very simple. Just try not to burn yourself, it's not very pleasant. Uh, not that I would know...

If you look closely, you'll see it IS indeed working...
Now would be a good time to test it... I'll wait.

If yours worked, then let's seal it up.

Wrap a small piece of tape around one of the wires, so it doesn't short out to the other one.

Then slide that piece of heat shrink tubing up where you want it, and shrink it! A lighter works really good for this. But anything that gets hot, will shrink the tubing.

Small Note: No big deal, but you can't turn the ilo256 off while it's connected to this adapter. It will just turn itself back on for some reason. So when you're done, just unplug it. And no, it won't charge the battery in your ilo256 for you...

Also, you may have noticed two different types of wires in the images above, this is because I was making two adapters at once. One was for my ilo256 and the other was for a Sandisk Sansa e200. I used a 5V 2.3A AC (more than adequate) adapter for that one. I put a little more effort into the Sansa one, maybe I overdid it...

I spray painted the connector black and made a "Sansa" sticker for the adapter using photoshop, some glossy paper and an inkjet printer...

Last edited by Tobey; 10-02-2008 at 04:35 PM.
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