simple USB plug

I’m more into this one just for the simple USB plug than the joke that it’s used for. I’ve seen similar on extra small USB flash drives, but those are generally pre-etched. The idea is to use a piece of proto board to make a USB plug an mount a superbright LED on it. Pie indeed.


  1. Jay says:

    you gotta love bored people with a soldiering iron. Something is going to get melted or built.

  2. Bird603568 says:

    this is the absolute stupidest “hack” ever. i hope steve comes here and spams it. on a side note shouldnt there be a resistor in there?

  3. Great idea! yeah its easy to make and i will be making lots of these cause i do have broken pcboard and a bunch of leds YAY!!!

  4. abbott says:

    pretty cool, not too terribly useful, but its a cool litte hack for those of us with too much time to spare

  5. Dennis says:

    wow, this is useless, this is the hack of the day?

  6. Ted says:

    This is so simple that i cant believe i didn’t think about this early. I used to tear apart every usb cable i own to salvage the connector off of it and only attach the +5 and -5 volts. Now i can just use all the radio shack pcb prototyping boards i have laying around.

  7. ProfHiB says:

    Ok, this is really disturbing. Everyone knows this already, for cryin’ out loud. We’re all very proud of you for being able to use your soldering iron. :-)
    However, I’d love to see more hardware type stuff that’s for real on hackaday… How about some pinin-pinout diagrams or something?
    -ProfHiB and the Ourang-Outang Clan

  8. HE3r0 says:

    Pretty neat thing,I like it, though “hack” got misplaced in this one, and gets over-used recently whenever somebody add led`s to the calculator case, i`ll call this MOD not a hack… ahh good old days, where have you gone….

  9. atrain says:

    I have to admit, I’ve never seen this trick before…. But I don’t have too much prototyping board around, and lots of hacked usb cables, so I don’t need it too much…

    But, I recently discovered that normal lead pencil graphite sticks make nice smoke off USB, and don’t get too hot except where they meet the wire… Meaning, I could use this and have a piece of lead close to my laptop. Typing in public, and people see smoke start pouring out of a dell laptop :P

  10. usguy says:

    to the guy who wrote the first post he tells you why you dont need a resistor. reading is learning! there is genius in simplicity. if you look at his site he is actually a skilled modder.

  11. Spork says:

    I always print a board with the little strips then solder them a bit like this, but etched myself instead of using proto. I would much rather take the time to etch than end up with a broken port on my PC from a solder blob.

    I keep wondering where he found the 5v LED! Where can I get one? =P

  12. Bird603568 says:

    im well aware that he told me, but ive been told that you should always have a resister with an led even if the voltage fits in the range. i guess i wasted money on the few 1ohm sandbars

  13. hack124x768 says:

    The proto board trick also works for the charging port on the original (fat gray) Nintendo DS. I used it and a usb cable to charge it before I got a charger from a friend.

    I love that idea. I think I’ll go do some testing now to see how many milliamps that would pull. A blown 5v fuse sucks ass.

  14. Ron says:

    A bright LED is ok, but some places have two lead leds that change color, cycle through several colors, fading and blinking. Halted (Santa Clara, CA) had these for a while. (ob disclaimer – I used to work there)

  15. srilyk says:

    Of course, when you figure that the whole thing (including electricity) probably cost about 25¢, he’s probably not terribly worried (and then he also mentions why there’s no resistor! But afaik, you should always use a resistor in any LED that you don’t want kicking the bucket)

    I actually like this – it’s simple, and it’s an easy way to get power, and if you’re really a hacker you don’t think “bah this sucks!” You think “Now how can I make this blow up/light on fire/power a tesla coil/car/what mod can I use this for”

  16. steve says:

    MORE leds please!

  17. McUzi says:

    Maybe some think this MIGHT be dumb. But, the true idiot is the one that wins the ebay auction which was up to $26 plus $3 shipping when I just checked. How brilliant.

  18. Dan says:

    I made an instructable on something very similar a while back:

  19. cloner says:

    is it possible to replace the LED with a motor? am thinking of a personal massage for my aching back! :) thanks!

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