a few of your instant messaged me the latest in powering your ipod with an external battery pack. this example, which is now making the rounds around the web is made out of an altoids case, 2 9v batteries, 2 AA batteries and a FireWire connector, adding about 10 hours of extra play–good for that international flight you’d likely miss when the man sees this in your bag.
38 thoughts on “Ipod Altoids Battery Pack V2”
with the old iPods, I think it’ll try to charge the internal battery, which is grossly inefficient. You’ll lose something like 75% of the power.
Its generally a really bad idea to mix battery types in this manner as they have different discharge characteristics due to different chemistries nd internal resistance. As such, when they get near to empty, one battery can start to charge another which is undesirable in alkaline batteries. You may melt some batteries or damage your ipod in doing this. Also, the 9V batteries will run out much quicker than the AA batteries due to the different capacities
Good idea for the flights as you say, but I feel that if any airline saw that concoction in your hand luggage, you’d be in a dark cell being yelled at from behind a spotlight, before you can say ‘iPod Battery’.
Needs just a little more, a small power regulator circuit board sized to fit the bottom of the altoids box.
I mean, seriously, if I’m going to connect my $300-$400 iPod to something like this, I want it to be a little more reliable…
the interface and the container are pretty neat, however as mentioned above the power implementation are pretty unstable and could end up damaging an expensive piece of hardware for the sake of being cheap. It would be better to get an extra ipod battery but instead of swapping it out to put it in the altoids case.
Why all the postings from those scared to try anything but the legit hardware? Go buy a battery pack, and miss out on the enjoyment of making something with your won 2 hands!
… um cuz if i break it i don’t have a mom that will buy me a new one. I’m down with hacking the hardware to give it a boost, but if it isn’t done properly and it causes damange then this hackjob turns messy pretty quick. Without good research it isn’t hacking; it is destruction!
I’d be more than willing to try this but I’m just looking for the pin-outs on the firewire connector. I’d need to know which pins on the connector are for the plus and minus wires. Thanks
The akalines will discharge, and maybe very remotely, leak.
Best thing to do as an insurance policy, and simple, too, would be to throw in three switches, or a single triple pole switch. This would be used to switch the two 9v’s and the “3 volt” (the 2 aa’s are in series) out of circuit. The 2 9v’s are wired in parallel. (to get a total of 12v out of the can, right?) They need to be disconnected from each otherwhen not in use also.
That way, when the battery pack isnt being used, the alkalines are not charging/discharging each other.
When in use though, its all good. If 12 volts is what comes outta the firewire cable, than this should pose no threat to any device connected to it.
Also, this mod will drastically extend the devices shelf life, making it live up to its name as an “emergency” source.
But yeah, where the hecks is the firewire plug pinout?
http://pinouts.ru/data/pin_ieee1394.shtml <-- Nice link about firewire, hopefully I'll be building this soon. I need a new battery for my ipod.
but funny. My GF came up with a great new euphemism for “hacking”. She was trying to access my laptop via network from hers, and I asked if she was trying to hack my Powerbook, and she replied, “No, I’m not hacking it, I’m trying to hold hands with it.” It’s not hacking, it’s “holding hands”. I love it.
… very similar terms but I think “handshake” one out on that one:
A series of signals acknowledging that communication or the transfer of information can take place between computers or other devices. A hardware handshake is an exchange of signals over specific wires (other than the data wires), in which each device indicates its readiness to send or receive data. A software handshake consists of signals transmitted over the same wires used to transfer data, as in modem-to-modem communications over telephone lines.
… but “holding hands” sounds more like something to be said ala 2004.. ;)
Another, more polished one of these can be found at:
Another, more polished one of these can be found at:
I am sure power regulation with this would not be difficult. Add a couple of diodes and a switch and it could work much better
This is dangerous. You shoul insulate the inside of the tin so the batteries can’t short out. There is ALOT of power contained in 3 9v batteries. You can start a fire get a terrible burn or both with this thing in your pocket.
Can somebody show us the same idea but with USB port instead of Firewire?
for usb would be cinch. 4 rechargable batterys in series would be the ticket (need to be rechargable, as they have a terminal voltage of 1.2v, as opposed to the 1.5v of regular alkalines.)
4 x 1.2 = 4.8v, damn close to the 5v squirted from the usb port. amperages vary from about 800mAh (AAA) to 9000mAh (D) (i kid you not http://www.pccasegear.com/prod1453.htm).
Anyone want to hazard a guess at a power regulator then? I’m keen to try this, but can’t afford a new ipod if I fry it. How about just use 10×1.2v nimh batteries? I know you lose some of the ’emergency’ part of the battery pack (they discharge themselves if you leave them alone), but you do get to do long trips with you gazillion hours of music.
If you are worried about the batteries charging each other, just use some diodes. Simple.
The problem with adding diodes is that they eat some of the voltage that you are trying to use, and they let it off as heat, not so efficient.
hmmm but if its the 3 9v batteries and you add the diodes with a switch then the eating of some electricity wouldnt be that bad or noticable. I’d gladly give it a shot if someone told me which parts to get
For the USB version, you just get an extra iPod USB cable, lop the PC end off, and solder the two power leads to a standard 4-cell battery pack. Make sure of your polarity (use the http://pinouts.ru site for USB specs) and populate it with fully charged NiCd 1.25v cells. I like D cells in a belt pack, but you can go all the way down to AAAs if you need the minimal size.
You could also use a standard USB receptacle (‘A’ side, yank it off a busted crackerbox PC and epoxy it to the battery pack) if you don’t want to lop the cable.
Love this for its utility & packaging. Like those posts above, I’m concerned about problems with power regulation and the cost….I don’t have sodering equipment, etc. So, I’ve decided its cheaper & safer to get the Griffin Tune Juice and then take that apart & put in an Altoids Tin or card deck or the heel of my shoe, etc.
I think it may be possible to simpley use 4 3.0v lithium AA batteries. They’re a little harder to find but I’d bet radioshack or any decent photo store may have them. This would eleimante the need for a voltage regulator and the worry of the batteries discharging at different rates.
P.s. they really do make litium batteries that are AA and 3.0V i first saw them in a camping store geared twords serieous campers/hikers for loger lasting flashlights.
could you just hook a spare battery up to male and female firewire jacks so you can just plug the battery into your computer to charge it and then plug your ipod into the battery when needed?
when is someone going to make one for the psp
Hey guys, to make a cheap one that will work properly, just use the USB charger. Then go to Radioshack (or wherever) and look for an LM7805 regulator. It regulates to the same five volts that USB ports supply. the regulator is only about $1 more (and it wont screw up your ipod)
I put together a replacement wall charger (via USB) for my iPod mini a while back, but was revamping it today. While looking for info, I came across this site, and just have to say that it’s good stuff.
Originally, I was using a spare adapter rated for 6V at 600mA spliced to the red and black wires to the female end of an USB extension cable. It worked, but I eventually got worried about irregular specs and decided to change the adapter.
The current adapter is rated for 5V at 140mA, so now the voltage is more exact, and the amperage is much lower. However, now I wonder if the amperage is too low. It seems to charge fine, but I still wonder.
So, I guess there’s two reasons for me commenting. First, to ask if someone knows the proper amperage for the iPod on USB (firewire would be nice too). Second, to tell my experience in case it helps someone.
The USB version doesn’t seem to charge ipod Photo or video units. Anyone find a solution?
ok u guys, u wont have to worry about the ipod’s battery charging your altoid batteries because the ipod has technology so it wont do that. How ever, i have not built mine yet, the FW ports should becoming any day and it should work fine.
Also, the other day i thought of something that could work better, but i dont know if i should try it or not because im not to expirienced. OK here it is: wire 3 9v batteries in series (27v) and then use a 12v voltage regulator to bring the 27v down to 12v, and you’ll have more amps, but still 12v. It makes sense…but if any of you smarter people object please let me know soon
also, a cool idea would be to add a resistor with and LED to indicate your power, and maybe even a switch
On 5G iPods, you also have to tie the two USB data lines to 5v in order to charge the iPod – otherwise the iPod simply runs off the external battery without charging. The data lines actually only need a 5 second pulse to start the charging, but it was simpler to just connect them all the time.
I created a rather large external battery pack using a RadioShack enclosure, LM7805 5v regulator, and 5 x 3300mAh NiMH sub-C cells. This produces ~6 volts, but the regulator keeps the output at a solid 5v no matter the charge level. I added a power switch so the regulator doesn’t slowly drain the batteries even though nothing is attached. I then added a power jack so I can charge the batteries from a nice peak detection charger (MRC SuperBrain 959) I have for R/C use.
I’ve used this for about two weeks now and haven’t had any problems. Although, you might want to add a 1k ohm resistor between the 5v line and each data line for safety, but I haven’t had any problems with them directly connected.
jack, using 3 x 9v batteries would work but is unnecessary. All that extra voltage would be wasted as heat and you won’t get any added amps. You generally want to keep the input voltage of the regulator about 2-5V higher than the output. This will keep the dissipated heat on the regulator lower. So, if you want 12v, only 2 x 9v batteries in series will give you 18v. Only 6v (18v-12v) will be wasted on the regulator. 9v batteries don’t have too much capacity though. You’d be better off using 8 x AA’s in series for much longer runtimes. It would take up more room though…
This is really pathetic. Use any combination (between 1 and 4 cells, optimally 2 or 3) of 1.2v ni-cad or ni-mh rechargable cells in series or a single lithium ion pack with this IC : R1210N502D (5v) and the first design from this datasheet: http://www.tranzistoare.ro/datasheets/228/357516_DS.pdf
to make your own ipod power supply. Don’t bother playing with alkaline batteries. This simple circuit is a whole lot cheaper to run and operates well with any input range between about 1.2 and 8 volts (meaning you can use even a single AA cell! The parts are incredibly minimal and the efficiency is high. The enable line on the IC should not be used to disable the device (ie don’t switch it to ground it when you want it off) because the base (low) battery voltage would still reach the Ipod. Instead, put the switch between a battery lead and the corresponding connection on the IC. Choose a switch with low terminal to terminal resistance or attach it’s output to the gate of a mosfet (n mosfet would need both the output of a + connected switch and that of a 1M ohm (anywhere from 10k to 1 M is fine) resistor connected to ground on the mosfet gate.) if your switch sucks (mosfet voltage drop is 0.5-0.7v, meaning slightly less efficiency and you would want more batteries in series to compensate). All of this can easily fit in the same altoid case if you choose AA size or smaller cells. If you’re too stupid to understand any of this then you really don’t deserve to be mocking my intelligence with your presence on this page.
This is really pathetic. Use any combination (between 1 and 4 cells, optimally 2 or 3) of 1.2v ni-cad or ni-mh rechargable cells in series or a single lithium ion pack with this IC : R1210N502D (5v) and the first design from this datasheet: http://www.tranzistoare.ro/datasheets/228/357516_DS.pdfto make your own ipod power supply. Don’t bother playing with alkaline batteries. This simple circuit is a whole lot cheaper to run and operates well with any input range between about 1.2 and 8 volts (meaning you can use even a single AA cell! The parts are incredibly minimal and the efficiency is high. The enable line on the IC should not be used to disable the device (ie don’t switch it to ground it when you want it off) because the base (low) battery voltage would still reach the Ipod. Instead, put the switch between a battery lead and the corresponding connection on the IC. Choose a switch with low terminal to terminal resistance or attach it’s output to the gate of a mosfet (n mosfet would need both the output of a connected switch and that of a 1M ohm (anywhere from 10k to 1 M is fine) resistor connected to ground on the mosfet gate.) if your switch sucks (mosfet voltage drop is 0.5-0.7v, meaning slightly less efficiency and you would want more batteries in series to compensate). All of this can easily fit in the same altoid case if you choose AA size or smaller cells. If you’re too stupid to understand any of this then you really don’t deserve to be mocking my intelligence with your presence on this page.
That’s “the output of a [positive] connected switch.” Sorry. Oh, and never put batteries in parallel configurations (series is fine). Using parallel means that if a single battery shorts or dies, the parallel neighbor(s) are drained and are at risk of exploding (but certainly damage). I once ruined a nimh pack by using it in series with a pack that went bad (batteries fail independently, even if they are the same age), but this applies to nonrechargable batteries as well.
I got a new iPod battery at http://www.laptopsforless.com/mp3playerbattery/apple-ipod-Battery and it works great. You might want to check that site if you need a new iPod battery.
Verizon is about the only place you can get the authentic RIM product and matching door. Most other sites are out of stock and even when they are in stock they have the black battery door which looks like crap. http://www.batteryfast.com/toshiba/
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