Friday, May 31, 2013

Building An AA Battery Pack For Charging USB Devices

There's lots of power packs out there to charge your USB devices. My problem with most of the
products I've seen is they are either expensive, or they don't allow you to replace the batteries. What I have been looking for is a power pack that I can replace the batteries when they get worn out. I'm not looking for something disposable.

So, my first project is a 4xAA battery pack that takes standard rechargeable AA batteries. These kind of batteries are cheap, easy to find, and have enough mojo to charge our devices like phones and tablets.
USB AA Battery Pack, Shown With Tenergy Ni-Mh Rechargeable Batteries
This particular battery pack is simply a housing which connects the four batteries in series. There's no electronics to regulate it or allow the power pack to be recharged from the same USB it outputs from, like other battery packs do. I would consider this really for a last ditch emergency way to charge your devices.

NOTE: Because this pack only gives power to the USB + and - certain devices that want to be connected to a computer (like my phone) will not charge. This does charge most devices in our house, though, like the wife's Kindle Fire (1st gen) and her HTC One.
USB AA Battery Pack Charging Bluetooth Headphones
The 4xAAA battery pack charging my bluetooth headphones

USB AA Battery Pack Voltage Reading Using Hacked USB Cable And Multimeter
Voltage shown using spliced USB cable

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