How to Make Your Own Cell Phone Battery Pack Power Source

Written by stephen benham
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How to Make Your Own Cell Phone Battery Pack Power Source
If you travel it's best to have an external cell phone battery pack as a backup. (Kirk Edwards/Lifesize/Getty Images)

Factory-made cell phone battery packs can be expensive, but are essential if you travel as they provide a backup if your internal cell phone battery goes dead. Cell phone internal batteries are made from lithium ion cells, but do not make your own battery pack using these type of cells. They require specialist knowledge and power breakers. Use nickel cadmium (NiCad) or nickel metal hydride (NiMH ). They produce 1.2 volts per cell and cell phones operate on 3.6 volts. Make your own cell phone battery pack and wire three NiCad or NiMH cells in series to produces an output voltage of 3.6 volts.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Three 1.2 volt NiCad or NiMH battery cells
  • Charge jack
  • Electrical insulating tape
  • Small knife
  • Wire strippers
  • Soldering iron
  • Solder

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  1. 1

    Get three 1.2 volt NiCad or NiMH cells from an electrical store. They are similar in size to regular alkaline AA batteries. Make sure you get a power charge jack at the same time: They cost a few dollars. It needs to be the same size as the input charge socket on your cell phone. They are usually 2.5mm or 3.5mm. Take your phone to the store so you get to buy the correct one.

  2. 2

    Lay the three NiCad or NiMH batteries flat on a workbench. They have a positive terminal on top and a negative terminal on the bottom. Rotate the batteries so you have two positive terminals and one negative term one end and two negative and one positive the other. This makes wiring the cells in series easier.

  3. 3

    Label the three batteries 1 through 3. Wrap electrical insulating tape around the three batteries to form a battery pack power source.

  4. 4

    Cut four strips of wire using a small knife. AWG 18 gauge wire is fine. Cut two strips long enough to reach between your cell phone battery pack and your cell phone: 12 to 18 inches is usually about right. Label one long strip "+" and the other "-." The other two strips connect between the battery terminals so only need to be 1 inch long.

  5. 5

    Remove 1/4 inch of plastic coating from the end of each wire strip using wire strippers. This exposes the metal wire. Attach the end of the long strip labelled "+" to the positive terminal of battery 1 and then attach the end of the second long strip labelled "-" to the negative terminal of battery 3. Use a strip of electrical insulating tape to secure the wire to the battery terminals.

  6. 6

    Attach the end of one short wire strip to the negative terminal of battery 1 and attach the opposite end to the positive terminal of battery 2. Attach the last short wire strip to the negative terminal of battery 2 and the opposite end to the positive terminal of battery 3. Use electrical insulating tape to hold the wires in place.

  7. 7

    Wrap the entire cell phone battery pack using electrical insulating tape. Wind the tape around the pack and over the battery terminals. Make sure you leave the two long wires protruding as these need to connect to your cell phone. Once you have wrapped the pack, ensure no wires (apart from the two long wires) are exposed and the battery terminals are fully covered.

  8. 8

    Remove the cover from the charge jack. Slide the cover over the two wires from your cell phone battery pack. Turn on a soldering iron.

  9. 9

    Place the long wire labelled "+" on the positive terminal of the charge jack. It is labelled "+." Introduce the soldering iron and solder to the wire and terminal. Let the solder melt then remove it. The solder fuses the wire and terminal together. Repeat the process for the long wire labelled "-" and solder it to the charge jack terminal labelled "-." Turn off your soldering iron and let the charge jack cool completely.

  10. 10

    Slide the charge jack cover down the wires. Screw the cover onto the charge jack. Insert the charge jack in your cell phone. Use your cell phone as usual.

Tips and warnings

  • Never mix battery types such as NiCad and NiMH.

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