Cell phones are an integral part of our lives. We hardly go anywhere without them and rely on them to keep us in touch with people, for news, and even to navigate and most of the time, charging your phone is not a problem.
But what happens if there is a long power cut or if you are somewhere that is off the grid? Maybe your charger or your USB cable breaks and there is no way to get a new one when you need it. Is there a way to charge a cell phone battery directly without a phone charger or a connection to an electrical outlet?
The good news is there are a few ways you can charge your cell phone directly. Read on to find out how.
Method One: Using Household Batteries
You can build a charger by using normal batteries. It is not the easiest method, but it will give the phone battery a good charge as long as the household batteries have energy in them. Here is how to do it.
Before you Start
Before you start building your battery, make sure you have everything you need to hand. You will need either, AAA, AA, or 9-volt batteries for this method and some metal wire covered in plastic if possible with exposed ends.
Start by removing the phone battery from your phone so that you will have access to the battery’s connection points. On most Windows and Android phones, you can take out the battery by removing the back of the phone by applying slight pressure on it. You should not do this with most iPhones, so check your device before attempting this.
If you are worried about using household batteries in case you damage your phone battery, there is no need to worry. You can use household batteries to charge your phone battery because the power in them is no different from cell phone batteries.
First, identify the negative and positive connectors on the batteries. Household batteries have them marked with + and – signs. On the phone battery, the connector nearest to the edge is usually the positive connector and the furthest will be the negative one.
The voltage from the household batteries needs to match your cell phone battery. Usually, you will need at least 3.7V for the phone battery to charge. This means you will need three AA or AAA batteries with 1.5V or just one 9V battery.
Use tape or clamps to connect the wires to the household batteries and your cell phone battery. Using multiple AA or AAA batteries means that you need to connect them in a series to form a circuit. Connect the positive point on one of the household batteries to the positive connector of your phone. Connect the negative terminals in the same way.
Leave to charge. This will take quite a while, so leave it for at least a few hours if possible. When finished, disconnect the wires and reinsert the battery into your phone. Likely, you will not get a full battery charge, but at least it will give you extra time until you can charge it properly.
Making a DIY Charger From a USB Cable
If you don’t have the right USB cable for your phone, you can make a DIY charger from any USB cable. It will then allow you to use any of the methods described below to charge your phone. This is how you make the charger in four easy steps.
- Step One: Start by cutting the connector end of the cable off. Leave the USB connector intact. You will need this to plug your cable into the charging device.
- Step Two: Next, you need to reveal the wires inside the cable so strip off the insulation from the cut end of the cable. Inside the cable, you will find four cables. Now you need to strip the red and black wires until you have about one inch of exposed metal wire.
- Step Three: Take the battery out of your phone. As with method one, this may not be possible with all phones so don’t force the phone open.
- Step Four: When you have taken the battery out, tape the exposed black and red wires to the contact points on the battery. The red wire connects with the positive pin on the cell phone battery and the black wire with the negative.
You now have a DIY charger that you can use to charge your phone battery directly using the methods below. Of course, if you have the correct USB cable to hand, you can also use that with all the methods described below.
Method Two: Use a Fruit
Yes, you can use fruits such as apples or oranges to charge your phone battery. How? Because of the acid in the fruit. You will need two types of metal to work this method: copper and zinc. You can use coins. An American penny is made using zinc and copper, all other coins except the dollar have nickel and copper.
Insert the two pieces of metal, or two coins, into the fruit. They will act as negative and positive connectors. The fruit’s acid interacts with the electrodes from the metal and creates a small voltage, enough to give your phone an emergency boost.
Method Three: Using an Onion Soaked in Energy Drink
For this method, you will need an onion, an energy drink, a tool to drill holes into the onion, and two cups.
Start by drilling a few holes into the onion. Then, leave it to soak in an energy drink for at least half an hour. When the onion is thoroughly soaked, take it out of the drink and dry it off. Now you can insert the USB into the onion.
Just like the fruit method, this is not likely to give you much charge and some people say it doesn’t work at all. But according to this video, it works. And in an emergency, any method is worth trying!
Method Four: Using Your Own Body
Our bodies constantly produce energy because it operates using electrical signals. Even at rest, you produce about 100 watts of energy. During a rigorous activity, you can produce around 2,000 watts. You can harness this energy using two coins, your DIY cable connected to your phone battery, a paper clip, and a small piece of paper.
Start by attaching the paper clip to the USB connector. Next, you need to put the paper between the paper clip and the USB connector. Make sure the paper is outside the connector. The two coins go on both sides of the USB and you hold them between your finger and thumb. This will allow an electrical charge to flow from you to the battery.
Method Five: Using a Hand-Crank Charger
If you own a hand crank, you can connect your charging cable to the crank. It will then convert the movement into energy using a dynamo. Some hand-crank chargers are powerful enough to give you about 2% charge in three to five minutes. Some even have built-in batteries that can store energy for later on.
Method Six: Rub Your Battery
For this method, you don’t need any cables or equipment. Remove the battery from your phone, hold it between your hands, and rub it hard to generate friction and heat. Do this for several minutes in thirty-second intervals before putting the battery back in the phone.
You should note that this method doesn’t actually recharge the battery. Lithium-ion batteries require an energy source to recharge. What you are doing is improving the battery’s conductivity. This will give you a few extra moments to use your phone, for example, to make an emergency call.
Are There Any Easier Methods?
So far, we have covered methods that require quite a lot of effort. There are easier methods, which we have listed below.
- A solar charger: when you invest in a good portable solar charger, you can charge your phone battery on the go. A solar-powered charger will work best in direct sunlight
- A portable power bank: there are different types of power banks you can get. Some solar chargers have built-in power banks, or you can get a power bank that you charge from an electric outlet before going out.
- Wireless Charging: you will not need to worry about cables if you have a wireless charger as long as your device is Qi-enabled.
- Laptop or computer: if you have power in your laptop or computer, you can use it to charge your phone battery. Just plug the USB cable into the USB port of your PC.
There are many ingenious ways you can charge your phone battery directly. All you need is a DIY charging cable and a few resources. However, many of the DIY charging methods will only provide enough charge to make a few quick calls.
Using a solar charger, power banks, or your PC will give you a better charge and you can use them with your DIY charging cable connected directly to your battery. If you would like to ask us anything about the topic, write your questions in the comments section.