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USB Cell Phone Charger Custom Cable Guide
A pictures illustrated instruction manual for creating a USB mobile telephone charging cable for a Sony Ericsson T637.

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Attention - Please verify the power and charging specifications of your cell phone, mp3 player, iPod, PDA, camera, battery charger, etc, before attempting this procedure. Use of a multimeter electronic measurement device to check the input and output values is highly recommended. I take no responsibility for damage to your device or person.
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USB Cable & Cell Phone
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Mini & Regular USB Wires
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Camera Connector Cut Off

This guide was specifically written to assist owners of the Sony Ericsson T637 (T630, T610, T616, T618) cell phone in building a custom USB charging cable.

Owners of cell phones from other manufacturers such as Nokia, LG, Apple, Pantech, Samsung, Sanyo, Panasonic, Siemens, NEC, Kyocera, Nextel, and Audiovox may also find these instructions useful.

As I mentioned above, please be sure to confirm that your device has a 5V DC USB compatible charging system before continuing.

For example, my cell phone wall charger's specifications are: Input 100-240 VAC 70 mA 50-60Hz, Output 4.9 VDC 450 mA.

So since the OEM charger's output is 4.9 volts, the phone should have no problem charging from a 5 volt USB computer port.

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Red, Green, Black, White
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Sony Ericsson Car Charger
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White & Red, 12V Charger
To start we'll need a standard A to A, mini to A, or A to B printer USB cable, a spare 12V car or wall phone charger, scissors, shrink tubing and/or electrical tape. I chose an old USB data transfer cable from a Canon Powershot digital camera that I no longer have and a generic 12 volt DC car charger to get the unique Sony Ericsson charging tip.
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Sony Ericsson Charger Plug
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Mobile Phone Model T637
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Cut USB & Car Charger
First snip off the side of the USB cable that doesn't go into a standard computer female USB port or choose one side if you have an A male-male cable. Then strip off about 1/2 to a full inch of the wire's insulation. If the manufacturer of your USB cable followed international standard design, it will have four colored wires - green, black, white, and red. The red wire should be the positive (+) power and the black will be the negative (return) (-) wire. Verify this with a multimeter or proceed and take your chances. My cell phone is old and I wouldn't have been too upset if it had fried while attempting to make this USB charging cable. The green and white wires can be snipped off since they are just used for data transfer to the computer.
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Lil' Sync USB Charger
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Powerizer AA NiMH Cells
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Red To Red, Black To White
Now cut off the 12V car charger or wall charger end of your phone charging cable leaving at least a few inches to work with. Then again strip off about 1/2 to 1 inch of the insulation to reveal the red (+) and black (or white/clear) negative (-) wires. Strip off a small amount of insulation from the positive and negative wires of both the USB and charging cables. Twist together the two red positive wires and the black/white negative wires. Make sure that the wires aren't touching by pulling them apart! Now you can connect your cell phone, hold your breath, and plug the male USB end of the wire into a desktop computer or laptop.



 

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Mobile Phone Charging
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Cell Charging Via Lil' Sync
Hopefully after plugging everything together you heard the familiar chime that means your phone has begun charging. Let it charge with the cable for at least a few minutes in this unfinished condition and then unplug the USB male end first and the phone plug. Does the cable or the back of the phone feel unusually hot? If not, it should be safe to use.
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Li-Ion 3.7V 550mAh
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Fully Charged Li-Ion Cell
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T637 Battery Indicator
I didn't have any heat shrink tubing handy so I just used electrical tape to secure each of the wire connections and then seal the junction of the two cables. I plan on eventually cutting my new custom USB cell phone charger cable down to just a few inches and finishing it off with a more professional looking piece of heat shrink tubing. If I ever lose or break this phone, I plan on buying a Motorola model or perhaps a SmartPhone PDA that is already OEM equipped with a mini-USB charger plug. Then I can just plug it into any computer using a standard A-mini USB cable that almost every one has laying around somewhere in their home or office. The Motorola phones however do require a software "modem" driver installed on the computer to enable USB charging but that can be downloaded and set up in just a few seconds.
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Toshiba A105 Laptop USB
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Black Electrical Tape
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Exposed Wires Taped Up
About 4 rows up on this page you'll see the Lil' Sync USB AA Battery Power Adapter sold by the Pocket PC Techs. I originally bought it keep the Li-Ion cell in my HP iPAQ PDA charged on long airplane flights. But now with this new cable I can charge my cell phone too. I also ordered a USB battery charger on eBay for the Canon NB-5L batteries which power my SD700IS camera. This only makes sense for me because I already have five sets, 4 each, of 2500-2700 mAh AA NiMH batteries for the Canon S5 IS and 430EX flash. If I ever have to be away from home and car power sources for days at a time on a camping trip, all I'll need to keep my small electronics powered up is a solar panel power source for the Maha MH-C204W AA battery charger.
 
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