in this instructable i will be sharing with you one of my favorite things to do; hacking a usb port to use with my plant arms or shelves. i recommend this to anyone who is working with low power electronics/applications. its totally free and globally accepted, a perfect traveling companion.
let's get going...
Step 1: Materials + tools
you will need; ( locate these items on my work area and win a yacht ! )
usb female port
usb male port
small flat head screw driver
heavy duty scissors
sharp knife/razor knife
soldering iron + solder
hot glue gun
heat shrink tubing
Step 2: Gut your ports
take your ports apart carefully.
it's rubber and it cuts away easily with a sharp knife, just be careful, take your time. don't ever try to rip anything off. if it's not coming out, then you probably have to cut some more rubber first.
do this to both male and female ports. until you reach to the bare minimum usb parts.
now you should be seeing 4 thin metal strips, usually gold colored. the middle two are for data, we won't need them. i usually choose to get rid off them, less confusion/risk in my opinion.
** the metal strips can carefully and easily be removed out and can be put back in, with the help of small flat head screw driver and plyers. you'll get the hang of it when you do it a few times.
now we are ready to solder..>
Step 3: Solder
now that we have clean, gutted usb ports, it's time to bring them back to life.
like i said, you can remove the thin strips out. this is what i do, i slowly remove them, without scratching or denting any part. this makes it so much more easy to solder. after done soldering, simply and gently insert the thin metal strips back into their slots.
REMEMBER; when facing the usb port and seeing the metal strips, the one on the right is always "positive +" and the left side is "negative -". this is the only rule to our game. this is how every usb port is wired in the world. to get more info and in depth readings please visit, wiki/usb.
do this to both female and male ports.
Step 4: Make a new body
here comes the arts and crafts part.
me and my wife used to collect wine corks for cool projects. never did any of those projects yet but i do use wine corks daily in my personal projects. they are amazing to work with electronics. they dont conduct electricity. they are rubbery so they actually protect as casing. you can easily cut them to custom size and shapes. best of all they are free.
you can start by cutting small slices, like bread. sandwich the ports in between and tape. that's it..!
you can also use hot glue gun to fill in empty spaces, or soldered areas before securing them inside the corks.
Step 5: Conclusion + applications
here you can see just a few of my previous applications,
usb battery pack attachment
usb plant arm
usb grow light, 2 ports
usb plant pot 1
usb solar panel
usb plant pot 2
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