The Path of a Solder Man (part 2) – Switching Out the Wrong Plug

Since my last post on the DIY LED throwie, I have loaded up on supplies that everyone needs for solderings such as: a soldering iron starter kit, helping hands, Rosin-core solder, a digital multimeter, wire strippers, and some speaker wire.  Even though I bought these items, I had no idea how to use them.  I therefore found some very helpful Youtube videos to help explain how to use some of these items.

I decided for my first project, to make an easy soldering intro project.  I recently seen car chargers for obsolete phone tips such as Sony Ericson and the older LG phones go on sale in RadioShack for as low as $4.  Normally, these car chargers would be useless since most people have a phone with a micro USB connector.  With a little bit of soldering, one can put their own designated tip on the charger (Even if you don’t want to solder, these chargers have a USB input where you can insert your own cable to charge your device).

Before soldering I recommend watching the following videos for reference:

How to Solder, tips and tricks

How to do it: Basic Soldering

How and Why to Solder Correctly

Here are the supplies you will need:

1 soldering iron

rosin core solder

Enercell Adaptaplug for USB A (This allows you to charge any device that has a male USB cable towards one end.  All you need to do is provide your own cable to charge your devices)

Enercell Replacement Adaptaplug Socket (an alternative to buying both adaptaplugs would be any cable tip that might not work properly anymore)

Electrical tape

Wire Stippers

PointMobl LG Car Charger (the one I used is a limited stock item, only a few stores will have it left)

some sort of third hand

Step 1

Strip the end plug that you don’t want.  In my case, it is the LG tip that I will cut.

Cut close toward the unwanted tip

Step 2

Strip the wire further until you get a red positive copper lead and a negative copper lead.

This is what is left after you cut the unwanted tip off.

Step 3

Closer Look at bare wires
Two wires split into two separate wire leads

The adaptaplug socket has two wires at one end.  Locate the end of the socket that has the word tip as shown above.  Follow the path that leads from one end of the socket to the bare wire located toward the bottom left portion where you started from the tip.  You will solder this wire to the red wire on the car charger.  The other wire of the socket will be solder to the black wire of the charger.  You want to make sure that before you solder, that the wires are making a solid connection to its corresponding wires.  I used a pigtail splice to ensure a solid connection but there are many varieties out there.

Step four

Heat up the soldering iron and make it touch one of the splices you made.  Once splice is hot enough, touch the solder to the connection and watch as the tin melts over the splice and reinforces the splice.  Now do the same for the other splice.  Congratulations, you got a soldered splice.

Step five

To prevent any shorts from occurring, tape the splices with electrical tape like shown below.

Tape the splice around to prevent any shorts

Now tape the the splices around the cable.  If you followed the instructions correctly, your adaptaplug USB A will be positive polarity.  This means that you have to plug the adaptaplug so that the USB side that has the + symbol will connect to the side that says “tip” on the socket.

Finished product

Congratulations, you just modified your first car charger!

Have any suggestions for future projects or comments for this one?  Let me know by commenting below.


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