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Q: Connecting a car battery to a Cig. lighter to power a cell phone. ( Answered,   1 Comment )
Subject: Connecting a car battery to a Cig. lighter to power a cell phone.
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: rhode74-ga
List Price: $100.00
Posted: 26 May 2005 04:45 PDT
Expires: 25 Jun 2005 04:45 PDT
Question ID: 525791
If I want to charge/power my cell away from electric outlets, I need
to plug it into a cig. lighter. The kind that are in cars.

 How would one make a portable contraption that will still charge my
phone without frying it when I have no access to either? And what
parts would I need to buy?
Subject: Re: Connecting a car battery to a Cig. lighter to power a cell phone.
Answered By: pafalafa-ga on 26 May 2005 11:17 PDT

It's the new 'Murphy's Law' -- When you most need your cell phone,
that's when the battery's sure to die...with no outlet in sight!

There are several options for charging a phone on the run, and I've
detailed them in my answer, below.  I did not include any
build-your-own options since, frankly, I can't see any real advantage
to doing so.

However, if none of the off-the-shelf options suit your needs for
whatever reason, let me know by posting a Request for Clarification,
and I'll be happy to provide some additional information.




Options for charging your cell phone when you're not near an outlet or car:
Sidewinder Portable Cell Phone Charger

A wind-up generator that can always provide unlimited emergency cell phone power

This is a small hand-operated generator...turn the crank, and charge up your phone.

PROS:  Lightweight, easy to use, affordable, and absolutely the most
reliable source of emergency power.  As long as you can crank away,
you can generate a charge.  Small flashlight is also built in.

CONS:  A minute of cranking gets you about five minutes of phone time,
so for a full battery charge, you can be cranking for a long, tedious
time.  Cranking also takes two hands, so if you want to crank while
you're talking, you'll probably need a hands-free phone set-up to do
iSun Portable Solar Charger 

The name says it -- this uses the power of the sun to recharge your cell phone.

PROS:  Works with most phones.  You can piggyback multiple units to
get an extra power boost.  It's also cool-looking.

CONS:  Obviously, only works when the sun is out.  Bit pricey, too.
Clipper Gear Cell Phone Emergency Battery Recharger
This is a small, inexpensive unit that allows you to use ordinary AAA
batteries to power your phone.

PROS:  Four AAA batteries will provide about two full recharges for
your phone.  The portability and accessibility of AAA batteries make
this a handy option.

CONS:  Only drawback...what if there are no AAA batteries around?
Cellboost instant battery charger for cell phones

Basically, a generic back-up battery for pretty much any phone
providing about an hour's worth of power.

PROS:  Inexpensive and reliable source of power that fits most phones.

CONS:  Each battery is one-time use.  Not as widely available as,
e.g., AAA batteries.
Portable Cell Phone Charger/Flashlight Never Needs Batteries or Bulbs

Another hand-crank options...doubles as a flashlight.
Portable Winding Charger

...and yet another
USB Mobile Phone Chargers

An odd choice, but worth considering.  This will allow you to plug the
phone into any device with a USB port, and recharge from, e.g., a

PROS:  Most computers are USB-enabled these days, and increasingly available.

CONS:  What if there's no computer around?
MultiFunction Cell Phone Charger: USB, Travel and Car Charger in One 

Variation on the USB charge option.
Replacement Cell Phone Battery 

Of course, you can simply stock up on a few back-up batteries
(specific to your phone, of course), and have them at the ready when
you need a new power source.

PROS:  Probably the best power per weight option, since the battery is
specifically designed for the phone.

CONS:  Changing the battery on the run can be a bit of a nuisance.  

If you ask me (and you did...sort of), the best of the bunch is this one:
Clipper Gear Cell Phone Emergency Battery Recharger

as AAA batteries are easy to stock up on and transport, and should you
run out, they are almost universally available unless you're in the
middle of the woods on a camping trip.  And for that situation, you
might also want to have one of the hand-crank chargers, so you can at
least assure yourself of emergency power under any situation.

I trust this list of options will fully meet your needs.  But please
do not rate this answer until you are completely satisfied with the
information I've provided.   As I mentioned earlier, just post a
Request for Clarification if there's anything else I can do for you.



search strategy -- Google search on [ cell phone portable (power OR charger) ]

Request for Answer Clarification by rhode74-ga on 27 May 2005 04:18 PDT

 What I really want is the cig lighter outlet connection to a battery.
Something I can leave at either place I camp at so that any of my
extended family could also use if they needed it while there.

 We all have the car adapters for the cells. Instead of walking back
to a vehicle (and possibly missing a call), I would like to have the
battery/cig outlet right nearby without having to crank something. But
mostly because my boy has a cd player that has the car cig outlet
adapter. I'm sick of buying batteries when we camp. A contraption like
this would solve all of my problems.

 If you can think of a way to connect a battery to a cig outlet for
power without frying what it is powering, I'd be thankfull.

Clarification of Answer by pafalafa-ga on 27 May 2005 05:42 PDT I see what you're after.

Sounds like you need a booster pack.  These are essentially small,
user-friendly rechargable car batteries used to jump start a car, but
can also be used to power appliances.  Here's one of the most popular

and as the blurb says:

"...Useful for up to 50 hours of portable DC power for cell phones,
tools, lights & more..."

This sounds like just the thing.  The only question is...How, exactly,
does the recharge process work?

I've emailed the manufacturers of the battery pack for more
information about this, and when I hear back, I'll post the
information here as well.

Enjoy your camping!


Clarification of Answer by pafalafa-ga on 27 May 2005 05:48 PDT
Turns out the Kwikstart battery has a cigarette-lighter style plug-in
adapter built right in.  Just plug in the one you use for your phones
already, and you're on your way.

Subject: Re: Connecting a car battery to a Cig. lighter to power a cell phone.
From: chadsly-ga on 26 May 2005 11:31 PDT
This may sound too simple, but if you are really looking for a way to
recharge your cell phone, the best thing to do is buy a second
battery.  It's going to be lighter and smaller than any of those other
suggestions.  Just keep a spare to replace the dead battery.

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