Charge Your Cell Phone with Fire
Smartphones, for all the joy and wonder they bring, have one fatal flaw in their inability to stay charged for any meaningful amount of time. While most people are content to just charge their drained devices in the nearest outlet, or possibly carry a spare battery around, YouTube user and DIY guru kipkay has come up with a novel way of keeping your phone running. Instead of relying on the trappings of modernity, kipkay has found a way to charge cellphones with the most basic form of energy around: fire.
While a little prep is required beforehand, kipkay’s method provides the perfect low-tech way of charging your phone, particularly for camping or in the event of a power outage. Using only a coffee can, a coat hanger, and a small thermoelectric generator, kipkay shows you how to make a small “hobo-stove” that you can use to both cook food and charge your phone at the same time.
First, kipkay removes the label from the can and cuts a small vent in the side to let smoke out. Then, he uses the coat hanger to fashion a shelf that can hold an aluminium plate at the can’s top, which can then be used to cook food. Next, kipkay slightly modifies a USB charging cord by removing the USB end, separating out the red and black wires, and then soldering the ends to the positive and negative areas of the generator. After securing the generator to the coffee can with a hose clamp or wire, kipkay shows his phone actually charging as he cooks an egg on top of his makeshift stove.
(Instructions begin at the 1:00 mark)
All in all, it’s a pretty simple hack that certainly has its benefits. Given the amount of trouble caused by dead cell phones in the aftermath of Hurrican Sandy, this DIY project could eventually become a staple of any emergency kit. Plus, it’s pretty freaking cool.