With this you can make your own car-to-usb charger… Scott writes – “Users of our VFD-420 serial display frequently use it in automotive applications. Unfortunately, designing a bullet-proof 5-volt regulated power supply for use in the harsh vehicular power environment can be difficult.

An article in the June 1999 issue of Nuts & Volts magazine tackled this very problem. Here, reprinted with their permission, is the circuit from that article. “Link.

If you’re interested in powering other devices via USB (5V) check out the MintyBoost (another new item in the MAKE store)…

Mintyboost 500-1
Make your own iPod battery-pack and recharger! Build your own MintyBoost: a small & simple (but very powerful and very MAKE-like) USB charger for your iPod (or other mp3 player), camera, cell phone, and any other gadget you can plug into a USB port to charge.

The charger circuitry and 2 AA batteries fit into an Altoids gum tin, and will run your iPod for hours, 2.5x more than you’d get from a 9V USB charger! You can use rechargable batteries too.

Some soldering is necessary, but even if you’ve never soldered before it should be pretty easy. Tested with iPod nano/mini/photo/video/shuffle, Blackberry, iPaq, LuxPro Tangent, Rio Carbon, Samsung T809 and more.

Batteries and tin not included. If you live in an area that doesn’t have Altoids gum, you can buy a tin (including the gum) from us. Get one now!