DIY Blackberry cradle charger

Should I explain the hiatus or continue without mentioning it? I think I will continue without mentioning it, :).

I did manage to finish making a cradle charger for my Blackberry. Charger's shell  The ones in the market either charge using the desktop USB port or the travel charger supplied with the handset. I didn’t want to further muddle the already cluttered surface of my desk with two more types of charging units and needlessly strain the data pins of my BB. Micro USB ports aren’t very sturdy and they have fairly limited cycles of normal usage. I had been thinking about a more sturdy alternate for a while now and owning a Blackberry handset does make life easier especially when it comes to charging.  shell after population  You can charge it with almost any source of power. Even if you don’t have a suitable pin to plug into its USB jack most BBs come with two small metallic points on either side where you can attach the two wires from a 5 volt USB charger. It will charge the handset if you hold it properly with the correct polarity against the two strips.

I had some teak wood bidding strips left from a window frame I had repaired over the summer and they seemed good enough for the job. I glued three small strips and ended up with a big enough square to form the main base of the charger. Then I cut out a hole for the BB to fit through and polished it up. I had an old USB spec charger that I took apart and used for the 220 volt charging and put a DPDT switch to choose the method of charging when the BB was cradled.

working charger The desktop charging part was straight forward but the 220 volt charging needed a circuit which would cut off the charging when the battery was full (i.e. the current through the charger dropped). I found hundreds of such circuits online and some of them were simple enough for my use. A handful of components later I had a circuit that switched off the supply and switched to another LED (for indication) when the current dropped.

The charger works like a charm and doesn’t take up all that much space on my table; well, certainly not two separate chargers worth. And the USB pin on my BB is spared the extra wear and tear. And honestly, I think BBs are the best handsets. Once you get comfortable with a Blackberry, you will never switch to any other device.

And in other news, so far this year’s been a year of excesses. Excessive heat till a month ago and now excessive rains. I guess its the end of the Mayan calendar with 2012 and nature is trying to bring in the next two millennia with a bang. The kids have had almost five extra days of holidays because of the rains. Our street floods almost on a daily basis and normal life is thrown up in exasperation. The newspapers report that this year the rains have crossed the last seven years of rainfall statistics.

In some ways this is good news. Bhopal is totally depended on its lakes for our water supply and the only way the lakes continue to supply this water is through a sufficient rainfall during the monsoons. Most years the amount of rain water is not enough for Bhopal’s burgeoning population and inevitably we have to face austerity measures of limited water supply during the summer months just before the monsoons when the water levels are at their lowest. Ironically, those are the times we need water the most. This year its been enough rainfall for us to not worry about water scarcity at least till the next monsoons. Good for us.

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