6 Useful DC Cell phone Charger Circuits Explained. 12v battery to 5v

Useful DC Cell phone Charger Circuits Explained

A DC cell phone or mobile phone charger is a device which charges a cellphone from an available DC supply source. The device converts the unregulated DC source into a constant current and constant voltage output which becomes safe for any mobile phone charging.

In this article we learn how to build DC to DC cell phone charger circuits using 6 unique concepts. The first concept concept uses the IC 7805, the second concept works with a single BJT, the third idea uses a IC M2575, in the fourth method we try LM338 IC, the 5th circuit shows how to charge multiple mobiles from a single source while the last or the 6th technique shows us how to use PWM for implementing an effective charging of a mobile phone.


A simple DC cell phone charger circuit is one of those mates of cell phone that cannot be ignored because a cell phone would be dead without a charger.

Normally a DC cell phone charger circuit come as an integral part of a cell phone package and we use it in conjunction with our AC mains supply.

But what happens if your cell phone gasps for power in the middle of a journey, probably when you are driving or biking away on a middle of a highway?

How it Functions

A very simple yet reasonably effective DC to DC cell phone charger circuit is discussed in this article, which can be easily built at home even by a layman.

Though the proposed charger circuit won’t charge your cell phone at the rate equal to a normal AC to DC charger, nevertheless it will complete the function without fail and won’t betray you for sure.

The proposed DC cellphone charger circuit can be understood with the following points:

We all know the general specs of a cell phone battery, it’s around 3.7 volts and 800 mAH.

It means the cell phone would require at around 4.5 volts for initiating the charging process.

However a Li-Ion battery which is employed inside cell phones are pretty sensitive to bad voltages and may just blow off causing serious life and property issues.

Keeping this in mind the cell phone internal circuitry is specifically dimensioned very strictly.

The parameters just won’t permit any voltage which may be even slightly out of the range of the battery specifications.

The use of the versatile IC 7805 in the circuit answers the above issue just perfectly, such that the charging voltage at its output becomes ideally suitable for charging the cell phone battery.

A high wattage resistor connected at the output of the IC makes sure that the current to the cell phone stays well within the specified range, though this might have not been a problem anyway, the cell phone would just refuse to charge if the resistor was not included.

Pictorial Diagram

You can use this DC cellphone charger circuit for charging you cell phone during emergencies when there’s no mains AC outlets, the circuit may be powered from any 12 volt lead acid battery or similar DC power source

Parts List

R1 = 5 Ohm, 2 Watt, C1, C2 = 10uF/ 25V, D1 = 1N4007, IC1 = 7805, mounted on a heatsink, Battery, any 12 volt automobile battery

Using LM123/LM323

In the above concept a 7805 IC is used for charging, which can deliver a maximum of 1 amp. This current may not sufficient enough for charging Smart phones, or cellphones with bigger mAH rating in the range of 4000 mAh. Since these high current batteries may require current up to 3 amps for charging at reasonably fast rate.

A 7805 might be completely useless for such applications.

However, the IC LM123 is one candidate which can fulfill the above requirement, by providing a precision 5 V output with a good 3 amp current. The input can be from any 12 V source such a car/motorcycle battery, or a solar panel. The simple 3 amp mobile phone charger diagram can be seen below:

As can be seen above the 3 amp charger circuit requires no external components for implementing the procedures, and yet is extremely precise with its output voltage and current regulation, and is virtually nondestructive due to it many internal protection features.

2) DC Cell phone Charger using a Single Transistor

The next design explains a DC cell phone charger using a single BJT is probably the simplest in its forms and may be built very cheaply and used for charging any standard cell phone from a DC 12 volts external source.

Circuit Operation

The circuit diagram illustrates a rather straightforward design incorporating very few components for implementing the proposed cell phone charging actions.

Here the main active part is an ordinary power transistor which has been configured with another active part, the zenet diode for forming a nice little DC to DC cell phone charger circuit.

The resistor is the only passive component other than the above couple of active parts which has been associated in the circuit.

useful, cell, phone, charger, circuits, explained

So just three component is to be used and a full fledged cell phone charger circuit is ready within minutes.

The resistor acts as the biasing component for the transistor and also acts as the starter for the transistor.

The zener has been included to inhibit the transistor from conducting more than the specified voltage determined by the zener voltage.

Though, a cell phone ideally requires just 4 volts for initiating the charging process, here the zener voltage and subsequently the output voltage has been fixed at 9V, because the current releasing ability of this circuit is not very efficient and presumably the power should be dropping to the required 4v level once the cell phone is connected at the output.

However the current may be decreased or increased by suitably increasing or decreasing the value of the resistor respectively.

If the cell phone refuses to get charged, the resistor value nay be increased a bit or a different higher value may be tried for making the cell phone respond positively.

Kindly note that the circuit was designed by me based on assumptions only and the circuit has not been tested or confirmed practically.

) Using 1-A Simple Step-Down Switching Voltage Regulator

If you are not satisfied with a linear regulator charger, then you can opt for this 1 A simple step-down switching voltage regulator based DC cell phone charger circuit which works with a switched buck converter principle which enables circuit to charge a cell phone with great efficiency.

How it Works

In one of my previous posts we learned about the versatile voltage regulator IC LM2575 from TEXAS INSTRUMENTS.

As can be seen, the diagram hardly utilizes any external components for making the circuit functional.

A couple of capacitors a schottky diode and an inductor of all that is needed to make this DC to DC cell phone charger circuit.

The output generates an accurate 5 volts which becomes very much suitable for charging a cell phone.

The input voltage has a wide range, right from 7V to 60V, any level ma be applied which results the required 5 volts at the output.

The inductor is introduced specifically for obtaining a pulsed output at around 52 kHz.

Half of the energy from the inductor is used back for charging the cell phone ensuring that the IC remains switched only for half the charging cycle period.

This keeps the IC cool and keeps it effectively in working even without using a heatsink.

This ensures power saving as well as efficient functioning of the entire unit for the intended application.

The input may be derived from any DC source like an automobile battery.

Courtesy and Original Circuit: ti.com/lit/ds/symlink/lm2575.pdf

) DC Double Cellphone Charger

A recent request from one of my followers Mr. Raja Gilse (via email), prompted me to design a DC double cellphone charger circuit that is able to facilitate charging of many cell phones simultaneously, let’s learn how to make the circuit.

I have already explained regarding a couple of DC to DC cellphone charging circuits, however all these are designed for charging a single cell phone. For charging more than one cell phone from an external DC source like an automobile battery, requires an elaborate circuit.

Technical Specifications

Dear sir. Please tell me that what alterations should i do, to charge two mobiles at a time from your 12V BATTERY OPERATED CELL PHONE CHARGER CIRCUIT.(from bright hub) I am using the circuit from last 8 months, it’s fine. Please post that article in your new blog also.

Dear sir, i tried so many time to post this comment in your blog in the simple dc to dc cell phone charger circuit but in vain. Please answer here~ Sir, i used another 10 ohm 2 watt resistor in parallel with the existing one, as i don’t have the higher watt resistor. It’s working fine. Thank you very much, i have one doubt, earlier, in bright hub in the same article you told to use 10 ohm resistor, but here it is 5 ohm which is suitable ?

I have another question out of this article; please guide me could I use three 1N4007 silicon diode instead of one 1N5408 silicon diode? My aim is to allow 3A current in only one direction. But i don’t have diode of 3A i.e. 1N5408. As 1N4007 is of 1 amps capacity could use three 1N4007 in parallel and like wise for 5A five 1N4007 in parallel, because i have number of 1N4007

Solving the Circuit Request

Hi Rajagilse,Use the following DC double cellphone charger circuit given below:

As you increase the limiting resistor value, the charging becomes slower, therefore a 5 Ohm resistor would charge the cell phone faster than a 10 Ohm, and so on. I’ll check the problem with the commenting in my blog. however other Комментарии и мнения владельцев are coming normally as usual! Let’s see. Thanks and Regards.

Parts List

  • R1 = 0.1 Ohms 2 watt,
  • R2 = 2 Ohms 2 Watt
  • R3 = 3 Ohms 1 watt
  • C1 = 100uF/25V
  • C2 = 0.1 discT1 = BD140 D1 = 1N5408
  • IC1 = 7805
useful, cell, phone, charger, circuits, explained

PCB Design

The circuit of the double DC cell phone charger was successfully tried and built by Mr. Ajay Dussa over a home designed PCB, the following images of the PCB layout and the prototype were sent by Mr. Ajay.

5) LM338 Based Cell Phone Charger Circuit

The following circuit can be used for charging as many as 5 cell phones at a time. The circuit employs the versatile IC LM338 for producing the required power. The input is selected to be a 6V but can be as high as 24V. A single cell phone can also be charged from this circuit. The circuit was requested by Mr. Ram.

Multiple Cellphone Charger Circuit using IC 7805

Any desired number of cellphones can be charged by using IC 7805 in parallel as shown the following figure. Since the ICs are all mounted on the same heatsink the heat among them is uniformly shared ensuring a uniform charging across all the connected multiple cellphone devices.

Here 5 ICs are used for charging by medium sized cellphones, more number of ICs could added to accommodate more number of cellphones in the charging array.

) Using PWM For Charging Cellphone Battery

This circuit can be easily made at home by any school kid and used for displaying in his science fair exhibition. The circuit is a simple cell phone charger that may be operated in conjunction with any DC source, from a car or a motorcycle battery or from any ordinary 12 V AC DC adapter.

Nowadays we find most of the vehicles have their in built cell phone battery charger units which surely becomes very handy for travelers who mostly remain outdoors travelling in their vehicle.

The proposed cell phone charger circuit is as good as the conventional chargers which come fitted inside the cars and bikes.

over the circuit can be simply integrated to ones own vehicle if the feature is not originally available in the vehicle.

Alternatively one may think of manufacturing the present unit and selling them in the market as an automobile cell phone charger and earn some hard bucks.

Circuit Operation

Cell phones as we all know are highly sophisticated gadgets by nature and when it comes to charging cell phones the parameters no doubt also needs to be of very high standards.

The AC/DC cell phone chargers which come with the cell phones are all SMPS based and are extremely good with their outputs and that’s why the cell phone gets so efficiently charged by them.

However if we try to make our own version, it may fail altogether and the cell phones may just not respond to the current and display a “not charging” on the screen.

Cell phone battery cannot just be charged by supplying DC 4 volts, unless the current is optimally dimensioned the charging won’t initiate.

PWM vs Linear

Using voltage regulator IC for making a DC to DC charger, which I have discussed in one of my earlier article is a good approach, but the IC tends to become too hot while charging the cell phone battery and therefore requires adequate heatsinking for remaining cool and operative.

useful, cell, phone, charger, circuits, explained

This makes the unit a bit bulkier and moreover some significant amount of power is wasted in the form of heat, so the design cannot be considered very efficient.

The present PWM controlled DC to DC cell phone charger circuit is outstanding in its respect because, the involvement of PWM pulses helps to keep the output very suitable to the cell phone circuitry and also the concept involves no heating of the output device, making the entire circuit truly efficient.

Looking at the circuit we find that again the work horse IC 555 comes to our rescue and performs the important function of generating the required PWM pulses.

The input to the circuit is supplied through some standard DC source, ideally from an automobile battery.

The voltage powers the IC which instantly starts generating the PWM pulses and feeds it to the components connected at its output pin #3.

At the output the power transistor is used for switching the DC voltage at its collector directly to the cell phone.

However only the average DC voltage is finally fed to the cell phone due to the presence of the 10uF capacitor, which effectively filters the pulsating current and provides a stable, standard 4 volts to the cell phone.

After the circuit is built, the given pot will need to be optimized perfectly so that a well dimensioned voltage is produced at the output which may be ideally suited for charging the cell phone.

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Connecting batteries in series

There are two ways to wire batteries together, parallel and series. The illustrations below show how these set wiring variations can produce different voltage and amp hour outputs.

In the graphics we’ve used sealed lead acid batteries but the concepts of how units are connected is true of all battery types.

This article deals with issues surrounding wiring in series (i.e. increasing voltage). For more information on wiring in parallel see Connecting batteries in parallel or our article on building battery banks.

Connecting in series increases voltage only

The basic concept when connecting in series is that you add the voltages of the batteries together, but the amp hour capacity remains the same. As in the diagram above, two 6 volt 4.5 ah batteries wired in series are capable of providing 12 volts (6 volts 6 volts) and 4.5 amp hours.

This is where most tutorials end, but what happens if you wire batteries of different voltages and amp hour capacities together? Most people simply answer by telling you “Don’t do it!” … but why not?

Connecting batteries of different voltages in series

In theory, a 6 volt 5 Ah battery and a 12 volt 5 Ah battery connected in series will give a supply of 18 volts (6 volts 12 volts) and 5 Ah. A 6 volt battery is often three 2 volt cells and a 12 volt battery is usually six 2 volt cells. Therefore, all you have done is connected nine 2 volt cells together to get 18 volts … so what’s the problem?

The reality is that no 6 volt battery is exactly 6 volts and no 12 volt battery is exactly 12 volts. Individual cell voltages differ, even with batteries of the same brand and manufacturer. A 6 volt battery might have a cell voltage of 2.2 volts and a 12 volt battery might have a cell voltage of 2.1 volts. This can however be fairly easy to read with a volt meter if one was to check.

Matching amp hour ratings is much more difficult. The 6 volt battery might really be a 5.2 Ah, while the 12 volt battery might be 5.5 Ah. Amp hour ratings are also much harder to test without accurately discharging both units at the same rate under the same conditions and accurately measuring the results.

You also need to check with the manufacturer on how they arrived at their amp hour rating, because different manufacturers use different methods – not all 5 Ah batteries are 5 Ah in the way you might think. Some manufacturers will claim their battery is 5 Ah using the “20 hour rating”, while others will say their battery is 5 Ah using the “100 hour rating”. For more on this subject see Which deep cycle ah battery.

Furthermore, these ratings and behaviors can be different depending on the structure of the battery. A flooded lead acid battery may have different discharge and recharge patterns compared to a sealed lead acid battery.

What do these issues mean in practice?

The first practical outcome is that the amp hour capacity will be the lowest of the batteries connected together. In the example above, this would be the 5.2 Ah battery. Not a disaster if you were only expecting 5 Ah, at least not a problem right away. If you were to connect a device to the battery bank it is capable of powering (say a 0.5 amp bulb) then it would work.

The real problems arise during discharging and recharging cycles (if the batteries are rechargeable).


During discharge the weaker battery will run flat first. As batteries discharge, their voltage drops. When this voltage drops in a device below a certain point, the auto cut-off may engage, switching off the item or causing it to refuse to operate. Its one reason why the ignition lights in a car might turn on, but the starter motor wants nothing to do with you.

These built in cut-off points are there because batteries have a shorter life if they are run completely flat each time. In fact, if you look closely at some manufacturers who claim their battery will last for thousands of cycles, they clearly state something along the lines of “when discharged to 80% State of Charge”.

In our example, we are powering an 18 volt device, which may have a cut off at 16 volts. Our smaller 6 volt battery as it drains might drop to 5 volts, but the 12 volt battery (which is actually in this example 12.6 volts) still has enough charge. Meaning the total voltage being supplied is 17.6 volts (5 volts 12.6 volts).

The 6 volt battery should be disconnected by now, but the circuit is being kept alive by the larger 12 volt unit as the smaller battery continues to drain, moving far below its design capabilities.

This is not an immediate disaster for disposable batteries, but for rechargeable batteries you will dramatically shorten the life of the battery as well as its ability to recharge.

Disposable battery issues

When the weaker battery is almost completely drained, the stronger battery will attempt to recharge it in order to keep the circuit alive.

Attempting to recharge disposable batteries can lead to a build up of hot gases internally, which can cause the case to crack and leak. In extreme cases, it could catch fire or explode.

Reverse Polarity

When some rechargeable battery types (the emphasis on some) have been completely drained, there is no chemical difference between the negative and positive plates. In our example, the 6 volt battery would hit this point first, but the 12 volt battery is keeping the circuit alive and would start attempting to recharge the smaller battery.

By forcing current through the dead battery in this way, it can reverse the terminals of the weaker battery – positive becomes negative and negative becomes positive. Now, in effect, we have the 6 volt battery positive terminal connected to the 12 volt battery’s positive terminal. Not good.

In most circumstances, both batteries would be almost completely dead by this point. Their ability to explode dramatically would be low, but you might see leaks caused by hot gases venting as this person found inside a child’s toy or as witnessed by batteries connected in series in this clock.

However the bigger the difference between the two batteries, the more potential for a dramatic event!


Assuming nothing has exploded, but the 12 volt battery eventually dropped in voltage to a point where the device cut off the supply, you are left with a fairly flat 12 volt battery and a very flat 6 volt battery. Time to recharge.

As the batteries charge, their voltages rise again and this time the smaller battery charges faster. Most chargers, like various equipment, have a cut off point. In our example, if both batteries were fully charged, they would actually give off 19.2 volts (12.6 volts 6.6 volts) but our charger wants to cut off at 18 volts (or a little over).

The smaller battery will get to 6.6 volts faster, but because the overall circuit has not hit 18 volts, the 6 volt battery will then start overcharging and possibly result in internal damage. To get to the chargers cut off point, the larger battery only needs to achieve 11.4 volts.

The result is an overcharged 6 volt battery and an undercharged 12 volt battery. Undercharging on a regularly basis also causes internal issues such as sulfation.


In short, connecting batteries of different voltages in series will work, but damage will be done to both batteries during the discharge and recharge cycles. The more one is damaged, the more the other one will be damaged and both will need replacing long before needed.

The greater the difference between the batteries capabilities, the faster this damage will occur.

Even if you could get both a 6 volt and a 12 volt battery with exactly the same cell voltage, a problem would arise due to the small difference in the amp hour capacity, a rating very difficult to measure. This would shorten the life of the smaller battery through the over-discharging and over-recharging described and shorten the life of the larger battery through under-charging.

Connecting batteries of different amp hour ratings in series

In theory a 6 volt 3 Ah battery and a 6 volt 5 Ah battery connected in series would give a supply of 12 volts 3 Ah (the capacity of the weaker battery always restricts the circuit) and if you did so it would work and nothing would explode (to start with).

But, as covered above, 6 volt 3 Ah batteries are not exactly 6 volts and 6 volt 5 Ah batteries are not exactly 6 volts. Using different batteries increases the chance of this voltage mismatch. The result is exactly the same, therefore as connecting batteries of different voltage in series (see above). However, if it were possible to find two batteries or cells that both had identical voltages, what would happen then?


The voltage of batteries drops as they are discharged. Most battery operated devices are designed to recognize this drop in voltage and stop operating. So, a 6 volt device may stop working when the battery supply drops to 5 volts. This fail safe is designed to stop excessive discharge of the battery which would shorten its life.

In our example, the smaller 3 Ah battery will drain faster (it’s just simply a smaller batter) and its voltage will then drop. However, the larger 5 Ah battery will still be maintaining its voltage, allowing the overall circuit voltage to be enough for the device to continue drawing current.

The result is that the 3Ah battery will discharge far below the point it is designed to withstand. If it runs completely flat, reverse polarity (see above) is possible.


The smaller 3 Ah battery would recharge faster and recover its 6 volts. However, the 5 Ah battery would not be fully charged by this point and the charger, seeing 12 volts has not yet been achieved, would continue to charge the circuit. The result is overcharging of the 3 Ah unit causing it further damage.

Connecting batteries of different voltages and amp hour ratings in series

As covered in the section Connecting batteries of different voltages in series above, the greater the differences in either voltage or amp hour rating, the more the discharging and recharging is unbalanced and the more damage you do to the batteries through over-discharging and over-charging the weaker ones and under-charging the stronger ones.

Small differences can lead to reverse polarity that causes leaks or bulges. Very large differences can result in explosions. This is why the short answer to connecting differently rated batteries in series is “Don’t”.

The age factor of batteries

When connecting batteries in series, the general advice is to use batteries of the same ratings and the same make and model in order to minimize differences in exact voltage and amperage. Note, we say ‘minimize’, because even batteries coming off the same production line can vary slightly in these measurements.

Another factor is battery age.

The older batteries get, both in terms of time since they were manufactured and in how many times they have been discharged and charged, the more this affects their real voltage and amp hour capacity. This means that if you have two batteries in series of the same voltage and amp hour capacity that you have been using for a while, but replace one with a new unit, what you have in reality is one battery with a higher voltage and amperage (the new battery) than the other older battery.

The result is that the older unit will incur greater damage through over-discharge and over-charge, while the newer one will be damaged by under-charging.

In the case of disposable batteries, the older battery might split and leak when it runs completely flat and the newer unit tries to recharge it.

Best practice when connecting batteries in series

As discussed in this article, the closer the voltages and amp hour capacities of the various batteries wired together match, the less damage they will do to each other. Age also plays a part in these ratings and this is why it is usually recommended that you:

  • Only use batteries of the same voltage and amp hour capacity from the same manufacturer and brand
  • Replace all the batteries at the same time
  • Replace all the batteries with ‘new’ ones (the same batch number or use by date)

Not following these rules does not mean that your batteries in parallel won’t work, just that it will cost more in the long run as the batteries will need to be replaced more frequently. There is also an outside risk of explosion if you have to many batteries of varying volts and amps or to big a variance from one battery to the other.

When you can mix different rated batteries in series

While the answer to connecting batteries with different ratings is usually “Don’t”, it should really be “Don’t without balancing circuitry”. Balancing circuitry monitors individual batteries or cells to ensure that the entire circuit shuts down when the voltage of the weakest cell or battery falls to a certain point. Balancing circuitry also assures that each battery or cell is fully recharged.

DC-DC 9V/12V/24V to 5V USB Step Down Power Module 2A

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This is USB Output 9V/12V/24V to 5V 3A DC-DC Car Charging Voltage- Stabilizer Module. It can be directly installed on 9V/12V/24V vehicle battery to charge the mobile tablet or any other gadget which need 5V DC supply up to 3A. RoboticsBD

The module has the variable input voltage range ranging from 6V to 24V. USB output provides the Stabilized 5V DC output at the channel simultaneously.

Caution Note:

  • The input voltage should not exceed 24V, otherwise, the chip will be damaged. RoboticsBD
  • Input positive and negative poles cannot be reversed, otherwise, the chip will be damaged.
  • Do not touch the resistance, capacitance and IC foot of the circuit board with your hands when working on power, otherwise, due to body static charge, it may cause a sudden change of output voltage to damage the equipment. RoboticsBD


  • Input voltage range: 6-26V.
  • Output voltage: 5.2V (consider the charge line loss, the output is 5.2V or so, the load side is about 5V).
  • Output current: 3A (in the absence of a heat sink device, the stable output current is 2A).
  • 1 output Port can charge 1 devices simultaneously. RoboticsBD
  • Buck Voltage Stabilization provides Stable voltage and protects the device from any voltage surge damage
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General Specification
Input Supply voltage (V) 6 ~ 24
Output voltage (V) 5
Output Current (A) 3
Length (mm) 15.5
Width (mm) 17.5
Height (mm) 9
Weight (gm) 7
Shipment Weight 0.005 kg
Shipment Dimensions 4 × 3 × 2 cm

Package Includes:

1 x DC-DC 9V/12V/24V to 5V USB Step Down Power Module 2A

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The latest price of DC-DC 9V/12V/24V to 5V USB Step Down Power Module 2A in Bangladesh is BDT 400 You can buy the DC-DC 9V/12V/24V to 5V USB Step Down Power Module 2A at best price from our RoboticsBD or visit RoboticsBD.

Please note that the product information provided on our website may not be entirely accurate as it is collected from various sources on the web. While we strive to provide the most up-to-date information possible, we cannot guarantee its accuracy. We recommend that you always read the product labels, warnings, and directions before using any product

Product Images are shown for illustrative purposes only and may differ from the actual product.


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