How To: Make A Cellphone Charger Box

Organizing the chargers for your cellphone, PDA, Nintendo DS, etc. can be hugely annoying and expensive. Why expensive? When you leave chargers plugged into the wall, they’re still drawing electricity—even when your phone isn’t plugged in.

Oh, no! What to do? Instructables has a good solution: Use an IKEA storage box to house a power strip with all of your chargers plugged into it. The person who wrote the Instructable installed a switch on the outside of the box, but you don’t need to go to that extreme to make use of this idea. Just unplug the strip when you’re done, and all your electricity vampires will be out of business. —MEGHANN MARCO

Charger Box [Instructables]

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  1. bp_lv says:

    The whole electricity vampire thing is mostly a myth. I bought one of those Kill-a-watt meters and guess how much my phone charger uses when not charging…. 0 watts. Cable box pulls some wattage, but at the end of the month, it isn’t much.

  2. Bradley says:
  3. MeatFrappe says:

    Check out this article on electrical vampirology. It debunks most of the charger myths.

    http://www.inference.phy.cam.ac.uk/sustainable/charger/

  4. juri squared says:

    I love this from an organization standpoint. It’s a heck of a lot cheaper than this overpriced sucker.

  5. CaptainRoin says:

    @MeatFrappe: that’s pretty funny.

    One thing I’d be worried about with this Ikea box trick is depending on the number of chargers you have in there, it’s going to get hot pretty quick. Usually you don’t want to put a bunch of electronic equipment in a sealed box with no ventilation.

  6. The Walking Eye says:

    I’ve got an even cheaper way to do this.

    1. Buy the same box.
    2. Charge whatever you need to charge.
    3. Wrap cord neatly, put charger in box.
    4. Grab charger next time something needs charged from box.
    5. Repeat 2 – 5.

    I love to overengineer and tinker with stuff, so I would make the box described in the post.

  7. zolielo says:

    Just pull the breaker or if your place is not setup room by room use a gang strip that has a physical internal switch to physically sever the link.

  8. vampired says:

    This is a nice option for the money.

    http://www.lakeside.com/details.asp?I=PS7&Ntt=Power+Statio

  9. FLConsumer says:

    Bradley’s link has one problem:
    “But already we can make some interesting deductions. My measurements indicate that my phone chargers consume less than 0.5W when left plugged in. The total power consumption of the average Brit is 5000W.”

    5000 Watts per what?! Watts is a rate, not an amount. You’re billed in kilowatt/hr, not watts per nothing. Either the person who made the web page doesn’t know what they’re doing, or they made a typo.

    I just did my own experiment with a similar meter to what he’s using… Just the adapter plugged in, no device attached (unless noted in parens):

    Device / watts / volt-amps:
    —————————————–
    Motorola cell phone charger: 2w / 4va
    (with phone attached):
    Dell Inspiron-older ps: 1w / 3va
    Dell Latitude-C series ps: 3w / 4va
    Linksys PAP2 ps: 0w / 0va
    Uniden Tru9xxx phone base: 1w / 3va
    (Attached to base, w/phone in charger): 4w / 3va
    Linksys WRT54GS Router PS: 2w / 8va
    (attached to router): 9w / 13va
    Fellowes Shredder (idle): 0w / 1va
    BrightHouse cable-TV DVR (off): 21w / 46va
    (powered on..well, I tried, but the $#%$# thing’s showing “—-” on the screen again, so it’s not working and won’t power on again…beautiful) BrightHouse says to try turning it on “sometime later” to see if it works. In the meantime, I can’t watch anything but a black screen without it. Way to go Arseholes!

  10. FLConsumer says:

    Even better… whenever I try to call BrightHouse’s phone numbers, I get a busy signal, no matter which county office I call. Really smooth gang.

  11. 0x12is18 says:

    @FLConsumer:

    Actually, you are quite wrong. You are not billed for W/h. You are billed for Wh. There’s a big difference. A Watt is equal to one Joule per second, so it is indeed a rate. However, your assumption that a Watt by itself means nothing is wrong. Something that uses 50W is using 50 J/s. Multiply by seconds and you get the total number of Joules.

  12. asherchang says:

    I don’t get it…. what happens to the electricity that chargers supposedly drain when not in use?

  13. shiznannigan says:

    @asherchang: I’m guessing it’s lost to the heat the the transformer produces.


    But this box seems counter-intuitive. Not only is there the heat build up issue, but instead of just plugging in a charger when you want to use it, you’re effectively plugging in a lot of chargers, just to use one.