As the old proverb goes, necessity is the mother of invention. When we need something bad enough, humans will figure out a way to make it happen. Case in point, this clever hack for charging your cell phone that’s making the rounds on TikTok.
Always Listen To Grandma
During a power outage in Texas earlier this year, a young man needed to charge his cell phone. Luckily, his grandmother had him covered. He documented what happened next and shared the video on social media.
Grandma showed the boy that all he needed was his charging cord, a nine-volt battery, a car charger (the kind that you plug into what used to be called the cigarette lighter in your car), and the spring from a pen.
In the clip, grandma says to plug one end of the cord into the power-hungry cell phone and the other end into the car charger. Then, take the pen spring and put it on the negative side of the 9-volt battery. As grandma explains, the negative side is the “fat side.”
Next, take the car charger and put it on the round, smaller positive side of the battery. Once you touch everything together—the car charger, the spring, and the 9-volt—and hold it in place, your phone will start to charge.
Does This Really Work?
Yes, this hack really does work. But don’t plan on seeing your phone battery at 100 percent anytime soon. The exact time it will take to charge your phone will depend on how much juice is in the 9-volt, as well as how charged your phone is. You might see an increase of five percent over five minutes. But it could go much slower.
If your hands get tired of trying to hold everything together, we suggest grabbing some duct tape and using it to bind all the pieces together. Another thing to remember is you can use a scrap of aluminum foil to bridge gaps between your parts if you are having trouble keeping everything in place.
A typical 9-volt battery has 500 milli-Ampere hours (mAh), which is just a fancy science way of saying that it’s a lot smaller than your iPhone or Android battery. An iPhone SE battery has 1,624 mAh, so it would take four 9-volts to fully charge that phone, and who knows how many hours.
A Samsung Galaxy S9 has a battery with 3,000 mAh, so you would need six 9-volts to charge it fully.
Obviously, this isn’t a long-term solution. But if you need to send out some texts or make a call during a power outage and your phone needs juice, this awesome hack will definitely do the trick.