USB Adapter

USB/Power Adapter Hack

The little D1 Mini controllers I use, and other gadgets like Raspberry Pis, run on USB-style adapters. You can get various sizes and shapes of these “wall worts” dirt-cheap, and probably have a bunch in a junk drawer somewhere.

So- what do you do when you want to use them in, say, a waterproof junction box? In my case- I use D1 Minis with a relay hat to to power displays and other things on and off. I need these in some kind of a waterproof enclosure so they can live outside, and I don’t want to have to feed separate 5v power to them, which isn’t efficient.

I’ve seen some people tear these little wall adapters apart and solder in their own leads. I think this just makes them more unsafe than what I do, which is this:

A plain-ordinary spade terminals will connect to two-prong plugs on cheap power adapters. They don’t work for “polarized” plugs, but most of these adapters don’t use them. It helps to use a flat-blade screwdriver to open the terminal up a little bit, but not too much- you still want a solid connection.

Spade Terminal Power
Okay, this looks incredibly unsafe!

This is actually electrically better than the tiny clips you will find in some manufactured plugs, but obviously isn’t very safe as-is. We need to employ the electrical hackers secret weapon- heat shrink tubing…

Spad Terminal Power
Heat Shrink Tubing will fixe it!

All better now! Now we have USB power that can be incorporated into an enclosure. In this case, I’m using a 4″x4″x2″ sealed junction box, which you can find at almost any home center or online. This is one of those relay controllers I mentioned earlier…

DMX e1.31 Relay Box

I’ll post more information about these builds later, with more pictures, of course.

Relay Box