Lego 8× 16 baseplate brick part #4204
You can find most of these parts at online Lego
stores on bricklink.com. Better yet, dig through
your Lego bins and adapt the design to suit what
you’ve got on hand.
Small flathead screwdriver
Dremel tool with small drill and burr bits
for countersinking wood screws
then covering the splice with heat-shrink tubing.
This worked great, but wasn’t very elegant. I wanted
to leave these Lego dongles on my gadgets all the
time, even when they were in my pockets, so getting
the wire length down to a minimum was important.
The splice wasn’t helping that.
Looking more closely at the Lego 9V motor
wire brick, I noticed 4 pressure tabs on its ends.
I grabbed a small screwdriver and pried the bottom
off the brick. Inside, the insulated wire pair was
pierced onto 2 sharp metal posts. The wire was held
in place by the pressure between a small ridge of
plastic and the recently pried-off bottom. Excellent.
136 Make: Volume 12
Fig. A: Pry off the back panel of the Lego 9V motor
wire bricks using a small screwdriver. Discard or save
the wire, as you won’t need it for this project.
I’d now be able to cut all of my charger wires in
half, and simply crimp a Lego motor wire brick
onto each end.
For my key chain, I ripped off the original Lego
design. I drilled a small hole into a 2× 4 brick and
then screwed a small screw eye into it. My apologies
to Lego purists for all the drilling, but hey, Lego
did it first!
The whole system was cheap and easy to build,
works great, and keeps my devices organized and
charged. I’ve gotten so used to it that I’ve installed
an unwired counterpart key rack at my office.
1. Splice the gadget chargers with
Lego brick connectors.
1a. Pry off the bottoms of both bricks of a Lego
9V motor wire for each gadget you plan to adapt.
Remove the black Lego wire; you won’t be using
it (Figure A).
1b. Plug in your charger, and test the plug with a
multimeter to determine voltage and ground. For
example, my Nokia phone charger has a negative
exterior and a positive interior. Make a note of this,
so you can double-check your work later before
plugging the device in.
1c. For devices that carry data as well as power
over their cables, such as iPods, you might need
to consult an online wiring diagram to determine
which pins carry voltage and ground.
1d. Unplug the charger, then snip the charger wire
¾" from the device-end plug. Carefully remove ½"
of the outer tubing to expose the insulated inner