Setting up a homemade charging station

At Insight Timer we’ve just ordered a whole bunch of refurbished second hand android phones from Green Gadgets Australia for testing our Android app. We managed to get 9 devices for under $2K and it also gave as a pretty good manufacturer spread from Samsung to Google. This blog is how I went about building a home made charging station for these phones.

First, finding and ordering the phones


look – shiny, the makings of a mobile device farm

Keeping all of these phones charged

The two tablets came in large boxes. I decided I wanted to convert one of those boxes into a charging station. All of the phones had bits of foam that were used to hold the phones in place. I cut up these pieces of foam and hot glued them into the box. I used the left over phone boxes to store extra cables.

However, I forgot to counter for actually plugging the USB’s into something. Next on the order list was a bunch of USB charging stations, extra cables and cable ties. All ordered via MWave.

Charging Station 2nd iteration 

After the USB charging stations, cables and 2 more phones from a Chinese supplier turned up I got to work on organising cables. We now have an Xaomi and a Lenovo in our device list.


I even have all of the cable types segregated, so there’s spaces to charge some of the test iPhones we have floating around too.


I’m quite pleased with our spread of devices and the budget of this set up. These devices aren’t exactly the highest end phones today but it’s a good thing our developers love to have the latest and greatest tech toys so they already have the high end covered. I might add one or two more phones that represent tiny screens. Have you built your own device farm before? How’d you keep all of the phones charged?


  1. we did have our own farm, about the same size as yours. We had some issues keeping them charged, and I was going to ask you how did you keep them charged.

    Basically connecting the USB hubs to the computer and powering them thru the computer is not enough for most of the new devices now they need more juice. So basically we went to buy self powered USB hubs, they are more expensive but it will be the only way to keep the phones charged. And most of them have just a few ports that do so. So for example a HUB with 7 ports usually have 2 2.1A ports and the rest of them are 1.5A which would not be enough to keep them charged. So you need to buy USB hubs with enough self powered ports.

    1. I haven’t bothered with needing to be connected to a computer part yet. The USB charging docs I’m using all have 2 amp slots so atleast they all get that fast charging action. Being able to put these devices to good use will be the next step.

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