I thought this might be helpful for others as I’m sure I can’t be the only person who needed to find an affordable method for offering a charging station where the charging cables can’t go missing. In a high school library, at a 1:1 ipad school, chargers are in HIGH demand, all the time. Pretty much every single day we’ll have many kids coming in and asking if we have chargers they can use. And so at first I just bought a bunch of chargers and would lend them out as needed. But while many, many kids do regularly remember to return their chargers, there are a lot who don’t remember, and that resulted in our supply of chargers going missing pretty quickly. Chargers are not inexpensive, so replacing them at that rate is not realistic and I also don’t really want to become the charger police, and have to try implementing fines or hunting down the chargers. No one has time for that and even more importantly its not a role I’m interested in taking, not a mantle I intend to put on.
So I needed to find some kind of permanent charging station situation, but one where the charging cables could not be removed because if they can just be removed I’d be in the same boat I was already in with them wandering off and getting lost. I started looking for a good charging station option but was struggling to find any affordable ones with non-removeable cables. I was finding either very expensive fancy stations, which I didn’t want to invest in, or I was finding inexpensive stations but which don’t have permanent cables. I mulled this conundrum for a bit and eventually came up with a great, cheap, and very easy DIY solution. Even if you’re very much not experienced with tools and such I do believe this minor DIY solution would be attainable for most people, but if not I’m confident you can find someone (like your local woodshop/tech-engineering teacher!) to help you.
How to DIY an affordable Charging Station With Secured Charging Cables
Supplies You’ll Need
- Charging Station
- Heavy Duty Crazy Glue or Liquid Nails
- Piece of wood/plywood that’s a few inches longer/wider than the charging station
- A long, thin, strong piece of wood or metal to hold the charging cables in place
Step #1: Buy Your Charging Station
The first step is to purchase your charging station. You can usually get these for between $25-$50, depending on how many charging ports you want. Buy one with a flat base (no little feet). Something similar in design to this one would be good. (link to this item on amazon)
Step #2 – Get a piece of wood
The next step is to get a small piece of wood (plywood works fine) to serve as a base for the station. The length/width of this piece of wood should be larger than the charging station itself, as you’ll need the station to sit comfortably on the wood while also still having several inches with which to secure the charging cables to the wood. You can see in the picture below that I opted to paint my piece of wood white to match the charging station. This is an aesthetics-only decision, you can skip that step if you want.
Step #3 – Super Glue the Station to the Wood
Next you’re going to permanently adhere the station to the piece of wood, using a really strong glue. I recommend using a super strong and heavy duty crazy glue or liquid nails (I used liquid nails and 4 years later its still super sturdy). You’re going to do a bunch of swirls of the glue along the bottom of the charging station and then place that on top of the piece of wood. Sit some heavy books or reams of paper on top for a night or so to give the glue time to set.
Step #4 – Secure the Charging Cables Down Against The Wood
The final step is to secure the charging cables down against the wood. You can do this by using a thin but strong piece of wood or plastic or metal. Even an old wooden ruler if you have a spare lying around. It doesn’t really matter what you use, as long as you are able to drill into it (or it has well placed holes as you can see my piece of metal does) that you can drill through. You’ll plug your charging cables into the station and then lay your piece of wood or metal over top, so that the cables are caught between the new wooden base plate and the upper wooden or metal security “bar.” Finally you can drill one screw on each side of the security bar so it is adhered to the wooden base, thus capturing the charging cables between them. You want to drill down far enough that there is not enough room between the security bar and the wooden base for the charging cables to slide between (so no one can remove them) but not so tightly down that the security bar is “suffocating” the charging cables or causing them to be tightly squashed.
Voila! You now have a charging station for your library or classroom from which the charging cables cannot be easily removed! The best part is that you can still remove them if you need to, as you’d only need to unscrew the security bar in order to do so. This is great because sometimes a charging cable will stop working and its nice to be able to easily swap it out for a new one as needed.
I hope this helps, its been a real help in our library and the kids really appreciate knowing they have a trusted source for charging, somewhere that charging cables will actually always be available when they need to charge up.
This is a great idea, thanks. Do you keep this behind your circulation desk, whereby you’re responsible for the students’ devices or is it out in the library? If in the library, I would assume the students a required to stay nearby when charging and can’t leave their device to charge while they’re in class, for fear of theft.
I keep it out in the library, its a “use at your own risk” situation BUT I do put it where our security camera can see it so that if a kid ever has a theft situation the school can review the footage to track it down if need be. It hasnt really been an issue, we have more kids forget their device on it than we have kids stealing each others stuff lol