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Batteries, an Altoids tin and an iPod

Is it really possible to build an iPod recharger with a couple of standard AA batteries and an Altoids gum tin? This post gives step-by-step instructions to assemble what it says is a "very powerful USB charger for your MP3 player, camera, cell phone, and any other gadget you can plug into a USB port to charge." And if you have more spare tins lying around, you can try your hand at some other homemade gadgets.