Have you ever found your hoverboard dead without the charger in sight? Maybe you lost the charger, it broke, or you bought a used hoverboard that didn’t come with one. Whatever the reason, not having the right charger for your hoverboard can be frustrating. But don’t worry – you can actually charge a hoverboard without the official charger in a pinch.
In this detailed guide, you’ll learn multiple ways to safely charge your hoverboard using common household items. We’ll cover everything from using a laptop charger to rolling the hoverboard back and forth. Keep reading to find the best no-charger charging method for your situation.
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Understanding Hoverboard Charging Requirements
Before attempting to charge your hoverboard without the proper charger, it helps to understand the device’s charging requirements and battery components.
Most hoverboards have a 36V lithium-ion battery pack consisting of individual 3.7V cells connected in series. The total voltage needed to fully charge the battery is around 42V.
The original hoverboard charger is designed to deliver the proper 42V DC current to safely charge the battery without risk of overheating or short circuit. Chargers have an output rating showing the voltage (V) and current (A) they supply.
For example, a 42V 2A charger provides 42 volts at a 2 amp current, which is the optimal rating for most stock hoverboard batteries. Lower voltage chargers can technically work, but won’t fully charge the battery and take longer.
Hoverboard batteries also have built-in protection against overcharging and excessive current draw. Using the wrong charger can bypass these protections and damage the battery over time due to overheating or delivering current inconsistently.
That’s why it’s important to match your replacement charger’s voltage and current to the original as closely as possible.
Why Properly Charging Your Hoverboard Matters
Before jumping into unusual charging solutions, let’s review why it’s important to charge your hoverboard properly in the first place.
Hoverboards run on powerful lithium-ion batteries. If you don’t charge the batteries correctly, it can lead to overheating, short circuits, and in rare cases, fires. It’s essential to use the right charger and fully charge your hoverboard regularly to preserve battery life and prevent safety hazards.
While the makeshift charging methods below will work, they should only be used in a pinch. For long-term use, we recommend replacing your hoverboard’s charger with an identical model approved by the manufacturer. Using the right charger is the safest way to get a full charge without damaging the battery.
How to Charge a Hoverboard Without a Charger?
The first step is to determine which side of your hoverboard houses the battery and charging port. Place the hoverboard on the floor and try rolling it back and forth gently. The heavier side with the battery will resist moving.
The charging port is located on the battery side, usually in the middle or towards the front. Identify the port before attempting any of these charging methods.
While the included charger is ideal, there are other ways to safely charge your hoverboard in a pinch:
Method 1: Use a Laptop Charger (Most Common)
The most popular way to charge a hoverboard without its original charger is to use a laptop charger or power adapter. This method only works for some hoverboard models but is worth trying if you have a spare laptop charger handy.
Look for a laptop charger with a voltage between 15V and 24V and a current between 2A and 5A. Matching the voltage is the most important – hoverboard batteries are normally 36V, so a charger with around half that voltage may generate enough charge to power the hoverboard for a short ride.
Plug your laptop charger into the wall and hoverboard charging port. If it’s compatible, the low battery indicator light on your hoverboard should turn red. Leave it charging for a few hours and check the light occasionally – if it turns green, success! You’ve charged it without the official charger.
Be careful using this method and don’t leave the hoverboard unattended. Only use a compatible laptop charger for a few hours at a time to avoid overheating. The lower voltage means charging will take longer but prevents damage.
Method 2: Buy a Replacement Charger
Instead of gambling with a laptop charger, you can purchase an affordable replacement hoverboard charger online. Replacement chargers cost $10-$50 depending on the model.
Match the voltage (V), current (A), and connector type of your original adapter to find a compatible replacement charger for your hoverboard. Only buy from reputable sellers and read reviews to ensure the charger’s safety and charging performance.
Buying the right replacement charger is the safest way to charge your hoverboard without the original. It will charge the battery fully without the risk of overheating or short circuits.
Method 3: Roll the Hoverboard Back and Forth
Believe it or not, you may be able to generate enough charge to power a quick hoverboard ride by repeatedly rolling the unit back and forth. This “kinetic charging” method relies on small amounts of energy being created through the motion of the hoverboard’s internal components.
To try it, turn on your hoverboard and start gently rolling it back and forth, alternating directions every few feet. The battery indicator light may blink, indicating some charging is happening. Keep slowly rolling back and forth for 30-60 minutes.
Then, try turning the hoverboard on and riding to see if it gained enough charge for a short trip. This unusual technique won’t fully charge the battery, but may buy you enough power to reach a charger in a pinch.
Method 4: Jump Start From a Car or Battery
With the right cables, you may be able to jump start a dead hoverboard battery using a car battery or external portable charger. This can provide enough emergency power to ride your hoverboard home or to a charging station.
Use heavy-duty jumper cables to connect the positive and negative terminals of the external battery source to the matching charging port pins on your hoverboard. Let it charge for 5-10 minutes before carefully removing the cables.
The hoverboard should now have enough juice for a quick ride. Remember this is risky and could damage the battery if done improperly – only jump start as an absolute last resort.
Method 5: Use a Power Bank
If you have a high-capacity USB power bank handy, you may be able to use it to charge your hoverboard in a pinch.
Look for a power bank with at least 10,000mAh capacity and a voltage output between 5V-9V. The amperage (A) should be at least 2A. Higher capacity is better to provide more charging power.
Use a USB cable to connect your power bank to the hoverboard’s charging port. Make sure to match the positive and negative pins properly. Keep the power bank fully charged and allow your hoverboard to charge for several hours this way, checking the indicator lights.
This gives you the flexibility to charge on-the-go if the power bank has enough juice. However, the lower voltage means it will take a long time to fully charge the hoverboard battery. Use this method as an emergency option only.
Method 6: Solar Charging
With the right solar panel setup, you can harness the power of the sun to slowly charge your hoverboard battery back up.
Look for a compatible 18V or higher solar panel charger with alligator clip adapters to attach to your hoverboard’s charging port pins. Position the solar panel in direct sunlight and connect the clips to the matching positive and negative charger contacts.
Over 6-8 hours in good sunlight, the solar panel will slowly provide enough of a trickle charge to revive your hoverboard battery a bit. Keep the panel aimed at the sun to maximize solar energy transfer.
This eco-friendly method is very slow but works in a pinch if you have sunlight and spare time. It may give you enough power to ride to a charging station in an emergency.
How do I know if hoverboard is charging?
To determine if a hoverboard is charging, you can usually check for a few indicators. Most hoverboards have a light on the charger that indicates when it’s plugged in and charging.
This light may turn green or red to show that the hoverboard is receiving power. Additionally, some hoverboards have a battery level indicator on the board itself, which can show the current battery level and whether it’s charging.
How long does it take for a hoverboard to fully charge?
The time it takes for a hoverboard to fully charge can vary depending on the model and the specific battery. On average, it takes about 2 to 4 hours for a hoverboard to reach a complete charge.
However, some higher-end models may have faster charging times, while older or lower-quality hoverboards may take longer. It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for charging times and avoid overcharging the battery, as this can lead to reduced battery life and potential safety hazards.
What do the different hoverboard charger lights mean?
Hoverboard chargers use indicator lights to display the status of the battery while charging. Here is what the different colors and behaviors mean:
- Solid Red Light – This means the battery is charging and is not yet fully charged. A solid red light will stay on while the initial charging process is underway.
- Blinking Red Light – A blinking red light normally indicates the battery is critically low and nearly out of power. It is trying to charge but there is barely any charge left in the battery.
- Solid Green Light – A solid green light means the hoverboard battery is fully charged. When it turns green, you know charging is complete and the battery is ready to use.
- Blinking Green Light – Some chargers blink green when first plugged in before turning solid green once fully charged. This shows charging has started and is in progress.
- Alternating Red/Green – If the light alternates between red and green, it typically means there is an issue with the connection or the battery is defective. Unplug and reconnect the charger.
So in summary, red indicates charging in progress, green means fully charged, and blinking lights mean the battery is nearly dead or there is a connection problem. Knowing light behaviors helps ensure proper charging.
Is it safe to charge a hoverboard overnight?
Charging a hoverboard overnight is generally not recommended as it can pose a safety risk. Lithium-ion batteries, which are commonly used in hoverboards, can overheat and potentially catch fire if overcharged.
It is important to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for charging and to never leave the hoverboard unattended while it is charging.
Overcharging can also degrade the battery, reducing its overall lifespan. To minimize the risk of fire or damage, it is best to charge the hoverboard during the day and unplug it once it is fully charged.
When to Consider Replacing Your Hoverboard Battery?
After prolonged use, all rechargeable batteries start to lose capacity and maximum range. If your hoverboard is having charging issues, it may be time for a new battery.
Signs you may need to replace the hoverboard battery:
- The battery won’t hold a charge and quickly loses power even when fully charged. This is the #1 indication the battery is worn out.
- Charging takes much longer than usual, or never fully completes. An old battery struggles to take on a full charge.
- There is noticeable swelling or bulging of the battery housing. This dangerous issue can occur as batteries deteriorate. Discontinue use immediately.
- You experience abrupt shutdowns, even with a charged battery. Worn out batteries may fail to provide consistent power output.
- The battery life drastically decreases. While batteries lose capacity over time, a significant reduction indicates the end of service life.
- You have to replace the charger frequently. If new chargers keep failing, the root issue is likely a defective battery.
- The hoverboard shows charging errors despite using the correct charger. Faulty batteries fail to charge properly.
If you notice any combination of the above issues, it’s safest and most cost-effective to replace the entire hoverboard battery. Search online or check with the manufacturer to find a compatible replacement battery for your particular model.