In my Project, I was wondering if I can use the 3.5mm jack (4 pin) to transfer data and as power supply to my small circuit?

So I'm just asking if it's possible? and if yes, can someone tell me how to connect a a 3.5mm audio jack from smartphone for power and send/read data



It is possible to get a very small amount of power from phone audio jack. You need to set up a bridge rectifier to turn the AC audio signal into a DC voltage, then use that voltage to charge a capacitor that will in turn power your circuit.

Total amount of power you can distil from the audio output depends on a lot of factors like...

  1. What voltage you need
  2. Are you willing to add the complexity of a buck/boot converter to your design
  3. What device is driving the audio (for example, some phones have lower maximum output levels than others)
  4. What signal are you going to send out the audio (are you going to be able to generate a sine wave, or are you stuck with the Daft Punk the person happens to be playing?)
  5. Are you willing to add circuitry to rectify both sides of the stereo signal?

A good estimate is that you should be able to pull on the order of about a milliamp. Just enough to maybe power an MCU that is mostly sleeping and an LCD display, or rarely blink an LED or make a sound.


It is possible to do bidirectional data transfer over an phone audio jack. Probably the simplest way is to send tones in each direction.

If you add more about what you are trying to do, I can give more specific details.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Do you have an idea of the voltage and amperage you can get like this? \$\endgroup\$
    – user17592
    Mar 2 '15 at 15:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ @CamilStaps: There is a question on this site about a boost?buck? converter running from phone jack. I think a good search word was harvesting. \$\endgroup\$
    – PlasmaHH
    Mar 2 '15 at 15:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ Updated answer with ball-park estimate of single digit milliamps. \$\endgroup\$
    – bigjosh
    Mar 2 '15 at 15:14

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