Craft & Design Technology
Supercharged – homemade charger box

Boxside
Lisa writes in with one way to solve a lot of cord clutter –

“I made my own charging center for all my electronic gadgets (phone, PDA, iPod, Nintendo DS, etc.)–it’s a box with a power strip inside, and holes for the ends of the various proprietary cords to poke out. It’s really nice-looking, too (if I do say so myself). It was an easy project that has made a huge difference in my life and the appearance of my living room, and I’m surprised I haven’t seen more people doing the same thing!”Link.

Fans, ventilation holes and dust cleaning (as one of makers suggested) might avoid some problems with a homemade box-solution like this.

At this point if any of our devices can be charged via USB (5V, most can) the manufactures could all agree to support that and cut down on a lot of “wall wart” power supplies and/or make it a bit more universal… but the inductive charging folks probably like the cordy mess at the moment.

Related:

  • Multi-Outlet extension cords – Link.
  • DIY Multi-outlet extension cords – Link.
  • Make a homemade Power Squid – Link.

14 thoughts on “Supercharged – homemade charger box

  1. There are two reasons why nobody should do this:

    All power supplies produce heat. Placing them into a small, closed container creates a warm “micro climate” and increased heat increases the possibility for failure.

    If a power supply fails and starts burning, the container provides a delay before the smoke reaches fire alarms.

    So this is not a very good idea. If you really think this needs to be done you should add proper ventilation holes to the container and then clean regularly all the dust that gathers inside the box.

  2. I’m thinking those five giant holes that the plug ends stick out of probably provide a fair amount of ventilation, certainly more than my laptop does. And I’m thinking that the whole point of a lid might be to keep dust from actually gathering inside of the box, since there’s no fan to create a vacuumm and suck it in. I’m also thinking a lot of people don’t have air conditioning and if a warm microclimate increases the possibility of failure then a lot of people already have to deal with that. FYI, a similar project was suggested a couple of months ago in Better Homes and Gardens.

  3. Its not really an issue with something like a 5V 500mA smps supply, which produces very little heat.

    However if we are talking about say a 70W laptop brick, or huge transformer based supply, it will get a little warmer.

  4. Unless the power strip is connected to an outlet that can be turned off I think this is not the best idea. The reason I hook up my chargers to a strip is so that I can easily turn it off. All of those inverters waste huge amounts of energy, even when nothing is plugged in to them. It would be cool to see a switch on the outside of the box, so it doesn’t have to be opened all the time, if you make another version.

  5. Yes, the chargers waste energy even when not in use. Yes the power strip should be turned off when not in use.

    But the point of these is convenience and looks. And on those points I think it’s a great idea!

  6. I just wonder why some company hasn’t come up with an all in one charger or charging base with those ends to accomidate space and usage. This is a great idea and that’s a good looking box. I like it.

    I just wish I had all those Gadgets to worry about how to charge them. :)

  7. I just wonder why some company hasn’t come up with an all in one charger or charging base with those ends to accomidate space and usage. This is a great idea and that’s a good looking box. I like it.

    I just wish I had all those Gadgets to worry about how to charge them. :)

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