Bill Porter is a civilian Department of Defense employee who faced “seemingly endless 3 day weekends” due to the furlough, so he worked on a project: He had some nice batteries lying around and had suffered some power outages, so he decided to make a battery backup in the spirit of Minecraft’s BatBox power packs.
Bill added a 110VAC inverter, a 12V regulator, and some 18V batteries to a cool OpenBeam enclosure. The resulting power supply provides 5V USB power, 12VDC, and 110VAC for around 2 hours.
I really liked how Bill used OpenBeam, which is an open-source aluminum t-slot system that made a splash in 2012 with a successful Kickstarter campaign. Bill got some beams as part of his funder’s reward, and supplemented it with a starter set from Adafruit. The beams come in pre-set lengths, meaning that you have to cut them down in order to make them the right size. Bill followed a tutorial showing how to use a 3D-printed aluminum cutting jig and a hacksaw to custom-size the beams. [via DangPro]