Building a BatBox: a DIY Battery Backup


Makezine_COTM_October-PowerSupplyBill 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]

2 thoughts on “Building a BatBox: a DIY Battery Backup

  1. Seems like a cool project but I can’t get over the fact that taxpayers paid him to make that.

    Furloughed workers were paid for their “time off” regardless of whether or not they worked on furlough days.

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My interests include writing, electronics, RPGs, scifi, hackers & hackerspaces, 3D printing, building sets & toys. @johnbaichtal

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