Portable Power Supply


Here’s a little project that I put
together for fun. It’s a very basic portable power supply. Which is good for
charging your phone, computer, or media devices on the go. If you’re somewhere
that doesn’t have an electrical power source. Picnics and camping come to mind. You can tailor your power box for specific needs and requirements, but
here’s a basic parts list that I used for mine. A battery box. I specifically
picked this type because it’s adjustable for different sized batteries, and easily leaves space for extra wires needed for this project. A battery. I picked this one up
cheap, but if you’re going to be using your power box frequently, I’d suggest a
deep-cycle battery so you don’t wear your battery out too quickly. A solar
power connector. You only need this if you’ll be charging your device using
solar power, or you like the option to be able to do so. Electric battery charger.
The one I selected is really for maintaining the charge of a battery in
storage. It wouldn’t hurt to pick up something a bit stronger, but I picked
this up pretty cheap and I thought I’d give it a try. 12-volt combo USB port
cigarette lighter. Blue LED voltmeter. Off and on power switch. This is so your
power isn’t running down your battery constantly. Mine will be set up so that all my devices can all be switched off while the battery is charging. Ring terminals.
inline fuse holder. To prevent any potential damage to your battery from a
possible power overload. Fuses. 14 gauge black and red electrical wire. 14 gauge
is generally acceptable for the basic devices that will be wired to the
battery. Push in wire connectors. I picked these
up because of their ease of use. For the project you can basically daisy chain
everything together quite easily without making too much of a mess. And it’s easy
to go back and move something around later on, if you decide to add or change
something. I used two and three port connectors for the white female
disconnects I use these for connecting the wiring to the ports and power switch.
The tools I used are pretty basic. I used a wire stripper, some pliers with
wire cutters, and needle nose pliers. You don’t really need the needlenose pliers
though. I used a drill with Spade bits for drilling holes in the battery box.
Here’s a basic schematic of how I’ll be wiring the portable power box. To simplify
things I’ll be piecing it together before hooking up the ports, switch, and
battery. This way I won’t have to reach around in the battery box and wire
things. Wiring it this way is a bit less restrictive, movement wise. Beginning the
actual construction, I started out by measuring placement, and using the plate
that came with the port attachments as a template. I then drew X’s in the center
of each circle to more easily line up the Spade drill bits. After drilling each
of the holes I switched over to the wiring process. I started out the process
by cutting ten four-inch pieces of red coated wire to be used for the positive
connections between chargers, power switch, and ports. Then using, the wire strippers I scrape
the ends off of both sides of each wire. You want to make sure to twist the wires
on each end to make the wires easier to thread into the female disconnects, as
well as the push in wire connectors. Then I just follow the wiring chart and
placed female disconnects in position where each of the ports and power switch
would be connected later. The female disconnects slide easily over the wires.
And then you can connect them by pressing them firmly into place with the
pliers. These are the ring terminals I used for connecting the battery. I
connected this end to a 12 inch piece of black wire, to be used for connecting the
negative side of the battery to the negative connections on the charger,
power switch and ports. As long as you keep the negative wires black, and
connect them only to the negative connectors on the attachments, and wire
them directly to the negative side of the battery, it’s all relatively simple.
And you don’t run the risk of burning anything out. I wired the electric and
solar chargers directly into the push in wire connectors, making sure that the
negative side of the Chargers was connected to the negative side of the
wiring and the positive to the positive. So I connected the ring terminal
directly to the inline fuse holder, and wired it directly to the battery. So if
anything goes wrong in any of the wiring process, the fuse will blow and prevent
any problems or overloads. The fuse I selected was a 30 amp fuse. While the
battery I’m using is rated for 275 amps so if anything were wired wrong the fuse
would blow long before there was any real danger of damaging the battery.
You’ll notice I repeated the exact same process as before cutting several black
wires at approximately 4 inches in length to be used for the negative
connection wires. The reason I daisy-chained all of the wiring before
attaching anything to the charging unit, was to make the construction easier. It
was a simpler process to follow the wiring schematic and complete everything
externally, because it gave me a lot more room to piece everything together, rather
than doing it all in the cramped space inside the battery box. That left me with
only attaching the female disconnects in tighter quarters, and since all the
wiring is clearly marked as negative and positive, it made the process of
attaching everything together a really simple process. For the next step, I
popped in all of the attachments to be wired. I put them in order of my own
preference, and left the bracket that I used as a template out. Simply because I
found the look of the power box more aesthetically pleasing without it. The
power switch easily pops into place. For the other attachments, I flipped the
battery box on its side and tightened the ring holders in place for each of the
ports. Following the wire schematic, I attached each of the positive female
disconnects to the boards and the power switch in the order shown. And then did
likewise with the negative connections. I used the battery spacer to tuck all
the wires away from the battery. Dropped the battery into place. And tucked the solar
and electrical charger cords in. The ring terminals are bolted to the battery with
a washer, so that the small bolts I used don’t slip out. The power box lit right
up with the flip of a switch. So I’m confident that I wired everything
correctly. The voltmeter shows the voltage, and the USB ports light right up.
I add another to test the cigarette lighter. Everything works good. Here’s the
finished result, with the lid in place. I decided to test the USB charger on my
phone, and it works great. Hope you enjoyed the tutorial. Thanks for watching.
And do great things!

60 thoughts on “Portable Power Supply

  1. You can use the wire stripper to also crimp the connectors – rather than the pliers. There are positions for 10 to 12, 14 to 16 and 22 and smaller gauge crimps. They are typically colored dots which correspond to the colors of the insulation on the crimps; Yellow, Red and Blue. You'll get a better crimp that way.

  2. Very well produced and good information, especially on the daisy-chain wiring of the various I/O ports.

  3. I think you did a good job, overall. I do take exception to one item, however. 14 Gauge wire is way too light for most things you might want to run. 12 Gauge is the SMALLEST I use in ANY DC project! And I would use a heavier switch as well.

  4. This is very well done. Excellently explain with your graphics. I would like to build a more powerful one with a Inverter that would power a refrigerator and /or micro wave. I have power outages and this will help and its so safe and gas free. How would you add an inverter and how many batteries would you need to have the power I need to power the frig/micro wave.

  5. Only thing I can see is to replace the 30 amp fuse down to a 20 amp fuse for 14 ga wire remember you size the fuse to protect the wires from burning and to crimp the connections instead of mashing them with pliers. A proper mechanical crimp won't loosen up if it heats. And if you decide to add any bigger loads just add a proper fuse at the battery and wire it direct but for the lighter loads your doing mashing them will get you by. Nice setup.

  6. what have you been up to dude? Great Things I hope! You are one of the few channels I check periodically for updates manually so I hope you are well

  7. Great Vid.
    If I had an AGM 100-130amp battery in this pack, would I be able to run a 60L fridge for a few days? Would the other components (wires, fuses) hold up?

  8. The beginning of the vid is too dramatic for building a battery box but the content may be quite helpful. PS. There are quite a few of these vids on YT, yet none of them shows how to charge that battery and/or make it an auxiliary battery charged via the main car battery

  9. Thanks this was ALMOST exactly what I needed. You lost me on the hookup of the solar charge wiring and the On/off button wiring. Your video zoomed past these parts.

  10. Hi.  Do you sell these powerboxes.  I need 6 of them. I do not have time to build these myself. Obviously I will install the batteries myself.  Can you help.""?

  11. Excellent job! Thanks for being organized, concise, and focused on the "how to" rather than the finished product or trying to figure it out while you film. Many You Tubers could take a lesson from this….

  12. Hey great video Would you consider putting one together and selling it I’ll deal with buying a battery for it let me know if you decide and how much would you charge

  13. Awesome Job! I need to make me one of these or buy the Harbor Freight 5 in 1. Still on the fence. Can you tell me what it cost you over all to make? I was thinking of using a much smaller battery because of the weight. Maybe a motorcycle battery. THanks in advance,

  14. is it just me or you sound creepy 😛 you should do some voice over for a scary movie :D, Nice video though

  15. I just completed my power box! I modeled my power box after yours! You have a great design and I watched your a few dozen times to complete my power box! I added 400 Watt Inverter to my power box! Thanks, for sharing your idea and giving a guy like me a chance to do something cool for once!

  16. Great video. very well explained for someone like me who has no idea how to do these things. i will give it a try. thank you for posting.

  17. Walmart batteries are the worst batteries on the market. I have had problems out of every battery purchased there. 2 lawn mower batteries, 2 deep cycle and 1 auto. Now only Napa or Auto zone. Amazon for dry cells.
    30 amp fuse is to high for 14 guard wire. 15 amp is listed but 20 amp is used often

  18. Motionmagnetics – Conceptually it's a nice idea however the devil is always in the details. You state that the fuse will blow first and protect the battery. Fuses are supposed to protect systems and components not just batteries. One big fuse might protect the whole system, accent on might, but individual parts are unprotected. A fuse is supposed to be the weakest link in the system it fails before everything else. Your 30 amp fuse will allow the whole system to burn like Nero's Rome. Big wire and small fuses are safe. Small wire and big fuses are trouble waiting to happen. Protect your 12v out, the USB, and the voltmeter with individual fuses in addition to a master fuse.
    Wiring in series, particularly the ground, makes no sense. With the exception of the master switch and master fuse it would be far better run parallel. I know the 3 way connectors are easy to use, but easy is rarely ever the best way. Consider a master fuse and fused buss bars for your next build.
    I would use the solar connector as the common hook up for the solar and the AC charger as it's unrealistic to used both at the same time and I would wire it to the battery directly, not in system. The battery charger and solar charger if they are worth anything at all will have their own circuit protection. I don't know what sort of solar panel you have, but If it's anything over 5 watts a charge controller would be a good idea. The system can still be salvaged you just need to redo the wiring. Be sure the battery terminals are clean and sealed against oxidation.

  19. How do you make sure the battery remains charged by having the battery hooked up to outlet at all times?

  20. i kinda want to try and make one hahaha never did any thing like this but won't hurt to try tho

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