This simple and extremely helpful device will help you get connected with low power consumption devices after a natural disaster, blackout, or if you want to go somewhere off the grid, such as camping. You can even add a small solar panel to trickle charge the battery.
Step 1: Materials and Tools
The materials you need for this awesome build are :
- Deep Cycle Battery (measured in amp hours)
- Inverter (in my case, it's a pure sine wave(the kind of power the grid provides))
- Charge Controller
- AC Recipticle and Cover Plate
- DC Power Jack
- A few Switches
- End Cut Off of Extension Cord
- Outdoor Outlet Cover (needs the metal box to the right of it)
- Volt Meter (not needed and mine broke during the build)
- Momentary Switch for Volt Meter (you don't want that thing to drain your battery)
- 12v USB Adapter (if your inverter doesn't have one)
Step 2: Fit the Battery in the Box
The battery size and capacity is up to you but just make sure you can fit the battery in the box you buy. (Make sure you take measurements into the store, I ended up having to return one that would not fit my battery.) Even better still, you can design and create your own box out of wood, or if you're feeling extremely ambicious, you can 3D print one!
Step 3: Ports and Switches and Meters, Oh My!
The next step is to figure out where all of those pesky connections and switches will fit to your liking. Here I have them laid out in the design I want to create. I have drawn, in pencil, where I want to drill holes. I finally drilled the holes and fitted the components. Also, sorry I forgot to take a picture of me cutting the hole for the outlet but a Dremel "buzzed" through that task easily.
Step 4: It's electric! Boogie, Woogie.
This part can get a little tricky, but if you have any experience in electronic circuits, this will be a breeze. Turn your multimeter on continunity mode (the setting that makes your device beep when the two leads are touched together). put one lead on one side of the extension cord and match that up with the correct hole on the plug connector. Remember which one was which and then screw the wire onto the AC receptacle. Follow the same step for the other connection. Make ABSOLUTELY POSITIVE that you have the correct wires in the correct place or you may risk damaging our electronics. I have included a schematic of all of the connections for your convenience.
Step 5: Test it Out!
With any luck, you should have power! If you don't, make sure everything is connected correctly and the switch on the inverter itself is on. I had a ton of fun making this project and I hope you guys make it as well. Good luck and if you have any questions, feel free to put them in the comments.