DIY Portable Power Pack Keeps Your Toys Running

iPod? Camcorder? Notebook? Our Portable Power Pack will keep 'em running, plus we figure out if an AC Inverter or a DC/DC Converter is more efficient!

DC power wherever you go, whether it's for a notebook, camcorder, elevator party, or you need, say, to run your iPod for a loooooong time at the beach... or, say, if you need to keep your notebook powered. That's where the DIY Power Pack came from. (Oh... that replacing Patrick's ElectroVaya's PowerPad 160 would cost $370, on sale from $449 motivated this, too.)

Jonathan wrote in:

Could you possibly send me more detailed instructions on how to build the DIY power supply from Episode 1 of Tekzilla? I guess I would mostly just need a parts list to make sure I've got all the components before beginning construction.

Jonathan

For anybody that missed the DIY Power Pack in episode 1 of Tekzilla, it's a simple portable battery in a bag you can use to power anything that you can plug into a 12V power jack in a car (the plug formerly known as a cigar lighter receptacle)

Given that it's Summer, it's insanely hot for San Francisco, and we desperately want to get outside of the sweltering Revision3 Headquarters, we'd -love- to go in depth building (and testing... especially testing, preferably somewhere with AC or a breeze) the DIY Power Pack for you, Jonathan.

The primary parts are:

A 12V 12Ah sealed Lead Acid Battery, commonly called an 'alarm battery' at your local hardware store. We paid $40 for the one we picked up at Fry's.

and a 12VDC Car Power Accessory Outlet from RadioShack

Crimp onquick disconnects, heat shrink tubing and some kind of container... complete the project. For folks that were curious, our battery is packed into a Maxpedition bag we picked up from our favorite tactical gear and toy shop: TAD Gear. (Technically, there's no Anime there... but there is Rocket World for toys!) Got cash? Patrick's a huge fan of his (sadly deceased) ElectroVaya's PowerPad 160 The company has slick new designs for the PowerPad 95 & 130, which sell for $199 and $299, and weigh less than a third of our DIY setup!

Once we got the Power Pack settled, we went after a question from Chris, who's wondering if he can power is Alienware M7700 laptop directly from DC, or if he needs an AC inverter. The answer is yes, but we were surprised when we tested an DC/AC Inverter powering a regular 120V power supply vs. a DC/DC power supply!