Many photographers have built Vagabond style portable power systems to use with their strobes. This is an attempt to incorporate several design ideas and safety features. The power box can also be used with laptops or other delicate electronic equipment.
Metal tool box (18'x8'x9' or larger)
300 watt Samlex pure sine wave inverter (Frys.com $130)
(I have been told that Samlex's new 300 watt inverter with usb will not work with a power box. Based on Samlex's new design, a 600 watt inverter is needed to run just one 300 watt strobe. There must be other pure sine inverter alternatives out there, that people can recommend)
Scooter/wheelchair battery 26AH-35AH ($40-$100)
40 amp Square D Breaker QO (single pole AC/DC breaker $14 electrical supply store)
8 AWG Braided Electrical Cable (SOOW 8GA $12)
Bolts and lock washers
(2) Brass washers
(2) 2 1/2' and 3' angle brackets
Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) and Box Housing ($16+$5 Home Depot)
Old scrap extension cord with plug
Large nail or spike
Flat piece of hard plastic
Copper ground wire stripped from an electrical cable
SAFETY: Disconnect the battery when working on the circuit. Wear gloves when handling the battery.
Step 1: Angle Brackets
Use a metal tool box to house the power supply. It will serve as the common ground for all the components. The box should be tall enough so that when closed, the lid doesn't touch the battery terminals. Place the battery as close to the centre as possible for even weight distribution. Do not use a car battery for this project as it quickly will become damaged from being repeatedly discharged.
Mark and drill holes for the angle brackets. Remove the paint from under the left 3" bracket. This bracket will attach to the ground spike. 2 1/2 " brackets were used on one side because the box was not wide enough for 3 inch.
Mark and drill holes for the inverter and the inverter ground bolt. Remove any paint from around the holes so there is a good electrical contact.