Step 8: Wiring

The wiring is pretty simple.  The positive terminal of the battery is connected to the breaker, then to the switch.  The positive terminal of the inverter is connected to the switch and the negative terminal back to the negative battery terminal.

I later added (and you can see in a few pictures) a LED power indicator, and a 12 volt automotive outlet.

They also get wired between the switch and the negative terminal of the battery.

The automotive outlet is a cheap extension cable from walmart that I cut the male end off and wired in.  One like this.

The battery charger is permanently wired to the battery as well.  It has its own marked leads that are bolted to the terminals as well.

I whipped up a wiring diagram to help illustrate as well.
You all know that us an buy factory built versions of this don't you? booster packs and the like. just fit them with a deepcycle battery and you're rolling. there are even some with built-in inverters.
i have a booster pack that i use in my car to keep my phone charged.(security guard that sits in parking lots overnight with the engine off) it usually fully charges it several times before i bring it in my house to charge(has a plug on the back) it also is pretty light weight and doesn't take much room for when im watching netflix. and if necessary i can still jump my car.
The commercial products similar to this are not what i was looking for. One, they have small batteries, and fitting a larger battery in the existing case wasn't practical. Two, they have very small inverters. 100 or 200 watts-ish. Three, mine is built much better, and designed to handle a much higher load more safely.
I made something similar. Very fun, great learning experience.
I've done similar, using a hacked UPS in a ammo box, connecting larger than usual batteries to the 12V side of the UPS, and adding a 12V cooling fan to the inverter side. The key, is keeping the transistors for the inverter circuit, cooled. (and I know this, by having burned-up a 300-aH UPS. ) Most of the larger UPS's use a pair of 12V batteries, which kind of defeats the portability, so look to make sure it has a single 12V battery, and a place to connect a 12V fan to blow directly onto the transistor array.<br><br>One suggestion, adding a solar panel array to supliment the power pack during the daylight hours, and only use the battery short-term during the night. Also remember, inverters are inherently brutal on batteries. I've killed 3 full-size car batteries in under a year, subjecting them to just a simple 100-watt inverter. You can imagine what the 300-aH UPS's really do to them.
I agree,a 15 watt solar panel for around fifty bucks will keep that battery charged in the summer months,and I think you can get by without a charge control as long as you dont go over 15 watts.It is a nice little project though.
Lol. &quot;...DC is what comes from batteries (don't worry, it can kill you too)&quot;<br><br>I couldn't help but laugh.
yes, I was worried about not being killed by my 12v battery . . glad this has cleared things up :)
Where did you buy the battery?
I purchased the battery at a battery wholesaler / factory outlet. Those are probably the only places you would be able to find a factory second battery. Pick a brand of battery, and look for outlet stores on their website.
Wal-mart has some pretty decent deepcycle batteries availble. for reasonble prices too.
did you put the plugs on the outside of the box or do you have to have the lid open when you plug something in???<br>
The lid has to be open when you plug something in.<br> <br> Placing a GFCI plug on the exterior was originally in the plan, but I was worried about the heat buildup inside the box, especially when so close to the battery.&nbsp; So I ended up making a lid open during operation sort of setup.
Just install a high CFM PC case fan, thos are cheapon power useage, and chet to buy. the most exspensive one I've seen was about $5.
what if you add a small 12v computer fan i dont think .28 amps or so its too much to keep it cool? what do you think?
Yeah, 6 miliamps (mA) can kill you.
Actually 0.002 milliamps can stop a human heart, I learned that at MIT. During my first year of class.
I corrected my decimal places. I forgot a zero, and accidentally had 60mA. Thanks for pointing it out.
sorry if this pops up twice but that is highly improble the caceing wold be pritty screwd <br>A: the batery would stop working <br>B: the acid would boil and make the case burst and spit hot acid
actually 0.5 mA across the heart can kill a person.
really? ok thanks.
depends it could be 0.5 mA but a million volts that can kill you ac or dc
I read something about you using a fan, what you could do is cut mounting holes and slots in the top of the box to mount a fan, or maybe have externally mounted plugs for power and maybe an external retractable charging plug so the box almost never has to be opened.
how long do the back up power last <br>
That depend on the battery used and what its powering. Figure out how many amp hours (Ah) the battery is and how many amps are used to power your device. For example a 20 Ah battery can power a device that takes 1 amp for 20 hours. Its just division. Throwing the inverter in the mix might change that a bit, not sure. I've never used one.
You should put up an instructible on how perpetual motion/energy is impossible.
I heard that a car battery can get like 1000+ degrees
not sure that thats corect they usialy melt by then or burst and spray acid every whear
can i use a 25 amp switch
If you recall from the math section, 400 watts / 12 volts = ~33.3 amps. You can use the 25 amp switch if you want, but if you run the inverter at full load (which is easier than you think) you will melt your switch. Or worse, start a fire. So to be safe, you want at least a 40 amp (at 12v or greater) switch.
I will be useing a 200watt inverter
Then that's perfectly fine. ~16.6 amps is well under a 25 amp rating.
where do you get the 1/8 carriage bolts
Hardware store.
Do i have to have that charger thing
No, but this isn't much use without one. The whole idea of the project was to design a self contained power pack. You could use an 'external' charger, but if you forget to bring it and drain you battery, your done.
Very nice
Is it possible to plug the battery charger into the inverter while everything is turned on so that you don't have to recharge it from the grid?
Yes, it is possible, but impractical. What you are thinking of (if I'm following you correctly), is a form of perpetual energy, which is physically impossible.<br> <br> It goes like so.&nbsp; The battery powers the inverter.&nbsp; The inverter powers the battery charger. The battery charger charges the battery.&nbsp; Wash. Rinse. Repeat.<br> <br> However, things get hot.&nbsp; That energy has to come from somewhere.&nbsp; Specifically this energy comes from the inefficiencies in the inverter and charger.&nbsp; Inside the manual itself it has under the specs: &quot;Efficiency (full load, 12V).. &gt; 83%&quot;.<br> <br> That means that it looses 17% of its energy in the conversion between 12v and 120v alone.<br> <br> So to answer your question in short:&nbsp; Yes it is possible to plug it in, but it still has to be charged via other means (grid, vehicle, solar, renewable... etc.)<br>
Thanks for the answer. I am trying to build this for camping where thier is no electricity for miles and was wondering if i could plug it straight into the inverter or if i could use a second battery and a more powerful and efficient inverter so that while one battery is powering the inverter the other is charging. Wouldd that work instead of having just one battery?
You only have so much power no matter how you look at it. There is no way to pull energy out of nowhere. Once it is used powering something, it's gone.<br> <br> Your best bet, depending on how long you want to run, and how much power you need to draw, is to get many large batteries.&nbsp; The more batteries you have the larger your reserve is, and the longer you will last.<br>
thats a clean looking setup there.
Why thank you. That was my goal; something that I could load up, be rugged, and completely self contained.
Youve got a pretty basic idea here.. Is there anyway to make a hand crank for it instead of having to charge it on the grid power? If this hand crank was added this could be something that you could manufacture i would instanty buy one <br> <br>i built it it works great i just dont like the idea of having to &quot;Charge&quot; it <br> <br>Thanks anyways <br> <br>-CircuitBoy
A hand crank would work, it would just be impractical.<br> <br> Using this <a href="http://www.csgnetwork.com/batterychgcalc.html">charge calculator</a>, a 35000mAh battery charging at the 6000mA that my charger outputs should take 7 hrs (at 20% ~typical energy loss).<br> <br> Using a <a href="http://www.windstreampower.com/Human_Power_Generator.php">human power generator</a> and cranking by hand only produces 35watts ~typical.&nbsp; Thats ~3000mA.&nbsp; Running at that rate, it would take 14hrs to fully charge the battery.<br> <br> A hand crank is better suited for smaller scale power usage.<br> <br> <br> Also, you said that you built one yourself.&nbsp; I would love to see pictures of it.<br>
I will Attempt To i first have to buy a camera as my soildering iron fell into my lens whn i was testing infered LEDs
Well, I'm nearly done making mine. I had to put it inside of a small cooler, but instead of a wall charger, I used a solar panel and charge controller. All the electronics work fine and I'm charging it up now. Pics to follow once I put all the finishing touches on it.
The lid has to be open when you plug something in.<br><br>Placing a GFCI plug on the exterior was originally in the plan, but I was worried about the heat buildup inside the box, especially when so close to the battery.&nbsp; So I ended up making a lid open during operation sort of setup.
that makes sense i think if i am going to do this i will put in a bigger ammo box.<br>what size was your box?<br>
My box was a 40mm Long Low.<br> <br> I purchased it here <a href="http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct/?productnumber=262232">http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct/?productnumber=262232</a>

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Bio: Proud Eagle Scout & Engineer In Training.
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