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Portable 12V notebook stand workstation for garage or shop

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I spend lots of time in the garage but waste lots of time going to the house for internet searches, parts lists, how-to instructions etc.  I needed a portable laptop stand that I could roll around next to my project of the day, but the battery in the old laptop I bought for this purpose is shot and I don't want to trip over power cords. I decided to adapt an old lawn tractor 12v battery. This provides long term cordless operation while, with a rolling cart, remains portable enough to go from garage to driveway, etc, for several hours without extension cords.
 
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Step 1: Tools and Materials

Picture of Tools and Materials
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Materials:

Notebook Computer - found a nice IBM Thinkpad online for $60 with a dead battery.
12V car adapter specific to your notebook - About $10 online.
12V battery - I had an old battery from my garden tractor.
12V battery tender/trickle charger - Already had this but these are $15-30 online.
12V power outlet or cigarette lighter.
Plastic box large enough for your battery, cables and at least a few inches taller. I used a plastic marine battery box, about $6 from W--mart. These are used in boats and RVs so batteries can be moved around. Plastic toolboxes, 5 gallon bucket, anything plastic and large enough can work.

Wire, terminals, electrical solder, battery post clamps (I used hose clamps), cable ties.


Tools needed

Wire cutter/stripper
Soldering Iron
Electrical Solder

Multi Meter

JerryBYong1 year ago
hmm so how long does this last? and what is the capacity of the 12v battery you are using
Royale with Cheese (author)  JerryBYong1 year ago
I was using a junk battery and was getting about 4 hours. With a good battery you should get much more.
MRedu2 years ago
The laptop looks a bit precarious sitting on top like that with nothing to stop it from falling off... Next addition? add something to hold the laptop securely :)
SirNoodlehe2 years ago
lol, I have the exact same IBM thinkpad with a dead battery!
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