Why use a flashlight when you can use a powerful, heavy duty work lamp? Flashlights run out of juice, are under powered, are hard to position and roll away when placed on the floor. How many times have you had to fetch your flashlight from the bottom of your driveway?
This Instructable shows how to build a powerful, rechargeable work lamp. The base is solid and stable since it contains a sealed lead acid battery. Once you position it, this thing stays put. The lamp itself is a car fog lamp so it will illuminate your entire work area. It is brighter than the sun itself!
The work lamp is also packed with a few extra features. It includes a DC/AC Inverter so it can be used as a battery back up. It also has a relay circuit which turns on the lamp in the event of a power failure. Cool to have when the zombies take out the power grid.
This Instructable should be titled “Harbor Freight Hack” since most of the major components come from Harbor Freight. Harbor Freight is a great place to pick up a wide variety of inexpensive tools. http://www.harborfreight.com/ HF is a Maker’s paradise.
Ammo Box - Bunker Hill Security - Item#61451 - Harbor Freight - $6
400 Watt DC/AC Power Inverter Cen-Tech - Item#66814 - Harbor Freight - $30
Automatic Battery Float Charger Cen-Tech - Item#42292 - Harbor Freight - $10
Enercell 12V/5Ah Sealed Lead-Acid Battery - Catalog #: 23-945 - Radio Shack - $30
Genssi LED Off Road Light 4X4 Work Light Waterproof 27W 12V 6000K (60 Deg Flood) - Amazon - $25
DC Power Jack - Catalog #: 274-1583 – Radio Shack - $3.99
DC Power Plug - Catalog #: 274-1573 – Radio Shack - $3.99 (2-Pack)
4 1N4001 diodes – Catalog #: 276-1101 - Radio Shack - $1.49
7812 Voltage Regulator - Catalog #: 276-1771 – Radio Shack - $1.99
100uF Electrolytic Capacitor – Catalog #: 272-1028 - Radio Shack - $1.49
Inline Fuse Holder - Catalog #: 270-1281 – Radio Shack - $3.49
Car Accessory Cigarette Jack – junk box
SPDT Relay - Zettler AZ942-1CT-12DE 16A 250VAC – junk box
SPST Mini Switch – junk box
Female USB connector from old PC backplane card slot – junk box
Nylon web strap with buckle – junk box
PWB Perf Board – junk box
Scrap strips of aluminum sheet
Scrap sheet plastic
Metal Brake Bender
Atomic Powered Ruler
First, disassemble the DC/AC power inverter. There are four screws on each end cap. Note how all the wiring is connected. Cut the wires to the AC receptacles and remove them from the enclosure. There are tabs that hold them in place. Desolder the leads from the receptacle.
Remove the fan and extend the leads about 6 inches. You can add an optional header to the board and a pin connector to make reassembly easier. Save the four mounting screws and fan guard since you'll be using them.
Desolder the USB connector from the subassembly board which holds the power switch. Extend it by soldering a USB cable connector. These USB connectors can be found on the back of old PCs. They occupy a card slot. These style connectors are great because they have integrated mounting tabs. Mounting a raw USB connector to a panel is difficult.