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UPS Hack! Hide your..

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Hide your important computer files in plain sight!
You kids, your wife, not even that pesky burglar will know it's there.

This instructable will show you how to turn the dead UPS Power Backup into a discreet external hard drive for under $20.00!

Watch the video for the overview:


 
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Step 1: Supplies

The supplies you'll need:

- Broken UPS with USB port
The one I used had a standard type B plug, but you can also use the type that have an RJ45 instead.

It doesn't have to be broken, but there usually isn't enough room inside for the battery plus the hard drive and USB converter PCB.

- Used laptop hard drive
Don't use one that is too large, as the single USB port may not be able to supply enough power.

I found a 20GB drive on Craig's list for about $10

- USB 2.0 Enclosure for 2.5" Laptop Hard Drive
I found one made by MSI at Micro Center for $9.99.

- Soldering Iron, OHM meter, screw driver, wire cutters, etc...

Step 2: Open the UPS

OpenUPS2.jpg
OpenUPS1.jpg
OpenUPS3.jpg
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Open the UPS, remove the battery, and disassemble the PCB inside.

WARNING: there could potentially be residual voltage inside.

The UPS I used had 6 screws holding it together, and another two holding the PCB in place.

Most of the wires to the transformer and other circuit boards had easy to remove plugs as well.

When you get the PCB loose, flip it over to get at the USB port solder connections.

Step 3: Trace the USB connections.

In order to solder the correct USB wires to the bottom of the USB port, we first have to figure out which one goes where.

You'll need an OHM meter with a continuity check, or some other type of light bulb continuity checker.

First, plug in the USB cable that came with the UPS. Use the OHM meter to determine which solder pad on the bottom of the PCB goes to which pin inside the other end of the USB cable.

In the case, the wires were 4-3-2-1, from left to right, looking at the end of the cable.
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srilyk5 years ago
The only problem I'd have is that "pesky theves" tend to steal the UPS as well :P It would work better to put something like... inside your wall.
"The only problem I'd have is that "pesky theves" tend to steal the UPS as well :P It would work better to put something like... inside your wall." you know, thats not a bad idea!! rig up something like a usb-rj11 deal and wire a usb drive into the back of a phone jack plate, or something similar, nobody would be the wiser except the phone repairman when your wife-girlfriend-mistress-significant other calls about the phone jack not working ;)
Just get one of those two port/two line phone jacks, or the network/phone jacks. Actually it shouldn't be too hard afaik the pinout on a USB is four wires, and some phone jacks have the four wires (the cheaper ones just have two).
kenn123 srilyk5 years ago
Been thinking of similar thing.. Hidden USB HD are easily accomplished these days with a Solid state drive (heating problems...i think not) ...rough idea... Place SSD inside a small container attached to standard electrical faceplate, you can get a USB to SATA cable online these days for less than $10US
ssd drives are hotter than normal drives in many situations...
shmuki kenn1235 years ago
kenn123 shmuki5 years ago
I like it
Phvxoui srilyk5 years ago
you knwow hat would be good make it with a Phone cable and the end that goes in the comp (usb) leave that as the phone jack and you can get those cheap phone jack things from !$ store add a USB cable to that and you know use that as a converter... so only you will have access to it if you know hat i mean i know i didnt explain it in a very good way hmmmm this calls for a instructable!!!! lol maybe my first?.. gotta get permission to make a big hole in the wall LOL maybe just put a random phone on top of your comp and hide the HDD in that no is gonan steal a crappy phone
There is an instructable that hides a usb drive in a wall phone jack box. http://www.instructables.com/id/Hidden-USB-Storage/
Actually theres a instructable on here somewhere that shows how you can use a Ethernet port/cable with USB or a Phone like as a USB very simple i think ab about to cut a hole in my wall and Install a Ethernet port! lol Sweet!!! !Peace from teh Middle East!
srilyk Phvxoui5 years ago
Yeah, that's because USB == 4 wires, Ethernet == 8 wires, phone == 4 wires. I don't know about Ethernet, but phone pushes 9v I think. Maybe 12 - I can't remember and can't be bothered to look it up so early in the morning.

YEah, it would be rather simple!
dog digger3 years ago
Be careful. The transformer could mess up the hard drive
runningduo3 years ago
Now i know where to look in someones house for there hard drive
ChrisInVT4 years ago
I don't think having a hard drive in the same enclosure as a 120v transformer, wiring and electronics is a good idea. Very creative though.
nice idea...but it's kind of time wasting...you can do this much easy by putting a little USB hub after that built-in UPS's USB B and then connect the hard drive to that usb hub ;)...i don't know if you get the picture... sorry for my bad language ;) i'm from romania ;) have a good time ;)
Cool Stuff guy. But wouldnt people be curious why you have a dead UPS on the floor by the computer lol. Other wise pretty clever
yeah, it would almost make someone want to do your drugs
One.4 years ago
very imporntant data
Great idea. Albeit, I think like a thief and, in the midst of moving around computer things to unhook cables, I would notice a UPS that was 10-20lbs too light and that would tip me off.  I would add some weight to offset the missing battery.

Check out this instructable too http://www.instructables.com/id/Hidden_USB_Storage/
Wesley6664 years ago
Also the transformer (not sure about yours) but mine can be plugged into the wall and it puts out about 30 amps. I am trying to make an automated solder fed solderng iron, so sort of like a mini MIG welder. Not sure if it will work, I know the soldering parts work but I wonder if it would fry components.
Wesley6664 years ago
When you said, "your wife won't know" I thought to myself, this guys using this to store his massive porn collection probably.
17hmr2434 years ago
couldn't u place micro sd in tiny zip bag u us guys call them dime bags ? and hide it layer of a zipo that works then it mite be stolen but who strip searches a zipo except me:)
lol thats a good thing to do with a external drive fill it with pics of the great vanessa hudgens
kdude634 years ago
Great! Now I have a secret place for all my por... erm, secret files.
Kwitmeh35 years ago
heh hide your po inportantpictures
DIYDragon5 years ago
That's be pretty cool to install something like that in the wall behind your computer.. mostly just because it'd be out of the way, and not because of needing to hide it! : D
lucek5 years ago
what would be cool is if you used a hidden wireless usb hub. . . . I just thought of the absolute best hiding spot. get an old crt monitor, gut it. install a usb monitor at the front (use bondo to make it look right, and bingo you have a 3 to 4 sq ft hiding space that no one in there right mind would steal.
PeaceRabit5 years ago
smart perv.
frosty14336 years ago
"...what this hack is good for? imagine if you will, you've downloaded some po... important pictures..." ROFL!!!
perv!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
whats so perv?
You don't understand what he meant?
Yeah I agree with a few people here - that if you were burgaled then they would probably take a UPS over a USB drive. The value these days is like $10 for a 4GB USB key, but a UPS is like $50 worth. Also, if the UPS did work, you could just unsolder the wires behind the USB socket inside, wire in a cheap USB Hub from ebay, and plug in your USB Drive AND wire the UPS. Voila!
corky8426 years ago
That's pretty cool. Instead of a hard drive, how about putting a USB flash drive in there? It wouldn't require an adapter, and there would probably be enough room to leave the UPS functional.
NK5 (author)  corky8426 years ago
That's a great idea. The problem is the current flash drives aren't very big and are still much more expensive per gigabyte than a 2.5" hard drive. That's changing quickly, though!
NK5 (author)  NK55 years ago
SHEESH - Almost a year later and a 32GB Flash USB Stick is only $69 at Micro Center. 16GB is $39. Seems like another Instructable is in order. Although, a USB Hard Drive's MTBF should be much higher than a USB Flash Drive.
=SMART=5 years ago
Youve downloaded some por....important pictures... Hahahaha Nice ible 5*
Derin6 years ago
mine lights the fault led when i remove the battery
CUT THE WIRE!!!
NEVAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
im gonna revive the battery at least
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