Instructables

USB power Fan cooled, built in USB Hub, Laptop Bag Part 1

Picture of USB power Fan cooled, built in USB Hub, Laptop Bag Part 1
Laptop Bags are expensive. the cheap ones are total crap. The barely decent ones start at like $69.99 and I have a hard time spending that kinda money when it isn't exactly what I want in the first place, so I decided to do it myself and see what I could come up with. This is what happened.

This is part one of 2. I took a bunch of pics and I will for part 2 as well but this is only a half done project. I hope to be able to finish it and post the 2nd part by thursday Oct. 25th 2007. This is also my first instructable so I'll do the best I can.

enjoy!.... ( or at least don't laugh to hard)

Cost: if you have the junk around then it's free, if you have to buy stuff maybe $20 at most
Difficulty: its pretty easy, but to make the final product look pro it can get a little frustrating

This Project is approx. %90 recycled materials
 
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Step 1: Stuff Your Gonna Need

your going to need a few tools to do this...... probably some I might not mention but work better for you but heres my list

TOOLS:
- Utility Knife
- Glue gun
- Phillips Screw driver (maybe others)
- Wire cutters/strippers
- I used a cordless drill a few times as well but they probably could have been done with other tools and I soldered my connections together but you could use crimp connectors or if you really wanted electrical tape

SUPPLIES:
- The box your laptop came in or similar style box ...... better if its bigger then your laptop...... the hinged top style box with close flaps
- A full roll of Duct tape
- glue sticks for your glue gun
- a USB cable (if you don't have one to cut go to the dollar store and buy one for a buck)
- reusable grocery bags (They sell them for a buck each at the Zehers - in Canada I'm sure other places have em too..... there made of a recycled cloth)
- 2 CPU fans from an old computer (I had a couple lying around.... make sure there the old ones with just the black and red wires - ask around for them I'm sure sombody that has intrest in computers probably has a couple useless old ones lying around)
- A generic USB hub fairly small is best
- some type of foam padding (I used both bed lining pad the you can get cheap..... I stole a chunk from my bad lol....... and I used a small piece of under carpet pading I had in the shed)
- a switch ON/OFF style of any kind

Yakko9t984 years ago
 Hey I have a question. I am trying to wire fans to a powered USB hub. I have a D-link hub that is powered. However, It requires that I plug the hub into a working PC. Does the hub you use require a PC connection to supply power to the USB ports? If so could you give me the manufacturer and model. It needs to be a powered hub not powered through USB.

Note: On the D-link I can plug it into a pc, then the 4 ports green up, then i can un-plug it and they stay green. I however need this to be done without a PC. I tried looping the data back on itself on the PC in side of the hub. No dice.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
chaoscampbell (author)  Yakko9t984 years ago
I'm not entirely sure what your asking. You want it battery powered?

battery power would be easy.

The power has to come from somewhere.
 I'm asking if there is a hub that is not "smart". The hub I have is powered, "non PC, WALL" and i am asking if there is a "dumb" one, still WALL but supplies power to all 4 ports. 

Basically again, the hub that I have requires that I connect it to a PC to power the 4 ports on it. If i do not have a PC it does not power those 4 ports... I want something that doesn't care if I walked through a fire, it just powers 4 USB ports through "wall" power.
You could solve your problem placing a resistor, between the DATA+ & DATA- of the USB Hub... so it thinks that there is some data flowing, and it has to send power trough the ports.
integrated cooler = excellent idea.
Just had to comment on this: "The barely decent ones start at like $69.99" I live in Sweden, where I end up paying far more for electronics over here than I ever did when living in the States. Anyhow, I've picked up a really good USB powered laptop cooler for a third of the price you mention decent ones being priced at. I've even picked up a more mediocre one at under 10 bucks - both of these which were purchased brand new. I know it looks better for the instructable to say you are building something for much cheaper than it would cost you to buy it, but I think that is quite a bit exaggerated. Maybe you just aren't shopping at the right places. Try ebay and you can find good ones for less than $20. Don't get me wrong - I'm all for doing it yourself and the fun in building and learning things on your own. But I can't help but feel that the price as a reason to do it yourself isn't quite as it's made out to be here.
chaoscampbell (author)  LevLiveDotCom6 years ago
I was talking about the price of laptop bags.
In that case, I stand completely corrected.
rasta_bhoy6 years ago
Great idea, love it. I'm gonna make one with stands like the ones on a keyboard so it would stand at an angle instead of just flat on the surface. That way the fans would be much more effective and it would be easier to type and all that.
nf_x206 years ago
is that the bag from superstore? like ur idea
chaoscampbell (author)  nf_x206 years ago
ya it is....... thanks man. I really should post the rest
logic bomb6 years ago
there are so many things I could say to this.... fan cooled?, USB Hub?, man if it wasn't halloween I don't think I could hold back right now. But I'll be nice. Lap top bags really do make it so easy. but props for the craftsmanship.
Aar000n3y6 years ago
Wait... Is the cloth covering just held on by hot glue? If so, that won't last you long. And cardboard won't either. No matter how much duct tape you put on it, it will still get bent easily. The time to make this bag (judging by the partially finished instructable) isn't really worth how long it will last you. To start improving it, I would get a better base material. I probably wouldn't even use a rigid material. A lot of bags are just made of cloth and padding.
chaoscampbell (author)  Aar000n3y6 years ago
ya the cloth is held on by hot glue which adheres to the cloth very well and very well to the duct tape too. The duct tape makes the cardboard more sturdy but your right its not gonna be concrete. it would probably take me about 5 hours from start to finish with an instructable but since I'm making it up as I go along and I ran out of glue sticks it has made it require more time. I would have the second part up sooner but I work 6 days a week so I only had about 4 hours one day to work on it and I plan on having it finished my next day off in about 4 hours. it was worth it to me because although it won't last me forever I do excpect it to last a year or 2 if I take reasonable care for it, I enjoy making things and #1 reason it is totally free for me..... I had all the parts and supplies lying around. its something fun to make and if you put some care into it its a useable laptop bag with some extras.
uguy6 years ago
How much airflow do you get running 12volt fans off 5volt USB power?
chaoscampbell (author)  uguy6 years ago
A fair bit. I mean is no super cooling station but it allows things to run smoothly inside the bag without overheating. it basically just helps things out. if your in need of a more serious cooling system I'd suggest just replacing the fans with a better idea. but thats what I came up with to ease my mind about running a laptop stil inside the bag
Dantex6 years ago
really cool