Microsoft Kinect Portable Power Supply on a Dollar Store Budget...




Introduction: Microsoft Kinect Portable Power Supply on a Dollar Store Budget...

This is my take on a suitable portable power supply for the Microsoft Kinect. I'm not saying it's better than anyone else's, just that its cheap. the "Power Bank" cells are rated at ~4.7vDC at 1800 mA. That's enough juice for it, and my preliminary test got 5 (five!) hours of use out of it!

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: Gathering the Parts...

I went to Dollarama (Canadian store...) for these parts:
Mini Organizer - 4 drawers (#02-3021845)
USB hub (any one will do so long as it has at least 1 female, and one male)
Power Bank USB power supply (I also got one as a promo from Citi)
Two part Epoxy (Larger one)
Zip straps.

Step 2: Making the Hole in the Back of the Drawer for the Female USB Connection...

Measure the hole and cut it out (I got away with an exacto knife, but a Dremel will do too.) Slightly smaller than the USB plug.

Step 3: Insert and Glue the FEMALE USB Plug in the Hole You Just Made...

Dab some two-part epoxy on the bottom of the USB connector (solder tabs are the top side,) and insert it in hole. I used a zip strap to secure it as well, but you don't have to...

Step 4: Solder the Male USB Connectors Together...

I've already taped these parts up, but you'll get the picture... Plugging each one into the Power Bank will make it easier, and more stable for soldering. I cut some USB connectors apart for the wires and connectors. I cut 3 wires about 2 inches long (same color, I used green,) and one RED one 3 inches long. stripped, tinned and cut to ~1/8th of an inch. We will be connecting these parts in SERIES, as we want triple the voltage not current. Go to for the data for the connections if you need reference. Solder the RED wire to pin one of a male USB plug (left one.) Now solder a green wire to pin four (last one on right.) Now this one gets soldered to pin one of another male USB plug. Grab another green wire and solder it to pin four of the second male USB plug. Now this one gets soldered to pin one of the last male USB plug. Solder the last green wire to pin four. Once the epoxy has dried, solder the RED wire to pin one of the female USB plug (the last one on the right.) Then solder the green wire to pin four (the first one on the left.)

Step 5: Give the Drawer Some Support With Electric Tape...

Wrap electric tape over the back and front across the "support beams" of the drawer. I used a black one to match the Kinect and electric tape, but use what you can get...

Step 6: Connect and Insert the Battery Packs...

Connect each Power Bank to each one of the male USB plugs, and insert the batteries in the drawer. It will be a tight fit, but it does, without breaking the drawer... To secure the drawer, I used a self-tapping machine screw on the front left of the drawer.

Step 7: Add Velcro to the to of Drawer, and Bottom of Kinect...

Unscrew 4 (four) screws underneath the Kinect, and add Velcro just slightly longer than the length of the base, including the curved edge, fold it over the edge, and then screw the cover back on, (more support for the Velcro.) add a couple of pieces on the top of the drawer.

Step 8: And, Voilà!

Mount the Kinect on to of the drawer, and then make your connections (yea, I know, I made the power connection longer than the USB connection, silly me...) Then connect to PC. I used NLite, and (brain fart!) Microsoft Kinect SDK v1.8 and (louder brain fart!) openNI, skeltrak (all which you can find doing a Google search...) and voilà! A self-contained portable power supply for your Kinect!

Step 9: Update! I've Streamlined the Package!!

I used 2-part epoxy, to glue the three Power Banks together, then black tape. as I don't have heat shrink for that size... I took some "u" trim (used for cupboard edges,) I had lying around. I cut notches on one side, to fit the three male USB connectors through. I did the same with a second one, making a "sandwich" of two "u" trim pieces, and the three male USB connectors. I drilled a hole in the top between USB connector 2 and 3, and drilled a hole in the side of a female USB connectors cover I took apart, and ran the wires neatly inside. I then basted the thing with 2-part epoxy (inside and out (dry, 2-part epoxy doesn't conduct electricity,)) I then glued the female USB connector to the top, and covered it in tape (for esthetics.) I tested it, and it works... if you get a "red" light on the MS Kinect, it usually means "low" or dead battery, BUT, if you know it's charged. unplug USB, and plug it back in, and light will change to green. :)

Be the First to Share


    • Backyard Contest

      Backyard Contest
    • Silly Hats Speed Challenge

      Silly Hats Speed Challenge
    • Arduino Contest 2020

      Arduino Contest 2020

    3 Discussions


    Question 4 months ago on Step 9

    How much usage time did you get with this method using the skeletal program?


    Answer 4 months ago

    Happy new year, battery life was over five hours...notebook battery life differed slightly.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Oh, I will, as I've already streamlined the power pack, without the use of a case... that'll be my next Instructable! :)