Built myself a charging station……

I don’t know about you but I have a lot of rechargeable devices. From battery chargers to rechargeable flashlights – there are lots of cables and plugs to keep up with. As part of my preps, I decided to try to get more organized and build a charging station.

One of the main purposes of this charging station is to have a portable and easy to use device which can be hooked up to my small solar system or generator – as well as 110v in normal grid-up conditions. Once hooked up – I can plug in multiple devices and get things powered up.

Here are some supplies I picked up:

plug-in multi-outlet, cable holders, wire ties, small screws, wood glue (not in picture)
A couple of small wood planks.
2 foot x 3 foot piece of wood

My basic design involved drilling multiple holes in the board which are used to feed the various charging wires through. The 110V plugs remain in back of the board while the device connectors dangle out the front of the holes. Each hole is for one device – and is labeled as such.

Front side - holes drilled and labeled
Backside - power strip mounted

On the upper right corner of the board is a mounted multi-plug outlet. This can be used if there are other low-voltage devices which may need charging. The outlet has a short cord running from it to a power strip which is mounted on the back of the board (not in pictures). The power strip can be used to plug several of the devices in at once while the power strip is powered by my solar system, generator, or regular on-grid outlet.

I also have added a small “shelf” to the board- and may add more – so that small devices can sit somewhere during the charging process.  Hooks are mounted towards the top of the board so flashlights and such can hang while charging. On the backside a plastic storage box was mounted to hold the plug-end of the cords when not in use.

Cords fed through holes - ready to go

  – – – Click pictures to enlarge – – –

Backside

Currently I have charging cords for several flashlights, battery chargers, and walkie-talkies. I still have plenty of room for expansion.

This is my first attempt  – may make another with some improvements.

how to bug in

Rourke

 


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7 Comments

  1. That’s kind of cool. I’ve never thought of doing something like that.

    Just be sure to have a way of checking whether the batteries are still good. I learned this the hard way when I found that some new triple A’s of mine quickly lose juice when they’re sitting out. I use a charger that shuts off after some number of hours and after a short power outage it’s timer reset. I forgot it was plugged in and it went way over. Probably burned the things out.

  2. This is a great idea. I’ll try to put something together like that. Do you have any solar battery chargers? I bought one for AA, AAA, C, and D batteries. I’ll try it out next weekend.

    Keep up the great work!

    Dan

  3. I’ve heard that having to convert from DC (such as from solar) to AC (power inverter) back to DC (whatever device is plugged into your power inverter) is inefficient so you should just work to remove the inverter, which is what I did. Any idea how inefficient that is? I’ve been avoiding buying an inverter for this very reason but I know I still have a few devices where I would need one.

  4. Rourke,

    Good stuff.

    Hey, I have a question for you. I am just getting into alternative energy sources and would be interested in setting up a solar powered system that could run a few small machines.

    (Again…if you have already had something like this…I apologize).

    Was just wondering if you, or a guest poster could do a “how to” like you did with this fine example of a charger.

    Or if there are any other Solar Experts at the site here, perhaps they can direct me to a good website.

    I have looked at a few different ones online and it gets a little confusing. I admit, I have not done all of the research on it.

    Picked this book up the other day and it has a wealth of information but the “start-up” process always seems to be a sticking point for me.

    http://www.amazon.com/Goods-Living-Source-Book–Special-Anniversary/dp/0916571068/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1320201870&sr=8-2

    Thanks!

    Ben

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