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Making a Custom Battery Pack to Power a Desktop Board?

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
Hello,

I had a post a month or two ago, asking a few questions about making an ultra mobile PC. Well, I had a few delays, and I am still in the planning stage.

I would like to make a super small PC that can be run on batteries.

Problem is, the board I will be using isn't designed for mobility, although it does have a DC plug, which is a benefit.

The problem lies when trying to integrate batteries into the equation. I would like to buy some Li-ION Rechargeable batteries (Which kind to use with an AC Adapter), and make them into a battery pack and then hook it up to a power plug to be charged and then the other end to the AC Adapter which then goes to the board.

Do I have to splice wires etc.? Any way to get a connection? Is this even feasible?

Diagram:



Thanks.
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post #2 of 34
I don't know anything about this kind of thing, but even the smallest, and lowest power consumption computer would still need a TON of AA batteries to run for more than 5 minutes, no?
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post #3 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheWolfe View Post
I don't know anything about this kind of thing, but even the smallest, and lowest power consumption computer would still need a TON of AA batteries to run for more than 5 minutes, no?
Well I am not sure because I have seen many laptops just having a couple, maybe 6-8 AAs and they run fine. I'd expect LI-ION would be even better.

The main problem is trying to Wire Batteries into that because you need a way to charge them but let the computer run. Not an expert at all in this field, and I doubt anyone really is.

http://www.insidemylaptop.com/open-t...aptop-battery/
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post #4 of 34
i believe you would be better off to make a mount to mount a high capacity laptop battery inside your case and buy an old UPS unit, tear it apart and use your laptop battery with the UPS unit as i know that wil allow exactly what you want.

you will need to get a compact UPS for this. hope this helps.
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post #5 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Intel-Junkie View Post
i believe you would be better off to make a mount to mount a high capacity laptop battery inside your case and buy an old UPS unit, tear it apart and use your laptop battery with the UPS unit as i know that wil allow exactly what you want.

you will need to get a compact UPS for this. hope this helps.
Thanks alot. I will look into it.
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post #6 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheLaw View Post
Thanks alot. I will look into it.
not a problem mate i just thought it may be cheaper and easier than what you were thinking of.
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post #7 of 34
I can't really help with the part about powering the computer while charging the batteries, but the first thing that popped into my mind was an A123 pack.

They're lightweight, charge very fast, and can handle some massive current drains. I have an RC truck with a motor that pulls around 4,500 watts (four and a half horsepower in a twelve pound truck!), and the A123 cells power it without a hiccup.

The cells are typically 3.3 volts a piece, so you'd have to figure out what you'd need (I assume 12v) and wire it up. I have no idea what your runtime would be, but six or eight cells, wired 3s2p and 4s2p (I think), respectively, would probably work. That would be one pack at 9.9v and another at 13.2v. My laptop runs at around 11v, so based on that, you'd have to find some way to limit the 13.2v to something a little lower.

The cells can be had relatively inexpensively, as you can tear apart a 36v DeWalt drill battery for twelve cells. They usually run around $150, so cost may be an issue. You'd also have to buy an A123-specific charger, so the cost of everything may not be worth it for computer use.

THEN AGAIN, you could just get some ridiculously high capacity laptop battery and wire up a laptop charger...
post #8 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Untame Zerg View Post
I can't really help with the part about powering the computer while charging the batteries, but the first thing that popped into my mind was an A123 pack.

They're lightweight, charge very fast, and can handle some massive current drains. I have an RC truck with a motor that pulls around 4,500 watts (four and a half horsepower in a twelve pound truck!), and the A123 cells power it without a hiccup.

The cells are typically 3.3 volts a piece, so you'd have to figure out what you'd need (I assume 12v) and wire it up. I have no idea what your runtime would be, but six or eight cells, wired 3s2p and 4s2p (I think), respectively, would probably work. That would be one pack at 9.9v and another at 13.2v. My laptop runs at around 11v, so based on that, you'd have to find some way to limit the 13.2v to something a little lower.

The cells can be had relatively inexpensively, as you can tear apart a 36v DeWalt drill battery for twelve cells. They usually run around $150, so cost may be an issue. You'd also have to buy an A123-specific charger, so the cost of everything may not be worth it for computer use.

THEN AGAIN, you could just get some ridiculously high capacity laptop battery and wire up a laptop charger...
Definitely. Because this is a pretty odd subject I thought to you guys first because everyone tends to know what they talking about here. It will require some heavy modding so I might have to take an online course on electronics before I do any of this. Thanks for the input. I am trying to figure out how to wire up some crazy Li-Ion pack up to a DC plug...

So a PC requires 12V? I see that a lot and I am not sure, but I will take your word. Will I also need to figure out what the AC adapter wants?

I assume yes. So, a little more research needs to be done.

And I will also need to gather my funds, so this may be a while, but don't be surprised if you see a thread show up in a couple of months with some pictures.

Thanks to all.
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post #9 of 34
I'm not sure if down-step transistors or something is used with laptop batterys once it hits the system, but 12v is the max any PC part takes. There are only 3 differences in voltages inside a computer, 12v 5v and 3.3v. So a battery would have to be able to put out atleast 12v, and then you need to be able to supply 5v and 3.3v somehow also. Sorry I can't be of more help, all I know is I put the power supply in and its all good to go : /
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post #10 of 34
a pico ups might be a bit of help its for charging a battery, and powering a pc running from a pico psu(runs form a 12v input).


Pico ups:
http://www.mini-box.com/picoUPS-100-...-backup-system

Pico psu:
http://www.mini-box.com/picoPSU-150-XT

a 150w pico psu will be plenty for most builds, the build in my sig uses <90w at full load, (running prime, playing 1080p, copying files between hard drives)
Edited by markp1989 - 4/18/10 at 3:45pm
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