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Old Sep 25, 2008, 06:05 PM
"Flying is my life!"
FlyVA's Avatar
United States, VA, Salem
Joined Oct 2002
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AC/DC charging case: "The Bomb"

Has managing all your charging equipment become a real pain in the ass? Endless setup and knockdown between home and the field?. Where's this cord and I forgot that piece happens all too often. Thanks to this forumn for giving me the idea to build a charging case. I take no credit for the idea...just wanted to share my experience. Here's my part list; feel free to substitue.

Power supply ( 1@ ): eBay, seller bindare2
http://cgi.ebay.com/IBM-xSeries-235-...3286.m20.l1116

Case ( 1@ ): Harbor Freight http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=39196

A/C receptacle ( 1@ ): Stayonline .com
http://www.stayonline.com/detail.aspx?ID=871

A/C power switch ( 1@ ): Radio Shack http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...Id=3118987&cp=

Chassis-mount dual female binding ( 3@ ): Radio Shack http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...entPage=search

Local hobby shop: 1/4" x 12" x 36" 5 ply baltic birch plywood, 12 gauge red & black silicon wire, copper buss plate material, power cord "bullets"

Local hardware store: 3/4" x 3/4" x 36" aluminum angle, fasteners, (3@) 3/4" x 1" miniature cabinet hinges, velcro, wire nuts, Rustoleum textured paint (1 can)

Junk box: computer A/C power cord used between power supply and power receptacle

Using AC power with the above, it pulls inbetween 3-4 amps when charging 2 each 5S x 5000. This is much less than I origionally thought. Enjoy!
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Old Sep 25, 2008, 06:16 PM
"Flying is my life!"
FlyVA's Avatar
United States, VA, Salem
Joined Oct 2002
294 Posts
The power supply came from eBay seller bindare2...a great vendor BTW. It is a used IBM xSeries 235 Hot Swap Power Supply 49P2038 49P2022. It puts out about 12.30 volts DC up to 30 amps and cost less than $10.00...suggest you buy a couple.

The power supply comes with a plastic rack alignment guard over the power connectors. This guard is removed by opening the case, losening the fans, and removing the back screws that hold the guard on.

Hers's the label on the power supply:
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Last edited by FlyVA; Sep 26, 2008 at 08:10 AM.
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Old Sep 25, 2008, 06:42 PM
"Flying is my life!"
FlyVA's Avatar
United States, VA, Salem
Joined Oct 2002
294 Posts
The height of the floor is important. You want a miniumn height so there is enough height above the floor to mount the chargers of your choice. The type and placement of the A/C receptacle comes into play here as well.

BEFORE YOU DRILL ANY HOLES YOU NEED TO DO A THOROUGH LAYOUT OF WHAT DIREcTION THE CHARGE CORDS NEED TO RUN. THEIR DIRECTION WILL DETERMINE THE DIRECTION THE POWER SUPPLY IS MOUNTED AND WHICH SIDE THE A/C PECEPTACLE IS MOUNTED IN THE CASE.

My method was to "hang" or suspend the power supply from the 1/4" BB plywood floor. It is important to leave at least 1/8" clearance between power supply and the bottom of the foam lined case. In order to mount the floor as low as possible, I removed material from the flange of the AC receptacle and took extra time to locate the A/C receptacle hole. Also had to file a crescent relief in the bottom leg of the aluminum angle to fit over the A/C receptacle.

MEASURE AND FIT MANY TIMES...THEN DRILL ONCE!
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Last edited by FlyVA; Sep 26, 2008 at 08:04 AM.
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Old Sep 25, 2008, 06:50 PM
Registered User
So. Cal.
Joined Oct 2004
7,826 Posts
Very nice work!

One quick question - How is the power supply ventilated? I assume that it goes in the bottom of the case? Are there vent holes cut in the sides of the case to vent the heat generated by running several chargers and pulling a lot of power from the power supply?

Mark
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Old Sep 25, 2008, 07:00 PM
"Flying is my life!"
FlyVA's Avatar
United States, VA, Salem
Joined Oct 2002
294 Posts
I would suggest you use 1/4" Baltic Birch 5 ply plywood (the good stuff) for the floor. After the alumunm angles are mounted you can cut and hinge the plywood floor. Be sure to cut some bevel into the flap piece so it allows proper closing.

There is a third piece which is a support and divider to protect anthing in the storage area from getting back into the power supply and buss area. BE SURE TO VENTILATE THIS. It is removeable and I mounted mine about a 1/4" behind the hinge line. I mounted tabs on the third piece and instaled blind nuts and fasten from the top through the floor.. It goes in after the floor is attached. THERE ARE NO VENTILATION HOLES IN THE CASE. WHEN YOU CHARGE LEAVE THE FLAP OPEN AND AIR CIRCULATES AROUND THE POWER SUPPLY BY WAY OF THE FLOOR SUPPORT HOLES.
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Old Sep 25, 2008, 07:05 PM
"Flying is my life!"
FlyVA's Avatar
United States, VA, Salem
Joined Oct 2002
294 Posts
The power supply is top mounted to the floor.

TAKE PLENTY OF TIME TO LOCATE AND MAKE SURE YOUR FASTENERS DO NOT TOUCH ANYTHING IN THE POWER SUPPLY
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Old Sep 25, 2008, 07:13 PM
"Flying is my life!"
FlyVA's Avatar
United States, VA, Salem
Joined Oct 2002
294 Posts
The power buss starts with the 3 sets of chassis mounted dual binding posts. The LHS had a 6" x 9" piece of copper sheet which I used to cut strips and make my wiring buss.

I included a fuse holder because when A/C power is not available, I connect the buss directly to a 12V car battery. Since the power supply is hot swappable, I don't think there is any issue with 12V backwashing into the power supply. I'm not an EE so I really don't know...we'll see.

The power buss is covered with a scrap piece of plastic for protection.
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Old Sep 25, 2008, 07:24 PM
Electric Hippy
Brisbane
Joined Nov 2005
2,360 Posts
Very nice indeed . My PS and chargers are still rolling around in a case just the same. I was going to do something similar but your idea looks better so I will just copy it.
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Old Sep 25, 2008, 07:25 PM
"Flying is my life!"
FlyVA's Avatar
United States, VA, Salem
Joined Oct 2002
294 Posts
Odds & ends:

The power supply is capable of producing 30 amps. The weak points are the AC receptacle rated at 15 amps and the AC switch rated at 16 amps. I could not find anything higher rated.

I made the mistake of trying to peel the foam out of the case. It left a terrible mess...just leave the foam as is.

The textured paint does a great job of covering the grain in the wood. Be sure to allow a couple of days for it to dry.

Paint usually does not stick to the metal hinges. I roughed them up with a wire wheel before painting but they still popped the paint. Try a flat paint and not the textured paint.

The chargers and balancers are mounted to the floor with velcro. Never had one to detach.

The storage area has enough room for a mailing tube to store all your connectors and leads, a HD extension cord, and a 12V cord.

When I charge, I leave the floor flap raised so the power supply can vent. Have not had any overheating problems yet.

Enjoy!
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Last edited by FlyVA; Sep 26, 2008 at 07:50 AM.
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Old Sep 26, 2008, 04:22 AM
Jim
North Alabama
Joined Mar 2004
1,834 Posts
I grabbed one of these off ebay last night after seeing your post. 12vdc @ 30 amps PS for about 26 bucks including shipping is a sweet deal.

Are the output terminals labeled, I couldn't tell from your pics?

Thanks, Jim
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Old Sep 26, 2008, 07:47 AM
"Flying is my life!"
FlyVA's Avatar
United States, VA, Salem
Joined Oct 2002
294 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim_W
I grabbed one of these off ebay last night after seeing your post. 12vdc @ 30 amps PS for about 26 bucks including shipping is a sweet deal.

Are the output terminals labeled, I couldn't tell from your pics?

Thanks, Jim
There are three set of chassis mount dual binding posts. They come from Radio Shack color coded...one red, one black. The way I wired it all three sets give A/C when the power supply is hot. If 12VDC, the top set takes the 12V in (top set wired with a fuse) and the middle and bottom set are 12V out.
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Old Sep 26, 2008, 08:21 AM
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Melbourne, Australia
Joined May 2006
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Quote:
The power supply is capable of producing 30 amps. The weak points are the AC receptacle rated at 15 amps and the AC switch rated at 16 amps. I could not find anything higher rated.
No problem. DC output is 30A but only about 400W. At 80% efficiency that means 500W input which at your 110V is less than 5A max. No worries. It is important that any DC wiring you use be at least 12 gauge.
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Old Sep 26, 2008, 09:18 AM
jrb
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Edina, MN, USA
Joined Oct 1999
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Do you leave the PS connected when using a 12VDC source?
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Old Sep 26, 2008, 11:08 AM
Jim
North Alabama
Joined Mar 2004
1,834 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyVA
There are three set of chassis mount dual binding posts. They come from Radio Shack color coded...one red, one black. The way I wired it all three sets give A/C when the power supply is hot. If 12VDC, the top set takes the 12V in (top set wired with a fuse) and the middle and bottom set are 12V out.
I will be using mine strictly at home. I just needed a greater capacity 12VDC out so I can run 2 or 3 chargers from the same PS. My current PS is only 10 amps. I just need to know which 2 terminals are the 12vdc out.

99% of my flying is done at home..I walk out of the garage and fly. I can improvise for the other 1%.

Jim
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Old Sep 26, 2008, 11:28 AM
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So. Cal.
Joined Oct 2004
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Jim,

The tabs are not labeled.

When viewing the back of the PS, there are 7 tabs. From the left: First tab is +12V, second tab is +3.3V, third and forth tabs are +5.0V, last three tabs (adjacent the grid of jumper pins) are Ground.

In order to enable the PS to power up, the second and third pins (from the left) on the top row of pins need to have a standard jumper strapped across them.

Once you've received your power supply, suggest that you verify the powerforms with a DMM prior to connecting your charger.

Mark
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