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Welcome! So, today’s episode is gonna be
about this battery backup. Now, I know what you’re thinking: battery backups are not really all that
exciting. I mean, you only get to use them, like, once or twice a year, you know,
when the power goes out so actually I am going to be doing some
modifications of this that I think you’re gonna find interesting and
I’m also going to tell you these aren’t as expensive as you would think. Now, this is actually a good battery backup. This one actually uses a fairly
substantial battery. It’s actually big enough to give you
some decent runtime and this thing is also very heavy indicating it has a
real transformer inside of it. A lot of the newer ones – the real
cheap ones especially – just use a switching type power supply inverter and
it’s… they’re not very good; they burn up; they get real hot. OK, so, the first thing I had to do was
disassemble the unit. That wasn’t hard; there are basically just two screws. Once
the back came off, I was able to sort of pry the sides
apart. So, here’s the inside and one of the first things I wanted to do was
remove this circuit board. It’s basically just a surge protector
for the telephone lines but I don’t have any analog telephone lines anymore
so this is useless for me, so I just threw it in the trash. OK, so, the next thing I wanted to do
was cut a rectangular hole so that I could mount a cool voltage readout. I used a dremel for this as usual. This
requires a very steady hand; one wrong move or bump and you’re
really gonna mess up the plastic. So there we have it: a crude hole.
I used the file to clean it up a bit and here’s the final hole. OK, so the next challenge was to mount
one of these slide switches and I want to mount it more or less right there. I decided to sacrifice one of them
by completely taking it apart. Now, this will make things a lot easier
as you’ll see shortly. So, after I figured out exactly where I wanted it to go, I was able to use this piece as a
template for the screw holes. Once I was finished drilling the holes, I could
mount the switch from behind, kind of opposite of how it’s intended to go but this allowed me to perfectly cut out
the rectangular part. I started by drilling two holes and then I used a knife to carefully cut out the rest and here’s pretty much the final result.
Now I can mount the other switch that I didn’t destroy from the back
like it’s meant to be and you can see it works pretty well.
I’ll explain the purpose of the switch later So, the next thing was to go ahead and
mount that LED voltage meter I was talking about. You can see the bezel
snapped in nicely. All I had to do next was mount the
electronics part of it. I decided to test the screen with
an old battery I had laying around. Looks like it works. Although it appears
to flicker on camera, it does not do this in person. OK, next order of business: I wanted to
install a DC jack on the front so I drilled a hole in the plastic. Now, when drilling in plastic, I have
found that it’s always best to start with a small bit and work up to
a larger one. If you start with the large bit you’ll
almost always end up damaging the plastic, so I literally just go through
all of my bits one of the time until I get to the desired size;
and so, there’s my DC jack on the front. Now I want to put two DC jacks on the back
where those telephone lines used to be but as you can see, this will be a challenge. I decided to use a piece of aluminum so
I traced out the size I needed and then started drilling my holes. I use the same
approach on aluminum as I do with plastic, starting with a small bit and working up.
If I owned a nice drill press I could probably avoid this routine and just
start with the correct sized bit. OK, so there are my holes and you can see
the jacks fit correctly. Next it was time to cut the piece I
needed off the bar. It’s a little messy looking but I can clean this up with a grinder. OK, next it was time to mix up some epoxy.
Once mixed, I applied it to the hole and then I carefully pushed in
my piece of aluminum. I’ll have to let this set up for a while
so I’ll come back to it. OK, so I needed to tap into these DC
wires which connect directly to the battery. Since they don’t have any slack left, I decided to just remove some insulation around
the wires to tap into them. I needed to split it into four other places
so I took four wires and wrapped them around and then I soldered them all in.
Also, I should be using red wire here but I don’t have any so I just use
this white wire, so sue me. Once I was done soldering, I
wrap them with electrical tape and then followed that up with some heat-shrink and
that will add some extra layer of insulation. Now, you might wonder why I took this
approach, so I’ll explain. I’m using 18 gauge wire which will only support 16 amps
so if I piggybacked all of the ports like this from a single wire, here’s what would happen: if I pulled
16 amps from this one port, all is good but if I also pull 16 amps
from these other two ports then this wire down here would be pulling 48 amps
and it would surely melt so by doing it this way it’s much safer. OK, so once my epoxy dried I was ready to
install the two DC ports on the rear of the unit. I soldered the wires in the usual way and
then I followed them up with some heat-shrink just to be on the safe side. OK, all that was really left to do at
this point was to reassemble everything and of course put the battery back
inside and I thought I’d give it a quick test of the voltage display. I also took this cigarette lighter
splitter and chopped off the male connector and used the two female
connectors to create these two pigtails. That will basically allow me to run any
standard 12-volt accessories. I can even use this USB charging device
to charge any of my electronics. OK, so, a lot of you guys are probably
wondering: what are the possible benefits
of the modifications that I’ve done here? Well, there are actually quite a few –
probably more than I can enumerate in this short video but I’m gonna go ahead and show you
some of the main points. Now, the first thing I’m going to do is go ahead and
hook up the data port onto this unit so that I could hook it into my computer
and I can show you some interesting things. Alright, so if you take a look at the
estimated runtime, it actually shows it’s only going to run for 64 minutes. Now if you’ll notice, there’s actually
nothing plugged into this unit at the moment so it’s literally gonna only run 64 minutes
even when it’s not powering anything. Let’s talk about how battery backup actually works. You have essentially these main parts.
Now, normally the power flows directly from the wall out the back of the unit like this and also the battery charger is powered and periodically
it comes on to keep the battery charged up. Now, when the power fails, this relay
opens and the AC inverter powers up and starts providing power to the outlets.
Now, let’s talk about this situation. Let’s say you have a battery backup
and you’re wanting to power something that runs off a 12-volt DC, such as this 12-volt air compressor. Well, the power is
coming from a 12-volt battery and then it gets converted up to 120 volts AC.
All of that happens inside the battery backup but then you need a
transformer to convert it back down to 12 volts to run the compressor and there
is an enormous waste of energy happening in these two areas. OK, so with these modifications I can
bypass the inverter inside this thing and I can run stuff on 12 volts a lot
longer than I could using the inverter. Now, one of the things I’m gonna be
running on this on a regular basis is this small, little ham radio that I’m gonna
use as… it’s a mobile unit but I’m gonna be using it as a base station in my house and
it’s designed to run off 12 volts, so I’m gonna be running it directly off of this
and I’m actually going to be using this even if the power is not out. In other
words, this is actually going to be my primary power source to run this and the
12-volt charger inside the unit is actually going to keep the 12-volt
battery powered up for me all the time in order to run this radio when I want
to run it. Now, in the event that the power does
actually go out, I can turn the unit off and power this radio directly from
these two ports I’ve added on here and I could probably run this thing for a week
straight – like constantly – vs 64 minutes. Actually, it’d be less than that because I’d be
drawing current, so probably like 45 minutes that I could run it if I were trying to use
the actual AC output ports on this thing. Also, by my calculations if I wanted to
charge my phone off this little USB gizmo here, I could
probably charge my phone up 12 or 13 times – full complete charges – off of
the DC port on this thing versus if I were to try to use the power connector
that came with the phone that plugs into the AC power here, I could probably get…
I’d be lucky to get one charge out of it. Also, so I promised to explain why I put
this little switch on here and the reason is, is because this screen
actually does draw a certain amount of power and if the power were to go out I wouldn’t want this screen to be
draining the battery down even if it took a day or two to drain it down;
that’s power that’s wasted so I wanted to have the ability
to turn the screen on and off, for that very reason and for the same
reason… I actually seriously considered embedding some USB ports directly into
this, and for the same reason I didn’t do it, because these actually contain very
small DC-to-DC converters and even if you have nothing plugged into them,
they’re consuming a small amount of power as well and so I decided it would
be best if it were external like this so that, again, I could unplug it in the event of
an extended power outage and I would need… [this]. Also another fun little thing that I did
is I just took this little LED array that’s actually meant for cars,
that you can put in places and I put a little barrel connector on it and so I could run this little LED thing
for probably a week or two and this’ll a light up a room pretty well
so if you actually needed some light in the room where you were working you
could you can plug this little guy in. So that was a kind of…
another little neat thing that I did. Alright, well, thank you guys for
watching. I hope you found it interesting. I wanted to make a few comments; you
know, I probably get an email – five or six day still asking me if…
where you can buy a computer from me and I just wanted to point out in case some of my subscribers are not aware of this yet: I don’t sell computers anymore. I haven’t sold ’em in, like, three years so just… just(!)…

100 thoughts on “Ultimate Battery Backup Hack/Mod.

  1. I was thinking to put alligator clips instead of the battery and plug it into the car battery so you can use it as a power inverter 110v from the car or from solar panels

  2. You seem like one of those people that think something is "good" just because you own it. That's a garbage battery backup. Now it's a piece of shit WITH a screen. Woohooooooooo!

  3. good job but u have put push button for voltagemeter and on off switch for USB it will b best anyway it's good great job

  4. I would have added a way to plug in an outboard battery, but doing so could stress the inverter over time, so limit limit use of the AC outlets, after the backup unit has allowed you to save whatever it was you where working on. Couldn't tell the nature of that ham radio, but my experiance in many over sentiment the reserve time, because they don't know how to do the calculations The there's that snag one can't know how much Emcomm traffic there may be during a power outage until it happens. I'm a ham as well, for the unitiated HAM is not an acronym, so simply ham is sufficient. Great job with a video that, efficiently details what your doing, and why you are doing it.

  5. Switching regulators are way better than linear, not sure I agree that newer cheaper backups use switching regulators I think he got it backwards but I'll keep watching …

  6. I'm very disappointed in you Mr QQV for not using Anderson Power Poles 🙂 Also, getting time to upgrade to your General! (jk, still a technician here and we got our licenses in the same month.)

  7. Could you get more juice out of a bank of 18650 batteries of equivalent size, and could you tap in at different points in the series to get different voltages so you didn't need a 5v converter, and possibly run 2 12 plugs off differet halfs of a 24v bank? Would a higher voltage bank be more efficient converting to 120vac?

  8. Very nice and interesting video, let me ask you then if the PC using a DC power can we replace the power supply with a similar idea? Why do we need to convert the power to AC220v then back to DC12v and 5v!

  9. I have 4 of these battery backups and they all failed within 3-6 months using them just as backups. I now have an entire battery bank of these small 12v batts, like the one you pulled out of there. I'm also a ham op. I thought about using this extra power gate and using them as a battery back up for my garage radio, since I already have a solar power gate backup in my base station setup with a 250ah 150lb AGM. Anyway, I clicked here to see if you did anything different as a battery backup for your computer. That's what I need. I DIY method for backing up my desktop.

  10. This is the most stupid thing I've ever seen in my life, did you hear for lithium ion batteries and how encrise the capacity of whole system?

  11. Kf5QQV, N9TGW… You forgot one pair of major mods. A 20-30 amp power jack going directly to the battery, and a cable with 10ga Red and black leads going to automotive battery clamps and the other end with matching plug to the new jack. these leads need to be atleast 6 ft, and about every ft about an inch and a half of heat shrink to keep the cable "controllable", remember to leave the clamps loose for about a foot to connect to an automotive type battery.
    With this you can charge as well as use larger SLA as well wet lead acid batteries ( Emergency use on the wet let acid due to hydrogen gas unless you have a sealed with external vent battery case) This is the only mod I have made on mine which backs up my cable modem, router and phone which is VOIP. I keep several LARGE automotive batteries on charge on my campers solar setup, not to mention the 5 deep cycle batteries on the camper's normal setup. I know others who have even more elaborate setups than I do. I have 3 small 120v generators, that do not even add up to the output of one large one but are capable of powering a TV, my refrigerator, freezer, furnace and ham station on reduced power should it be necessary, the big secret here? knowledge is power and power in an outage is a must. Keep on spreading the word N9TGW

  12. I've got one of those APC units. What I've always wondered is could you add an outboard battery, and skip that internal itty bitty battery entirely? 73 DE W8LV BILL

  13. I always wondered why UPS's went AC -> DC -> AC. Computers work on DC, so now you're doing another AC -> DC. Why not keep charged the appropriate (5V and 12V) batteries, while also powering the computer directly from the same DC? You know, kind of like a laptop?

  14. Safety Note: a lot of ups's have their charging circuitry floating above ground. This means when charging, the battery terminals could be 150 volts above ground (on a 240V system). Ask me how I know this! Sorry to rain on your parade but you could buy a battery charger for a few bucks and be safe, and stay away from mains appliances and hidden dangers.

  15. any reason to stick with SLA batteries? Li-ion take up less space for the same voltage and cost less….. nevermind, I see this video is 2015, prices were higher then.

  16. Just some tips (do not get me worng, i like the idea but…):
    1. Every additional power output should be protected agains shortcircuit by a fuse (fire hazard).
    2. The battery charger inside your UPS is not a 12V power supply. It is not engineered to supply power to loads but to charge the battery (usualy with a constant current up to a certain point and then with a constant floating voltage). Misusing it may lead all kinds of troubles like overload/overheating etc (again fire hazard)
    3. Generally, any device that is sold on the market must have a type-aproval and should not be altered in any way. Any change makes you liable in case something goes wrong. like… say.. short->fire ->personal/material damage or lose of life

  17. I believe QST published a warning that the battery is not isolated from the AC line in some UPSes — so check that first, before doing the mod.

  18. In fact an inverter draws power even when there is no load on it. On my solar setup, I have say a small fridge that draws 720wh per day, well I found that the inverter powered on draws another 720 wh per day. In my case I can't switch it off because all the internet box, wifi, swiches, web server etc and fridge is on it, but this fact must be measured, known and taken into account. The inverter gets more and more efficient the more load you put on it. When it outputs 600w to 2500w power it's 96%. The worst case is when it's on and there is no load, you have those 30 to 35w idle power loss. Also I noticed great differences in transformers efficiency, some are catastrophe, others are quite good. Old ipad 10w transformer was horrendous at 52% a newer one does 85%. You can't tell without measuring it. Having 24V to 5V usb buck converters dc on the batteries is the best way.

  19. you are excersising basic maching practice. any machinest with half a brain knows that you step drill any hole. maybe not by every drill in the case though. A drill press wont save you from messing up either. I know, I have a drill press and still must step drill. what happens if you dont, the drill can grab the work, whip it around and seriously injure you.

  20. even you have power battery backup ..but how to recharging for backup if power battery is battery to low??? i think you must make a chargering power back too

  21. Neat idea for emergency 12v power. With the 12v jacks I wonder if you could plug a solar panel into it for extended power outages.

  22. If only I could do this type of mod to a cheap UPS so my husband could have a working CPAP during a power outage. It's ridiculous how much money it is to find a battery that outputs 12V DC.

  23. lol only once or twice a year… when I visit my home in India we have a fucking 1800wh (150Ah 12v) battery and a big fat inverter to power the house when the power cuts out. Which is frequent.

  24. i have a online UPS i had from china its 220V AC but i am back in australia could i still use it here as australian Voltage is 240V ac

  25. I know this is a very old post, but hey old equipment, right?

    Is the inverter’s continuing to use power when it’s not used? Should you have a switch on that thing as well?

  26. I was with you up until you took the electrical tape out. I wasn't able to stop the video before I saw what you did with it 🙁

  27. Once or twice a year when the power goes out? I honestly cannot even remember the last time power was off in Belgium? 20 years ago or so? But then again i don't run critical applications so i don't really need it.

  28. It might help to begin your video by actually explaining what the purpose is of your mod before you just jump into cutting and pasting random stuff.

  29. How come you didn't hook it up for a solar panel. Charging system. They have all kinds. How come you haven't made a little portable charging system yourself to charge the system

  30. Quick tip: Use a conical shaped step drill to make perfect holes in plastic without having to keep changing to larger diameters. Once you get the smallest hole started, larger sizes will stay concentric. If you're off a little bit locating the smallest hole, you can add a little side pressure on the drill to move it back where it belongs as it gets larger. Also, a plywood blade cuts aluminum much cleaner than an abrasive one.

  31. These square wave AC backup power boxes are so bad for computer power supplies it is sick and I have seen the results of computers and a few other things that were running off them for a while.. You need either a serious line filter attached or just spend the little extra for a real sine wave output buzz box.. It seems like he planned to mainly use it as a 12vdc power supply where the AC was low priority and if the thing is free that would justify the modification.. I would have opted for a momentary pushbutton for the power display and Anderson power poles for the DC connectors.. The small portable PC cases with the carry handle make great project containers as do ammo cans..

  32. If you are tapped directly into the battery, there is no way to prevent over-discharge. You'll definitely want to add a low voltage cut-off/protection circuit otherwise your battery won't live very long

  33. Any tips on how to turn one of these into a DC to AC inverter for vehicle….Id like to power a small laser printer in my work van.

  34. wow this just popped into my feed almost 5 years later. Great vid tho. Those barrel jacks are also great for getting some good runtime out of a cable modem and router.
    Just make sure the battery doesn't discharge beyond about 10.5 volts. Most of its energy is discharged at that point, and draining more will damage the cell.

  35. Most UPS's I've tried just hang my PC during a power cut, and if your like me, and running the old Acorn Computers, they either aren't effected, or freeze during the switch over. So UPS's are a massive no no in the real world.

  36. too make it easy you can use a step drill bit but the are expensive but china has some cheap ones but ther are only good fore plastic

  37. Not all ups works the same. Actually there is On-Line UPS which powers always the output from the battery with real sinus wave. Basic ups don't give sinus wave which is bad for electronics for extended time.

  38. If you want a super ups hack, make a lead that terminates in male spades similar to the ones on the ups battery at one end and large alligator clips at the other.

    Connect large alligator clips to big car battery and multiply your ups runtime a shit ton.

    Or buy a goddamn generator.

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