12volt power supply
I have been a convert to 12 volt fluorescent lighting for the
last 12 years or so after I purchased a Versa-Lite lead light. So
impressive is this light that it easily out-performed three gas
lights and dismayed and converted my friends.
I have always operated these lights from the accessory socket
in the 4WD, however am not always camped near the car and the
underlying possibility of a flat battery is always a concern. What I
needed was a way of getting a battery safely to the campsite. I have
had friends that have carted old car batteries and lights connected
by alligator clips and seen the subsequent damage from spills and
the difficulty of carting these to the camp.
There are numerous battery packs available on the market but
have always found the costs prohibitive, so I decided on a DIY
I was fortunate to stumble across a 12v 39A/h sealed lead
acid (SLA) battery unwanted by a friend for a princely sum of a
Carton of XXXX. Most of my trips are long weekends, my demands are
low, and I only run lighting and the occasional use of an air bed
inflator so this battery was perfect.
First the box, I needed the box to be fairly rugged, the
battery weighs 15 plus kilograms so I screwed and glued some 12mm
ply. The screws were countersunk and all the joints were glued. Made
it a snug fit as I didnít want the battery flopping around in the
box whilst travelling.
Sanded the box and sealed with the outdoor furniture oil I
had at the back of the garage cupboard. Fitted hinges, luggage type
catches and handle. Made sure that the handle was installed in the
centre of the lid to evenly distribute the weight, this makes it
easier to carry.
Now the wiring and fixtures all fitted in the lid,
standard blade fuse box with copper wire soldered along the
terminals on one side as a bus. First fuse is a 15A to protect
the 12 volt supply.
accessory outlets mounted on the side of the box, each protected
by their own 10A fuse.
Voltmeter fitted to the lid so I can measure progress of charge
and discharge. Refer to the article on
Collynís page for voltage/%charge ratios.
wiring is 4mm≤ (conductor) and crimp terminated.
charger connects via the supplied connector.
This concept can be easily adapted to suit any battery
capacity or size, just use a bit of common sense.
39AH sealed battery
battery & box to suit
thanks to Grant
Smith for sharing this idea