Ultimate Battery Backup Hack/Mod.


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. It would have been easier to just use a switch that has a round hole, but frankly you should have just use a voltmeter display without backlighting then it would have used so little power that there was no need to ever shut it off. Also your DC jacks cannot have enough current to overload a single wire. They are typically rated for under 5A, much less if a cheap generic one, so you didn't need 3 wires (one for each) as your jack would fail at the lofty 16A current you supposed which is clearly far too high for them. No you could not run the ham radio for a week constantly. Measure the current, do the math, that looks like a mere 8Ah battery but because it's lead acid, you don't want to run it down to nothing or else you'll get far fewer recharge cycles out of it.

    Anyway, suppose the radio uses an average of 200mA. That's 4.8A/day, about the longest you'd want to run it except in an emergency situation.

  2. Me: parents I want a flip phone
    Parents: ok
    It: oh is it for your grandparents
    Me: no it's for me
    Parents: why do you like old tech anyways
    Me: ^

  3. I have a UPS the same size that runs my cordless phone and camera recorder for two hours.
    Where does he get 64 minutes with no load?

  4. Please be careful! A lot of standby "UPS" systems like this have the battery circuit at AC line voltage. There's usually, but not always, a warning label about this on units that are guilty of this.

    MOST of the units with user-replaceable batteries have done away with that charger architecture, but watch out…

  5. You could put a simple transistor stuff to power the volt-meter only if yo’re draining some energy

  6. It can last longer than 64 if you turn it off. Not sure why it would drain in 64 min with no load. Nice bypass

  7. A little Tip for Drilling into PLASTICS: while drilling plastic, it's much easier, cleaner and also safer (so it doesn't grab and yank the work out of your hand and cut yourself on the large drill bit blade), if you go ahead and choose the size bit you want the hole to be and proceed to drill that hole, BUT, DRILL it in REVERSE, very fast! It will initially melt itself a hole just wide enough to get it past that first layer and then the blades widen the hole to the right size and clean it up all in one fell swoop! Works for me every time and whenever I forget to do it for some reason, I almost always regret it. Give it a try, you won't be disappointed – just don't forget, speed is your friend here so gun it!
    Cheers!

  8. You need some step bits! Don't have to change drill bits and work up, it does it all in one bit and won't crack it.

  9. I had this UPS as well, and I did something like you did. However, when I put a lot of loads directly on the battery, I ended up overheating the battery charging circuit since it was a single LM317T regulator. I know LM317s have a built-in thermal protection in it, so I just wanted to know how this has worked out for you…

  10. Your comment about having a full size transformer is dumb and illogical. Switched mode supplies change the voltage with much greater efficacy. Sorry your smps that you have bought are pieces of crap

  11. 0:32 – Any battery backup with APC on the front isn't a 'good' battery backup. They charge their cells slightly above the gassing voltage so they burn out prematurely, and squawk and beep regularly hoping you'll pay an arm and a leg for their cells. Cyber-power is a brand I like that pays attention and seems to make sure that it charges below the gassing voltage.

  12. Just FYI if anyone tries this, APC units won't start up if the batteries are completely flat so if you do run it like this in a blackout and the batteries go flat, you might find that when the power comes back on the unit seems to be dead and won't switch back on or start charging the battery. The fix is to remove the battery and charge it a little in another charger, then when it has enough juice to power the APC's internal relays, plug it back in and it will come back to life and finish charging the battery itself. This is also useful to know when you're looking for a second hand unit, as you can get "dead" units really cheap when the only problem is that the battery is flat and needs replacement. I'm not sure why they designed the units this way, as it seems silly that the unit won't switch on when there is mains power available just because the battery is flat, but I've gotten a few dirt cheap fully working APC UPS devices this way so I can't complain too much!

  13. The fact that this video still exists on this channel despite multiple knowledgeable people having pointed out the unreasonable fire and safety hazards that this project poses – with no disclaimers of such hazards – should be a source of shame for its creator. This is an un-fused, completely asinine idea that not only will encounter unpredictable results from a circuit that wasn't designed to have DC loads other than the inverter, which is monitored, he gives the modder an opportunity to burn their house down with an UN-FUSED DC OUTPUT supplied by a battery that can turn anything you plug into that jack into a heating element.

  14. it is always best to drill ANYTHING with a smaller bit. That way if it drifts off from where you want the hole you have a margin of error to actually file the hole in the direction you need to correct it

  15. drill presses do not buy you accuracy a good well sharpened drill bit does. But again you start out with the smallest drill the chuck will handle. Look at your work you practically missed the aluminum piece lol

  16. paint the white wire red with some compatable paint. could save you some grief later, thinking the white wire is common

  17. Not a good idea to shrink with a flame. The flame is coating the wire with carbon. carbon is a very good conductor so you are setting yourself up for future trouble

  18. I think these things are generally a big waste of power. The reason is simple, pretty much every computer runs on less than 24V (if you calculate with the -12 to 12V on ATX and some Laptops but most run on 19V) so it should be much more effective to simply use a very powerfull 24V or 12V Supply and hook that up to additinal converters to power a ATX Motherboard or Laptops. Since everything would stay DC it should be more efficient, no transformers and 50/60Hz sinus generators are needed everything can be done with cheaper and more efficient Step Up and Step Down converters, This does only work if the Cabel aren't too long but in most cases the Backups is directly next to the computer but it should be possible, especially since there are 12V ATX adapters on the market, but maximum power is sometimes a problem

  19. Hmm, I just bought 3 x 1500VA UPSs last Friday. I bought them to back up my PC and my CCTV, and leaving one spare. I also have a small mobility scooter that needs new batteries once in a while, even though there is still some life left in the used ones. I can use the scooter batteries to power the UPSs, but now, having seen video, I might just make an enclosure to accommodate a pair of the used batteries, and equip it with some lighter sockets, DC accessory sockets, and one of those battery meters – maybe even a couple of USB outlets too (with switches to shut them off when not actually in use). In short, I'll keep my UPSs as just that, but build a small 12V DC battery bank out of my used scooter batteries. They may not be anywhere near tip-top, but could still serve a purpose, and better that than landfill.

    Thanks for the seed of an idea!

  20. Can I replace the battery of that APC with a bigger car battery to increase the run time? Will it still trickle charge it properly?

  21. Why do you do videos about things you did not study properly?
    50% information is wrong. You can't even calculate.
    You absolutely forgot that the battery is on the high voltage while charging. Dangerous mistake.

  22. You probably want to add an external battery plug to use 12v car battery (which it has more power in it) and if I doing this, i probably will mod the wave output of the inverter with EGS002 inverter driver board so i can get more usefull power out of the high voltage output from it

  23. Meanwhile it takes me 1 minute to start my gas powered generator and feed into my entire house grid, AC, fridge, lights, alarm systems, and all.

  24. So do computers run on AC or do they have a rectifier turning the power back to DC? I mean if they do then you could get a longer run time as well on the computer if that were to be bypassed!

  25. depends on the battery of the phone…..

    the inverter battery is 7.5 AH

    so a 2000mah battery phone can be charged 3 and half times only

    not 13 times

  26. Replace the small 12v battery with 1 or 2 12v car batteries in parallel and you could multiply your battery life, although that unit likely wont be able to tell the difference so the estimated time it shows will be the same if thats the case, but the battery life itself will be longer.

  27. Could I also add a 120v relay to drop out when the power goes out to switch on several 12v leds being fed from the battery? That way I could install a few recessed 12v lights throughout the house to come on when the power goes out

  28. I recommend Anderson Power Poles for your next hack like this. It will be much more Amateur Radio Friendly. 73!

  29. Jesus man I think you could probably get away with skipping a bit or two, unless you really dont trust your bits with more than 1/64th" (.4mm) of plastic.

  30. Buy a big vehicle battery and chuck away the small battery.
    I've just lengthened the battery wires to the external big battery and can run my computer or my cellphone booster for 8 hours straight if power goes and I've also connected a solar panels controller and 12volt solar panel up, if you are really smart you can run quite a few things with a ups, just replace the out plug with and ordinary socket, note though ups systems are from 100watts and up so make sure what you run doesn't exceed the ups wattage, keep it to 2/3 the power or you'll risks burning out the ups.

  31. I like your idea, was think embed USB too, but good thinking about discharge unless you added another switch. If I did this I would put power-poles connectors instead of the DC Jacks. All my radio are set up with PowerPoles.

  32. I use one of these battery backups to power my Commodore 64 and Apple 2 monitor in my living room when I don’t want to be in my room

  33. Wow, what a GREAT video! I have seen several of these but I like yours best. I like the features and your power-saving logic. BTW, hope it is not a shamless plug, but the company I work for DOES sell computers. Custom high-grade ones. TierraTek, they are fantastic! http://www.tierratek.com

  34. Good advice about starting with smaller bits and working your way up. I always started with the size needed when drilling plastic. I will try your method moving forward. Thanks !

  35. I'd love to make almost the same for mine but I will never do it because it will certainly void my warranty in case of a surge (due to lightning)
    BTW sorry my English is very bad [FR]

  36. SLA batteries of 7Ah 12 volt have a floating charge voltage of 13.5 to 13.7 volt, connecting a direct output to that line could seriously fuck up hardware.
    A wifi router/access point could be fine but assume you want to power a 5 meter led strip you will burn it in a couple of days, some electronics using a AMS1117 regulator would also fail or slowly fail

  37. У меня перебелан юпсик чисто для автомобильного акума. Если свет выключают в доме, то я подключаю к нему настольную лампу и пару зарядок от телефона и смотрю киношки или музыку. =)
    Фонарики опять же можно зарядить =)

  38. Thumbs up for the Commodore sprites. It brings back good memories of when I was kid teaching myself how to program on the C64.

  39. Battery Backup

    You may use it once a year, but rest assured your viewers from Iraq use em at least 12 times a day.

    Thanks for the great videos, Sir.

  40. I just subscribed i love the video. Please help me here, i have a brand new car battery laying around that i dont use, its a big 1000 amps cranking power… Can i just re route the inside wires of the UPS battery to my car battery and then run the thing for longer times..? My question is if the UPS charger circuit has enough power to charge a big ass car battery while its not on on backup mode? With this kind of hack can i run things even longer right??

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