12V Ammo Power Box Keeps it Retro

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[Brandon Fiquett] does a lot of amateur radio communications and needed a rugged portable power supply that he could take with him on the road. He decided to make a 12V power supply out of an antique ammo can he found at an army surplus store.

The .50 cal ammo box wasn’t in the greatest condition when he picked it up, so he completely sanded it, re-painted it, and lubricated the rubber seal. Inside, he loaded it with four 7.1Ah sealed lead acid batteries, complete with 12V cigarette fused sockets, banana plug jacks, a 5V USB charger and an integrated 12V lead-acid battery charger. The lid also features an LED strip light, and everything is laid out very nicely inside of the box. It looks great, but [Brandon] has a long list of improvements to add, including a solar charge controller, volt and amp meters, and an LED power switch.

Ammo cans make solid project boxes. We’ve seen countless ammo can speaker setups, and even a more intricate ammo can PSU — though we prefer [Brandon's] method since all the connections are under the lid, keeping it completely weather proof.

Comments

  1. strider_mt2k says:

    I have built a similar power box for amateur radio use, kudos de N2NLQ!
    Don’t bother with meters or fancy stuff. KISS applies to field stuff to keep it tough.

  2. fartface says:

    My favorite is the plastic 20mm round ammo cans, both ends open and they have pegs so they stack sideways. Hard to find though.

  3. pcf11 says:

    I have a 7.62 ammo can. The 50 cans are pretty big. Tough stuff that mil surplus.

  4. Eric Parker says:

    I have one with just hte 2 12v cells, but its a smaller can. 73 de KI6WOW

  5. matt says:

    Putting some batteries in a case is now a hack?

  6. CorrosiveOne says:

    Not what I’d call a hack but meh…

    I’ve been meaning to build a portable battery pack though, need one for my gobox/ft-857d

  7. echodelta says:

    Field-Day-rough clashs with all that white stuff. kilo charlie niner india charlie sierra

  8. kj4vyi says:

    good stuff — have a few cans that have battteries tools gear and evern APRS mobile unit that i take out in the woods on the farm at is picked up at the main house and digi to the web

  9. static says:

    I approve of this post

  10. N0LKK says:

    On the K2FIQ project ; yes it’s been done before and many will deem it not a hack, but I’m left with so what? There is a perpetual stream of newcomers to amateur radio, DIY, hacking. I see no harm featuring old ideas, who knows what ideas they might spark in others?
    73

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