We occasionally get annoyed that so much gear takes the ubiquitous “wall wart” these days. But one advantage is that the devices operate on DC voltage. [TechRally] takes advantage of this to create an automatic DC UPS with dual outputs to power a router and modem in the event of a power outage. You can see two videos about the project below.
Some may say it would be better to use conventional UPS, but think about it. That UPS has a battery in it that gets converted to AC so the wall wart can convert it back to DC. Each conversion loses some energy, of course, and in the case of a cheap wall wart, you may even lose quite a bit.
The project contains eight 18650 batteries, an off-the-shelf charge controller, and power converters. Could you do a more efficient custom design? Maybe, but the use of these inexpensive and commonly available modules makes it quick and easy to pull something like this together.
No one would mistake this UPS for a commercial unit, but it does have a certain hacker aesthetic. We wouldn’t carry it through an airport, though. With those digital displays and all the wiring, it looks like a bad TV show’s bomb prop.
If you don’t care about the automatic switchover, we hear that 5V will power a lot of equipment these days and that makes battery operation as simple as stripping a USB cable. This could probably drive some other gear like a connected Raspberry Pi. Or, you could do that job with some supercaps.