The charging station on the table, with twelve powerbanks plugged into it, charging. A small meter on the front panel shows 4.73 volts and 4.38 amps.

A Simple Charging Station For Twelve Powerbanks

[jasonwinfieldnz] uses twelve small powerbanks day to day – powering LED strips around his trampoline, presumably, to avoid the mess of wires and make the assembly easily portable. However, if you have twelve powerbanks, you’ll find yourself hogging all the household’s microUSB cables every so often, as they eventually discharge. This was not good enough for our hacker, and he decided to build a charging station to refill them all at once.

If you need 5 volts and many amps, an ATX PSU isn’t your worst bet. From there, he only had to add twelve microUSB connectors to – and condensed the entire contraption into a beautiful charging station. For the microUSB part, he hacked some microUSB cable ends off and embedded them into the case. An embedded voltage and current module is of big help – letting you see at a glance when charging has really finished. Using copper tape as bus bars and banana plugs for charging input, this project is easy to build and solves the problem well.

The 3D printing files and cutting templates are right there on the project page, so if any of us hackers has a problem that twelve powerbanks could help with, [Jason]’s project is quite repeatable. If your devices are more diverse, you could use a pegboard to build a stylish charging station for them! If, on the other hand, you have a single device you need to plug multiple cords into, moldable plastic is there to help.

The Mighty D Battery Becomes A USB Powerbank

[Jan] is one of those people who’s always playing around with synthesizers, and in this day and age, that means a lot of USB cables supplying power. If you want to make a synth setup portable, your best option is looking at USB powerbanks with their fancy lithium cells. These will work just fine, but remember: you can buy D cells just about anywhere, and they actually hold a ridiculous amount of energy. They’re cheap albeit one-use and disposable, so why not build a USB power bank out of a massive pair of batteries?

The build started off, naturally, with a pair of Energizer D cells that hold 20,000mAh. A battery holder for these cells is cheap and easy to source, leaving the only other needed component a cheap 5V boost converter. This was simply hot glued to the back of the battery holder in parallel, a simple switch was added, and the entire thing was fitted in a neat little 3D printed case that looks like a car (motorcycle?) battery.

Testing the with a phone revealed this thing will charge at 570mA from 3V, which is more than sufficient for [Jan]’s needs. Sure, using disposable batteries in 2018 is more than a little wasteful, but a project like this is meant to be a simple solution to the problem of providing power to USB devices anywhere. You can get D cell batteries everywhere, and what this build produces in damage to the environment is more than made up for in its convenience.