How To/build a Portable Charging Station
A COMPACT SOLUTION THAT WILL PROVIDE YEARS OF SERVICE
A compact solution that will provide years of service
A portable charging station is one of the most important pieces of equipment for anyone who flies electric aircraft, and while there are some nice commercial units on the market, I prefer something more compact and designed to my specs. Here, we’ll cover a simple procedure for installing an AC power supply, a charger, and parallel boards in a travel case. While we’ll cover specific choices, this general procedure can be adapted to a variety of hardware.
There are many power supplies targeted specifically for electric fliers, but I prefer to use the widely available Hewlett-packard DPS1200FB, which is designed for rack servers. Despite its compact size, the DPS-1200 puts out 900 watts on 120-volt AC, and you can find them on ebay for less than $50. There are lots of choices for cases, but I’ve been a fan of Pelican cases for years. Pelicans are extremely tough and completely waterproof, and if you’ve ever left your charger at the field, you’ll understand why that’s important. For this project, I chose an icharger 406 Duo, which has dual 40-amp outputs and a split-screen display.
A good charging station makes flying much more convenient. This system can charge up to 12 batteries simultaneously while providing dual displays of charge status and internal resistance.
1 Before assembling your charging station, you first need to modify the DPS-1200FB power supply so that it can power a charger. As shown here, a 330Ω or 1K resistor must be soldered across terminals 33 and 36 to trick the supply into turning on. Then you need to solder heavy power leads to the wide power terminals labeled 51 and 64. I install two leads just in case I ever need to power a second charger.