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Ultimate Off-Road Utility Light and Power Station

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by colinb17, Mar 30, 2014.

  1. Mar 30, 2014 at 7:55 PM
    #1
    colinb17

    colinb17 [OP] If at first you don't succeed, don't try skydiving

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    Howdy all,

    I wanted to share a recent project of mine. It is a fully waterproof flash light, utility light, and charging station all in one. Imagine a source of light for your off road trips that also had the ability to fully charge you phone/camera/laptop/etc overnight.


    [​IMG]

    The following is a list of materials, functions, and pictures, help other build their own.

    Product Overview:

    I had originally seen the base idea for this on an off road page on facebook. it was a 50 cal steel ammo can with a single LED flood mounted on it and a standard toggle switch. I saw it as a fantastic concept but one with largely untapped potential.

    The goal was to create a portable light and power source. On the light side, there is a single (9 LED) spot light, and 4 high output single LED flood lights. I will get more into their specifics when I get to the pictures of said lights.

    It is powered by 3 sealed batteries. the are 12v, 7.5 amp hours a piece. They are wired in parallel for run-time. being that the lights are low draw, I wired power directly through the switches, without relays. the batteries are also wired to a 12V outlet that is used for both charging the box, as well as charging/powering anything that runs off of a standard automotive 12V outlet.

    Waterproofing the entire unit was a priority throughout the build. I may end up mounting this in the bed of the truck with a quick release mount, so it must be able to survive rain storms at the very least. All penetrations throughout the box were properly sealed with marine grade silicone. the weather-stripping that seals the box when it is clamped closed was replaced with a much better version. The LED spot, though sealed from the factory was resealed by myself. The LED floods are marine floods that are intended to be permanently affixed to the hull of a boat, under the waterline, so they required no further waterproofing. The switches used are fully waterproof, made by Rigid Industries.

    Parts List with approximate prices and links:
    $15 - Marine box Link
    $60 - Batteries ($20 each) Link
    $20 - LED spot Link
    $80 - LED floods ($20 each) Link
    $20 - Waterproof switches ($10 each) Link
    $10 - Waterproof 12V outlet Link
    $20 - Wiring and associated materials
    $10 - Silicone and miscellaneous materials/hardware

    Total: $135
    I already had a number of the items on the list, and things like wiring will cost more if you have to buy an entire spool, vs using what you already have sitting around, so your cost can be lower or higher than this depending on what's laying around in your parts bins, and what lights/other components you go with.

    Additionally:
    You can fit a 4th battery in this particular box, however, I intend to use the free space to conceal a 150 watt inverter. I will be adding a waterproof AC outlet as well as 2 waterproof USB plugs to the box, next to the 12V charging port.

    Pictures:

    These are high output flood lights. As I mentioned above, they are intended to live their lives mounted to the hull of a boat, under water. very bright for a single LED, and very waterproof. The purpose of these would be to illuminate a tent at night, or provide light for working on a truck at night (not that any of use break parts on wheeling trips :rolleyes:)

    Calculated runtime: 28.5 hours

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The spot LED is by Genisis, just another inexpensive Chinese LED POD. the intention of this light is to be used as a general flashlight around camp, in the woods.
    Calculated runtime: 4.5 hours

    next to the light is a waterproof 12V outlet by Blue Sea. The two switches are also waterproof, by Rigid Industries.

    [​IMG]

    All lights and switches installed with 12V outlet.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Spot beam stowed for Floor light use.

    [​IMG]

    Waterproof entry to the box for the spot wireing. Alo added a drain for the recessed portion of the box where the handle is. Didn't want water accumulating anywhere.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    A better view of the 12V outlet. This outlet is used to both charge the batteries in the box, as well as can be used to charge or run other 12V electronics.

    [​IMG]

    Power/Wiring

    These are the batteries I used. they are secured to the box with 3M double side tape. I have foam that I still need to cut to put between them.

    [​IMG]

    The tape

    [​IMG]


    Overall shot of the wiring

    [​IMG]

    Battery side

    [​IMG]

    The lighting and switch side.
    wires on the top of the picture is for the floods. wiring on the bottom is for the spot.

    [​IMG]

    Here is a general way to wire such a box. you can of course tweak it from here to best fit your needs and accessories.

    [​IMG]


    Charging

    I took a small 12v trickle charger/battery maintainer and replaced the gator clips with a standard 12V, fused plug.

    [​IMG]

    Charging

    [​IMG]

    Charger fits nicely inside the box when not in use.

    [​IMG]

    Action Shots


    Before and after spot beam down empty parking lot.

    before
    [​IMG]

    after
    [​IMG]

    before and after, looking at my truck from about 20 feet away

    [​IMG]

    after
    [​IMG]

    before and after, flood lights if they were to be used to work on a broken vehicle at night

    before
    [​IMG]

    after
    [​IMG]

    Thanks for bearing with my on a fairly lengthy write-up. This should be an extremely useful addition to the gadgets and gizmos I take wheeling. I will post up more pictures when it actually sees some "field" use on the next wheeling trip. until then, I am happy the answer any questions for those of you wishing to build your own.

    -Colin :cheers:
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2014
  2. Mar 30, 2014 at 8:01 PM
    #2
    kenneth.morris07

    kenneth.morris07 كافر‎

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    That's pretty cool man. It looks like something you would find in a Skymall magazine for auto enthusiasts
     
  3. Mar 30, 2014 at 8:10 PM
    #3
    colinb17

    colinb17 [OP] If at first you don't succeed, don't try skydiving

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    Oh man, I can't even imagine what outrageous price-tag skymall would slap on this thing :goingcrazy:
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2014
  4. Mar 30, 2014 at 8:12 PM
    #4
    Coppertone

    Coppertone Well-Known Member

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    Very cool!

    Do you mind posting links or the exact model of components you used?
     
  5. Mar 30, 2014 at 8:13 PM
    #5
    zopperman

    zopperman LED & HID positive

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    Nice work :cool:
     
  6. Mar 30, 2014 at 8:26 PM
    #6
    Li0nel1234

    Li0nel1234 Well-Known Member

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    ^this would be awesome!

    Great little work light!
     
  7. Mar 30, 2014 at 8:26 PM
    #7
    colinb17

    colinb17 [OP] If at first you don't succeed, don't try skydiving

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    Just added links next to the items in the parts list. used mostly Amazon links, but search around. you may be able to get some of the items elsewhere for a little cheaper. The batteries for example, were $20 each at Academy Sports.

    Thank you
     
  8. Mar 30, 2014 at 9:00 PM
    #8
    SMKYTXN

    SMKYTXN If it can't be overdone it's not worth doing Vendor

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    Very nice indeed Colin. You may just get me back on this one. Just you wait!
     
  9. Mar 30, 2014 at 9:02 PM
    #9
    colinb17

    colinb17 [OP] If at first you don't succeed, don't try skydiving

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    :D
    bring it :cool:
     
  10. Mar 30, 2014 at 9:40 PM
    #10
    SMKYTXN

    SMKYTXN If it can't be overdone it's not worth doing Vendor

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    Just bought a new battery. Damn you! I should be asleep instead of shopping Amazon for parts.
     
  11. Mar 31, 2014 at 5:14 AM
    #11
    colinb17

    colinb17 [OP] If at first you don't succeed, don't try skydiving

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    hah, so this means that we'll have two of these things for the wheeling trip?
     
  12. Mar 31, 2014 at 5:35 AM
    #12
    Cykososhull

    Cykososhull Better not bring your kids

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    Sweet build. Very practical. I'd love to put one of these together.
     
  13. Mar 31, 2014 at 5:42 AM
    #13
    SMKYTXN

    SMKYTXN If it can't be overdone it's not worth doing Vendor

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    So far I'm about $60 over your "cost". I'm using the same 15ah lithium ion battery that's in the safe. Other than that you're going to have to wait and see what else is in the box.
     
  14. Mar 31, 2014 at 5:44 AM
    #14
    colinb17

    colinb17 [OP] If at first you don't succeed, don't try skydiving

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    just one of them, or are you stacking a few?
     
  15. Mar 31, 2014 at 5:47 AM
    #15
    SMKYTXN

    SMKYTXN If it can't be overdone it's not worth doing Vendor

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    For the time being I will just use one of them. If that's not enough I'll rob the battery from the safe. I could probably just wire it up to use both batteries and just "borrow" the one from the safe when I need the box. The 30Ah would be pretty nice.
     
  16. Mar 31, 2014 at 5:47 AM
    #16
    Matic

    Matic The "OFG" Baby!!!

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    Beautiful write up and pics. Props to you man.
     
  17. Mar 31, 2014 at 5:48 AM
    #17
    colinb17

    colinb17 [OP] If at first you don't succeed, don't try skydiving

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    30 would be very nice. 22.5 is great, so 30 is just flat out American overkill :oldglory:
     
  18. Mar 31, 2014 at 5:50 AM
    #18
    colinb17

    colinb17 [OP] If at first you don't succeed, don't try skydiving

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    thanks fellas. little time consuming. took me 2-3 evenings after work to addemble, but it always take longer the first time. other than that, it's a very simple system to put together.
     
  19. Mar 31, 2014 at 5:53 AM
    #19
    SMKYTXN

    SMKYTXN If it can't be overdone it's not worth doing Vendor

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    :spy:

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Mar 31, 2014 at 6:03 AM
    #20
    colinb17

    colinb17 [OP] If at first you don't succeed, don't try skydiving

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    yeah..... you're gonna want more than 15 amp hours
     
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