Portable Powered Laptop Case




A family member recommended I show some of my projects, this is my first, there are some missing but simple steps as I deconstructed my case to create a basic instructable. I used some nicer components to build the case but simpler substitutions can be used.

Step 1: 1. Basic Rigid Case

This is a 22" Rigid Organizer Case, purchased at Home Depot for about $30 The 6 side organizers have been removed.

Step 2: 2. Drill Holes in Dividers for Cable Routing

Using a stepped drill bit, large holes drilled for running the power cables case.

Step 3: 3. Optional Additions

Using a stepped Drill Bit, 3 holes drilled above the handle for two 12v sockets and one Volt Meter.

Step 4: 4. Running Power Wires

This is a combination of steps, what you see here is a wiring for the two 12v sockets, and volt meter in the front of the case.

In the back of the case there is wiring for a power inverter using ring connectors M6 if I recall right. Additionally 2 sets of cables for duel batteries.

All is wired into a fuel block and grounding strip, This is a mid priced option, other options would be a Blue Sea fuse block with ground as a higher priced option or an inexpensive option could easily be a couple of 1/4" bolts with 1/4" nuts to separate the connections, 1 for positive and 1 for negative.

Regardless of how you run the positive and the negative, please keep them separate as you do not want to short out the batteries.

In this case, I installed a Genius charging cable for my Genius 3500 Battery charger so I can recharge the battery banks when at home.

Step 5: 5. Batteries and Inverter

Here are the batteries and Inverter used in the case.

Batteries are each 12v 9ah sealed lead acid batteries

Inverter is simply a 400w Continuous Inverter.

Industrial Velcro 10lbs applied to batteries, inverter, and bottom of the case.

Step 6: 6. Batteries Attached

Batteries and Inverter mounted with Velcro

Power cables attached, Positive to Positive, Negative to Negative.

Step 7: 7. Options From Step 3

Optional Power Ports and Voltage Meter from step 3 connected to battery banks.

Again, Positive to Positive, Negative to Negative.

Step 8: 8. Final Steps

Here is the general layout of the case.

Step 9: 9. Laptop Power Cord Placed

Laptop power cord installed, Transformer in mid section, cord plugged into Inverter, power cord to laptop given some slack and place on left side of case (where my laptop plug is located).

Step 10: 10. Cosmetics

A simple foam pad was cut out to make a cover for the fuel block and majority of the wiring.

Step 11: 11. Cosmetics Again

Second foam pad cutout to cover batteries and other wiring.

Step 12: 12. Spare Battery Storage

Given the additional space in the case on the foam pad covering the main wiring, I used this space to hold my spare laptop batteries.

Step 13: 13. Final Product

Final product, Case complete. During this project, you probably have seen a foam pad attached to the lid, the lid has an insert from the factory that is easily removed with a flat head screwdriver from the bottom, this was hot glued into the lid and provides a good cushion and support to hold my laptop in place without crushing it.

The batteries with Testing have powered the Laptop for 7 Hours while streaming netflix at full settings for maximum power draw. I stopped at 7 hours but given the voltage of the batteries in the case, it could have gone for an estimate 1-2 hours more.



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    13 Discussions


    1 year ago

    Very nice project!

    Have you thought about using a DC-DC converter instead of the inverter? Might be useful in many aspects.

    4 replies

    Reply 1 year ago

    The nice thing about the case is that it is adaptable to many needs.

    I took the case on a weekend trip with no power available, the case powered the laptop for about 5hrs, charged cell phones, tablets, and duel 20watt speakers the whole trip and still has power to spare.


    Reply 1 year ago

    What I am trying to point out is that you already have DC in your batteries. What you are doing right now is converting it to AC (inverter) and then back to DC using the phone/tablet/speakers charger.

    Instead, you could replace the inverter with a DC-DC converter (pretty cheap on eBay) and use the variable output (usually 5V, but you can decide which one you need by using the built-in potentiometer) to charge your stuff directly. Your overall weight will decrease and the efficiency will be higher.

    You could still carry your inverter if you really think you are going to need it.


    Reply 1 year ago

    Im not a big fan of essentially car power supplies for computers.

    I do use the case to power my soldering/glue gun and other stuff.

    I may do a dc-dc converter type system with an inverter on a larger power pack case.

    I appreciate the input.


    Reply 1 year ago

    That's a fair point, but when it comes to limiting power consumption, and heat, which will kill your inverter there, the 12V-18V buck-converter is much better for both. And that gives you a far better runtime. Even if you don't wind up needing it, it's worth having, just in case.

    Bruce Giddens

    1 year ago

    well, I do not understand all the wiring feegeemingle in step 4. What am I looking at?

    1 reply
    WalkonpbBruce Giddens

    Reply 1 year ago

    Upper right is a positive power fuse block where all the positive wires connect.

    Lower right is a negative bar where all the negative wires connect.

    Essentially its 2 separate connection points to keep all the negative wires connected to one place and all positive wires connected to another place.


    Reply 1 year ago

    Without my laptop or spare batteries, roughly 20lbs.

    12lbs of that is the batteries.


    Reply 1 year ago

    Sounds like a lot, but it can be reduced with li-ion batteries.


    Reply 1 year ago

    That it could. I used the 12v 9ah batteries as they are universal with the rest of my systems.

    My other cases use them plus my car has duel battery banks independent of each other all using the same battery and with my solar grid on my car plus utility mobility scooter all using the same batteries, and can swap at will for recharging and such.


    1 year ago

    You are a genius. Great design idea. You kept it safe and somple. More power to ya!'-pun intended!

    Nice design for a portable workstation. There even looks like there is some extra space for accessories like a mouse or a folding keyboard.