*The Power Can*
12-volt Ammo Can
By: Jaden
15 August 2005

I had some gel cell batteries sitting on a shelf with no idea of what to use them for. Recently the idea of popping them into an ammo can came to mind.

I have 2 fairly large batteries that Iím guessing are about 10 AH a piece and 2 smaller ones that are 7.2 AH a piece. Well, it made sense to connect them in parallel. That means the voltage stays the same, but the amp hours (AH) increases. So instead of 7.2 AH, it is now 14.4AH. Connect +/+ and -/-.

Iím a packrat no doubt and over the years Iíve collected about everything including those nice cigarette lighter sockets that used to come with the old analog bag phones.

Building this thing was simple. The wire thatís attached to the socket is marked about every 1" with a + or -. On the end opposite the socket, I cut off the old plug and crimped on some female spade connectors. The wire needed to connect to 2 batteries so I just crimped a jumper wire into the connector along with the main feed wire for the socket. Then being careful to observe POLARITY I made the connections.


Pretty self explanatory

There was enough empty room in the can for the 2 smaller batteries so in they went with the same concept as the big ones. I stuffed a wool sock between the small ones to hold them snug. When not in use, the wires tuck in as you see below.


BAM, 12-volts in a can. It weighs about as much as a small automotive battery.

This will be enough to run a hand held radio or other small DC loads. I figure nothing over 5 amps. Yes, itíll run a mobile ham radio on low power too.

To make charging simple, I plan to use a cigarette lighter plug in conjunction with a regular battery charger. See Charging Gel-Cell Batteries. Hook the charger to the plug, plug the plug into the socket and let it go. I recommend a nice slow charge.

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