This DIY charging station runs from a single USB charger and only costs $35 to make

Jul 6, 2020

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

This DIY charging station runs from a single USB charger and only costs $35 to make

Jul 6, 2020

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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Charging stations are nature’s way of telling us we have way too many different types of batteries for our gear. For some, our “charging station” is just a loose pile of chargers haphazardly arranged on our desks. For others, they’re an organised work of our that allows us to charge and store our batteries with expedience and simplicity.

In this video, filmmaker and YouTuber Duncan Dimanche shows us how he’s arranged his DIY charging station. He built it for only $35 (not including the cost of the chargers, obviously) and it’s all powered from a single USB charging station.

Duncan’s system is based around the Ikea Skadis pegboard and says he managed to build the whole thing for around $35. If you actually buy your parts from Ikea directly, then they’re much cheaper than going with Amazon, but I’ll put both links here and you can decide for yourself.

Although Duncan made his setup for around $35, and if you buy your Ikea bits from Ikea (or buy a cheaper, competing brand on Amazon) and shop around for a better price on a 60W USB charger, you can probably make it for around that, too, it can get much more expensive if you’re not careful in your buying habits.

In the video, Duncan talks about his needs, and how the system comes together to provide him with some modularity and easy access to all of his chargers, as well as how he fixes and reinforces the cable connections to help prevent them from disappearing back through the holes or becoming damaged.

It’s a very neat idea, and if you’ve got multiple phones, action cameras, camera sliders and other devices that charge from USB anyway, then it’s definitely going to be very useful.

Personally, though, it would take me too long to charge all of my other batteries over USB. With more than a dozen Nikon batteries, another dozen Panasonic batteries, and who knows how many NP-F batteries, I need to be able to charge them more quickly. So I think I’d still go with a mains-powered board that lets me use my 120/240v chargers. You can see an example of that type of charging station here.

How about you? Can you charge all you need to from USB?

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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One response to “This DIY charging station runs from a single USB charger and only costs $35 to make”

  1. Camera operator Hong Kong Avatar
    Camera operator Hong Kong

    That makes no so much sens to have 5V charger for a 7.2V battery except in a travel mode where you need to get as less weight and cable.
    But for in house charging wall; You have to step down your power to 5V, to step it up to 7.4V inside each charger.
    So much energy wasted.
    Also, it will take forever if you plug all them together to charge. It’s 12 A overall, so 1.2 A per port only.
    (And you are losing power on boosting it)
    To charge a regular NP Sony, you need more about 1.8A at 8.4V, so 15W of power. With 60W max, it’s 4 batteries charging and you are done. (Again without any loss on the stepping up which is not possible)