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Old Jun 12, 2012, 06:41 PM   #1
Chipg
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I made an external battery for my Air

I needed more portable battery power and did not want to spend $200+ for a hyperjuce so I made my own external battery pack for my Macbook Air. It’s 65w LifePO4 battery, 4400mAh @ 14.8 volts, I do not know the total time it will last for but I used it for 6+ hours and it was still going strong, my Air is a i7 with the bigger processor, the battery is small and light making it convenient and easy to carry in your laptop bag or backpack.

My total cost including the charger is less than $80, the battery was $28 so after the cost of the mag safe connector and charger I can add more battery packs for $28 each or spend more on a larger capacity one.

Battery = $27.99 I chose this battery because it fits in a small side pocket in my laptop bag and is not big and heavy. It is 4400 mAh at 14.8 volts or about 65 watts, I think the standard 2011 Macbook airs battery is around 50 watts???? After 6 hours my air was still going off this battery with the screen brightness high and I ripped several dvd’s with handbrake, there was no ‘light’ use during this time.

Hobby King has a tool for selecting batteries, you choose your type, LifePO4 is what I ordered and select your voltage (14.8 volts) and they list batteries by mAh...

Charger = $24.95 - smart charger for 1-4 cell, if you buy a battery with more than 4 cells make sure you buy compatible charger for more cells.

I bought a used apple power adapter for $20 to remove the wire with the mag safe connector, I soldered 4mm radio shack quick connect bullet connectors on the end of the mag safe wire after I unsoldered it from the apple power adapter, the white wire is the positive wire.

This setup has been REALLY GOOD to me, for another $5 you can buy a car USB cigarette lighter 10w power adapter and connect it to this battery for an iPad or iPhone. I leave the battery in my laptop bag so all that comes out is the wire to plug into, it's a pretty slick setup that you can add more power anytime for not a lot of $.

http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...dProduct=17816

http://www.all-battery.com/Universal...ack-01281.aspx
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Old Jun 12, 2012, 06:48 PM   #2
Beanoir
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sounds pretty interesting this, got any pictures of the finished product?
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Old Jun 12, 2012, 06:51 PM   #3
TSE
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That's awesome. Mind posting step by step directions and photos?
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Old Jun 12, 2012, 06:58 PM   #4
Chipg
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sounds pretty interesting this, got any pictures of the finished product?
Please give me a day or two and I'll take some pics for you and make the instructions more clear. It was REALLY simple to do, it took me 5 minutes.

The cool thing about it is if I want more power I can just buy 1 more battery for $28.
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Old Jun 12, 2012, 07:17 PM   #5
PBG4 Dude
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I was thinking about using some of my heli lipos to do something similar. Good to see you doing this.
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Old Jun 12, 2012, 07:28 PM   #6
SurferMan
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That's freaking awesome. One thing I didn't like about my previous Air was battery life, my 13" Pro lasted longer (i.e. I could watch 2-3 movies on it on a plane). But I'm thinking of picking up a new Air since the 13" Pro was pimp slapped by Apple.

Does the pack get warm or hot? Wondering if something like this would work if I left it in the briefcase and ran the cord to the computer while on a flight or if it would get to hot and need some breathing room?
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Old Jun 12, 2012, 08:07 PM   #7
Chipg
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That's freaking awesome. One thing I didn't like about my previous Air was battery life, my 13" Pro lasted longer (i.e. I could watch 2-3 movies on it on a plane). But I'm thinking of picking up a new Air since the 13" Pro was pimp slapped by Apple.

Does the pack get warm or hot? Wondering if something like this would work if I left it in the briefcase and ran the cord to the computer while on a flight or if it would get to hot and need some breathing room?
The pac stays really cool, it is a 15c pack which means it is made to put out voltage over a long time vs a battery like for a r/c helicopter that is made to disperse it's voltage fast. You will have ZERO probs with this battery and heat, it felt room temerature the whole time, perfect to leave in your brief case or backpack.

I'll get you guys some more details and info soon.
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Old Jun 12, 2012, 08:59 PM   #8
The-Pro
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EPIC!!
Cant wait for the pics of it. Ill make one aswell
Cheers
I've been wanting to create some sort of external battery for ages. Never got round to it. This is great though.
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Old Mar 10, 2013, 05:21 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Chipg View Post
Please give me a day or two and I'll take some pics for you and make the instructions more clear. It was REALLY simple to do, it took me 5 minutes.

The cool thing about it is if I want more power I can just buy 1 more battery for $28.
and then you should head over to instructables.com.
they'd love you over there
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Old Mar 11, 2013, 12:25 AM   #10
Chipg
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and then you should head over to instructables.com.
they'd love you over there
I don't have the time, anyone here is more than welcome to.

My battery is still going strong with no problems, i did upgrade to a $35 balanced charger tho.
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Old Mar 16, 2013, 03:24 PM   #11
andydeckerrr
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Noobie Advice

Hey guys, I have an aluminum case from an old external 3.5" HDD case. Was going to make one of these external batteries. My dimensions of the biggest size battery I can have is 5 and 3/4 x 4 x 1 inches. I have a MacBook Pro 13inch Aluminum, so figured i would need a 18.5v battery. Within reasonable price (under $65) what battery would you guys suggest? Thanks Andy

Last edited by andydeckerrr; Mar 16, 2013 at 03:34 PM. Reason: change price
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Old Jun 13, 2012, 03:22 AM   #12
PeterJP
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Originally Posted by Chipg View Post
I needed more portable battery power and did not want to spend $200+ for a hyperjuce so I made my own external battery pack for my Macbook Air. It’s 65w LifePO4 battery, 4400mAh @ 14.8 volts, I do not know the total time it will last for but I used it for 6+ hours and it was still going strong, my Air is a i7 with the bigger processor, the battery is small and light making it convenient and easy to carry in your laptop bag or backpack.
This is one of the coolest hacks for an MBA that I've seen so far. It should give you more battery time than the internal battery and that at only about 0,5kg. Looking forward to your write-up !


Peter.
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Old Jun 13, 2012, 04:55 PM   #13
Chipg
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Hope this helps some more:


This is the battery I chose for size and weight, it weighs 419 grams so that’s less than half a kilo, it’s a 4400 mAh 14.8 volt 15C (discharge rate) Li-Po type = same type as Apple uses for the Macbooks: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithium...olymer_battery
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...dProduct=17816

Hobby King sells larger and smaller batteries, pick one that’s best for your time requirements, the 4400 mAh 14.8 volt one I use (in the above link) provided me with 6+ hours and was still going strong, it’s 65 watts, the Macbook Airs factory battery is around 50 watts. Here is a link to a larger 8000 mAh 14.8 volt battery: http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...dProduct=20823 and here is a link to a smaller 3000 mAh one for $20: http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...dProduct=15010 this little light battery should be about 44 watts.

The cool thing here is that you can size your batteries however you want, some people might want one big daddy and others 2 or 3 small ones...

Order these 4mm bullet connectors, pack of 10 = $3.64
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...%5Fset%5F.html if you decide to order different batteries some might have a different connector than the 4mm bullet plugs on them so remember to check and order the correct connectors if necessary.

This is the charger I bought, it is a smart charger that works with any Li-Ion/LiPO battery pack with capacity > 1000mAh that has 1-4 cells, it auto shuts off so you cannot overcharge the battery: http://www.all-battery.com/Universal...ack-01281.aspx

Buy a new or used Apple power supply that has the mag safe plug, I bought one used for $20, I had to crack mine open with a bench vise to remove the plastic casing, then unsolder the two wires from the mag safe wire, one is white, the other black then solder on the 4mm bullet connectors that will plug into the battery, the white wire is positive and goes on the side of the 4mm bullet plug connector that has the red wire for the battery and the black wire is negative and goes on the 4mm bullet plug connector that goes to the batteries black ground wire. It’s really simple to do, I did not take pictures during that process, I didn’t think there would be this much interest. the only 2 wires used coming out of the battery pack are the red and black ones.

Plug it into your Mac and you now have portable power that will last for hours!

I wrapped mine in black tape so you couldn’t see the Zippy brand and writing but here is a pic so you can see the size, my Air is the 13” one.



And here you can see how it perfectly fits in the little side pocket in my laptop bag.

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Last edited by Chipg; Jun 13, 2012 at 05:07 PM.
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Old Jun 13, 2012, 05:12 PM   #14
Monkeyat
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Very nice !

I can't find a 14.8V battery here in France. Do you think a 12V can do the job ?
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Old Jun 13, 2012, 05:17 PM   #15
Chipg
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Very nice !

I can't find a 14.8V battery here in France. Do you think a 12V can do the job ?
I'd go on Hobby Kings website and order a 14.8volt one from China, mine only took 10 days to get here and shipping was cheap.

The Apple power adapter puts out 14.5 volts and is the reason I went with the 14.8volt one. I would just order the one with the voltage that we know works with no problems.

Let me know how it turns out
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Old Jun 13, 2012, 06:38 PM   #16
The-Pro
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Thank you so much. Im in the process of ordering at the moment.
Couple questions, if you would be so kind to help me
First off, do you know if I will have any problems ordering to germany? like customs and stuff.

I noticed that the battery you have has a 15C discharge rate. The 8000mAh one you posted the link to is 30C. Whats the difference and will it affect anything?

Can I use the exact same battery that you have for my 15" MBP? Or are there voltage and Wattage problems?

Cheers mate
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Old Jun 13, 2012, 05:13 PM   #17
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Looks pretty cool
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Old Jun 23, 2012, 09:35 AM   #18
MustangMatt69
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Macbook Air aluminium External Battery

Hi guys, just thought I'd add a link for the external batteries I use for my 11" MacBook Air and a 15" Retina MacBook Pro.

The company is called HyperJuice and the like is http://www.hypershop.com, they do different sized batteries depending on your needs.

Take a look!
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Old Jul 1, 2012, 10:29 AM   #19
Alameda
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What do you expect? Hobby king is an electronics freak with a ton of stuff in his basement. It's not Amazon.com. This thread probably depleted his inventory.
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Old Jul 1, 2012, 10:37 AM   #20
The-Pro
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I talked to customer service and at one point I told them that its a very poorly designed site and they should do something about it. They took it into consideration haha
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Old Jul 1, 2012, 11:38 AM   #21
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Huh?

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What do you expect? Hobby king is an electronics freak with a ton of stuff in his basement. It's not Amazon.com. This thread probably depleted his inventory.
What is your evidence for this claim? He is an unusual "electronics freak," since he has warehouses in Germany, the US, Australia, and China. People on this thread have reported ordering from the US and the German warehouses. And a few domain names point to this site (hobbyking and hobbycity, that I know of). So, actually, like Amazon. More over, the stock quantity is not the problem (except regarding the charger I note); the problem is the site's failure to make clear (a) what they have and (b) what combinations are permissible in a single order.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by The-Pro View Post
I talked to customer service and at one point I told them that its a very poorly designed site and they should do something about it. They took it into consideration haha
Really maddening to have to scour the entire site for a few really common items.

So you managed telephone support? A us call? Maybe I'll give it a try. Prob a M-F/9-5 sort of thing, though.
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Old Jul 1, 2012, 03:22 PM   #22
Alameda
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What is your evidence for this claim?
None But this is obviously a small business without the resources that a larger company has.
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Old Jun 1, 2014, 02:04 PM   #23
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This is a great thread but what a waste of time, there's a kickstarter that will double battery life of a macbook air and its the size of a normal hand

http://www.getbatterybox.com
http://www.lenmar.com/chugplug
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...irst-smart-bag
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Old Jun 4, 2014, 04:17 PM   #24
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This is a great thread but what a waste of time, there's a kickstarter that will double battery life of a macbook air and its the size of a normal hand

http://www.getbatterybox.com
http://www.lenmar.com/chugplug
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...irst-smart-bag
Waste of time, really?
  • BatteryBox: it's a fake! A 12,000 mAh battery that weights only 8.81oz (250g)? $140 !
  • Chugplug: Huge and heavy pack! $160
  • Phorce: the only very nice idea... but let's wait for the price!
Otherwise, my kit costed only $60 and it's still working very fine !!!
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Old Jun 4, 2014, 05:10 PM   #25
skinny*k
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Also, the Phorce for Mac uses an Apple Magsafe Airline adapter, which has been discontinued by Apple. The website hasn’t been updated since Noovember of 1012; I have to wonder where the manufacturer is going to get those adaptors from.

From the website:

“Phorce for Mac connects to your MacBook via an Apple Magsafe Airline adapter (this is included).”
Last updated: Wed, Nov 21 2012 4:04 PM PDT
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