Portable Power? Will a Flashlight do the Job?

By Joe Nickell

Joe Nickell shares a clever way to get portable power using a flashlight.

Earlier this year I found the need to power an audio interface in the field. Since I am growing tired of the variety of dedicated battery solutions I already own, I wondered “What could I adapt?” The obvious choice was to use my power tool batteries since I own 4 batteries and 2 chargers. After struggling with how to make a mating adaptor for the battery I realized it might be easy to add a jack to the flash light.

A trip to the local Radio Shack provided the parts and it was an easy modification. I had this with me at a recent EASERA class and several other attendees liked the idea so I decided to share it. It also has another benefit. If you want to make critical, low level measurements the standard Gateway wall wart has power supply noise. A good DC supply is needed to lower the noise floor, and a battery does the job.

It seems obvious, but when making up the adaptor cables verify the polarity! jn

Flashlight Joe uses for his portable power

Jack and cable used