Portable Power Suggestions? e.g. Jackery, Anker, EcoFlow

Our team is looking at portable power for charging cameras and laptops in the stands, and providing power at outreaches (e.g. powering laptops, lights, or speakers,) or (if allowed) charging power tools in the pit. All suggestions welcome! Preferred: not too heavy, not too expensive, easy to use. Max budget is about $1000.00 USD. If this goes to plan, we’ll be asking a local electrical contractor to donate it and we don’t know what to ask for.

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A bunch of teams have recommended making one using some old frc batteries and alternators. We haven’t done this, but it is possible and a good use of the batteries instead of leaving them sitting around.


Just to be picky: Inverters, going DC to AC here. Alternators tend to go the other way.

Going back to the original post:

  1. Power tools in the pit. You get a power strip in the pit at most events. It’s often turned off at night, so take your chargers back to the hotel/shop/house with you. Anybody gives you grief, ask 'em what they’re providing a power strip for anyways. Use caution if daisy-chaining another strip off of it, though.
  2. At outreaches. Ask the organizers for a power drop. If they can’t give one, bring old batteries and an inverter, OR check to see if they’ll let you bring a small generator.
  3. In the stands. Batteries and inverters here.

You could also invest in some USB power packs for anything that can use them.


We run this in the stands for powering our scouting laptop and charging tablets if needed.

Goes a whole day most of the time which was the goal. I don’t think it’s any better than most of the other portable power station things. I believe there are some newer ones that can charge faster which may be nice.

Anker Portable Power Station


1293 uses a pit-only battery with an inverter. Kinda heavy and a long walk back to the pit to swap them, but we normally get most of a day out of one charging a laptop and a couple phones. And you can’t beat the price.

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I currently own a Jackery because I need to have the ability to have portable power for stealth camping and running projectors on “robots” where a power cords isn’t an option. While it’s been nice for me, the fact all robotics teams already have batteries and chargers, a good pure sine wave inverter would probably do the trick just as well at a cheaper investment.

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For $90 on sale we grabbed two of these last year. We keep one our robot cart and one in our scouting box. They don’t have a huge capacity/output but for the price and size they do the job for us of keeping key laptops charged in between access to an outlet.

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