Video: A good battery backup is important if you have a lot of tech you'd like to protect from surges -- or just keep running if the power drops out -- but this tutorial from The 8-Bit Guy shows you how to make yours even more useful. It's easier than you might think to add some DC outputs, and a voltage readout so you can monitor for surges. The video is about ten minutes, but skip ahead to the six minute mark to hear about some of the benefits of all of this tweaking, like being able to extend the life of your battery backup in a power outage, or better automation of when your backup shuts your computer down if the power does go out. The first half of the video is the walkthrough of how he did everything -- complete with adding new outputs and removing more archaic components (like the surge protector for the analogue phone lines -- something many of us don't need any more). The DC outputs can be used for things like car-style device chargers, or in this case, the 8-Bit Guy's HAM radio.
All in all, it's a great way to turn a UPS you may have hiding under your desk already into something even more useful with just a little effort. Plus, despite how tricky electrical projects can be, you can do all of this safely.