Powering 5/12V IoT devices

I find I’m buying a lot of nodemcu/d1 mini type boards, to stick around my property to control things/gather data.

When it’s next to a 12v gate motor, powering it is easy, but often times the closest power source is 240v AC.
I’ve got a few old phone chargers I can use for a while, but will run out at some point. Then, from what I can see, AC-DC transformers are all in the same form (plug), and cost R80 - R120, which is very close to the price of the board to start with.

Is there an easier/cheaper option I’m missing?

From a post on PF I found these:


Seem to work quite well for low power applications, but may not run an ESP based board with WiFi at full power.

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A great many esp based applications run with such 3W power supplies. 3W is plenty for not only the ESP, but also leds or relays as well. Just be super careful to isolate these properly in your application. There’s some 300vdc present on some areas of that board; no flapping it in the wind or soap boxes for projects using mains voltages

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