Battery Booster!

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by WJ6F, Jul 20, 2020.

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  1. PA0MHS

    PA0MHS XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    If your battery voltage is already so low that your transceiver starts shutting down, the battery is already drained too far and won't even start your car. Adding this booster just makes the problem worse because it draws more current from your battery than you rig does, in order to raise the voltage. The absolute lowest discharge voltage of a lead-acid battery is 10.8V under load. This thingamajig allows you to set the cut-off voltage to 9V, which will destroy your battery.
  2. PA0MHS

    PA0MHS XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    100% if set to 9 or 10V cut-off voltage
    K0UO likes this.
  3. WU3U

    WU3U Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I’ve been using the original N8XJK booster in my last two vehicles. I bought the MFJ booster first and when I went to adjust the pot for the base voltage I heard a loud SNAP! and the thing never worked after that. I returned it and bought the more expensive N8XJK booster from TG Electronics.

    How I first found out that I needed one of these was even with good quality 10 gauge wire run directly from the battery to the radio, my IC-7100 would not put out full power like it does with a bench power supply due to the voltage drop at the radio. The original N8XJK booster from TG Electronics completely solved the issue. Even with the engine not running I could get full power out of the 7100.

    When I got a new vehicle, which has the Auto Stop feature where the vehicle turns off at stop lights or when stopped in traffic my Kenwood TM-D710GA would cycle power when the car started after being shut down for auto stop. I installed the N8XJK booster that I bought from TGE and it resolved the issue.

    When I saw that West Mountain Radio was releasing what they advertised as an improved version of the N8XJK booster, I liked their design because it had Power Poles directly on the device rather than wire leads. I thought it would take up less room for my installation. So I bought West Mountain Radio’s version pulled out the original version and installed the new one. It took 30 seconds becuase I already had power poles on everything. Within 20 minutes of driving around the West Mountain Radio N8XJK Super Booster my radio kept turning off like it wasn’t even installed. It would turn off even while the engine was running nit to mention when the vehicle restarted. They had me adjust the base voltage and the cutoff voltage and it was still bad. I don’t know how many times I was mid QSO and my radio would cycle power. I went back to the original version and it worked perfect.

    The guys at West Mountain Radio said they have never seen that before. I asked Joey there that they send me another one and I would try it they didn’t seem interested in doing that. They just had me keep changing jumper settings inside the unit. They eventually told me to just return it for a refund. That told me that they knew that they would all work the same way and they may not have someone in house to make the proper modifications to resolve the issue. Their claim is that theirs is improved compared to the original version but that’s obviously not the case if my original version works flawlessly and with theirs my radio is still rebooting. I even sent them a You Tube video showing what was happening. I wished that would have worked out because theirs is nice with the power poles as is MFJ’s but I tried both with poor results. I really had high hopes for the WMR version and would still try another one if they gave me the opportunity.

    Last edited: Jul 21, 2020
  4. N1IPU

    N1IPU Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thank you, That deserves a video unlike the narcissistic youtube crap that repeats MFJ sales brochures. I looked here today to see another MFJ unbox video. Another on Ham without a single original thought in their head.
    AD0AR likes this.
  5. WZ7U

    WZ7U Ham Member QRZ Page

    How do ads become "news"?
  6. KA9JLM

    KA9JLM Ham Member QRZ Page

    When they are in the newspaper, Maybe. ? o_O
  7. AJ5F

    AJ5F Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yaesu HF rigs, particularly the FT-857D, the FT-450D and the FT-990 (I have all three), are notorious for having rough output signals when operating under 13.8 volts. This MFJ unit is perfect for delivering a full 13.8 when an AGM battery is getting up in years (Mine is driven by 3 solar panels and I've had it for 3 years now). I ordered one from DX engineering a few weeks ago. Demand has been high at MFJ, so they are back-ordered. Mine is supposed to ship in about a week. If you're wanting one, expect a delay.
    K0UO and KC5MO like this.
  8. 2E0KFL

    2E0KFL Ham Member QRZ Page

    I do feel this sort of device is needed when out portable. I try and use my Icom 7300 but they are known not to like low voltage. But these are very expensive here in the UK. If someone could make a similar product half the price they would be selling like mad. But at over £200 here it's a big chunk of money. So I use a smaller mobile radio Alinco DX70TH and that has no issues on a car battery. But would love one. Is there any alternative to MFJ ones???
    K0UO likes this.
  9. KA1YBS

    KA1YBS XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I bought one of these second-hand just to see how well it performs mobile. In other words, I'm curious and having it in my hands is the way I'll learn more about it.

    I take the advice of K0BG very seriously however, and I hope this won't end up on my table at a ham fest. Alan makes things so easy to understand... get a higher rating alternator and use thick 8AWG power wire if you are running the rig with 10 feet or more wire.

    The voltage drop on 12 AWG cable at 10 feet is 0.78V on a 23A load!

    If your rig is expecting 12.8 volts and your alternator is barely making it, and you use thin cable and or cruddy fuse holders... don't try and use a booster to compensate unless your engine is at least, idling.

    Portable? Forget it. I just operated at 25w for three days (3 hours each day) made over 250 QSOS. Screw the tuner, use something resonant, lower the power a bit and save your juice.
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2020
  10. K4CPM

    K4CPM Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    That's a bit harsh. If MFJ hadn't rescued all the businesses that it has, we would REALLY not have a source of gear. With as few hams that there are, do you think a big manufacturer would invest what would be required to do half of what MFJ does? In addition, It is definitely American. Besides, how many Hams really do have the disposable income for more expensive gear? And by the way, I can guarantee that Covid is not a hoax. My Son is a nurse who has been treating these poor devils since the start of this. It's real and people do die.
    Rich, K4CPM
    AH7I and K0UO like this.

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