Battery Boosters / Regulators, Baffle Boxes and alternatives

Discussion in 'Mobile Radio Systems' started by WQ6N, Aug 10, 2018.

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  1. WQ6N

    WQ6N Ham Member QRZ Page

    I do a considerable amount of mobile operations based on using golf cart deep cycle batteries (vented). These batteries are isolated from the automotive house battery via an isolator. While driving the output of the system does provide enough voltage to enable operations including a 500w amp.
    In a parked/idle state that is another story. I was trying to use the cars external battery bank for powering up an HF rig while camping. Didn't work very well as the voltage drop did not allow proper input to the HF rig without running a generator. I then tried a 1700w inverter that was close to the batteries and ran a extension cord out to a 30amp solid state power supply. I fully expected to hear a lot of noise due to the modified sine wave inverter but that was not the case. This combo actually worked and kept the input voltage to the HF rig at 13.9vdc. What did make noise was the laptop brick used to power up a laptop for digital operations.
    This is definitely not a "poor man's" solution to a boost regulator as the cost of the inverter and power supply most likely exceeds the cost of the booster. But it did work for me during generator quite hours (8pm at night till 10am the next morning).
    I am also experimenting with a Honda EU-2200i inverter inside of a baffle box made out of 3/4 plywood. I have cut down the generator noise in half without applying any sound absorbing/damping material. The box is a forced air design that exits the baffle box via a 4inch heavy duty dryer vent. Experimenting further, I found that an open cell foam (e.g. egg crate or felt) is not desired due to the fact that it restricts air flow, any fuel leaked is collected and holds the heat in. Maybe something like automotive dynamat or hushmat may be a better choice. I would like to hear comments toward some material to line the baffle boxes that does not cost hundreds of dollars (e.g. marine engine room dampening mat). Maybe something in the Butyl family? I also learned that I need two input fans to provide proper airflow. 1ea. fan 4.5"dia 3000rpm works but two would be better. Another side note is that the baffle boxes are designed to be taken apart for storage and transport.
    I have tried looking at the TGE N8XJK battery boosters but the site appears to be either down or has been redirected to external search engines vice a product line. The MFJ-4416C may work for just the HF rig but certainly not the amplifier. So for now at least the inverter and power supply solution is working for me as a interim for the HF rig only during the generator quite hours. box1.jpg
  2. K0BG

    K0BG Ham Member QRZ Page

    Everyone has a workaround of some sort. However, we need to remember that everything you stick into the line between the power source and the load, is just one more failure point. And it also pays to remember that heat is the killer of all things electronic.

    Incidentally, TGE is defunct.
  3. KA9JLM

    KA9JLM Ham Member QRZ Page

    That looks and sounds nice.

    My guess is that the Generator / Inverter will not last very long due to heat.

    And if there is a gas leak it will get very hot very quick.

    Add a smoke detector.
  4. WQ6N

    WQ6N Ham Member QRZ Page

    I like the idea of the heat/smoke sensor. They actually run fairly cool in ECO mode and the 4in exhaust. I am still going to add another fan. If I ran the A/C, I would remove them from the baffle box for sure.
    I do not shortcut anything fuel wise. This is a pic of the dual boxes that are fed with marine grade fuel lines and Honda quick disconnects. There is a DAV person on eBay selling the external fuel caps. A little pricey but better than the Chinese versions. I do not show the parallel harness that would give me 4.4k watts (about 40amps full tilt). Another thing not shown is the internal hold down straps that keep the inverters in place. These inverters are so efficient that they run all day on about 1 gal of fuel if I reduce the load.
    There is a delay from when I key up while in ECO mode. Not much, but it is noticeable.
    You have given me food for thought as I may look into a thermal switch that would power on the second fan if a internal temperature is reached. I am trying to keep things as simple as possible. As stealthy as I am trying to make the system, it still may not be quite enough to run during the quite hours. The proof will be after I get sound damping and absorbing mat in place. I also need to paint the boxes to fend off the elements. A flat sand color such as the Marines use has my interest.
    The final plus is that fact that these boxes are not easy to move, trust me I know. Securing the inverters was high on the list.
    Dual Baffle Boxes.jpg
    KA9JLM likes this.
  5. K0BG

    K0BG Ham Member QRZ Page

    You also need to read the manual on the units with respect to cooling space surrounding them. While it may look "trick", it is far from kosher.
  6. KJ4ADN

    KJ4ADN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Now that SUCKS!!! We got 4 of the units Tim sold as kits about 10 years ago, all of them still going strong. With a big heat sink, they can go way beyond 25 amps.
    Last I heard, he was working on a 125amp unit.
    KJ4ADN - Bill
  7. WQ6N

    WQ6N Ham Member QRZ Page

    I truly hope its not a health issue. The TGE Facebook link is still up. I was looking for a 80amp booster to drive the mobile amp. In a pinch, I can drive a modified Dell server power supply (115amp 13.8vdc) with one of the Honda inverters. But that could not be done during generator quite hours. I have not tried this yet either.
    I have been looking at a variety of sound dampening & absorbing mat. The CASCADE VB-4 Vblok Pro Grade Flexible Vinyl Barrier Pad has my interest.
  8. K0BG

    K0BG Ham Member QRZ Page

    If you can find one, use the 120 amp one, not the 80. Remember... You want the transceiver to be connected too.

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