"Independent" battery power in a car

Discussion in 'On the Road' started by KN4YRM, Jul 8, 2020.

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  1. K6CPO

    K6CPO Ham Member QRZ Page

    I did this to my truck to keep the battery charged since I'm not driving during the pandemic. I cut a hole in the exterior fender and installed a plug that takes a standard extension cord and connected that to a battery maintainer mounted the side wall of the engine compartment.
    K0UO likes this.
  2. N3CDF

    N3CDF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    You are way overthinking this. I operate portable all the time with POTA. I have a Ft-891 Hooked to a Lifepo 20ah battery that sits in the floorboard. Radio hooks to that battery. For the antenna, A wolf River Coil mounted on a fender mount. Coax run through the firewall. Very simple and easy. From the time I pull in and park to on the air, 10 minutes tops. I did try and run the radio to the cars battery to start with but feared I would run the battery down and be stuck in the middle of nowhere. If I tried to use the car battery with the car running their was to much interference from the ignition.
    K0UO likes this.
  3. 2W0FFI

    2W0FFI Ham Member QRZ Page

    can i say something i am sorry but you need help to set up your radio
    if the antenna is going to stay on the roof of your car But you are going to remove your raduuuuuiofrom car to house ME it a lot of work just to use the radio Can some one help by going to his home or he gose to someone home and get some help as this sounds like he will blow his radio
  4. N6PAS

    N6PAS Ham Member QRZ Page

    My concern, you are over thinking this.

    There is little reason to separate the grounds, your negative connection. If you are using your radio independent of the vehicle positive the battery voltages are not an issue, it just doesn't matter. Now as I hear you, you are making your vehicle a portable ham shack! Usually we want every thing, every ground strongly bonded together to eliminate stray rf voltage. Now imagine that one in a million lightning strike to your magnetic antenna. I assume a large hole in your roof, and you being burnt, maybe seriously. Good luck with your decision.
  5. AB6J

    AB6J Ham Member QRZ Page

    That's exactly what I do - I installed a West Mountain Radio Epic Pwergate distribution unit/battery charger in the back hatch storage of the Pilot. Notice the 12AH Bioeno battery attached. The Yaesu FT 891 is powered by either the Pilot battery when the the engine is running or the Bioeneol battery when the engine is off. There is no loss of power when the radio is on and the engine is turned off - its seemless. Plus, the Bioeno bzattery is charging whenever the engine is running. Plus,plus, the Epic Pwergate has a spot for a solar panel ax well.

    see the pics on my QRZ page:

  6. KN4YRM

    KN4YRM XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Interesting. Since I originally posted, I have been operating the ft-891 "mobile" station remotely from inside the house over wifi, making contacts! But every night have to out and get the battery, bring it in to recharge. No reason I can't put a solar panel of some kind on the roof of the car. Car basically just sits now during Covid, I don't drive every day like before so as to charge the lifepo during driving...but solar would work.
    Is there a specific model # on your battery managemetn system?
  7. K6CPO

    K6CPO Ham Member QRZ Page

    I agree that everyone is way overthinking this.

    For another analogy; a year ago I was part of a group providing communications support for a half-marathon running event. I was tasked with providing a radio for the SAG (Support and Gear) van. Rather than try to communicate with an HT (because of sketchy repeater coverage,) I chose to use a self-contained go-kit with a 50W mobile radio. The go-kit is powered by a 15Ah SLA battery and I used a mag mount for an antenna. Everything I was using was completely independent from the van's electrical system and there was plenty of power in the battery to last the entire event.
  8. KN4YRM

    KN4YRM XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Since the original post I've been using it as described and all good, making surprisingly good HF contacts too.
  9. AB6J

    AB6J Ham Member QRZ Page


    Here it is:

  10. K0VWA

    K0VWA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Apologies if another poster said this earlier - I didn't see it anywhere in the thread - be careful operating in bad weather. Hail especially as it is good at carrying static charges.

    I ran a similar setup to yours working the Pikes Peak Hill Climb one year. Just VHF instead of HF. Had a J-pole on a tripod outside the car, coax in through the window to a 2M rig powered by an old school 12V deep cycle battery. Worked great until the hail started. The antenna picked up a huge charge. The radio chassis made a buzzing sound even when it was turned off. Like electrical don't touch me buzzing. Was pretty concerned to say the least. Knew I had to get the coax out of the car so I just braved it - touched the chassis with the back of my hand - got a heckuva shock - unhooked the coax and threw it out the window.

    I was very lucky that day. Better lucky than good!

    I don't use the tripod mounted antenna in bad weather anymore.

    Good luck and 73.
    W0PV likes this.

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