Tool Batteries For Ham Radio

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by KI6NAZ, Jul 1, 2020.

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  1. KI6NAZ

    KI6NAZ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Here is my first prototype for a tool battery based system for powering a ham radio and Raspberry Pi. There is a lot more work to do, but the concept seems to be sound!

    Copy of Copy of CrankIR Assembly (5).jpg
    K3TEF, N8JYD, KL2LO and 12 others like this.
  2. K4BFH

    K4BFH Ham Member QRZ Page

    I think I have watched enough Ave videos on youtube to attempt this as well. Fantastic idea!
    VE2HEW likes this.
  3. W4NNF

    W4NNF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    That's an interesting idea if you've got a bunch of tool batteries on hand. Otherwise, 12v jumpstart packs are convenient, inexpensive, and have 15 - 20ah capacities...
    N6XJP, KG7QJB, KG7HVR and 1 other person like this.
  4. JF1IRQ

    JF1IRQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi KI6NAZ,

    It's compact and good.
    How much is the output voltage?

  5. ZL1PDT

    ZL1PDT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi that looks good donot think can get any of them here in ZL mut look see,
  6. KI6NAZ

    KI6NAZ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    You can do the same with whatever batteries are available to you.
  7. KB0FKT

    KB0FKT Ham Member QRZ Page

    The "set screws" are potentiometers.
  8. WA7F

    WA7F Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    It all sounds good but, do you find it difficult to operate with the rig at an angle? I think it would give a person a stiff neck.
    W7XLR, N3UPM and G3SEA like this.
  9. VK2JI

    VK2JI Ham Member QRZ Page

    Those buck converters can be awfully RF noisy if you are unlucky. After trying various solutions to get the 16.4v of a 4S LIPO battery down to 13.8v, the cleanest option I found was to use an LM 338T voltage regulator of the correct current rating on a heatsink with a couple of resistors to set the required output voltage. i.e. the old fashioned method that has been used for years.

    The suggestion of using a car battery booster box has a similar problem - they tend to use a 3.7V LIPO and then up a Boost converter to take the voltage up to 12V - these converters can also be RF noisy.

    Good luck with whatever you end up with, but watch out for that RF noise!

    73 Ed.

    As always YMMV.
    KQ6XA likes this.
  10. WA7F

    WA7F Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Actually, I’ve been working on something similar. Except with surplus batteries from data centers. I’m not a QRP guy so a Honda generator and a few 40Ah 12V batteries paralleled in a 24V configuration with a buck converter is more suitable for the application.

    If you want a light weight and very reliable battery without the odd LiPo voltages look into LiFe (Lithium Iron) batteries. They have a very flat discharge voltage curve. I run a 60Ah LiFe in my electric kayak and it runs 12.5 to 12.6V until it’s basically discharged. The discharge voltage is so flat that you need an A/hr meter for a “fuel gauge.” I also have a 10A/Hr motorcycle battery LiFe that weighs roughly 40% of the lead acid equivalent.

    Maybe 12.5V is a little low but, if your running portable/QRP anyway it seems like a reasonable compromise.
    N6XJP, K8XG and K3RW like this.

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