Fwd: Bioenno's July Promotion

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Fwd: Bioenno's July Promotion

Jim Brown-10
This sale offers good discounts on some fine backpacking products from a
ham-friendly company.

73, Jim K9YC

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Subject: Bioenno's July Promotion
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Choosing A Battery For Ham Use

Jim Brown-10
Hi Clay,

Because this is of general interest, I'm replying to the list.

First, LiFePO4 batteries are pretty much ideal for ham applications
because of their relatively flat discharge curve, and because their Ah
vs weight ratio is a good compromise.  For example, an LiFePO4 pack will
be above 12.5 for about 80% of capacity and 12V for 90% of capacity,
while a lead-acid battery will drop below 12V before it reaches 50% of
capacity.

Second, LiFePO4 batteries provide a LOT more charge-discharge cycles if
treated properly. The result is that if you're going to use them for a
lot of years, the longer life more than compensates for their higher cost.

Third, LiFePO4 batteries are MUCH safer than Li-ion batteries.

Disadvantages of LiFePO4 are initial cost and the fact that they need a
special charger. However -- Bioenne told me that they can be safely
charged using the West Mountain SuperPWR Gate set for AGM batteries and
a power supply that is adjusted to about 14.5 volts. The AGM setting of
the PwrGate limits the charging voltage to 14.2V, which is what LiFePO4
batteries need.  Also, LiFePO4 batteries do NOT like to be discharged
below about 95%, so care must be taken not to fully discharge them. Good
battery packs will have control circuity that prevents this.

Now, as to how much battery to buy.  Start by studying current draw of
the radio(s) and other equipment that you'll use with the battery,
taking TX/RX duty cycle into account. Also look at weight if you're
going to carry it.  I bought a 20Ah pack (5.5#) to loan to a friend who
was going to pack several miles uphill to activate a rare 6M grid with a
KX3 and the 100W amp, and I just bought a 100Ah pack (26#) to run my
SO2R shack. If I were going to pack with a KX2 or KX3, I'd buy something
much smaller, like 6 - 12 Ah (2 - 4#), or even smaller.  Your
application carrying a K3/P3 around to chase RFI pulls about 1.6A, (1.8A
with the SVGA module in the P3).  A KX3 plus PX3 pulls about 350 mA at
max screen brightness.

Bioenne (and other vendors) package their LiFePO4 batteries more than
one way for the same Ah capacity, often to retrofit into existing gear.
With Bioenne batteries, I chose the PVC pack, which is lighter weight
than the rectangular "solid" format.

Bioenne and other battery vendors do NOT say that their chargers are
RF-quiet, which is why you would use a PowerGate and known clean supply.
To charge from solar, buy a Genasun charge regulator, which IS pretty
RF-quiet.  I've told Bioenne that they need to find quiet chargers.
We'll see how they respond.

As to voltages -- I would ONLY buy 12V nominal to power ham gear. If you
need other voltages for other gear, look at http://www.batteryspace.com 
which carries a MUCH broader range of batteries. They're also good
people, located in the SF Bay area. Bioenne is in Santa Ana, CA.

I've chosen to avoid voltage boost products, which are essentially SMPS,
and noisy. Yes, you can set them to be active only on TX, but if you're
running two radios, the one you aren't TXing on will hear the noise.

As to charging -- LiFePO4 batteries will last a lot longer if they are
not fast-charged.  A good rule of thumb is their 4 hour or 10 hour
discharge current. In other words, for a 20Ah battery, avoid more than
about 5A charge current.

If you're sizing the battery to power your shack and will be float
charging it, the charge current can be added to the capacity to figure
how much battery you need. In my application, with worst case of SO2R
contesting at 100W, I'll be TX on one radio or the other almost all the
time, so I'm looking at roughly 12A worst case. If I wasn't doing SO2R,
I could get by with a smaller battery.

For non-critical applications like video monitors, router, cable modem,
etc, I'm using el-cheapo lead acid batteries from my hamfest stash, and
floating them from suitably sized linear wall warts. I've found that for
most gear, voltage is not all that critical. For example, my Samsung
computer monitors are sold with a 14VDC wall wart, but were still
running fine when my lead-acid battery had dropped to 10.5 volts.

I've looked around a lot, and so far have not found a better practical
battery chemistry than LiFePO4.

Another important point. For running electronics of all types, we do NOT
want automotive batteries, which are primarily designed to provide a big
hunk of current to start the engine, but which don't like to be deeply
discharged. Instead, we want deep discharge types. Pay attention to this
when selecting a battery.

73, Jim K9YC

On Thu,6/30/2016 12:07 PM, Clay Autery wrote:

> Jim,
>
> Looking to get LFP batts for my shack/house/mobile.
>
> Could you recommend sizing guidance?  Is it as simple as multiplying the
> voltage x amps to get watts and then dividing by 12VDC to get a 12VDC
> current draw, and then spec'ing a batt based on Ah, etc etc... calculate
> run time to 80% discharge (they claim up to 90%).
> Or do I need to spec for some % overhead.  I usually size stuff for 50%
> overhead, so that if the device is running flat out it won't push the
> supply beyond 50% max continuous.  Does that apply here?
>
> Suggestions on how to get the required voltages I need:
>
> 5VDC - Probably won't need for now...  Can get most of the supply I need
> from the laptop docking station via multiple powered USB sockets.
> 12 VDC - easy (and run the 18.8 VDC K3s and P3 from 12V if I have to?)
> 13.8 VDC - For radio if possible to do it quietly.  (12 VDC w/ boost
> circuit or 24 VDC with buck circuit...  Boost seems more efficient, but
> see below)
> 19.5 VDC - Laptop (and USB 5VDC)  Boost or buck...
>
> Any ideas would be greatly appreciated...
>
> At a minimum, I want to get at least one battery to run my K3s/P3 to
> hunt RFI with the house service off and then on one branch at a time.
> At some point want to put batteries on all HAM, Broadband, Router, and
> switches...
>
>
> Thanks...
>
> ______________________
> Clay Autery, KY5G
> MONTAC Enterprises

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Re: Choosing A Battery For Ham Use

Chuck Teague
Jim, this is very helpful info.  I'm just in the planning process of taking my station solar and this is information that will help immensely. Thanks.
 Chuck
NN7U
Chuck Teague
NN7U
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Re: Choosing A Battery For Ham Use

Bill K9YEQ
In reply to this post by Jim Brown-10
My RC hobby charger manages these batteries according to specs. I have not
tried but am ready to pull the plug to use them to charge my LIPOs in the
field to enjoy more operation time. Any thoughts or experience appreciated.
I do RC via boats, cars and sailplanes.

Bill
K9YEQ



-----Original Message-----
From: Elecraft [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of Jim
Brown
Sent: Thursday, June 30, 2016 3:29 PM
To: Reflector Elecraft <[hidden email]>
Subject: [Elecraft] Choosing A Battery For Ham Use

Hi Clay,

Because this is of general interest, I'm replying to the list.

First, LiFePO4 batteries are pretty much ideal for ham applications because
of their relatively flat discharge curve, and because their Ah vs weight
ratio is a good compromise.  For example, an LiFePO4 pack will be above 12.5
for about 80% of capacity and 12V for 90% of capacity, while a lead-acid
battery will drop below 12V before it reaches 50% of capacity.

Second, LiFePO4 batteries provide a LOT more charge-discharge cycles if
treated properly. The result is that if you're going to use them for a lot
of years, the longer life more than compensates for their higher cost.

Third, LiFePO4 batteries are MUCH safer than Li-ion batteries.

Disadvantages of LiFePO4 are initial cost and the fact that they need a
special charger. However -- Bioenne told me that they can be safely charged
using the West Mountain SuperPWR Gate set for AGM batteries and a power
supply that is adjusted to about 14.5 volts. The AGM setting of the PwrGate
limits the charging voltage to 14.2V, which is what LiFePO4 batteries need.
Also, LiFePO4 batteries do NOT like to be discharged below about 95%, so
care must be taken not to fully discharge them. Good battery packs will have
control circuity that prevents this.

Now, as to how much battery to buy.  Start by studying current draw of the
radio(s) and other equipment that you'll use with the battery, taking TX/RX
duty cycle into account. Also look at weight if you're going to carry it.  I
bought a 20Ah pack (5.5#) to loan to a friend who was going to pack several
miles uphill to activate a rare 6M grid with a
KX3 and the 100W amp, and I just bought a 100Ah pack (26#) to run my SO2R
shack. If I were going to pack with a KX2 or KX3, I'd buy something much
smaller, like 6 - 12 Ah (2 - 4#), or even smaller.  Your application
carrying a K3/P3 around to chase RFI pulls about 1.6A, (1.8A with the SVGA
module in the P3).  A KX3 plus PX3 pulls about 350 mA at max screen
brightness.

Bioenne (and other vendors) package their LiFePO4 batteries more than one
way for the same Ah capacity, often to retrofit into existing gear.
With Bioenne batteries, I chose the PVC pack, which is lighter weight than
the rectangular "solid" format.

Bioenne and other battery vendors do NOT say that their chargers are
RF-quiet, which is why you would use a PowerGate and known clean supply.
To charge from solar, buy a Genasun charge regulator, which IS pretty
RF-quiet.  I've told Bioenne that they need to find quiet chargers.
We'll see how they respond.

As to voltages -- I would ONLY buy 12V nominal to power ham gear. If you
need other voltages for other gear, look at http://www.batteryspace.com
which carries a MUCH broader range of batteries. They're also good people,
located in the SF Bay area. Bioenne is in Santa Ana, CA.

I've chosen to avoid voltage boost products, which are essentially SMPS, and
noisy. Yes, you can set them to be active only on TX, but if you're running
two radios, the one you aren't TXing on will hear the noise.

As to charging -- LiFePO4 batteries will last a lot longer if they are not
fast-charged.  A good rule of thumb is their 4 hour or 10 hour discharge
current. In other words, for a 20Ah battery, avoid more than about 5A charge
current.

If you're sizing the battery to power your shack and will be float charging
it, the charge current can be added to the capacity to figure how much
battery you need. In my application, with worst case of SO2R contesting at
100W, I'll be TX on one radio or the other almost all the time, so I'm
looking at roughly 12A worst case. If I wasn't doing SO2R, I could get by
with a smaller battery.

For non-critical applications like video monitors, router, cable modem, etc,
I'm using el-cheapo lead acid batteries from my hamfest stash, and floating
them from suitably sized linear wall warts. I've found that for most gear,
voltage is not all that critical. For example, my Samsung computer monitors
are sold with a 14VDC wall wart, but were still running fine when my
lead-acid battery had dropped to 10.5 volts.

I've looked around a lot, and so far have not found a better practical
battery chemistry than LiFePO4.

Another important point. For running electronics of all types, we do NOT
want automotive batteries, which are primarily designed to provide a big
hunk of current to start the engine, but which don't like to be deeply
discharged. Instead, we want deep discharge types. Pay attention to this
when selecting a battery.

73, Jim K9YC

On Thu,6/30/2016 12:07 PM, Clay Autery wrote:

> Jim,
>
> Looking to get LFP batts for my shack/house/mobile.
>
> Could you recommend sizing guidance?  Is it as simple as multiplying
> the voltage x amps to get watts and then dividing by 12VDC to get a
> 12VDC current draw, and then spec'ing a batt based on Ah, etc etc...
> calculate run time to 80% discharge (they claim up to 90%).
> Or do I need to spec for some % overhead.  I usually size stuff for
> 50% overhead, so that if the device is running flat out it won't push
> the supply beyond 50% max continuous.  Does that apply here?
>
> Suggestions on how to get the required voltages I need:
>
> 5VDC - Probably won't need for now...  Can get most of the supply I
> need from the laptop docking station via multiple powered USB sockets.
> 12 VDC - easy (and run the 18.8 VDC K3s and P3 from 12V if I have to?)
> 13.8 VDC - For radio if possible to do it quietly.  (12 VDC w/ boost
> circuit or 24 VDC with buck circuit...  Boost seems more efficient,
> but see below)
> 19.5 VDC - Laptop (and USB 5VDC)  Boost or buck...
>
> Any ideas would be greatly appreciated...
>
> At a minimum, I want to get at least one battery to run my K3s/P3 to
> hunt RFI with the house service off and then on one branch at a time.
> At some point want to put batteries on all HAM, Broadband, Router, and
> switches...
>
>
> Thanks...
>
> ______________________
> Clay Autery, KY5G
> MONTAC Enterprises

______________________________________________________________
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Re: Choosing A Battery For Ham Use

k6dgw
I'm also replying to the list.  Jim's advice and observations [I left
them on this] are in total agreement with mine.  My LiFePO4 A123 4S1P
pack powers my K2 for way longer than I choose to sit on the ground on
some SOTA peak.  With the K2, over-discharge is self-limiting -- at what
amounts to full discharge on the pack, the voltage drops very quickly
and the K2 shuts down.  Store them with about 75-80% charge.

I've had one LiPoly RC pack burst into flames while operating in a
Spartan Sprint with my KX1.  Fortunately, I was out on the deck, and
more fortunately, had the pack on a pigtail external to the KX1 and
could fling it over onto the gravel driveway.  I understand their use
and good attributes in the RC-world, my only advice is charge them
outside. :-)

Yes, LiFePO4's do require a cell-balancing charger [some say they don't,
but then some say the moon landings were faked too], and this
complicates a situation where you want to power your station from
batteries on a float charger.

If ounces matter to you, LiPoly is probably the lightest for the
capacity.  Hard to beat LiFePO4 if you can tolerate a little more weight
however.

73,

Fred K6DGW
- Northern California Contest Club
- CU in the Cal QSO Party 1-2 Oct 2016
- www.cqp.org

On 6/30/2016 4:17 PM, Bill wrote:
> My RC hobby charger manages these batteries according to specs. I have not
> tried but am ready to pull the plug to use them to charge my LIPOs in the
> field to enjoy more operation time. Any thoughts or experience appreciated.
> I do RC via boats, cars and sailplanes.
>
> Bill
> K9YEQ

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Elecraft [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of Jim
> Brown
> Sent: Thursday, June 30, 2016 3:29 PM
> To: Reflector Elecraft <[hidden email]>
> Subject: [Elecraft] Choosing A Battery For Ham Use
>
> Hi Clay,
>
> Because this is of general interest, I'm replying to the list.
>
> First, LiFePO4 batteries are pretty much ideal for ham applications because
> of their relatively flat discharge curve, and because their Ah vs weight
> ratio is a good compromise.  For example, an LiFePO4 pack will be above 12.5
> for about 80% of capacity and 12V for 90% of capacity, while a lead-acid
> battery will drop below 12V before it reaches 50% of capacity.
>
> Second, LiFePO4 batteries provide a LOT more charge-discharge cycles if
> treated properly. The result is that if you're going to use them for a lot
> of years, the longer life more than compensates for their higher cost.
>
> Third, LiFePO4 batteries are MUCH safer than Li-ion batteries.
>
> Disadvantages of LiFePO4 are initial cost and the fact that they need a
> special charger. However -- Bioenne told me that they can be safely charged
> using the West Mountain SuperPWR Gate set for AGM batteries and a power
> supply that is adjusted to about 14.5 volts. The AGM setting of the PwrGate
> limits the charging voltage to 14.2V, which is what LiFePO4 batteries need.
> Also, LiFePO4 batteries do NOT like to be discharged below about 95%, so
> care must be taken not to fully discharge them. Good battery packs will have
> control circuity that prevents this.
>
> Now, as to how much battery to buy.  Start by studying current draw of the
> radio(s) and other equipment that you'll use with the battery, taking TX/RX
> duty cycle into account. Also look at weight if you're going to carry it.  I
> bought a 20Ah pack (5.5#) to loan to a friend who was going to pack several
> miles uphill to activate a rare 6M grid with a
> KX3 and the 100W amp, and I just bought a 100Ah pack (26#) to run my SO2R
> shack. If I were going to pack with a KX2 or KX3, I'd buy something much
> smaller, like 6 - 12 Ah (2 - 4#), or even smaller.  Your application
> carrying a K3/P3 around to chase RFI pulls about 1.6A, (1.8A with the SVGA
> module in the P3).  A KX3 plus PX3 pulls about 350 mA at max screen
> brightness.
>
> Bioenne (and other vendors) package their LiFePO4 batteries more than one
> way for the same Ah capacity, often to retrofit into existing gear.
> With Bioenne batteries, I chose the PVC pack, which is lighter weight than
> the rectangular "solid" format.
>
> Bioenne and other battery vendors do NOT say that their chargers are
> RF-quiet, which is why you would use a PowerGate and known clean supply.
> To charge from solar, buy a Genasun charge regulator, which IS pretty
> RF-quiet.  I've told Bioenne that they need to find quiet chargers.
> We'll see how they respond.
>
> As to voltages -- I would ONLY buy 12V nominal to power ham gear. If you
> need other voltages for other gear, look at http://www.batteryspace.com
> which carries a MUCH broader range of batteries. They're also good people,
> located in the SF Bay area. Bioenne is in Santa Ana, CA.
>
> I've chosen to avoid voltage boost products, which are essentially SMPS, and
> noisy. Yes, you can set them to be active only on TX, but if you're running
> two radios, the one you aren't TXing on will hear the noise.
>
> As to charging -- LiFePO4 batteries will last a lot longer if they are not
> fast-charged.  A good rule of thumb is their 4 hour or 10 hour discharge
> current. In other words, for a 20Ah battery, avoid more than about 5A charge
> current.
>
> If you're sizing the battery to power your shack and will be float charging
> it, the charge current can be added to the capacity to figure how much
> battery you need. In my application, with worst case of SO2R contesting at
> 100W, I'll be TX on one radio or the other almost all the time, so I'm
> looking at roughly 12A worst case. If I wasn't doing SO2R, I could get by
> with a smaller battery.
>
> For non-critical applications like video monitors, router, cable modem, etc,
> I'm using el-cheapo lead acid batteries from my hamfest stash, and floating
> them from suitably sized linear wall warts. I've found that for most gear,
> voltage is not all that critical. For example, my Samsung computer monitors
> are sold with a 14VDC wall wart, but were still running fine when my
> lead-acid battery had dropped to 10.5 volts.
>
> I've looked around a lot, and so far have not found a better practical
> battery chemistry than LiFePO4.
>
> Another important point. For running electronics of all types, we do NOT
> want automotive batteries, which are primarily designed to provide a big
> hunk of current to start the engine, but which don't like to be deeply
> discharged. Instead, we want deep discharge types. Pay attention to this
> when selecting a battery.
>
> 73, Jim K9YC
>
> On Thu,6/30/2016 12:07 PM, Clay Autery wrote:
>> Jim,
>>
>> Looking to get LFP batts for my shack/house/mobile.
>>
>> Could you recommend sizing guidance?  Is it as simple as multiplying
>> the voltage x amps to get watts and then dividing by 12VDC to get a
>> 12VDC current draw, and then spec'ing a batt based on Ah, etc etc...
>> calculate run time to 80% discharge (they claim up to 90%).
>> Or do I need to spec for some % overhead.  I usually size stuff for
>> 50% overhead, so that if the device is running flat out it won't push
>> the supply beyond 50% max continuous.  Does that apply here?
>>
>> Suggestions on how to get the required voltages I need:
>>
>> 5VDC - Probably won't need for now...  Can get most of the supply I
>> need from the laptop docking station via multiple powered USB sockets.
>> 12 VDC - easy (and run the 18.8 VDC K3s and P3 from 12V if I have to?)
>> 13.8 VDC - For radio if possible to do it quietly.  (12 VDC w/ boost
>> circuit or 24 VDC with buck circuit...  Boost seems more efficient,
>> but see below)
>> 19.5 VDC - Laptop (and USB 5VDC)  Boost or buck...
>>
>> Any ideas would be greatly appreciated...
>>
>> At a minimum, I want to get at least one battery to run my K3s/P3 to
>> hunt RFI with the house service off and then on one branch at a time.
>> At some point want to put batteries on all HAM, Broadband, Router, and
>> switches...
>>
>>
>> Thanks...
>>
>> ______________________
>> Clay Autery, KY5G
>> MONTAC Enterprises
>
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Re: Choosing A Battery For Ham Use

Clay Autery
In reply to this post by Jim Brown-10
Thanks Jim!  That'll get me started!

______________________
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MONTAC Enterprises
(318) 518-1389

On 6/30/2016 3:28 PM, Jim Brown wrote:

> Hi Clay,
>
> Because this is of general interest, I'm replying to the list.
>
> First, LiFePO4 batteries are pretty much ideal for ham applications
> because of their relatively flat discharge curve, and because their Ah
> vs weight ratio is a good compromise.  For example, an LiFePO4 pack
> will be above 12.5 for about 80% of capacity and 12V for 90% of
> capacity, while a lead-acid battery will drop below 12V before it
> reaches 50% of capacity.
>
> Second, LiFePO4 batteries provide a LOT more charge-discharge cycles
> if treated properly. The result is that if you're going to use them
> for a lot of years, the longer life more than compensates for their
> higher cost.
>
> Third, LiFePO4 batteries are MUCH safer than Li-ion batteries.
>
> Disadvantages of LiFePO4 are initial cost and the fact that they need
> a special charger. However -- Bioenne told me that they can be safely
> charged using the West Mountain SuperPWR Gate set for AGM batteries
> and a power supply that is adjusted to about 14.5 volts. The AGM
> setting of the PwrGate limits the charging voltage to 14.2V, which is
> what LiFePO4 batteries need.  Also, LiFePO4 batteries do NOT like to
> be discharged below about 95%, so care must be taken not to fully
> discharge them. Good battery packs will have control circuity that
> prevents this.
>
> Now, as to how much battery to buy.  Start by studying current draw of
> the radio(s) and other equipment that you'll use with the battery,
> taking TX/RX duty cycle into account. Also look at weight if you're
> going to carry it.  I bought a 20Ah pack (5.5#) to loan to a friend
> who was going to pack several miles uphill to activate a rare 6M grid
> with a KX3 and the 100W amp, and I just bought a 100Ah pack (26#) to
> run my SO2R shack. If I were going to pack with a KX2 or KX3, I'd buy
> something much smaller, like 6 - 12 Ah (2 - 4#), or even smaller.
> Your application carrying a K3/P3 around to chase RFI pulls about
> 1.6A, (1.8A with the SVGA module in the P3).  A KX3 plus PX3 pulls
> about 350 mA at max screen brightness.
>
> Bioenne (and other vendors) package their LiFePO4 batteries more than
> one way for the same Ah capacity, often to retrofit into existing
> gear. With Bioenne batteries, I chose the PVC pack, which is lighter
> weight than the rectangular "solid" format.
>
> Bioenne and other battery vendors do NOT say that their chargers are
> RF-quiet, which is why you would use a PowerGate and known clean
> supply. To charge from solar, buy a Genasun charge regulator, which IS
> pretty RF-quiet.  I've told Bioenne that they need to find quiet
> chargers. We'll see how they respond.
>
> As to voltages -- I would ONLY buy 12V nominal to power ham gear. If
> you need other voltages for other gear, look at
> http://www.batteryspace.com  which carries a MUCH broader range of
> batteries. They're also good people, located in the SF Bay area.
> Bioenne is in Santa Ana, CA.
>
> I've chosen to avoid voltage boost products, which are essentially
> SMPS, and noisy. Yes, you can set them to be active only on TX, but if
> you're running two radios, the one you aren't TXing on will hear the
> noise.
>
> As to charging -- LiFePO4 batteries will last a lot longer if they are
> not fast-charged.  A good rule of thumb is their 4 hour or 10 hour
> discharge current. In other words, for a 20Ah battery, avoid more than
> about 5A charge current.
>
> If you're sizing the battery to power your shack and will be float
> charging it, the charge current can be added to the capacity to figure
> how much battery you need. In my application, with worst case of SO2R
> contesting at 100W, I'll be TX on one radio or the other almost all
> the time, so I'm looking at roughly 12A worst case. If I wasn't doing
> SO2R, I could get by with a smaller battery.
>
> For non-critical applications like video monitors, router, cable
> modem, etc, I'm using el-cheapo lead acid batteries from my hamfest
> stash, and floating them from suitably sized linear wall warts. I've
> found that for most gear, voltage is not all that critical. For
> example, my Samsung computer monitors are sold with a 14VDC wall wart,
> but were still running fine when my lead-acid battery had dropped to
> 10.5 volts.
>
> I've looked around a lot, and so far have not found a better practical
> battery chemistry than LiFePO4.
>
> Another important point. For running electronics of all types, we do
> NOT want automotive batteries, which are primarily designed to provide
> a big hunk of current to start the engine, but which don't like to be
> deeply discharged. Instead, we want deep discharge types. Pay
> attention to this when selecting a battery.
>
> 73, Jim K9YC
>
>

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Re: Choosing A Battery For Ham Use

Mark Lunday
In reply to this post by Jim Brown-10
I am giving this one some serious thought.

Anyone else have experience with it?

http://www.portableuniversalpower.com/our-products/qrp-ranger/

Mark Lunday, WD4ELG
Greensboro, NC  FM06be
[hidden email]
http://wd4elg.blogspot.com

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Re: Choosing A Battery For Ham Use

N5GE
Does every one who buy's a QRP RANGER one get a cracked upper right
hand foot?

ARS N5GE

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Re: Fwd: Bioenno's July Promotion

Clay Autery
In reply to this post by Jim Brown-10
Thanks again, Jim for linking to this vendor.  Just ordered the 12
Amp/Hr battery they had on promotion with charger to 1) try them out,
and 2) to power the K3s/P3 while RFI, et al hunting with all or most of
the shack service shut down.

______________________
Clay Autery, KY5G
MONTAC Enterprises
(318) 518-1389

On 6/30/2016 11:28 AM, Jim Brown wrote:
> This sale offers good discounts on some fine backpacking products from
> a ham-friendly company.
>
> 73, Jim K9YC
>

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Re: Fwd: Bioenno's July Promotion

Wes Stewart-2
Perhaps it would be overkill to consider one of these for my purpose anyway, but
based on this thread my interest was piqued about using one of these in the
shack to cover short power outages.  I've learned that you CANNOT charge and
feed a load at the same time, i.e float charge.

On 7/11/2016 5:44 AM, Clay Autery wrote:

> Thanks again, Jim for linking to this vendor.  Just ordered the 12
> Amp/Hr battery they had on promotion with charger to 1) try them out,
> and 2) to power the K3s/P3 while RFI, et al hunting with all or most of
> the shack service shut down.
>
> ______________________
> Clay Autery, KY5G
> MONTAC Enterprises
> (318) 518-1389
>
> On 6/30/2016 11:28 AM, Jim Brown wrote:
>> This sale offers good discounts on some fine backpacking products from
>> a ham-friendly company.
>>
>> 73, Jim K9YC
>>

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Re: Fwd: Bioenno's July Promotion

Jim Brown-10
On Mon,7/11/2016 12:58 PM, Wes Stewart wrote:
> Perhaps it would be overkill to consider one of these for my purpose
> anyway, but based on this thread my interest was piqued about using
> one of these in the shack to cover short power outages.  I've learned
> that you CANNOT charge and feed a load at the same time, i.e float charge.

Hi Wes,

Where did you learn this?  References I can study? I looked and didn't
find anything saying that, and that's what I plan to do with the 100Ah
battery I just bought.

73, Jim K9YC

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Re: Fwd: Bioenno's July Promotion

Elecraft mailing list
In reply to this post by Wes Stewart-2
Actually you can charge and operate at the same time.  Basic charge voltage is 13.2 and finishing voltage is 14.6 volts.  I've never had a problem with any Elecraft (or other) ham gear at either voltage.  

Float charge would work just fine but I wouldn't make a habit of it.  The control modules wired between cells need 14.6 volts (for 4S configurations) to trigger their cell balancing ability.  Lead acid cells balance automatically when in series.  LiFePO4 cells do not.

But beware the charger RFI.  The 10 amp chargers from BioennoPower are strong generators and I can't use them in the shack to recharge either the battery in use or any other battery while I'm on 80 meter CW.  

I'm testing some alternative high amp chargers and have found at least one that is RFI quiet.  I'll be testing a second, less expensive, alternative this week.
--
Marc


> On Jul 11, 2016, at 3:58 PM, Wes Stewart <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Perhaps it would be overkill to consider one of these for my purpose anyway, but based on this thread my interest was piqued about using one of these in the shack to cover short power outages.  I've learned that you CANNOT charge and feed a load at the same time, i.e float charge.
>
>> On 7/11/2016 5:44 AM, Clay Autery wrote:
>> Thanks again, Jim for linking to this vendor.  Just ordered the 12
>> Amp/Hr battery they had on promotion with charger to 1) try them out,
>> and 2) to power the K3s/P3 while RFI, et al hunting with all or most of
>> the shack service shut down.
>>
>> ______________________
>> Clay Autery, KY5G
>> MONTAC Enterprises
>> (318) 518-1389
>>
>>> On 6/30/2016 11:28 AM, Jim Brown wrote:
>>> This sale offers good discounts on some fine backpacking products from
>>> a ham-friendly company.
>>>
>>> 73, Jim K9YC
>
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Re: Fwd: Bioenno's July Promotion

Matt Zilmer-3
In reply to this post by Jim Brown-10
I'd like to know the source of this as well.  My shack power is 100W of
Siemens PV on the roof, a 10A charge controller diode-ORed with a Samlex
1235 set to 13.62V.  The output charges a 75AH Optima battery, which
powers the equipment 24/7.  I've never had any trouble with it in the
four years I've used it.

73,

matt W6NIA


On 7/11/2016 1:46 PM, Jim Brown wrote:

> On Mon,7/11/2016 12:58 PM, Wes Stewart wrote:
>> Perhaps it would be overkill to consider one of these for my purpose
>> anyway, but based on this thread my interest was piqued about using
>> one of these in the shack to cover short power outages.  I've learned
>> that you CANNOT charge and feed a load at the same time, i.e float
>> charge.
>
> Hi Wes,
>
> Where did you learn this?  References I can study? I looked and didn't
> find anything saying that, and that's what I plan to do with the 100Ah
> battery I just bought.
>
> 73, Jim K9YC
>
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--
Always store beer in a dark place.  - R. Heinlein

Matt Zilmer, W6NIA
[Shiraz]

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Re: Fwd: Bioenno's July Promotion

Jim Brown-10
In reply to this post by Elecraft mailing list
On Mon,7/11/2016 1:49 PM, Marc Veeneman via Elecraft wrote:
> But beware the charger RFI.  The 10 amp chargers from BioennoPower are strong generators and I can't use them in the shack to recharge either the battery in use or any other battery while I'm on 80 meter CW.

Thanks for all of your input, Marc. Be sure to tell BioennoPower that
the charger they sold you is unacceptable, and return it for credit.
I've already told them it's a problem that they must solve if they are
to be successful in the ham marketplace, but they should hear it from
other customers.

When I asked, they told me that the chargers they sell are noisy, so I
didn't buy one. They told me that one of their dealers out east had
recommended using the PowerGate jumpered for AGM batteries with a linear
supply adjusted to provide the charging current, and that they would
consider that an in-warranty setup. I'm currently doing that with a
100Ah battery I just bought, but I'm not thrilled with it.

The difference between 12V and 14.2 volts doesn't matter for ham gear
except that higher voltage reduces IMD in the K3 output stage at full
power output.

73, Jim K9YC



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Re: Fwd: Bioenno's July Promotion

Clay Autery
In reply to this post by Jim Brown-10
I'd like to see the reference on that one, too.  As I EVENTUALLY will
add high Ah batts to run pretty much all my household electronics, et al.
Even if this is a true issue, no matter.  Will just have to engineer
around it.... 2x batts with power consumption fed "clock" and
auto-switching comes to mind as a 1st brainstorm.  :-)

______________________
Clay Autery, KY5G
MONTAC Enterprises
(318) 518-1389

On 7/11/2016 3:46 PM, Jim Brown wrote:

> On Mon,7/11/2016 12:58 PM, Wes Stewart wrote:
>> Perhaps it would be overkill to consider one of these for my purpose
>> anyway, but based on this thread my interest was piqued about using
>> one of these in the shack to cover short power outages.  I've learned
>> that you CANNOT charge and feed a load at the same time, i.e float
>> charge.
>
> Hi Wes,
>
> Where did you learn this?  References I can study? I looked and didn't
> find anything saying that, and that's what I plan to do with the 100Ah
> battery I just bought.
>
> 73, Jim K9YC
>
> ______________________________________________________________
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Re: Fwd: Bioenno's July Promotion

Clay Autery
In reply to this post by Elecraft mailing list
Sounds like an engineering challenge to me...  if it hasn't been
answered "open source" before I get to that step, one that I might take
on...  A flexible design that is "quiet" and treat the LiFePO
battery(ies) as they "need" for maximal lifespan, and allowing them to
be used for operation w/ "float", and/or standard charging... CC/CV
charging PLUS.

______________________
Clay Autery, KY5G
MONTAC Enterprises
(318) 518-1389

On 7/11/2016 3:49 PM, Marc Veeneman via Elecraft wrote:
> Actually you can charge and operate at the same time.  Basic charge voltage is 13.2 and finishing voltage is 14.6 volts.  I've never had a problem with any Elecraft (or other) ham gear at either voltage.  
>
> Float charge would work just fine but I wouldn't make a habit of it.  The control modules wired between cells need 14.6 volts (for 4S configurations) to trigger their cell balancing ability.  Lead acid cells balance automatically when in series.  LiFePO4 cells do not.
>
> But beware the charger RFI.  The 10 amp chargers from BioennoPower are strong generators and I can't use them in the shack to recharge either the battery in use or any other battery while I'm on 80 meter CW.  
>
> I'm testing some alternative high amp chargers and have found at least one that is RFI quiet.  I'll be testing a second, less expensive, alternative this week.
> -- Marc
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Re: Fwd: Bioenno's July Promotion

Clay Autery
In reply to this post by Jim Brown-10
That seals it...  HAM "quiet" charging/operation system is definitely on
the list now.

I bought the little 2A charger  to get me by with my little 12 Ah batt
for use with RFI/noise hunting for now.

But I'm going to start reading/researching and putting together a
requirements list for a "proper" charging/operating system for the
LiFePO batts.  I like the idea/concept of the PowerGate, RigRunner,
etc...  And it would be nice to have a system that could run from a
large cap LFP and still charge...  while during non-op periods could
charge to capacity and thence complete the cell balancing...  (I'm
assuming that is how it works generally).

Time to learn something new...  :-)

As an aside...  Jim, I think I read in one of the Bioenno batt docs that
the output voltage is somewhere around 12.8 VDC...  so it is "closer" to
nominal...  A "nice to have feature" in a system WOULD be to be able to
find a way to "boost" the voltage to 13.8+ to realize the lower full
power IMD, WHILE simultaneously keeping the power system "quiet".  Not a
priority right now.

______________________
Clay Autery, KY5G
MONTAC Enterprises
(318) 518-1389

On 7/11/2016 4:55 PM, Jim Brown wrote:

> On Mon,7/11/2016 1:49 PM, Marc Veeneman via  Elecraft wrote:
>> But beware the charger RFI.  The 10 amp chargers from BioennoPower
>> are strong generators and I can't use them in the shack to recharge
>> either the battery in use or any other battery while I'm on 80 meter CW.
>
> Thanks for all of your input, Marc. Be sure to tell BioennoPower that
> the charger they sold you is unacceptable, and return it for credit.
> I've already told them it's a problem that they must solve if they are
> to be successful in the ham marketplace, but they should hear it from
> other customers.
>
> When I asked, they told me that the chargers they sell are noisy, so I
> didn't buy one. They told me that one of their dealers out east had
> recommended using the PowerGate jumpered for AGM batteries with a
> linear supply adjusted to provide the charging current, and that they
> would consider that an in-warranty setup. I'm currently doing that
> with a 100Ah battery I just bought, but I'm not thrilled with it.
>
> The difference between 12V and 14.2 volts doesn't matter for ham gear
> except that higher voltage reduces IMD in the K3 output stage at full
> power output.
>
> 73, Jim K9YC

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Re: Fwd: Bioenno's July Promotion

Wes Stewart-2
In reply to this post by Clay Autery
I've given the reference already.

I'm not saying I necessarily agree with it, I'm just the messenger.  I suppose
that when I posted my first message I should have added, "According to the
vendor, you cannot..."

On 7/12/2016 6:39 AM, Clay Autery wrote:
> I'd like to see the reference on that one, too.  As I EVENTUALLY will
> add high Ah batts to run pretty much all my household electronics, et al.
> Even if this is a true issue, no matter.  Will just have to engineer
> around it.... 2x batts with power consumption fed "clock" and
> auto-switching comes to mind as a 1st brainstorm.  :-)
>

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Re: Fwd: Bioenno's July Promotion

Clay Autery
Well, please pardon my inquiry.  I must have missed your earlier posting
of it.  Have a nice day.  O:-)

______________________
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MONTAC Enterprises
(318) 518-1389

On 7/12/2016 11:29 AM, Wes Stewart wrote:

> I've given the reference already.
>
> I'm not saying I necessarily agree with it, I'm just the messenger.  I
> suppose that when I posted my first message I should have added,
> "According to the vendor, you cannot..."
>
> On 7/12/2016 6:39 AM, Clay Autery wrote:
>> I'd like to see the reference on that one, too.  As I EVENTUALLY will
>> add high Ah batts to run pretty much all my household electronics, et
>> al.
>> Even if this is a true issue, no matter.  Will just have to engineer
>> around it.... 2x batts with power consumption fed "clock" and
>> auto-switching comes to mind as a 1st brainstorm.  :-)

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Re: Fwd: Bioenno's July Promotion

Guy Olinger K2AV
In reply to this post by Wes Stewart-2
Hi Wes, et al.

I went looking through emails from you to find the reference, because I
wanted to read it. I did not locate or recognize the reference in those
emails. That aside...

For conversation purposes I'll begin this assuming a flooded wet cell
battery. That's because I have a pair of T-105 6 volt 225AH cells in series
in my RV to supply the "house" "12" VDC needs. T-105's have been very
common in golf carts for decades. In larger RV's it's not uncommon to see
four T-105's in series parallel to supply house 12VDC. T-105's are large
deep cycle flooded wet cells. They are an easy choice for an RV's house DC
circuits. It's a very mature application, over 30 years of this scheme in
RV's.

An RV has extensive "12" volt wiring. The actual satisfactory running DC
voltage on the house DC wiring can be 11 to 14.4 volts. To supply the house
DC from RV park AC mains, the RV uses a high amperage three stage battery
charger, with anywhere from 35 to 100 amps bulk charge rate depending on
the specific battery type and configuration. Nomenclature in the RV
business for this charger is "converter/charger" which I will denote
hereafter with "C/C".

The C/C serves two functions: 1) Supplies all the myriad 12 volt RV stuff:
lights, blowers, fans, plus controls for fridge, heat, hot water heater,
just to name a few. It converts the park AC to DC. 2) Charges the batteries
to keep them ready for a common and deliberate operation of the RV without
an AC voltage source, as in a park without electric hookups during
no-generators-running quiet time. It's very common to run an AC generator
from early afternoon until after supper to supply air conditioning, power
the microwave, and recharge batteries. Then the generator is shut down and
all runs off the house batteries until the next afternoon. A lot of us keep
small inverters, 12VDC to 120V, to power cellphone chargers, game boxes,
etc, when on batteries.

The charging stages are:

1) Bulk charge, current limited. Where up to 80% of the battery energy
capacity is replaced by the charger at maximum steady current amp rating of
the charger. This charge current continues until the battery voltage
reaches 14.4 volts.

2) Absorption charge, voltage limited. Voltage is held at a constant 14.4
volts and the current declines until the battery is 98% charged.

3) Float charge, voltage and current limited. Not more than 13.4 volts and
usually less than 1 amp of current **into the battery**. This in time will
bring the battery to 100% charged or close to it. This maintenance float
charge will not boil or heat batteries but will maintain the batteries at
100% readiness and prevent cycling during long term inactivity. Some Gel
Cell and AGM batteries may require different settings or chargers specific
to the battery. This is related to differing optimal voltages and heat
sensitivities. But the rough concept is the same.

When the C/C is running from RV park or generator AC, the RV's DC bus is
supplied from the C/C. In float charge the C/C will supply the RV DC at
13.4 VDC. If the AC cuts out at the park or the generator goes off, the
house DC circuits will begin to discharge the battery. The battery voltage
will quickly drop to the normal battery discharge curve in the upper 12.x
range and continue down.

When the AC comes back on, before it kicks in, the C/C detects that the
battery is down on the discharge curve and re-initiates at step 1).

The stink when many hams talk about operating their shack with a battery
float, is that they envision hooking a battery to the output of a plain
single voltage Astron RS35 or some such, the usual 13.8 volts regulated,
fixed supply. One cannot properly care for a battery this way, because it
needs the three charge stages for good health. If what one meant by float
was a "single voltage float", then no, one cannot *properly* float a
battery on one's ham station. After the first discharge event, the battery
will not recharge to full charge. It needs the bulk charge voltage to
recharge.

However, I would not call my RV a "battery float", because "float" is only
*one* charge condition of the three RV C/C charge states. But I do have ham
friends who call that "float" because that's how the wires run. This little
double meaning can make for some confused conversations until the specifics
are brought to light.

If what you meant is battery always in the circuit, no blip switching
interruptions from the "uninterruptible" UPS, then yes, you can use the RV
style setup in a ham station, **with a list of caveats**. You probably do
not want to use T-105's for a number of reasons. But you will need to
obtain a three or four stage charger setup designed for an appropriate
battery.

Caveats:

a) You need an RV style charger-converter, or equivalent specifically
matched to the battery. Some equivalents have been described in this
thread.

b) The bulk charge rate of the C/C must match the battery normal charge
maximum. More C/C bulk charge amps than the battery max normal charge rate
is NOT better. Slightly less is OK. A lot less will take a long time to
return to full charge, leaving you low on charge in case of a double power
outage.

c) The bulk charge rate of the matched C/C - battery combo should be at
least at the next step up from the max station DC amperage draw. This is so
that you can run the station under normal AC supply situations at float
13.4 VDC without ever kicking into battery discharge because you turned
something on. You want to save your limited number of discharge cycles, and
related ventures into bulk charge rate, to actual events and stay away from
bulk charge induced heat, etc, unless it's actually a battery supply event.

d) In the flooded cell case, the normal C/C switching between 14.4 and 13.4
VDC, or approaching 11 VDC from a partly discharged battery must not be a
problem for any of your DC station equipment. There is a parallel
requirement for other battery/charger combinations that you must quantify.

e) Cost of a battery and multi-stage charger suitable for a) through d) in
your station environment and with bulk charge rate that covers your
station's draw may exceed what you want to pay to have a Field Day Class 1E
station at the ready 24/7.

Throwing a lawn tractor battery across your single voltage Astron supply
may appear to work, but will be very limited in its effectiveness because
after the first discharge it will never return to full charge. Some may
call this arrangement "working" and answer the question about float in the
positive, but it is in fact severely handicapped, and does not lend itself
to healthy batteries. As usual, the devil is in the details.

There is a nice entry level treatise that reads well at
https://www.batterystuff.com/kb/articles/battery-articles/battery-basics.html


My first encounter with the rather complex issues of battery floating and
discharge were with AT&T Long Lines in the 60's, where we had such things
as 10,000 ampere 12 VDC supplies for many thousands of tube filaments, with
delta 440 AC driving huge motor generators in parallel, and strings of low
gravity 2' x 2' x 5' single cell batteries floating across the discharge
bus, and end cells to switch into the string to maintain 12 volts as the
batteries went into their normal discharge curves.

Carelessness in the battery room could get you burned, blinded, possibly
killed. Also having a major switching center go down because of batteries
in Washington, DC, could get one in a lot of trouble with various branches
of government. We had Bell Laboratories, Bell System Practices, and lots of
management in our ear all the time about how to do the batteries. Zero
tolerance for battery screw-ups, for any reason.

73 and good luck,

Guy K2AV

On Tuesday, July 12, 2016, Wes Stewart <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I've given the reference already.
>
> I'm not saying I necessarily agree with it, I'm just the messenger.  I
> suppose that when I posted my first message I should have added, "According
> to the vendor, you cannot..."
>
> On 7/12/2016 6:39 AM, Clay Autery wrote:
>
>> I'd like to see the reference on that one, too.  As I EVENTUALLY will
>> add high Ah batts to run pretty much all my household electronics, et al.
>> Even if this is a true issue, no matter.  Will just have to engineer
>> around it.... 2x batts with power consumption fed "clock" and
>> auto-switching comes to mind as a 1st brainstorm.  :-)
>>
>
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