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KX1 K1 K2 Battery Notes Part Deux--Nanophosphate

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KX1 K1 K2 Battery Notes Part Deux--Nanophosphate

eric norris
Dear Gang:

I've made some more tests, this time using Lithium-Ion Nanophosphate (A123)
packs from Buddipole.  All were done on 20 meters.  All voltages are no-load.  I

do not own a precision wattmeter, but a Diamond SX-20C, OHR WM-2, and an
Elecraft W2 using the QRP sensor were all in agreement. Here are my results:

KX1:

I used a four cell 4S1P pack (four cells in series) from Buddipole, rated at
13.2v nominal, 2.3 Ah.  I set up my KX1 to call CQ into a dummy load for three
hours, using the KX1 memory I usually use which includes a 10-second listening
period after each CQ.  I left the display on, audio on through headphones but
sidetone reduced.  My KX1 has the 30-meter board and ATU.

Start of test:  Voltage 13.2.  Power out: 4.3W
End of test:   Voltage 12.9   Power out: 4.0W

At the end of the test the KX1 was barely warm over the PA transistor.  My
Cellpro 10S charger on the "fuel gauge" setting said the pack was at 48%
capacity.  My guess is this pack would power the KX1 for 12-20 hours minimum
under real-world conditions, but you can draw your own conclusions. 


K2:

I used an eight cell 4S2P (four cells in series, two sets in parallel) pack from

Buddipole, rated at 13.2 v nominal, 4.6 Ah. My K2/10 has every option available
in the solar system, including KDSP2.  I set it up for maximum energy use, that
is all LEDs on, backlight on, receiver performance set to optimum, speaker on. 
The sidetone was turned down to avoid domestic dischord. 
This test ran for three hours.

Start of test:  Voltage 13.2.  Power out:  10 watts  Amperage draw on TX:  2.36A

End of test:  Voltage 12.66 Power out: 10 watts.  Amperage draw on tx: 2.51A

K2 PA section was warm.  Charger reported pack capacity at 9%


FT-817 Bonus Test

I used an eight-cell, 5Ah C-sized NiMH pack.  NiMH cells are nominally 1.2V per
cell, so this is a 9.6V pack.  The pack was made from two spring-loaded
four-cell packs bought from Frys, glued together back-to-back with aquarium
sealant.  They seem to have little knobs and holes that make them fit together
fairly well this way, except for the wires that run behind the packs.   The
batteries are Tenergy brand, available from Battery Superstore or Amazon for
about $32 for eight.   


Other folks have tested the FT-817 with battery packs of various
voltages.  There is no advantage to using a 12-volt pack according to these
tests.

I put my FT-817 into battery hog mode:  LCD on, rear antenna connector, receiver

unsquelched, internal speaker, 5W, internal battery disconnected.

Start of test:  Voltage: 10.84v  Current: forgot to measure
End of test:   Voltage:    9.0    8 volts and change under load

The test ran for four hours with the FT-817 calling CQ controlled by an external

keyer, and the radio was still putting out 5 watts at the end.  The Triton
charger I use for NiMH packs does not provide percentage of capacity information

like the Cellpro 10s does, but I believe this pack was near depletion.

Conclusion:

So far I really like the A123 batteries, but I don't have much experience with
them yet.  They are supposed to hold their charge in storage much better than
NiMH. 

As the K2 test shows, they hold their voltage well when discharged.  They
are very lightweight.   At Pacificon when I hoisted the 6.7 Ah pack Buddipole
had

at their booth I accused them of using a dummy pack with nothing in it.    

The Triton charger is excellent for NiMH batteries IMHO.  It offers three safety

settings: 1) total charge time; 2) total charge input; 3) battery temperature. 
This last one requires an accessory probe that I have not found at local hobby
shops.  I have the original Triton, I think the current one is the Triton II.

The CellPro 10s is only for Lithium chemistries including the A123 cells.  It is

available from Buddipole, and made by revolectrix  www.revolectrix.com  It has a

balancing harness that allows you to charge the individual cells, or the cells
in parallel within the pack without the other cells in series.  It can charge
two packs simulaneously. 


The A123 cells, aside from being lightweight for portable QRP use, will handle
beaucoup discharge rates--up to 70A per cell. 
For more information on the A123 cells go to  www.buddipole.com, or
www.fmadirect.com has a white paper on their tests of the cells.   


I have no relationship with anybody mentioned in this message. 

72,

Eric WD6DBM      

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Re: KX1 K1 K2 Battery Notes Part Deux--Nanophosphate

Eric Champine
Wow.
Thanks for all your testing.
I have both the 4S2P and the 3S1P battery packs and love them. They charge
very quick and are suppose to be much more safe to use than regular LiPo
batteries. I once found a video somewhere where someone drove a nail through
a pack and kept on using it without fire or anything. That helped sell me. I
am using the smaller charger than what you are using. Still nice. It sounds
like the 4S2P along with the K2 for emergencies and power outages would be a
good setup or even for portable use. I am going to build it with the 100w
addition but on battery I can take it down to 10w for regular use till I
need to bump it up. Thanks for all your testing :-)

73 de W2EEC

Eric
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