A few weeks ago, my buddy Micah from ebikeschool.com on YouTube, turned me on to a battery building kit for 18650 batteries. He’s normally using Lithium-ion batteries in his projects, but I thought of building a new pack giving the builder a choice between Lithium ion & the lithium iron phosphate cells we normally use in the battery projects on the channel.
18650 batteries are a cost effective way to power our communications gear out in the field. With cells purchased in bulk, or scavenged from laptop packs, these DIY packs are even more cost effective than an equal capacity commercial options. Other than cost, building a bespoke pack with this kit, allows us to build something other than a typical bioenno brick shaped battery packs. This means we can shape our packs more appropriately for the project.
Bookmark this playlist
Here is my playlist featuring diy battery builds using the kit.The kits can be sourced from Vruzend.com. playlist includes builds from OH8STN, ebikeschool.com, and my second YouTube channel DIY LiFePO4.
I’m planning on a 18650 based 30A draw, 4S6P, 6.6Ah LiFePO4 battery pack. I’ll use this pack in an upcoming Yaedu FT-891 GoBox project on the channel. Unlike the previous build, all components are easily obtained.
Designing your pack
For amateur radio communications we will stick to the two popular battery chemistries. Lithium Ion & lithium iron phosphate.
- Lithium ion packs for ham radio are always 3 in series with 1 or more parallel cells. Lithium-ion packs are also more energy dense, meaning they are lighter weight and smaller size but greater capacity. This comes at the expense of being more volatile. Packs will be 3S1P, 3S2P, 3S3P,.. 3SxP.
- Lithium iron phosphate packs for ham radio are always going to be 4 in series, with multiples in parallel. Lithium iron phosphate packs are much safer, but the safety comes at the expense of energy density. They still offer greater capacity than a lead-acid equivalent, so there are a viable option for field communications.
In either chemistry, our bespoke battery packs will always feature BMS board to balance and protect the cells from over-voltage, under-voltage, and cell imbalance.
Getting more information
If you’re generally interested in new battery and solar technologies, do subscribe to Micahs channel. Like ebikeschool.com, I have also started my own YouTube channel called DIY LiFePO4 for LiFePO4 builds with a much broader focus. There isn’t much there now but I hope you subscribe to it as well.
There is still the original and ongoing series on diy batteries and solar power for ham radio. This last playlist is my portable off-grid battery and solar power for amateur radio communications. There are lots of projects and explanations about off grid portable power, and more to come, including my build using the kits from Vruzend.com.
VRUZEND began in late 2015 as just an idea in the minds of an inspired team of engineers and machinists. The goal was to develop a new type of diy battery building kit. Something simple. Something easy to use. Something awesome.
If you found this post useful, consider dropping a buck in the tip-jar here: https://paypal.me/oh8stn/1USD alternatively you can support the channel through my Patreon page http://www.patreon.com/oh8stn