Today’s topic, portable power for QRO field radios.
For the ham radio operator in the field, portable battery power needs to be light enough, small enough, modular, have enough capacity, and above all it should be possible to replenish it off-grid, and in the field. For the high speed, low drag QRO Operator in the field, we need something a bit more special.
Recently my channel supporters helped crowdfund a new Yaesu FT-891 for the solar powered field station. To activate that rig in the field, we needed to build a special power plant, one which would allow us to make use of the rig’s full potential if needed. Enter the 50A current draw, 128wh Headway 38120 based, 10ah LiFePO4 Day Pack for our Yaesu FT-891 Field Radio.
In this video, we build a 50A current draw capable, 128wh LiFePO4 battery pack for the solar powered field station. We augment the pack with our PowerFilm FM16-7200 Solar Panel, for extended communications. Although were using this pack for the Yaesu ft-891, the pack can be used to power any qrp/qro HF radio in the field.
This document is still work in progress, but I hope to finish it in the coming week.
Mentioned in the video
– PowerFilm FM16-7200 YouTube Playlist
– Bestech 50A BMS https://youtu.be/M1rfdMNa1FM
– DIY 10ah QRP LiFePO4 pack for ham radio https://youtu.be/SJGKuriGRok
– Yaesu FT-891 Unboxing & Introduction
– Solar Powered Field Station YouTube playlist
– Powerpole distribution boards http://www.k9jeb.com
- Headway specs: 10A 38120 cells, Max. continuous discharging current 10C(100A), Recommended Constant Discharge 1C(10A)-5C(50A
- Bestech 50A 4S BMS for LiFe04: Max. continuous discharging current 50A
- If you’re having trouble finding the booard in North America, you can send an email to Henry at BesTech. See his rmail below
- Current draw: if building this project with the expectation of reaching the battery and BMS full current draw potential, you’ll have to adjust the wire sizes to match the current load requirements of your build.
- The Man portable off-grid power for amateur radio articles can be found here: http://oh8stn.org/blog/2017/07/05/man-portable-off-grid-power-for-amateur-radio-introduction/
- Headway 38120 – Europe, North America
- Bestech BMS – Europe, North America (check the notes below)
Powerpole distribution kit – Europe, North America
- Genasun GV-10 MPPT 12.8v charge controller for 4S LiFePO4 – Europe, North America
Powerpole crimper – Europe, North America
- Powerpole connectors – Europe, North America
- 12 guage shielded wire (please source locally)
- Heat shrink Worldwide
Other odds & ends – Worldwide
The whole point of this battery pack project was to support the all wx solar-powered Field Station. Package designed as a Daypack or rapid deployment pack mean for short excursions. You can watch all the videos in the solar powered field station series here:
- The 50A Bestech BMS protects against overcharge, over discharge, Short Circuit, over heating, and keeps the cells in your pack balanced.
- Lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) cells are more stable than lithium-ion.
- Lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) cells are lighter than sealed lead acid batteries.
- Lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) cells can be dischared 80-90% of the rated capacity.
- With care, Lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) cells have a service life of ~2000 charge cycles.
Other DIY Projects
If you enjoy the DIY projects on the channel, you can see all of my DIY projects on this playlist: