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1/22/2020 12:12:56 PM
Posted: 1/4/2015 5:22:26 PM EST

I am looking for portable battery options for a KX3. Looking at LiPo for lighter weight during backpacking / hiking.

Is an 11.1V (3S) battery enough to allow 10W or 12W transmit power or is a 14.8V (4S) battery needed?

What are recommended portable solar charging options for LiPo batteries?

Link Posted: 1/4/2015 5:30:33 PM EST
You'll need a 13.8V regulator, and a balance charger for those batteries. Personally, I'd go with a switching 13.8v regulator like this one.


Link Posted: 1/4/2015 5:39:00 PM EST




Link Posted: 1/4/2015 6:08:26 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/4/2015 6:39:33 PM EST by raysheen]
Zippy LiFePo 4200 and a Turnigy charger for me. It is small, light (11.8oz), and the correct voltage when fully charged. The capacity is excellent for what I do and I can operate for hours on one charge.

http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__14067__ZIPPY_Flightmax_4200mAh_4S2P_30C_LiFePo4_Pack.html

http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__7028__Turnigy_Accucel_6_50W_6A_Balancer_Charger_w_Accessories.html

Picture is not mine, but it shows the size of the battery vs the radio:

Link Posted: 1/4/2015 6:41:30 PM EST
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Originally Posted By raysheen:
Zippy LiFePo 4200 and a Turnigy charger for me. It is small, light (11.8oz), and the correct voltage when fully charged. The capacity is excellent for what I do and I can operate for hours on one charge.

http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__14067__ZIPPY_Flightmax_4200mAh_4S2P_30C_LiFePo4_Pack.html

http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__7028__Turnigy_Accucel_6_50W_6A_Balancer_Charger_w_Accessories.html
View Quote




This is the same setup I have, with the exception of going with the 4S1P instead of the 4S2P. I have used this for 23 SOTA activations, including a marathon four peak day, and have never run low on power.
Link Posted: 1/4/2015 7:11:12 PM EST
I use the zippys with everything from my FT817 (3S) to milpacks with 4S and 7S batteries. By far the lighest way to go for portable power. It cuts the weight of most milpacks in half.
Link Posted: 1/4/2015 7:56:44 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Frostbite:




This is the same setup I have, with the exception of going with the 4S1P instead of the 4S2P. I have used this for 23 SOTA activations, including a marathon four peak day, and have never run low on power.
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Originally Posted By Frostbite:
Originally Posted By raysheen:
Zippy LiFePo 4200 and a Turnigy charger for me. It is small, light (11.8oz), and the correct voltage when fully charged. The capacity is excellent for what I do and I can operate for hours on one charge.

http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__14067__ZIPPY_Flightmax_4200mAh_4S2P_30C_LiFePo4_Pack.html

http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__7028__Turnigy_Accucel_6_50W_6A_Balancer_Charger_w_Accessories.html




This is the same setup I have, with the exception of going with the 4S1P instead of the 4S2P. I have used this for 23 SOTA activations, including a marathon four peak day, and have never run low on power.


Do you charge with solar?
Link Posted: 1/4/2015 9:41:23 PM EST
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Originally Posted By elcope:

Do you charge with solar?
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I don't charge my Zippy batteries with solar, nor do I use solar on SOTA activations. I do, however, have a separate solar & battery setup. I have a Goal Zero Sherpa 50 power pack that I charge with a 27 watt solar panel. It works well for the KX3, but in total package of power pack + panel, is heavier than a Zippy battery. With the Zippy providing all the power I need for an activation in a light, simple form, I just go with that alone. I save the power pack and solar for home, park, etc. use.
Link Posted: 1/5/2015 10:05:31 AM EST
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Originally Posted By awptickes:
You'll need a 13.8V regulator, and a balance charger for those batteries. Personally, I'd go with a switching 13.8v regulator like this one.

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/Z9JoRKzAPNgeR-ElMwm3R8PXcpDzzi1FK9CI8Sc4Bsk=w673-h505-no
View Quote


Which regulator is that?
Link Posted: 1/5/2015 11:33:56 AM EST
[Last Edit: 1/5/2015 11:36:08 AM EST by mylt1]
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Originally Posted By Harlikwin:


Which regulator is that?
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Originally Posted By Harlikwin:
Originally Posted By awptickes:
You'll need a 13.8V regulator, and a balance charger for those batteries. Personally, I'd go with a switching 13.8v regulator like this one.

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/Z9JoRKzAPNgeR-ElMwm3R8PXcpDzzi1FK9CI8Sc4Bsk=w673-h505-no


Which regulator is that?

LM2596 check ebay for them or amazon. usually more $ from amazon but you will probably get them sooner than from ebay depending on where it is shipping from.
Link Posted: 1/5/2015 5:46:50 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Frostbite:




This is the same setup I have, with the exception of going with the 4S1P instead of the 4S2P. I have used this for 23 SOTA activations, including a marathon four peak day, and have never run low on power.
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Originally Posted By Frostbite:
Originally Posted By raysheen:
Zippy LiFePo 4200 and a Turnigy charger for me. It is small, light (11.8oz), and the correct voltage when fully charged. The capacity is excellent for what I do and I can operate for hours on one charge.

http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__14067__ZIPPY_Flightmax_4200mAh_4S2P_30C_LiFePo4_Pack.html

http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__7028__Turnigy_Accucel_6_50W_6A_Balancer_Charger_w_Accessories.html




This is the same setup I have, with the exception of going with the 4S1P instead of the 4S2P. I have used this for 23 SOTA activations, including a marathon four peak day, and have never run low on power.

Same here. Frostbite's fault.
Link Posted: 1/5/2015 6:46:16 PM EST

Lots of good suggestions here - thanks!

Any thoughts on something like this? (Lithium Nano-Phospate, also called "Nanophosphate® Lithium Iron Phosphate" by A123)

http://shop.antigravitybatteries.com/antigravity-batteries-ag401/

Pros? Cons?

Link Posted: 1/5/2015 9:39:34 PM EST
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Originally Posted By mylt1:

LM2596 check ebay for them or amazon. usually more $ from amazon but you will probably get them sooner than from ebay depending on where it is shipping from.
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Originally Posted By mylt1:
Originally Posted By Harlikwin:
Originally Posted By awptickes:
You'll need a 13.8V regulator, and a balance charger for those batteries. Personally, I'd go with a switching 13.8v regulator like this one.

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/Z9JoRKzAPNgeR-ElMwm3R8PXcpDzzi1FK9CI8Sc4Bsk=w673-h505-no


Which regulator is that?

LM2596 check ebay for them or amazon. usually more $ from amazon but you will probably get them sooner than from ebay depending on where it is shipping from.


Alas I need something that can output 7-8A...
Link Posted: 1/6/2015 6:44:39 AM EST
[Last Edit: 1/6/2015 9:52:43 AM EST by USNDOC]
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Originally Posted By Harlikwin:

Alas I need something that can output 7-8A...
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I have 2 of these sitting on my desk waiting on the larger Anderson Connectors to arrive in the next few days. (Edited as the tracking shows delay.)

I also have one of the 4300mAh batteries and it works very well for my needs.
Link Posted: 1/6/2015 7:49:27 AM EST
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Originally Posted By USNDOC:


I have 2 of these sitting on my desk waiting on the larger Anderson Connectors to arrive today.

I also have one of the 4300mAh batteries and it works very well for my needs.
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Originally Posted By USNDOC:
Originally Posted By Harlikwin:

Alas I need something that can output 7-8A...


I have 2 of these sitting on my desk waiting on the larger Anderson Connectors to arrive today.

I also have one of the 4300mAh batteries and it works very well for my needs.


Which charger do you use for the 8400mAh battery?
Link Posted: 1/6/2015 8:13:49 AM EST
I have not charged the new batteries yet as I am waiting on the connectors. My plan is to swap out the factory bullet connectors with andersons. The wire is larger so I need the 75amp connector and then step it down to the 45 size. I have a connector for that coming as well. I am doing everything power related modular with powerpole connectors. All proprietary connectors are being eliminated so that I can reconfigure as needed.

The charger I am planning to use is the Accucell 6 which I already have and use with the 4200 battery. It works well. I have a connector wire run from my QTH power supply to feed the charger.

I also have and use a small solar panel to charge the batteries. The panel connects through a KI0BK Solar Controller That setup works well. I can put it on the front porch in partial sun and it charges up the 4200 in a couple hours. Full sun should be no issue.

Sitting on the desk right now powering the KX3 for the last few weeks is a 12V 9AH battery with the Hardened Power Systems BatPac RBC2 I like it for the built in meter and secure connectors. I think it will be going into an ammo can to power a mobile radio go kit.

Link Posted: 1/11/2015 8:27:49 PM EST
This is the setup I ended up putting together with the Accucell and the 8400 battery. 2 of those will keep the radio running for quite a while.

Link Posted: 1/12/2015 9:41:25 PM EST
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Originally Posted By USNDOC:
This is the setup I ended up putting together with the Accucell and the 8400 battery. 2 of those will keep the radio running for quite a while.

http://www.smugmug.com/photos/i-6GtHSRh/1/M/i-6GtHSRh-M.jpg
View Quote


You can get the 30A fittings to work with those, just takes a bit of effort.
Link Posted: 1/13/2015 6:32:45 AM EST
After clipping off the bullet ends and seeing the wire they used I decided to go simple. I prefer not to solder my Anderson connections, only crimp. There was no way I was going to keep all of those fine little wires straight to get a clean connection in a 30 or 45. It's done.

I also have a purpose for using the batteries and the 75amp connectors on another project so its not a big deal.
Link Posted: 1/20/2015 8:11:33 PM EST


For those with the Zippy batteries - what precautions do you take during charging?

Link Posted: 1/20/2015 8:35:18 PM EST
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Originally Posted By TheOtherMike:
For those with the Zippy batteries - what precautions do you take during charging?
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I make sure not to shower with the charger.

No big precautions. It's a fairly "smart" charger. Be sure the rate is set correctly and you have the right battery configuration. I keep the battery in "storage" state (approx 60% IIRC) when I'm not using it.

From a full charge, I can get about 20-30 minutes of 12W before it drops down to 10 after that I've never run it enough to empty the battery. I'm very happy with mine.


Link Posted: 1/20/2015 8:56:36 PM EST
The ones I have been buying are LiFePo4 which are much safer. The smart charger handles the rest. So far no issues.
Link Posted: 1/21/2015 10:29:25 AM EST
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Originally Posted By raysheen:


I make sure not to shower with the charger.

No big precautions. It's a fairly "smart" charger. Be sure the rate is set correctly and you have the right battery configuration. I keep the battery in "storage" state (approx 60% IIRC) when I'm not using it.

From a full charge, I can get about 20-30 minutes of 12W before it drops down to 10 after that I've never run it enough to empty the battery. I'm very happy with mine.


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Originally Posted By raysheen:
Originally Posted By TheOtherMike:
For those with the Zippy batteries - what precautions do you take during charging?


I make sure not to shower with the charger.

No big precautions. It's a fairly "smart" charger. Be sure the rate is set correctly and you have the right battery configuration. I keep the battery in "storage" state (approx 60% IIRC) when I'm not using it.

From a full charge, I can get about 20-30 minutes of 12W before it drops down to 10 after that I've never run it enough to empty the battery. I'm very happy with mine.




This... There are alot of horror stories, but mainly from over charging and over discharging. Use the smart charger conservatively and you will never have an issue (or at least I haven't so far).
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