12V power "clinic"

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12V power "clinic"

Postby Eamon » Mon Jun 27, 2011 11:39 pm

This is a "very simple but useful" project idea for people who are not comfortable putting together their own battery packs, chargers and wiring harnesses. The idea would be to demonstrate a few techniques and help people in building the items of their choice while giving them the confidence to build more on their own.

In case you are not aware, Anderson Power Poles (see e.g. http://www.emrg.ca/anderson_powerpole.htm) have become adopted by the ham community as the power connector of choice for quick connect and disconnect of 12V batteries, chargers, power supplies and devices (radios).

It's possible to agonize over how much to spend on a Power Pole crimping tool (the best ratcheting type is over $100), but after I looked at the assembly instruction sheet I saw that soldering was an approved technique, so I said to hell with crimping. My 140 watt soldering gun works fine for soldering on the Power Pole connectors.

Here are some ideas for the scope of this "clinic":

Components:
  • batteries (sealed lead-acid or other types)
  • chargers
  • spade connectors
  • Anderson Power Pole connectors
  • wires
  • fuses

Usage scenarios that can be supported with this stuff:
  • power your HT from a bigger external battery (external power source puts some HTs in a higher power transmit mode)
  • use a higher powered mobile radio with an external battery pack, as a (semi) portable (fits in a backpack)
  • use a mobile radio as a home base station radio from a 12V switching power supply but be able to easily unplug it and take it on the road with a portable battery pack or plugged into the car
  • put an Anderson Power Pole feed in your car, so you can power radios or charge your battery pack from your car alternator
  • make a cigarette lighter to Power Pole connector
  • make a Power Pole to barrel plug connector (for connection to QRP rigs and other devices taking 12V)
  • make distribution boxes with multiple Power Pole connector

Please reply to this thread and/or vote if you find this idea interesting.
Eamon
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Sun May 22, 2011 12:03 am

Re: 12V power "clinic"

Postby VE2XCS » Thu Jun 30, 2011 5:35 am

Hi Eamon,

I would be interested in the clinic. I would like to have a backup battery pack for power outages and portable operating. The clinic would give me some ideas on how to make one.

73 de Bram
VE2XCS
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon May 23, 2011 9:15 am
Location: Pointe-Claire

Re: 12V power "clinic"

Postby Eamon » Thu Jun 30, 2011 8:41 am

Hi Bram,

I made a battery pack from two of this type of 6V battery in series: https://www.addison-electronique.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=201829. It is terminated in Anderson Power Poles.

It might be better to use this one, it is 12V 4Ah: https://www.addison-electronique.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=201832, and amazingly costs the same as the 6V ($14.41).

These batteries are both 4Ah, so they will power a radio in receive mode for a long time. And about 4h to 5h of straight transmit time at 5W out with 50% efficiency.

What do you want to power? Is it an HT? What kind of external power connection does it have?

- Eamon

VE2XCS wrote:Hi Eamon,

I would be interested in the clinic. I would like to have a backup battery pack for power outages and portable operating. The clinic would give me some ideas on how to make one.

73 de Bram
Eamon
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Sun May 22, 2011 12:03 am

Re: 12V power "clinic"

Postby VE2XCS » Sun Jul 03, 2011 4:30 pm

I would like to power my mobile rig (50W output) during power outages when at home and bring my rig with me outdoor without having to worry about finding a power source to plug my radio into, in order to operate.

I guess having a power pack could also be usefull as alternative power source, to conduct emergency communications whenever a disaster strikes.

The radio has Anderson PowerPoles.

73 de Bram :)
VE2XCS
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon May 23, 2011 9:15 am
Location: Pointe-Claire

Re: 12V power "clinic"

Postby Eamon » Sun Jul 03, 2011 10:38 pm

Here are some particular things we could build or talk about.

PowerPole distribution box
This has no internal fuse so you need to put it on the feed wire. It costs under $10, see the 3-part Youtube video series starting here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPHjpdHqP9Y . The templates are here http://www.qsl.net/wd4bis/connect.htm.

For a comparable (but fancier) commercial product see the RigRunner, here http://www.powerwerx.com/west-mountain-radio/rigrunner-4005.html for example.

This project uses wire-terminating PowerPoles and copper-clad PCB material. The PowerPoles are first of all soldered on to a 14 gauge solid wire, which is then soldered to the copper clad. Another way to do it would be to use PCB mount PowerPoles, but I think these are not as commonly sold.

We can probably use $1.39 the 20-33 Addison box (though the RS box he uses in the video is 3", 2.7" is probably long enough). 6" x 6" copper clad is $3.99 at Abra, and will make 8 boxes. http://www.abra-electronics.com/products/ABRA%27s-Plain-Copper-Clad-Boards.html

We will need to order up a mess of PowerPoles. I have a 140 watt soldering gun that can do the trick (a pencil type soldering iron might not be enough).

Aside from this, all we need is 14 gauge solid wire, and some 14 gauge stranded wire to act as the feed line, and maybe an inline fuse holder. I think it comes in at under $10.

We will ideally need a hacksaw to cut out the board, a Dremel tool to cut the copper between the + and -, and a drill press (though you can probably drill it OK without one).

Fuses
In general, we can look at how to put fuses on wires, and where they are needed.

Battery Charger
Source a battery charger in the range of $30 to $40) or build one.

Various Connector Adapters
  • Put PowerPoles on a battery charger
  • PowerPole to battery alligator clips (for stealing power off of any battery)
  • PowerPoles to cigarette lighter plug (Addison sells these pretty cheap).
  • Power poles (and fuse) on a smallish 12V lead-acid battery (probably 4Ah or 7Ah)
  • Power Poles to Molex connectors, barrel connectors (for QRP and other stuff)
  • Power Poles to any kind of connector you need for your radio
Eamon
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Sun May 22, 2011 12:03 am

Re: 12V power "clinic"

Postby ve2wrh » Mon Jul 04, 2011 9:50 am

I am considering something like this Canadian Tire booster pack...

http://www.canadiantire.ca/AST/browse/4 ... ?locale=en

primarily for the car but also for radio backup
ve2wrh
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun May 22, 2011 11:14 pm


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