Portable batteries / solar

Here are the portable batteries and solar panels I use for the Yaesu FT-857D and the FT-817ND.
I have larger batteries for operating under emergency power for other radios.

For the Yaesu FT-817:

Digital Electronics brand 9.6V 2000 mAh RC battery packs I bought from RadioShack.
I removed the Tamiya connectors and replaced with Anderson Power poles. Below are the chargers and power packs,
and the 12V wire for the FT-817 also with the power poles. The battery packs only weigh 8 oz apiece, so for 6 amp hours
(3x2000) they weigh just 1.5 lbs compared to 4 lbs for one 5 amp hour SLA (sealed lead acid battery).
This makes these packs excellent for SOTA activations or other portable man-pack type operating. I would
rather have had 1 5000 mAh RC battery pack but these packs were on special at a great price, so I'll just
swap out when one gets depleted. The internal battery pack will keep the radio on during battery switch.
Each battery pack will operate the FT-817 for 4 to 5 hours of listening, or about an hour of transmit / receive.


I had 10 Duracell 2650 mhr batteries so I made this 10 cell battery pack for my FT-817ND. The voltage is
13v when fully charged. I'm guessing it will allow 1.5 hours of operation with alternating 50% TX / RX.





A solar charge controller should always be used between the panel and battery. Below I'm showing that the solar panels
work and my equipment. I charge my batteries with 110v chargers.

I have since purchased the KI0BK SBCC (Solar Battery Charge Controller) so I can now charge some of batteries with
solar panels if desired. I'm getting ready to buy a 30W foldable panel for more charging current.

The Brunton Solarport 4.4 Watt solar charger. It has a 6v / 12v switch, USB port, vehicle light type 12V port
(seen here with adapter plugged into it) there are also 3.5mm ports. It puts out about .375 Amps in full sun.
So .300 amps will go into the battery every hour, or about 16 hours to fully charge it. Less amps go into the battery
near the end charging so it takes longer than the 13 hours the math seems to imply.
Excellent for topping off battery. Remember, only charge directly into a battery not in use on a radio, and never
plug the solar panel directly into the radio without a solar charge controller. The high voltage the panels put out
in the order of 16 to 20 volts will damage the radio. Also, only charge SLA's like this, you would need a Ni-MH / Li-Ion
charge controller for these batteries.

The Brunton panel only weighs 1 lb.


This is my Uni-Solar MBC-131 5.5 Watt 12v portable solar panel. Here I am testing charge rates in the winter sun in the window.
I'm only getting about 150ma in the window because of glass reflection, etc, but when I put it outside the window I'm getting
over 400ma and in the summer I get about .350 Amps in bright sun. This is about the drain of receive on the FT-817. So this is a great
panel to charge an SLA while using another. With a charge controller I'd have more options on what I can charge.
Length: 27" long. Weight: 22 oz. It will curve a little for putting on outside of backpack for instance, but it's not bendable.



Monitoring the voltage (11v) and the current (156ma) from the Uni-Solar panel. The voltage reads 11v because it's under load, and it
will steadily go up as the battery is charged until it reaches about 12.5v. If I disconnect the battery the voltage would read 18.5v.


Larger batteries for HF and the FT-857D

Here are some of the batteries I use for home, on the deck, and portable from the woods, picnic tables, on the deck, etc.

Universal Battery 35 amp hour, 5 and 7 amp hour batteries I got from RadioShack, and the 10 cell 2650 mAh battery pack.


Marine deep cycle battery I got from Walmart. This will run my base station HF rig at 25 watts for a couple of days.
Everstart MAXX Marine 125 Amp Hour lead acid battery.



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