FT-817 Batt-Pack


Finally put together a batt-pack for the FT-817.

I decided on simple and will be charging the 3400mAh cells on my home based solar powered charging station that I’m building for grid down conditions.

This pack stays with my HF “Go Kit” (next post) I keep in my vehicle for comms should I ever need to hump home from work 45 miles away.

It’s 11.7v makes it a dedicated setup for the FT-817 which runs fine on 5W down to 10v, but dedicated was what I was shooting for so I’m good with that.

Capacity wise I could have doubled it from 6800mAh to 13600mAh with another set of 2P3S holders but decided to just carry a spare set so they can be cannibalized for flashlights, etc.

The spare Pelican case I had sitting around worked out perfectly!

I removed the lid’s closed cell padding and JB Welded the 18650 cell holders in place then used it as a cushion between cells and there is no play left when closed and no excessive force either.

My FT-817 has PowerPoles mounted on it already, so it’s plug and play.

ADDITIONAL IMPROVEMENTS:

  • Clear silicone was added to joints and exit hole after photos were taken.
  • Polarity markers!!!

20161222_104052

Charging Cells:

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I use either my Nitecore D2 or Nitecore i4 to to recharge cells.  This keeps things simple as I prefer to have several pre-charged 18650 cells around for flashlights also.

USB Power:

20170209_131227

 

With the addition of the really cool device Nano USB from Hardened Power Systems, I’m able to keep the cell powered up as well as run my USB soldering iron.

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Drain Test:

Real world testing of TX/RX shows this is going to be an excellent power source for the FT-817!  The results below are for one set of charged batteries, this case is designed to carry an spare set so even without running the radio to complete depletion of the cells, I can easily say the battery pack will provide 24hrs of use with all features on.


18650 DIY BATT-PACK DRAIN TEST

All examples are with sound at listening level from 3ft, backlight on, full power use. “(00.0v)” = draw down on XMT

  • DAY1
    • 010517_1048-1231 12.3v-11.8v WSPR 5W @ TX Framing=10min for 1hr 43min / 20min TX
    • 010517_1739-1815 11.8v-11.6v WSPR 5W @ TX Framing=10min for 0hr 36min / 7min TX
    • 010517_1815-1910 11.6v-11.5v Monitoring 0hr 55min
  • DAY2
    • 010817_1635-1705 11.6v-11.4v Monitoring 0hr 30min
    • 010817_1705-1728 11.4v-11.2v (10.8v) WSPR 5W @ TX Framing=6min for 0hr 23min / 7min TX
    • 010817_1728-1739 11.2v-11.2v (10.8v) WSPR 5W @ TX Framing=2min for 0hr 11min / 5min TX
    • 010817_1739-1813 11.2v-11.2v (10.8v) CW Beacon 5W @ TX Framing=2min for 0hr 34min / 17min TX
  • DAY3
    • 010917_1602-1705 11.2v- 11.0v (10.6v) WSPR 5W @ TX Framing=10min for 1hr 3min / 12min TX
  • DAY4
    • 011217_1316-1443 10.8v-10.7v (10.4v) Monitoring 1hr 27min
    • 011217_1817-1847 10.7v-10.6v (10.3v) Monitoring 0hr 30min
    • 011217_1817-1907 10.7v-10.5v (10.2v) WSPR 5W @ TX Framing=10min for 0hr 50min / 10min TX
  • DAY5
    • 011417_1544-1751 10.6v-10.3v (9.9v) Monitoring 2hr 7min
  • DAY6
    • 011517_1557-1620 10.4v-10.3v (10.0v) Monitoring 0hr 23min
    • 011517_1620-1750 10.2v-9.9v (9.5v) WSPR 5W (output was 3.5W at 9.5vdc sinked) @ TX Framing=10min for 1hr 0min / 20min
  • TOTALS
    • WSPR 5W XMT Time = 1hr 38min
    • WSPR Monitoring Time = 4hr 42min
    • WSPR TOTAL = 6hr 20min
    • Monitoring Time = 5hr 52min
  • TOTAL BATTERY LIFE (before 5W output reduction) = 12hr 12min

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