[amsat-bb] Re: Let Your Garage Charge Your Radio

Edward R. Cole kl7uw at acsalaska.net
Fri Dec 31 10:18:38 PST 2010

Pretty good guess, David.  These days newer HT come with 
Nickel-Metal-Hydride which do not need the kind of maintenance that 
NiCD do.  Typically they hold charge much longer and do not develop a 
"memory" condition.

At my former employment (now retired) we maintained over 200 HT 
batteries for immediate emergency response.  It was sufficient to put 
the chargers on a timer to charge them for a couple hours/day (typ. 
at night).  Batteries that had not been regularly charged held good 
for up to 30-days after a full charge cycle.

Important to use chargers designed for the chemistry of the 
battery.  Back in the day of NiCD we charged once/week and 
reconditioned monthly to extend life on batteries that had to perform 
but sat on the shelf for long periods of non-use. The absolutely 
worse thing one could do was set a HT into a charger full-time.

In a response van we had a large deep-cycle 4D lead-acid battery and 
it was charged with the proper float charger.  But not being a sealed 
battery, one had to check the electrolyte level periodically.

I the comm center an eight-battery bank wired for 48vdc was run on 
float and they typ. were good for 4-years of standby use (fed 
industrial size UPS).  The 12vdc equipment ran on another large 12v 
battery bank with float.  That equipment was powered 24/7 with 
similar life-cycle of several years.  Note that commercial deep-cycle 
batteries were used and cost 3x what the typ. car battery costs.

Now I have a 6500w standby generator so battery back-up is less 
necessary for the home station (I do have a bank of 8AH gell-cell 
batteries).  No HT, at present.

73, Ed - KL7UW

At 01:25 AM 12/31/2010, G0MRF at aol.com wrote:
>Hi Clint.
>Sounds like a unique solution. Probably OK for NiCd or Lead acid.
>However, if it's any sort of Lithium technology in those batteries, then
>deep cycling and a top up charge is definately the wrong way.
>For maximum shelf life Lithium batteries need to be kept at 40 - 60%
>charge, then topped up when needed.  Also, for the maximum number 
>of  cycles, the
>battery needs a small depth of discharge not deep cycling.
>Your friend is probably using NiCd bats, but I thought I would mention it
>just in case anyone thought this would be a good idea for Lithium  batteries.
>Thanks es HNY
>In a message dated 30/12/2010 19:20:52 GMT Standard Time,
>clintbradford at mac.com writes:
>He also  performs a "cycling" of his battery pack every 60 days (running
>the radio  until it won't power on, then charging).
>After a year-and-a-half of  this, his voltage indication is still quite
>high. When he performs his  "cycling," the pack seems to not have 
>lost a bit of
>  capacity.
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73, Ed - KL7UW, WD2XSH/45
BP40IQ   500 KHz - 10-GHz   www.kl7uw.com
EME: 144-1.4kw*, 432-100w*, 1296-testing*, 3400-winter?
DUBUS Magazine USA Rep dubususa at hotmail.com
*temp not in service 

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