Friday, March 27, 2009

The battery is charging

I hooked up my newly arrived 18V wall wart to the ACME QRP gel cell charger and made the adjustments as they appear in the instruction manual. Everything went flawlessly. Now to hook up an actual, live battery. Looking around my various parts bins, I noticed that I do not have the required 5.1mm jack for the output!

Not to be deterred, I took two alligator clip test leads and clipped one to D2 in the circuit and the other to circuit board ground and hooked up a gel cell. The LED ran red for a bit to indicate that the battery was receiving a full charge; and then just a little while later, it switched to green. This indicated that the battery's voltage was at the proper level and the charging current had decreased to "float charging" levels.

Now I'll have to go to either Radio Shack or perhaps Greenbrook Electronics to get a couple 5.1 mm jacks (always good to have a spare kicking around) and mount his circuit in some kind of enclosure bottom. I need to put in something to keep the circuit board insulated from any kind of metal, yet I need to keep the top open so I can view the color status of the LED. Hmmmm .... some type of clear plastic box, perhaps? That way I can totally enclose the charger; but yet still view the LED. Interesting.

When all is said and done, I promise to post some pictures.

What should be next? I have a few untouched kits to choose from. I have a set of QRP paddles from Arizona ScQRPions paddles that I purchased years ago that I never opened. Maybe it's time to get going on those.

73 de Larry W2LJ


  1. You could unsolder the indicator LED, connect extension leads, and mount the LED in a hole in the case. Or you could use a lightpipe made of clear acrylic rod.

  2. Both excellent suggestions - thanks!