Saturday, April 21, 2012

Battery Evolution

As mentioned in one of my last posts, the lithium ion battery that I had acquired from eBay arrived. There was a "return receipt, signature confirmation" slip in the mail box and I went and picked it up from the Post Office this morning.

Batteries sure are getting lighter and smaller!

The battery to the left is the very first sealed lead acid battery that I've ever used for portable field operations.  I've had this guy for about eight years now.  It's a 7.2Ah battery, probably about 5 pounds (a tad more than 2 kilos)- about the weight of a bag of sugar (roughly). It came out of an emergency EXIT light that was in the building that I used to work at.  I saved it from the dumpster and there was (and still is) absolutely nothing wrong with it. Only drawback for field operations is the weight.

The middle battery is the one I've been using for about the last three years. It's rated at 5Ah and is roughly half the weight of the big battery (approx. 2.5 pounds or about 1 kilo).

"Little Boy Blue" to the extreme right is the lithium ion battery. 9.8Ah and I would say, the same size as a pack of cigarettes.  It weighs less than a pound (less than 1/2 a kilo).  It came with a wall wart (not pictured) for charging, it has both male and female 3.5mm connectors for output; and it has a little switch on the left hand side with a tiny red LED indicator to let you know you have turned the battery "on".

More capacity in a smaller, lighter package.  How cool is that?

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!


  1. Anonymous11:13 PM

    Wow how nice! I just ordered one for myself on eBay!

  2. I have recently heard of these batts myself, and intend to try one, but I've heard from someone who owns one that the rated power capacity is a bit of an exaggeration, to put it kindly. Would be nice to see someone put it on a battery analyzer to get a proper test of its capacity.

    Jason NT7S

  3. Jason,

    What you heard may be very correct indeed, I don't know. But I look at it this way ..... even if the battery ends up having half of its rated capacity, that still like having the middle battery at a much smaller size and much lesser weight. It's not like I'll be hiking the Appalachian Trail, so I should be in good stead.

    Larry W2LJ

  4. Looks great for portable operations and with it coming from China you sure did get it fast. I had ordered some headphones from there and it was over a month to make it's way to me. Seems the other batteries have served you well and have more than paid for themselves......for sure the one that was rescued from the trash bin.

  5. Hey Larry - I was wondering if you could answer a few questions about this battery since you've had it for awhile now. First, I was wondering how long it takes to charge? Second, does it have the amphr capacity that it is supposed to? Third, have you had any issues with it?

    Thanks for your time,

  6. Mike,

    I really like this battery!

    I don't think it has the actual amp hour rating that it is supposed to. But that being said, I can use this battery for a full 4 hour sprint, calling CQ and doing a lot of S&P at a full 5 Watts out with no problem. Then, I can get another 4 hours or so out of it at 3 Watts out.

    Charge time? Overnight gets it back to full charge.

    A sealed lead acid of the same rating would probably last longer but the weight savings and convenience is worth it.

    Larry W2LJ

  7. I recently bought one of these blue LiPo batteries from eBay. Appears to be the same as yours. I'm just wondering, since mine came with no instructions or info: did yours come with a wall wart with both red and green LEDs? If so, does the green one light up after it's done charging? So far I've charged mine for a few hours at a time and not seen the green LED light. Also the red one lights even when the battery isn't plugged in. Just curious!

    --Owen, KJ6AKQ

  8. Hi Larry!

    Would this battery run a FT-817ND? I may pick one of these up to run the 817 from it's DC jack. I'd probably setup the cable with some PowerPoles. What do ya think?

    de W3RAZ

  9. Not sure what the current draw is on an 817. I'm sure the battery would power it, just not sure how long it would last.

    Larry W2LJ