Re: Portable Battery Recommendations

Gwen Patton

I use the Talentcell 8300mAh 12/9/5v battery pack, Richard. I got it from Amazon here:

There's also an 11000mAh pack available on that page that I've been tempted to buy. They're very durable, very light weight, and last summer I operated from various parks with a variety of radios and antennas using that battery pack and never discharged it more than one indicator level after an afternoon's operating. I ran my KX3 up to 10w and never seemed to deplete it much. Now, I may not transmit as much as you, so your drain on the battery may be greater than my own, but I think it's a good starting point.

It has enough oomph to run both my KX3 AND the PX3 panadapter fairly consistently, using a Y-splitter (I think it came with one). It has the charging circuit built into the pack, so the charger is just a standard 12v wall wart, no special circuitry. I used my bench supply to top it off more than once. I usually carry this pack, their smaller 6000mAh pack (not on that Amazon page), and a USB-C Power Delivery 26800mAh power bank with a Power Delivery sink cable. I've never ran them all down in a single day of operating.

The Talentcells are what I've used most. The Power Delivery bank and cable are a recent development, and I'm still evaluating it. I just found it frustrating that there were all these wonderful, high-capacity power banks out there for USB use that couldn't power radios because they were only 5v, the standard USB-A/microUSB output. But Power Delivery is a recent standard that can power and charge laptops as well as phones and other devices, up to 20V at various amperages. I found readily-available adapter boards that will properly handshake with a PD power bank or wall charger, and regulate the power from one to supply 12-15v at 2-3A max power, depending on the power bank. In one of my Pelican cases, I have the Talentcells and my main field radios and gear, and in a second Pelican case, I have the PD bank and a wall charger for it, the PD adapter cable, and a selection of other QRP radios I don't use quite as often. All I need now is a power plug for my Chromebook, to adapt the PD cable to it, and I can even include my K1SWL Phaser digimode transceiver and the Chromebook I use for FT8 and JS8. (It'll also do my logging and other ham related computing).

I'm trying to assemble the most flexible system I can manage, with the most easily maintained and longest-lasting portable power options. The PD system is nice because if I find I have access to 110v mains power, I can use the PD wall charger to top off the battery, then use it with the PD adapter cable to power the radios, saving the battery for when/if the mains power goes away. One of the places I like to operate from is a park with a gazebo. It has picnic tables and, if I can get close enough, a 110v mains outlet on the wall. I also have a van, and a 110v inverter I can plug into a 12v accessory jack, and a big battery-starter pack with a lighter socket on it that could be used to provide 12v OR run an inverter to charge my packs.

Sorry for the text wall data dump, but I've been really getting into this over the past year.

Here are the USB-C PD devices I mentioned.

Gwen, NG3P

On Thu, Jan 30, 2020 at 11:43 AM Richard AG5M via Groups.Io <> wrote:
I loved the discussion about Portable Antennas, learned quite a few new ideas to try out.  Now for another.  To power my Ten-Tec Argo IV QRP rig (or a KX2 if I ever get one) out in the field, what kind of light weight battery would you all recommend that could power the rig, running 5 watts, for up to four hours CW and SSB.  I have a sealed Gel-Cell but it's kinda heavy.  Appreciate all your thoughts.  72, Richard AG5M.


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