Achieving VFM

I appreciate that activating up in Scotland has had a certain effect on me, but I am beginning to wonder whether I have gone a little too far in the frugality department. Last Saturday in the Trans-Atlantic S2S event, I used a 4AH LiPo to run my IC-703. Checking it after the event, I found that it read just 10.8 volts. The balance between the cells was only slightly out, so I put it straight on the charger to bring it up to storage voltage.

Now the history of this particular battery is that it was purchased in April 2009 as one of a set of 4 from Hong Kong - Andy MM0FMF knows the type. I killed one in 2014 and I have noticed a significant decline in the other three in recent months.This evening I checked the internal resistance and the battery that I used on Saturday has resistance values of 41M, 61M and unbelievably 177M. The other two batteries are not far behind.

What I want to know is, should I keep them or consign them to the bin? Advice from GM activators is particularly welcome! :laughing: Also, is there an award for this level of frugality? :upside_down_face:

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You should recycle them responsibly.


I think we did remarkably well with that particular batch. Mine still work OK (just) but they are not a patch on how they were when new. Sure they’re fine for an 817 level of consumption and for a while I took one of them and the LiFEPo I bought when going out, just whilst I learned how the LiFEPo works. Now I forget to charge the LiFEPo because it lasts so well in comparison and the old LiPos stay in the SOTA box in the car.

I would suggest recycling the worst few and keeping the best as a standby and investing in a new LiFEPo if you don’t have one. I think you already have a posh charger.

I’ve been particularly taken with Luc’s neat 18650 idea. For me, I have plenty of dead laptop batteries at work I can scavenge for cells. The 3x cell holders are cheap and USB powerpacks where you use your own 18650 cells in them get through airport security with ease. So I wont be buying any more RC style packs for sometime. I don’t think 18650 would be useful for you as you often have the 857 or a small PA + 817 and it becomes messy quickly trying to manage many cells.

I think it’s time to break the seals off your wallet and buy a LiFEPo. Or two. Gulp!


Yes, that was my thinking, but if I could squeeze just a few more mA out of them… Arghh, I need to admit that I do go a bit too far with trying to extend the life of things. I even look at junk lying by the side of the path while out for a walk and think, “what can I make of that?”. It’s instinctive.

I already have two 4200mAH LiFePO4 batteries which I use to run my 2m and HF linear amps as they prefer the higher voltage. Yes, my wallet did have a malfunction. :grinning: I usually use one of the two more recently purchased 2200mAH LiPOs to run the 817. So you see I am reasonably well endowed with batteries and can afford to recycle a couple of the old ones, but whether they get past the SOTA box in the car is another thing. :wink:

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Bizarrely, none of the LiPos that exhibited super high resistance values are now showing anything greater than 96M. I used one to run my FT-817 at 2.5W for two and a half hours last Wednesday when I activated 3 HEMA summits. The voltage at the end of that session was 11.2V.

It would appear that LiPOs are like horses… they need to be put out to grass when they get old. :grinning:

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