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Another source of LiFePO batteries

Many people have bought and use RC model LiFePO batteries from Hobbyking. I have two, a 4S1P 4200mAh and a 4S2P 4200mAh pack.

I was wondering who else is supplying LiFePO as I could find no RC shops in the UK who had anything in stock when much Googling turned a German company, Eremit, who supply various LiFePO batteries. What caught my eye was a 12.8V 4000mAh pack made from 8x 18650 sized cells complete with an integrate BMS for approx €37 plus shipping.

I was in email conversation with Ed DD5LP and asked him if he would find out if Eremit would be able to mail to the UK with problems of supplying Lithium batteries in general and with the problems regarding VAT since EU VAT rules changed and Brexit. There was some mention of them supplying an Austrian company for general distribution. Ed was impressed enough with the spec that he ordered 2, one for himself and one for me to collect from him at FN, which was very good of him. :+1: Duly paid for, collected and now at home in Scotland, getting through security at Geneva airport without issue.

Ed has tried his and is very happy. I spoke to at least 2 people at the FN rally who have the same pack and are very pleased with their purchases. I’ll fit a plug to mine and try it on the next activations. Not this weekend however as it’s VHF Field Day.

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I am using an earlier version of this pack (which has no BMS) since more than one year. Mostly on the KX2, in the last months as well on the IC-705. I am very pleased, a long lasting very stable voltage supply. I recharge it after about 4-5 activations and still there is juice in. And it fits nicely in the KX2 bag.
Absolutely recommended from my side

Klaus, DL2KL

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Hi Andy @MM0FMF, Please let us all know how you get on with this and especially how you charge it.

I’ve managed to over-discharge one of my HobbyKing 4200mAh packs, so I’ll no doubt need to replace it soon and these do look tempting, but it depends if they will ship here. I suppose the other option is to plan a SOTA trip to Germany and pick some up in person. Now how do I convince Nic that we need to go…?

73, Simon

To charge it you apply between 14 and 30V to the terminals and the BMS manages the charging current and balancing. In discharge, the BMS limits current and stops over discharge.

Just copy the text from their webpage into translate.google.com and you get a nice English version. It’s what I did as my German goes as far as ordering beer, food, a hotel room and a hire car.

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Hi Andy,

Great that we met in Friedrichshafen in person!

I’m very happy with the 2Ah and 4Ah LifePO4 from Eremit. Good form factor, easy and safe charging and discharging.
With a Lab599 (low RX current of about 100mA and 10W TX), the 2Ah is good for at least 3h SSB and the 4Ah lasts for a whole day.
The 817/818 is happy with a 3S Li-Ion, but if you want/need 13V for a longer time, a 4S LiFePo4 is the way to go and the Eremit ones seem to be of good quality (using them now for nearly one year).
Since I live just across the German border, I have it easy and can collect the items from a German delivery address. Otherwise, there is/was an Austrian distributor for international delivery.

73 Stephan

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I have two of these batteries from Eremit - one is the one you have a link to, the 4Ah one, and I also have a 6Ah one from the same company. Both of them can be charged as a lead-acid battery type: I use a maximum charge current of 3.5A at 14V for each of them. The integrated BMS takes care of everything else, balancing, full charge, the lot. I also bought from them (I know, I could have made one) a small cable harness to connect both the 4Ah and the 6Ah in parallel to achieve a 10Ah(?) power source. I’ve used each of these now, one or the other or together, with a Xiegu G90 on half a dozen activations, and am very pleased with them.

Just my $0.02,

Rob

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I have been using it for years. i have 1x 2Ah and 2 x 4 Ah.

You can connect them in parallel for higher current demand.

I do that when using a PA.

73 Armin

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How do you determine the charge level? Do you just measure the voltage, or just charge it on a timer, or is there some other method?

The integrated BMS board/circuit does that by continually monitoring the charging process, and disconnects the battery electronically when fully charged. That’ll lead to a loud beeping from my Turnigy charger!

It’s basically idiot-proof, which in my case is a big selling point!

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I managed to discharge my HobbyKing battery to the point where the Turnigy charger said no.
Following some chats in my other thread, so I set the charger to NiMh and gave the batteries some charge, the batteries came up to 10v and then set the charger to LiFe and batteries took a charge

See > Zippy 4200mah battery - have I killed it ?

But how do you know the charge state?

For me I have a plug in battery volt meter that connects to the white plug to show the voltage

Another point in favour of Eremit (a one-man company) is that you can order your battery with your choice (from a range of eleven different types) of connectors attached - or no connectors.

Hi Richard,
if using a Turnigy (or I expect any similar type LiPo/LifePO4) charger, set to pB (lead battery) you are shown the charging current and battery voltage. Once the charging current drops to nearly zero, the charger cuts off. You don’t get a “this will take another xx minutes and yy seconds” kind of indication however.

73 Ed.

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That I couldn’t say, not being a battery professional. As I write, I’ve just this minute finished re-charging my 6Ah battery, it having received an extra charge of 1075mAh at 14-17V, and it then informed the Turnigy charger that charging was complete.

You see, I AM a battery idiot - “I know how to drive the car, but have no idea how it works”, and I don’t really care as long as it goes. Well, we can’t all be geniuses…

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Hi John, I saw that thread and kept an eye on it as I’d done similar at about the same time. Monitoring the FT-818 all day whilst working apparently isn’t good for the battery. It’s definitely lost some capacity, as it always drops to about 13.3v after charging. My other one stays close to 14v, even days after charging.

It works OK for now, but if I see an opportunity to buy another one (or two), I will, because they are a good balance of capacity vs weight.

73, Simon

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I did consider buying another battery from Hobby king but the postage was £35 odd.

Yes.

It was nice to meet with people I’ve met before after a long break. Much better was being able to meet people I have met on the air or online for the first time. I think making new acquaintances in person is one of the things that I have missed a lot because of Covid.

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If your pockets are deep enough you could consider buying one of these Tracer 4 A LiFe batteries - they come with charger:

Also available in the UK…

Mine is on charge as I type this… From starting fully charged this morning and in use all day in CW/SSB around 50/50. The battery completed 73.5 QSOs before it wouldn’t power my KX3 at 10 watts anymore. I thinks that’s pretty good for a battery that I bought two years ago secondhand with my (also) secondhand KX3. I hooked up a 3 Amp spare LiFoPo I carry as backup to finish off the day on 76 QSOs, the three stations on the spare battery were John @GI4OSF (1.5 QSOs!) (very patient op - while I changed the battery, still listening when I came back up), @DJ2MX (SOTA Complete for Mario) and regular Jukka @OH3GZ.

73 Phil

Just short of £200 though. Extortionate for 4000mAh. Even if it does include a charger.

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