Other SOTA sites: SOTAwatch | SOTA Home | Database | Summits | Video | Photos | Shop | Mapping | FAQs | Facebook | Contact SOTA

Anyone using Windcamp LiPo accumulator for FT-817/818?

Hello,

I’m using this accumulator since 4 years. Since last year I notice a considerably loss of capacity. May be this process started earlier.

Is there anyone with experience with this component?

73, Ludwig

1 Like

Same here. I just ordered another one, which takes about 8 weeks to arrive USA. I wish it was LiFePo. Is there another company that makes one of those that will work with Windcamp 817??

Elliott, K6EL

2 Likes

Yes, have had it for a few years and yes, has lost some capacity. Yes, LiFePo would be better; Bioenno makes a 3 Amp that is close to that size but a bit too large to fit. Considering the market share of QRP that the 817/818 holds I don’t expect to see Bioenno or other companies rushing to fill the void.

Howard KE6MAK

2 Likes

I have the Windcamp battery in my 817, purchased in 2016. It still runs 2 or 3 activations happily and I’m hoping it will last for a few more years. The convenience of the internal battery is worth having. I do have and usually carry an external LIPO but have not had to use it. Windcamp don’t advertise the battery any more. Wonder if they can still source them.
73 Andrew VK1DA/VK2UH

2 Likes

Andrew,
Still available on eBay and of course price is higher now as with everything else.

Howard KE6MAK

2 Likes

Hi Ludwig,

Last spring I bought the second 3Ah LiPo from Windcamp from eBay.
The first Windcamp battery I bought together with a new FT-818. It lasted less than two years and only about 150 activations. When it was cold, the voltage dropped very quickly. I think it was stored for some time in the shop before I started to use it, if I remember right when reading the production date when I dismantled it.

I also prefer LiFePO4 chemistry and found the batteries from eremit.de good value. But I think this LiPo from Windcamp is still the way to go, if one wants the battery inside the TRX.

73 Stephan

1 Like

Hi Stephan,

It’s also my point of view, LiFePo, and for this Eremit as a good source.

I’m using a LiFePo 12 V 6.6 Ah from itecc since 2014. It’s good until now and good for equipment up to 30 W (40 W). For lowering the weight when working QRP over longer time I bought a 4 Ah from Eremit last year.

Because of that I bought the Windcamp accumulator. Now, after 4 years and not so many activations, the capacity is down to around 0,7 Ah :grimacing:.

73, Ludwig

Hi Ludwig,

Ouch, not much left :unamused:. I also think it’s time to replace this battery. To me, the LiPo chemistry is one of the least robust, compared to LiIon and LiFePO4.

73 Stephan

Hello Ludwig,

I’ve been using the lipo since 2015? but only regularly in the first few years. I’m still very happy with it.

In order for the 3 Lipo cells to fit into the battery compartment of the 817/8, the actually necessary balancer circuit is missing. This means that the weakest of the lipo cells get too much voltage at the end of the charging process and can become more and more damaged.

I have therefore installed a Si diode along the positive pole in the charger, which reduces the charging voltage from 13V to a maximum of 12.4V. Maybe that helped, when you order a new one

73 Chris

1 Like

Hi Chris,

To my knowledge, Ludwig is using a ready made Windcamp LiPo battery that includes the balancer and a has a separate charge socket.
It’s a nice drop-in replace solution for the original NiMH batteries. Honestly, I never used them and I don’t understand that Yaesu still uses and used this chemistry in the FT-818.

73 Stephan

That’s would a big advance. Are you sure?

1 Like

Yes, I was very disappointed to see Yaesu sticking with the legacy technology.

That would only be forgivable if they soon come out with an 819 that is undersized like the 817/8 and like the Icom 705 with SDR and Lipo.
One can dream, hi.
73 Chris

2 Likes

I bought second hand ft818 with windcamp battery. I would not buy it by myself. It is too expensive.

I am using external 5Ah battery and windcamp is for back up. When windcamp lose it capacity I would buy another 5Ah external battery. FT818 would be little lighter :-).

I am not taking power bank for mobile phone with me. Little step down converter and external battery is what I use

Yes Chris, I dismantled the battery (as I do with most things before getting rid of :grin:) and saw the board.

One can buy the whole Windcamp kit from eBay (see above Link from KE6MAK), or only buy the LiPo battery, as I did, when I had to replace it.

73 Stephan

Edit: At least one of the three LiPo pouches was a bit swollen.

1 Like

Hi Stephan,

Do you mean LiPo? So far as I know Yaesu uses NiMH for the FT-818. The Windcamp is a third party part.

Until now I thought the BMS contains a balancer. Looking on the actual offer from Wincamp there seems to be no balancer (“Protection: Over-current, Short-Circuit, Overcharge, Over Discharge Protection”), strange for this type of cells without a plug for balancing.!?

Do you have a source for only the battery? I found only the set in the internet.

73, Ludwig

1 Like

Hi Ludwig,

No, I referred to NiMH, which is the original chemistry that was sold as part of the 818.

If I remember right, each pouch cell was connected independently with the “balancer” board, in a similar fashion as when I created my own LiIon balancer leads. But I didn’t check the components on the board.

I just checked the conversation I had with the seller ‘davinmc_27 (11)’. Unfortunately this seller stopped selling on eBay. He charged US$ 42.99 including shipment from Hong Kong. He answered my question concerning the production date, which was only some few months ago from when I bought it (if that was true).

Until now, this new LiPo works just fine, but to be honest, I didn’t make many activations with the new battery. Mainly, since the the Lab599 TX-500 TRX has so many more bells and whistles, compared to the FT-818 :laughing:.

73 Stephan

2 Likes

I think 4 years is fair life expectancy for this unit. I am using one from summer 2016 and so far it never failed me, I actually never managed to discharge it completely, recharging it after each hike.

This LiPo fits in the FT 817

ON9CBQ

3 Likes

I have one and use it for a backup to my 3 cell 18650 battery pack. I can do about 5 hours with the combination.
WG4I

1 Like

Update:

Today I made some research about the BMS inside the Windcamp accumulator.

  1. The BMS is switching off when reaching 9.9 V. That’s OK for saving the battery. Around 10 V the voltage is dropping fast so there remains only a little amount of energy down to 9 V. The battery is discharged to 0,03 % or so, I think.

  2. Testing the battery today at home I discharged it with my iMAX B6. I got 1.2 Ah from it. Last week during two activations the battery was OK for 36 minutes of operation. That means I could use around 0.6 Ah. The big difference was because of the temperature, I think, around 0 °C on the summits and 20 °C at home today.

So the capacity is about 40 % (> 10…20 °C) after 4 years and less then 100 cycles, only 3 or 4 over ~97 %, the most only below 70 % depth.

73, Ludwig

2 Likes