Hey everyone I just got a new radio! A Icom 2300H. I was wondering what a cheap battery option would be for sota use. I know of someone who has a few of these batteries for sale. Would one be enough or would I need two? I was thinking of operating in the 10 or 25 watt range.
Here is the battery info.
Besides a charger what other necessary power equipment is necessary?
5 amp hour batteries are good for an hour or two on most SOTA activation duty cycles. Obviously FM will chew it up a bit quicker than SSB.
The only major concern I’d have is the battery weighs about 2 kg, which will get pretty annoying the time you have to hike that in to a summit. An equivalent sized LiFePO4 battery would be about a third of that weight.
Where is a good place to buy the lithium iron phosphate batteries in the U.S.?
Can’t speak for the US, but most VK activators seem to have bought them from HobbyKing’s Australian warehouse. They obviously have warehouses in the US and around the world. Price in the AUD$40-50 mark for a 4.2Ah battery.
It depends on how cheap, and whether you think saving $40 for a year or so is worth carrying the extra 1 1/2 kg up the mountain. I used a similar type of battery for many years in SOTA type activations before SOTA came along and was quite happy. Now weight is a big concern and I have discarded anything with lead in it.
Your rig isn’t the lightest one around either and you will need to reduce it’s input so it does not draw more than 4 A on TX. that should give you from an hour to 1 1/2 hours on the hill.
Apart from a smart charger you need to watch the minimum battery voltage in the field. The rig has a built in voltmeter. Shut down when the voltage drops below 11.5 V and never discharge it below 11.0 V and then you should get many recharges out of it.
For your antenna a 300 ohm slim jim in a conduit is suggested as being effective, light and robust.
Don’t forget plenty of water, lunch or a snack and protective clothing. There is plenty of advice if going into less frequented areas. I always carry staff that I haven’t needed yet but …
Here in W7O sometimes 2m FM simplex can be a challenging path to four contacts for SOTA activations - even with a radio like your new Icom. Still, often near an urban area you can just use a HT and an aftermarket antenna - especially if you can have your friends look out for you. Much easier to carry than a mobile rig and a battery!
But for batteries, I’d recommend these - you could run your Icom on the lower power settings for a good while on one of their 6Ah versions: /www.bioennopower.com/collections/12v-series-lifepo4-batteries.And the NA SOTA reflector is a better resource about batteries available in North America: Yahoo | Mail, Weather, Search, Politics, News, Finance, Sports & Videos.
And see www.pnwsota.org for information about SOTA in the Northwest, and be in touch if you have questions.
climb2ski at gmail