FT818ND Power questions and dual use with MTR3B?

I have purchased the Power poles kit and will install it later this week on FT818ND. I have been reading about installing the power poles and just wanted to make sure I have the correct info before doing this project.
One place I have read that when using power pole adapter the internal battery will not charge? That does not make sense to me.

My plan for install. First I must cut off the factory barrel plug from charger/power supply that came with radio and install power poles to that end to mate with adapter on back of radio. (Will doing this still charge the internal battery? Can I run the radio with full capability plugged into wall outlet?)

I am purchasing a Bioenno 3a 12volt battery with charger and power poles connected for use in field (will this battery also work with MTR3B?)

i know there is a lot in this post. Thanks for taking time to answer!

I have a 817nD, which is of course nearly identical. I have a right angle adapter plugged into the back of the 817 that converts the coaxial power connector to power poles. All of my DC cords / AC supply cords also have power poles. If thats the kind of power pole conversion you are talking about… just adapting the connector… yes, the internal battery will still charge just like it always did unless there is something wildly different between the 817 and 818, which I dont believe is the case. I do it all the time, and after 10 years of use, I just put a new battery in my 817 and it charged fine. As far as operating the 817 is concerned while plugged into the wall outlet is concerned, no. The AC charger that comes with the 818, if its like what came with my 817, will not supply enough current. The wall wart is only good for charging the battery really. You have to operate from the internal battery, external battery, or external supply with roughly 3 amps of current capacity if you want full power out of the transmitter. Notice that the 817 only charges when it is turned off after you set the charge cycle in the menu. Assuming the 818 is like the 817 in this regard. What I did is found an old laptop supply that will produce 12 volts at 3 amps and use it instead of the wall wart that came with the 817. The laptop supply will charge the 817 / 818 just as the wall wart will, but will also supply enough current to operate the radio at full output. I cant answer the MTR3B question. I dont check this reflector too often. If you have any questions feel free to shoot me an email at wb7vty@gmail.com for a quicker reply. Have fun with the 818. Ive had my 817 for over 10 years and its been a great rig. WAS and 24 countries with just wire antennas up about 30 feet. Not a hickup. 73

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Just adding to Joe’s answer above, a point on the FT818 -

The internal battery will charge through the adaptor, BUT, if you leave the adaptor plugged in to your FT818, the internal battery will discharge (in this condition it pulls about 4mA from the internal battery, for reasons I don’t know!). This is not a fault with the adaptor, the FT818 behaves like that if you leave the original power connector plugged in with no supply connected.

(The FT817 doesn’t behave like this, though both radios will discharge the internal battery slowly when they are not being used and have no external power connected).

I have an MTR2 which I run on 9v though it will take higher. I can’t answer for the MTR3B.


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Are you sure about that?

KE8 OKM, I use one of those Powerpole kits on my FT-817 with great success. My internal battery charges just fine, but be aware that I did not use my original wall-wart for charging after adding the adapter, I used an aftermarket charger which I believe had a slightly higher output voltage than the wall-wart. I also use a 6Ah LiFePO4 battery similar that from Bioenno and it works wonderfully (thank you AD6DM for making it) with my FT-817 and the Powerpole adapter, I run full power for hours.

As for using the Bioenno battery in you MTR3B, yes it will work. Now while I do not have personal experience with the MTR3B, it is my understanding that you need to be very mindful of not exceeding 12v on it’s input as not to damage the rig. I add this note of caution as many Bioenno 3a batteries and the like are actually 13.x volts rather than 12.0 volts, so you may want to invest in a buck converter or a 11.1v battery for use with the MTR. Again, I do not have personal experience with this rig. Perhaps those in this community that are smarter and have more experience can confirm or correct what I have shared.

That being said, YES the powerpole adapters work in my experience. Two recommendations, first check the rating (voltage/current) of your wall-wart and the requirement of your internal battery especially if it is aftermarket. The second is I STRONGLY recommend that you add a fuse between your FT-818 and your Bioenno battery.

Hope this was usefull,

73 Jose - K6HZR

Hi Andy,
I was until you called me on it haha. Thanks for catching that! I set the charge cycle and tested it and yes, it certainly does charge while on and operating with a sufficient supply. Thanks Andy.


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Eric -
The power connector on the FT-817/8 is not really robust enough for field use. The adapter that folks are describing is this:

Allows a direct connection to your Bioenno battery.
73, Etienne-K7ATN

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I had no issues for 15 years but chose to get the Windcamp version not the 3D printed version. The PLA will get soft in the sunshine and warp. I warped my 3D printed rails just as easily

Can someone tell me what I am doing wrong as I have used an 817 since 2006 on 600+ activations and have not broken the power connector?

Come to think of it I have never broken a Palm Paddle cable either.


Yeah, Andy - you are just not rough enough with your equipment. I’ve broken three Palm Paddle cables - and then I retrofitted with a 3.5mm socket and have had no trouble. I’ve also wrecked about six fiberglass telescopic poles, left antenna wire in two trees, and had dozens of spiders crawl into my FT-857. SOTA is like that.

The rate at which some people seem to destroy equipment makes me wonder how they do something simple like visit the toilet (bathroom in the US) without needing paramedics and surgeons to repair the the damaged body parts afterwards.


Golly, Andy, you do like to tempt providence!

Does the recent Hart Fell activation not count?

Andy - Actually, I think what’s going on is that I’m 27 activations ahead of you (675 - 648). Looks like you’ll be breaking lots of gear in your next few dozen trips to summits - to catch up with normal failures. Better take extra of everything, just in case…

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Time spent working on the equipment needed so that Her Majesty’s Navy could launch its “hot ones” and wipe some of the smirk off Putin’s face taught me that connectors and cables fail if you don’t do the job right. We had strict limits on how many times connectors (PCB edge connectors to RS232 9pin connectors to BNC connectors etc.) could be cycled before they had to be replaced to ensure reliability in the field. Some were only allowed 25 connection cycles before they had to be replaced.

I saw the small size of the connector on the 817 and thought it would be probably be up to carrying the current but not for repeated connection/disconnection cycles. My first thought was the 817 socket will be PCB mounted and the soldered joints will fail or the PCB will flex and the tracks will crack. So to stop that connector failing you simple don’t repeatedly cycle it. Plug it in, attach the cable to the Earth tag with a P-clip and it can’t move. Cut the cable to about 20cms long and fit your favoured connector there on the end. The connector on the 817 is fitted once and forgotten, the connector on the end which is easily replaced is the one used all the time.

No because the 817 connector didn’t fail and I should have been specific in saying I haven’t had the socket on the back panel fail. The connector at the other end of the cable connected to the “favoured connector”, failed. It was 10.5 years since it was fitted and the connector had probably seen in excess of 450 connect/disconnect cycles. Despite having strain relief, the cable entering the connector will suffer mechanical stress when you press it home. This weakened it and the current spike saw it off. It was in the -ve lead. The +ve failed through mechanical stressing a week or so earlier. Had it been a fresh connection, the current would have burnt away the +ve track on the PCB and taken out the common mode choke. Since then all the power cables have been uprated to be fused in both +ve and -ve legs. It’s the failure to fuse both that allows this kind of fault.

I did have a link in a dipole fail when we were let out of lockdown shortly followed by the +ve lead at my connector in the joint I made. Again we’re talking of hundreds of connect/disconnect cycles and in the antenna case, blowing about in the wind. I reviewed all the antenna link connections, feeders etc. that I have when that link failed because if one has failed there may be others close to failing. They all seemed OK.

The point is you move all the repeatedly cycled connections to something that is trivial to replace as all connector mating surfaces wear and fail as do the wires into the connectors. I do expect the Molex connector on the Palm Paddle to fail at some point, they’re not designed for so many cycles… I have a box of them somewhere. I’m just not sure where that “somewhere” is or I’d replace it now.

Back to the point though, stopping the 817 back panel connector failing is simplicity itself. Don’t use it and always leave it connected and put a connector elsewhere.


I think what I am going to do is buy the Windcamp 3000ma internal battery/charger and run the radio as my SOTA rig on that. At home I will run it via power poles and a 13.8v power supply plugged into wall. I am trying to figure out how this will effect the internal windcamp battery. Will I need to unplug it (internal battery) just turn it off or will it charge when on external power? Interested in advice from those with superior electrical knowledge!

My ultimate goal is to try activations with VHF first using Roll-up jpole and if I have trouble making contacts pull out the 20m antenna and get them (hopefully) on HF SSB until I learn Morse! I am planning on activations in more remote Rockies that require a whole day and need to have more bands “tools” in my repertoire!


Erik in Ohio currently!

The Windcamp battery comes with a replacement battery cover plate with in built charger circuitry for the battery. It also has an on off switch on the cover.

I suspect this if switched off isolates the battery from the 818’s circuitry so if you fit a permanent APP or WHY connector to the power socket at the rear the battery will not discharge.

TBH I did think about the Windcamp battery but the 818 I ended up buying had a APP conversion fitted to the power socket so I ditched the internal battery and just run it on external batteries…

Yes the Biennio external batteries look interesting and very simple to hookup with the power poles. I guess I am trying for as little clutter as required so I’ll try out the internal Windcamp first and if that isn’t cutting it go external. Next on my list is researching solar charging of the Windcamp battery. But that is a whole separate arena!

Once again thanks too all for helping me sort this out.

I have the Windcamp battery and there is a switch on the cover that must be off when charged. Also when not in use to avoid errant current drain. I have the power pole adapter on the back and have not found any impact on battery drain when using AA insert or with original battery.

If you do use external batteries, fuse both leads on the power cable.

Enjoy your 818! Have never regretted buying my 817nd; FYI - use mine mobile sometimes also with a 45 watt amp for HF. California to Japan while driving on the freeway was fun.

Good Luck & 73,

Unfortunately, even if the connector is held (usually by a “P” clip screwed to the adjacent earth boss) it can cause failure of the pcb connector caused by some inadvertent mechanical movement of the mated plug. This happens when the 817 is moved in and out of the rucsac (or similar). Replacing the pcb mount connector is not trivial because, although it is surface mount and easily replaced, to access the rear connection it is necessary to remove a through hole electrolytic to gain access - a real pain.

I must admit that I fitted the Powerpole interface simply to ensure the plug remained connected into the socket and could not be inadvertently moved. YMMV