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LIPO 4S regulator

Hi All,
For those looking for a cheap, light, power source for portable radio gear, the LIPO batteries are somewhat cheaper than the LiFePO ones but are at “inconvenient” fully charged voltages of 12.6v dropping to 11.5v (3 cells) and 16.5v dropping to 14.8v (4 cells).
I use a 5Ah hard-case 4S LIPO with my self built voltage regulator to provide a constant 13.6v. It works well but I have recently come across these nice little 4 Amp regulator units that will do the same job and so far I have not had any RF interference from them.
They usually cost a lot more than their current price in the “Bargain Bin” at Hobby King in Hong Kong.

Depending on where you are accessing the website from they cost US$2, £1.62 or €1,78 each.

I actually liked the look of the case intending to use it and throw the internal electronics away, so at that price, I bought three.

I have just tried one out - using it to regulate the voltage of a 4S LIPO battery (16.8v fully charged) down to 12.6v for use with radio gear - at up to 4A. The input can vary from 26v down to 10v and the output is supposed to stay at 12.6v.

Not only does the unit work, it looks like they haven’t pulled the RFI suppression components out of the design as I can find no difference to reception running my X108G portable rig off my normal well-regulated shack power supply or off my 5000 mAh LIPO 4S battery with this unit - it actually puts out 12.8v rather than the labelled 12.6v but that’s fine.

Watch out though - what does cost (around €20) is the shipping from Hong Kong to Europe, so these would be a good group buy to reduce the postage cost per unit. Postage costs to Australia or the US may be different.

As always with electronics out of China - YMMV.

73 Ed.

2 Likes

Hi Ed,
Nice casing as you remark.
A question to ask yourself. Do you trust a $3.00 regulator from China to protect your $1,000 transceiver. A fuse and crowbar circuit is worth the extra few dollars just in case.

73
Ron
VK3AFW

It’s not a $1000 transceiver, rather a $350 one that is now probably worth $250. An Xiegu X108G - and yes it’s got over voltage protection built in. The power leads to the rig are of course fused (something that they originally were not!).

That $3 regulator is only $3, as I said, because it is in the bargain bin. My guess would be the original intended sale price would have been in the $60 - $80 range but as it is marketed for a specific Drone, which is no longer the “latest thing”, it’s market has gone but looking at what it actually does rather than what model it was intended to be used with, means it’s residual value is far, far more than $3.

It cost me more than $3 to build my own voltage regulator circuit and I would trust this one more than that not to go wrong as my unit is not cased, built “Manhattan-style” and held in place in my (plastic) battery box by foam rubber. So this is a definite improvement!

73 Ed.