Bioenno (https://www.bioennopower.com/) batteries are popular in the US and I’ve had pretty good experiences with their smaller and supersized ones.
I wanted something to run my UK based 857 at something more than 25w and given flight carry on restrictions can’t bring a behemoth to ensure a 100w (or even 50w) without special permission of American Airlines.
Does anyone have any experience importing a Bioenno battery to the UK that’s willing to comment on shipping methods, time and I presume satisfying the ever present tax man?
Given that HobbyKing want to charge about £40 to ship a Life battery to the UK I would have thought by the time you’ve shipped it here you’d be better off buying something locally.
Recently, International airfreight regulations have been changed making it more difficult to send lithium batteries of any kind anywhere in the world (especially the larger versions). I believe shipping using a ship is still possible if you can find a shipping service willing to deal with a small order.
If you had been travelling into the EU, I would have said to order a suitable battery from eremit.de. Good quality with built-in BMS, good service and reasonable prices.
However, getting anything shipped from the EU to the UK has become a nightmare of customs paperwork and delays since Brexit.
When I inquired with Bioenno a couple of years ago they told me there was no practicable way of shipping to the UK, and it may be that hasn’t changed.
I think you would save a huge amount of time and hassle buying a battery here or arranging the loan of one. I have bought a 6Ah from Amazon (I think the brand is Energie Star, it’s covered in gaffer tape now) and I have Ultramax in 12Ah, a couple of 22Ah and a 36Ah which I got from batterymasters.co.uk. The brand is also often available on Amazon. All of these have stood up well to use and abuse.
Paul, I have one of these Ultramax 22AH LifePo4 which I use on the FT-857. The carry case makes the battery really quite portable - I don’t notice the weight on the end of my arm anywhere as much as in a rucksack. They also do a 12AH LifePo4 which is around 1KG.
It comes with a straight plug-in charger and does balancing internally.
My highest count and DX activations have been completed using this battery. It’ll supply the FT-857 100W for a few hours. Since buying this battery I rarely take my 4.2AH LifePo4 HobbyKing Flightmax batteries. When I want anything more lightweight I go QRP.
Thanks all for the feedback and the recommendation Mark (@M0NOM).
Looking/acquiring in the UK does possibly seem more viable.
except eremit don’t ship outside germany, and their partners funk-elektronik only appear to ship to the EU, and charge about €30 to do so.
I get the feeling that Eremit is a very small company (perhaps even just one man), so why have the hassle of complicated customs regs when you probably can’t keep up with the local demand in any case.
I’m very happy with both of my Eremit LifePO4 batteries. I wonder if he (or funk-elektronic) will get to Ham Radio Friedrichshafen next year? I think the Eremit batteries would be the hit of the show if they were there.
We’ve been down this rabbit hole before. National post services and couriers are not going to knowingly ship Lithium batteries cheaply as there are all sorts of special regulations. These are the packaging requirements, labelling requirements et al. because of the inherent danger in Lithium batteries. It doesn’t matter that LiFePO batteries are much safer than LiPOs, the regulations apply to Lithium.
My last Hobbyking battery was a good price but when shipping from EU warehouse to the UK was added the price effectively doubled. i.e. the shipping was a few pence less than the price of the battery. If you see really low prices for shipping then they are probably being shipped “illegally”. A trick lots of eBay jokers use. In the UK, the Post Office do routinely X-ray packages and remove anything that looks like batteries and there’s no compensation. As Ed says, I don’t there are many couriers offering international shipping any more.
At least you can get Eremit batteries shipped in the EU. We in the UK could have been involved too but the jingoistic short-sightedness of Brexit and its supporters has put pay to that. Sheesh, it is the gift that keeps on giving.
As an aside, having used my Eremit 4Ah LiFePO since last summer, I can say I’m very, very happy with how mine is working.