Which of these batteries? (please)

Andy, according the the spec for my HB1B the current draw on TX is 80-90mA

Will that alter your advice or indeed the general consensus on battery packs?


800-900mA on TX I think. But as you’re a pure CW man the actual TX duty cycle will be quite low, let’s say 33%. (Expect SSB to be 55% and FM 100% for reference).

The cells claim 2600mA and the value given depends on how they were tested but we’ll do the simple calc and assume the cells are 2600. 33% of 900ma is 300ma and 2600/300 = 8.6 hours continuous CW TX. Now we can apply temperature de-rating, and real world capacity de-rating and lies from the salesman de-rating but even if we de-rate by 1/2 that would give 4hr 20mn TX endurance. It probably will be a bit more. Would being able to do 4x 1hr activations before needing to change the batteries be OK. If it is then they will probably do you.

The problem with all these specs, is it gets increasingly harder to believe anything and some battery claimed capacities are based of very crooked testing regimes. Typically fewer lies get claimed for mid-capacity cells. 6 cells plus the internal pack should give you a significant operating capacity. If you buy a charger that runs from 12V, you can use the cigarette lighter in the camper van to charge them too.

As always, check my calculations because, and this may surprise many of you, I am not perfect! :blush:

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While searching for an universal power delivery solution while travelling, I stumbled across the following product:

I didn’t buy it yet, but there are some unique features:

  • can be charged with a common USB charger, no need to carry an extra charger
  • can be charged in the car, cable included
  • while using the 12V output (50W/max. 65W), it can also charge your phone/tablet at the same time
  • contains a bunch of adapters for your laptop
  • airport safe (important to me)

They sell it also in other versions and over amazon, e.g.

I just don’t know how it performs RFI wise…

Did anybody try one of these?

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If this is the same as some units I looked at over a year ago - which it looks to be. It’s a single LIPo or Li-ion cell at around 3volts (that’s where it is 15Ah - if at all). All output voltages above 3 volts are created using an inverter and these usually are very, VERY RF Noisy! The units are designed for non-technical users who simply want to charge their smartphones, laptops and the like. Being a single cell, no balanced charger is needed, hence it can be charged off a USB connection - but to fully charge 15Ah it’s going to take a long, long time.

60 pounds seems expensive for the unit - I’m sure there are equivalent units at a lot less - but I wouldn’t buy this or the equivalent units.

73 Ed.


An important concern is how tolerant your equipment is in terms of voltage.

In general LiFePO4 chemistry lithium cells have discharge curves that are more compatible with 12v rigs as compared to the discharge curves of lipo/Li-on. Also LiFePO4 is said to be safer in terms of spontaneous combustion and general abuse which is a nice side benefit.

After analysis you may find that a lower capacity LiFePO4 pack will outlast a higher capacity lipo/Li-on pack depending on the voltage range of the radio.

I can’t offer advice in terms of UK availability, but I have had good experiences with https://www.bioennopower.com/ packs.

Tom, N2YTF

The battery pack supplied with the HB1B is 3 x 18650.

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Thanks Ed for your feedback!
Yes I agree with all you said. It’s a 20100 mAh / 3.7 V cell that needs a long time to charge from a USB port (5-9h, depending on the standard), but this is not a problem for me. The main advantage I see is that it is so universal and doesn’t need an extra charger. Otherwise I would go with the 18650 solution.

As you noted, I’m also worried about the RFI from the step up converter, so I’m really looking for somebody who tested this or a similar 50-65W product on HF, e.g. on 7 MHz.

73, Stephan

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Hi Dave,

Maybe - as the radio has a built in LiPo battery it might even have an undervoltage cutout included? I have had an FT817 switch itself off when Ive pushed it a bit far using a 3S LiPo and on checking the battery has been about 9V and survived the experience. ( The dropout may have happened on a lower voltage due to a current peak - 817s will generally work on 9v).

Wonder where you’re going in GM - Gerald and I will be based in Stirling.

73 de Paul G4MD

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I am using for few years three Li-Ion 14500 Tenergy 800mAh batteries (no protection) with holder and charger, that came with HB-1B. The total cost is approximately $20. Battery cells are little short to make a reliable contact inside of the battery holder, so I inserted a piece of cupper between the battery and the holder contact to make reliable connection. The only problem is the battery charger by itself. It is a source of strong RFI, and I don’t believe that it meets FCC requirements for conductive/radiated emissions.

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I really like these LINANO-Air LiFePo:


They are a bit pricey but very comfortable to use with their integrated electronics and power level display.


A bit heavy for me!!


This has a good selection for building one?!

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And or buy a BMS for it.


I’ve got to agree what a couple of others said. I’m a fan of the Bioenno batteries. A bit more pricey, but you get safer and more reliable batteries. Watch out for Chinese batteries of any kind as, like everything else Chinese, their quality control often is lacking.

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Thanks. Lots on there.

Thank you all so very much. I’m off to Scotland today all being well. I’ll be sorting a better battery supply out when I return.


Is it perhaps just the models I am looking for, or have all LIPO/LiFePO battery prices been hiked during the pandemic?

I am looking at triple the price for some 4S Lipo 5Ah hardshell cased batteries that I paid for them two years ago.


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I was after some LiFePo4 batteries just before the lockdown here but couldn’t find exactly what I wanted, so ended up getting one of these;

The hardshell are a bit more expensive, but the prices haven’t changed since then.


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Thanks David, but that’s $10 or €10 more than I paid for my hardshell version - so you see what I mean about prices rising. Perhaps they went up before the pandemic. In any case there seems to have been a 30-40% increase in price compared to 18 months ago. Or perhaps I just got a very good deal back then. I have two and I’m pretty sure they were under €30 each when I got them.

Oh well, I’ll just have to keep an eye open for the pricing, although I suspect we are going to see more and more prices increasing over the next few months.

73 Ed.

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Didn’t hobby king prices used to mysteriously drop the longer you kept an item in your shopping cart?