Author Topic: fancy lithium battery  (Read 4302 times)

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spacecase0

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fancy lithium battery
« on: July 29, 2015, 11:51:52 PM »
so I got my fancy lithium battery assembled
I got 8 LiPO4 10AH cells 
http://www.electriccarpartscompany.com/10Ah-32V-35C-br-32L-05W-53H-in-br-82-12-135-mm-br-9-oz-255-g-br-Bestgo-Power-Pouch-Cell-br-EV-LiFePO4-Lithium-Pouch-Battery-br-Model-BP-HK-10E_p_274.html
manufacturing website http://www.bestgopower.com/battery-overview/pouch-cell.html
shipping cost almost $100 and took almost 2 months to get
put them into a 4 cell pack with 20AH
I put power pole connectors on each set of 2 parallel cells,
made 2 matching connector sets, one puts them all in parallel in order to balance the cells, I will likely need to use this at least every 6 charge cycles
the other connector puts them in series to get the 13V
seems to work quite well

I would never build this setup again,
quite hard to solder them and was worried about melting the plastic in them
and when I charge them I get radio interference, sounds like a loose connection,
so maybe I have a cold solder joint...
or could just be the nature of the batteries
would get batteries that I can just bolt connections to if I did it again
like these
http://www.electriccarpartscompany.com/-NEW-ENERGY-br-4000-CHARGE-CYCLES--20-AH_c_138.html
also don't have to worry about potential cell expansion with time

so far I have been watching the voltage closely do I don't over discharge,
but will soon will build a low voltage alarm so I don't mess them up
will set it to 12.9V with a delay to deal with transmit current dropping voltage

I charge them with solar (it limits the current by its nature) and use a DC to DC switcher to limit the charge voltage
http://www.amazon.com/DROK-Converter-1-2-32V-Laptop-Regulator/dp/B00C9UUFHC
have it set to float charge at 13.3V

but maybe I should have just got something off this pace
http://www.electriccarpartscompany.com/-CUSTOM-12-VOLT-PACKS_c_182.html

overall I am happy with what I did,
but could have been better now that I know what is going on

AD

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Re: fancy lithium battery
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2015, 09:20:17 AM »
Space I have. 12,000 mAh and a 16,000 mAh that I got as demos from the distributor in Cali.  I ran my 857d for almost an hour and still had power to continue. 

I have not put then through a complete test but they may be an option.

http://tinyurl.com/pjbunto

Full disclosure if anyone buys via the link on Amazon I get a few cents from the sales. 
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Tevin

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Re: fancy lithium battery
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2015, 06:13:53 PM »

I would never build this setup again,
quite hard to solder them and was worried about melting the plastic in them
and when I charge them I get radio interference, sounds like a loose connection,
so maybe I have a cold solder joint...
or could just be the nature of the batteries
would get batteries that I can just bolt connections to if I did it again

but could have been better now that I know what is going on

I admire your fortitude! Really! But yeh...with so many great off-the-shelf battery options, there really is no practical reason to fool around soldering individual cells together, especially if it's for a mission-critical purpose.

Your statement, "but could have been better now that I know what is going on" is very timely because it's the main theme  this week on my blog, Twenty First Summer, to be posted this weekend. Trial and error is essential to learning. There's no shame in failing if you don't stop trying the first time you fail.

My new & improved go box (which I'll post about in detail when I have more time) uses a 4 ah SLA battery and a 25 watt folding solar panel. Nothing high tech or revolutionary going on here. I'm considering adding a second battery. I think two 4 amp-hour batteries is better than one 8 hour battery; I can pack them to distribute weight more evenly or leave one at home. With this setup i should be able to keep my FT-817ND off the grid pretty much indefinitely.

If you could post some pix of what you did that would be cool!

Keep tinkering and experimenting and don't be afraid to fail. I love your attitude!
« Last Edit: July 30, 2015, 08:54:52 PM by Tevin »

spacecase0

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Re: fancy lithium battery
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2015, 08:38:10 PM »
testing things out is about the only way to learn,
or at least it was for me this time, I could find no one else that had tried what I tried

I got a 140W soldering iron today, should be able to heat sink the battery leads and still melt the solder well enough to ensure that no cold joints are there
as an advantage, my setup is lighter than premade options
the other advantage i have is that I get perfect cell balancing.
it is the least loss system for cell balancing I could find, and works even if I only charge to 80% (or whatever I prefer to charge to), most setups requite you charge to 100% for the cells to balance, and I kind of want the longer life of never charging past 90% (but still want the ability to go to 100% if I need to)

4AH is just fine for the ft-817 if you have the solar with it
I have two 7AH AGM batteries I was using for that, and that was enough to run the ft-857 with 20W of solar
but that does not help at all when running at night, that is why I wanted the 20AH lithium set
 
some other motivations for wanting the lithium batteries is the potential life they have,
all my lead acid batteries are getting old, the lead acid batteries don't last that long anyway...
and the lithium are very light weight
picked the LiPO4 over the Lithium ion because the voltage of the LiPO4 matches the radio hardware voltage requirements better than the lithium ion

how do I upload pictures here ?
or should I do a blog post about it and link to the pictures uploaded there ?



Tevin

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Re: fancy lithium battery
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2015, 10:17:26 PM »
You can upload pix from a any photo hosting website. I use photobucket.com but there are others. It's easy, free, and secure. You cannot upload photos directly to prepared ham. I know it sounds awkward, but that's how most web forums do it now.

If your pix are on another website, such as a blog, I think you can use that link to post them here...I'm not sure if it will work.

A 140 watt soldering iron is quite large by soldering iron standards and is usually too powerful for fine electronics work. If you are going to roll with that, be very careful because it will quickly roast anything it touches. 

I use a Weller WTCPT which is officially rated at 60 watts but has electronic temperature control that turns the juice up or down automatically according to the need. It's not inexpensive, but the only thing on it you will ever have to replace is the tip. Mine is about 20 years old and I just love it.

I use a 150 watt solder gun or a propane torch for soldering coaxial connectors, bonding wires, and other heavy stuff. The Weller is too small for those jobs.


spacecase0

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Re: fancy lithium battery
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2015, 11:23:04 PM »
I love the temperature controlled soldering irons, use to use them at work all the time, but don't own one
when I was looking to buy one, someone gave one to me, said they did not need it and they would never use it,
but they asked for it back years later (found out later it was to give it to someone else that never even plugged it in),
to bad I did not buy one when I had money to get one, I miss it quite a bit.
I am pretty good with the adjustable gas soldering iron I have, but it is just not the same

the soldering iron I used is a gas one that is about 60W of power out when set to high, and it was not enough to make the solder flow on the batteries with the wires attached
I am good at making things stick anyway, but I have no way to check if the solder joints are cold or not
really don't want them failing in the future so I will redo them

you are right, the new soldering iron will sure help with PL259 connectors as well


spacecase0

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Re: fancy lithium battery
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2015, 12:18:21 AM »
so I did a blog post about it
http://spacecase0.blogspot.com/2015/07/lithium-battery-pack.html
pictures are there


Tevin

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Re: fancy lithium battery
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2015, 07:15:28 AM »
the soldering iron I used is a gas one that is about 60W of power out when set to high, and it was not enough to make the solder flow on the batteries with the wires attached
I am good at making things stick anyway, but I have no way to check if the solder joints are cold or not
really don't want them failing in the future so I will redo them

you are right, the new soldering iron will sure help with PL259 connectors as well

Soldering is a skill that takes a lot of practice and looks a lot easier than it actually is. It's something every ham-prepper should know how to do. Soldering with an iron, gun, and torch are separate skill sets with their own learning curves. It's is one of the things that separates the truly knowledgeable hams from the guys who spent a weekend memorizing a few test questions to get their "push to talk" license and think they are wizards now.

Early in my career I applied for a job and during the interview they had me solder a few components onto a board. Must have done ok because I got the job.

Soldering two wires together while sitting at your workbench is not the same as doing it upside down and backwards under the dash of a car or inside an equipment enclosure, or when you really do need a powerful iron to do the job but only a small one will fit in the space you're working in. Been there, done that.

For larger tasks such as PL259 connectors and heavy wire, the use of solder flux is a must. It will make the job a bazillion times easier. Flux is also helpful for soldering things that cannot tolerate a lot of heat, or when your iron is too small for the job. The flux will allow the solder to take faster and more completely, minimizing the heat exposure.

Never, ever use acid-based flux on any electronic application.

AD

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Re: fancy lithium battery
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2015, 01:06:28 PM »
Space I have "opened the gallery" on the site.  Look for the Gallery button under the header.

http://www.preparedham.com/forums/index.php?action=gallery

Space, would you mind if I post this on my blog page under your handle?
« Last Edit: July 31, 2015, 01:09:32 PM by AD »
The only dumb question is the one that did not get asked!!

spacecase0

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Re: fancy lithium battery
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2015, 02:22:02 PM »
feel free to repost here (was going to say that was ok to do when I posted the link, but got distracted and forgot)
I know it is not that well laid out, and I am missing details like the voltage ranges of lithium ion VS LiPO4 for the battery selection
so feel free to fix anything if you want

Tevin

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Re: fancy lithium battery
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2015, 05:30:56 PM »
The photos make your project a lot easier to follow. Thanks for posting.

You got me thinking about the possibility of replacing my 4 aH SLA battery with a LiPO4 version. The cost would be about $145 vs. less than $15 for the SLA. It's not an insane price considering all the money I've pissed away on my previous mistakes.

I found this one:

http://www.amazon.com/Bioenno-Power-BLF-1212T-applications-wheelchairs/dp/B0083BMHPY/ref=sr_1_62?ie=UTF8&qid=1438381509&sr=8-62&keywords=lipo4+battery

It's a little bigger than what I'm looking for; I can live with that. Im not sure how good the included charger is or if this battery needs cell balancing.

This guy looks good too:

http://www.amazon.com/Tenergy-LiFePO4-Lithium-Phosphate-Battery/dp/B0056BEJCI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1438381941&sr=8-1&keywords=lipo4+battery+4ah

Any opinions/ideas?
« Last Edit: July 31, 2015, 05:37:59 PM by Tevin »

AD

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Re: fancy lithium battery
« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2015, 05:38:45 PM »
They sure would lighten the kit.

If anyone is considering buying from Amazon, if you could give me a heads up and use a link I provide, you will pay the same price and I would get credit for my affiliate program.  No obligation but it would,help support PH. M
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spacecase0

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Re: fancy lithium battery
« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2015, 06:19:49 PM »
Tevin,
each of the ones you linked to are ones that I thought about getting
the cell balancing should be standard shunt limiters and should work just fine
looks to me like the 12V, 12Ah one has a charger included and the smaller one does not.
you really should have a matched charger as far as current and max charge voltage so the shunt regulators in the cells don't overheat ,
so I would tend not to get the one without the charger (even if I only tested it to reproduce something close with solar charging)

this is also one I was looking at
http://www.amazon.com/Bioenno-Power-applications-wheelchairs-photography/dp/B00PGTOHJK/
and was available 2 weeks ago on amazon, but is not now unavailable there
but might be better to get it direct from who makes it
http://www.bioennopower.com/collections/lifepo4-batteries-for-communication-equipment-ham-radio/products/12v-12ah-lfp-battery-pvc-pack
continuous discharge current is 24A, with a peak of 48A, so pretty good there
already has the power pole connectors on it !
not sure how to add it to cart with the charger though, but they have the phone number at the top of the page to ask them

if all fairness, I am not sure it will matter that much what one you get as they are all going to work

by the way, do be careful of lead acid equivalent ratings,
for example, the SHORI battery that is labeled at 14AH is actually a 4AH battery
and yes I own one and would rather not.

if you only need 2.5AH and 5A max (like if you are running the ft-817), get 4 protected 18650 cells, should be about $20
get 8 cells if you want 5AH and it will only be about $40,
cell holders will be a bit more if you want it to be easy to hook up, but still way less than other options
« Last Edit: July 31, 2015, 06:24:59 PM by spacecase0 »

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« Last Edit: July 31, 2015, 07:05:57 PM by AD »
The only dumb question is the one that did not get asked!!

Tevin

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Re: fancy lithium battery
« Reply #14 on: August 01, 2015, 06:43:41 AM »
spacecase0,

The listing for the smaller one without the charger claims it is a direct drop-in replacement for equivalent SLA batteries and does not require a special charger. I take that to mean that limiting/balancing circuitry is built in. You have to keep in mind that most of these batteries are sold to people with zero technical skills who want a plug-and-play solution. The geeky stuff is fun to guys like us, but the average consumer is not going to sweat the details of cell balancing and shunts and all that.

If you read the fine print on the LiFeP04 batteries, most of them are set up to work with any charger.

For prepping purposes, I need something that will charge off my solar panels or whatever 12 VDC source I can find, and not require extra hardware. Having to bring a special charger for one specific battery is a deal breaker.

I've used Tenergy batteries before and am very impressed with the brand.

Does this change anything?
« Last Edit: August 01, 2015, 06:48:10 AM by Tevin »