Friday 20 July 2012

Portable power

The Yaesu FT857D that sits in my shack is slightly wasted in its current role as a two metre rig. I originally bought it some years ago to use for portable work and got to thinking that perhaps I should actually use it for that purpose.I also have a portable "Buddistick" vertical and  two suitable portable twelve volt power packs here. 
The first pack  large heavy unit which contains a 20ah battery which although its a few years old now still seems to hold a charge.

This is a useful piece of kit buts its heavy, not suitable for a long walk and too weighty to pop into a rucksack/backpack

The smaller pack is a lot lighter, it is a 12 volt 4.5ah rated pack. This unit  is older and I have recently found that even after a full charge it was only showing just over ten volts.
With nothing to loose I opened it up and found it contained two 6 volt batteries.

Luckily the electronics supplier Maplin stocks identically rated and sized batteries and I was able to replace these worn out items leaving me with a useful small pack again.

Amazingly for less than the cost of the new batteries I could have bought a whole new unit. I didnt do this because none of the new units I saw were as compact and light as this one and they had features I didn't need such as compressors for inflating tyres and jump leads for starting cars. All this unit has are the twelve volt sockets seen in the picture and a useful light at the rear.

Now all I need is some fine weather and free time to go portable again!

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