Emergency Preparedness DC Power Pack
Some of the capabilities of my powerpack are....
Power outlet receptacle
Binding post power outlet
Various amp powerpole outlets
12 Volt DC to 110V AC Power Inverter
Powerpole quick-disconnect for jump-start cables,
LED Power meter with charging jack for Genius smart charger
Master shut-off switch to power down the powerpack
For some time I had this battery box with a fully sealed, multi-cell, rechargeable 80 amp-hr AGM (Absorbent Glass Mat) battery sitting around in my shack.
At one time or another, I have designed and built variations of something similar, and I have seen portable 12 volt powerpacks put together by other hams..
Having said that, I always felt that the various powerpacks that I have put together, were lacking something,
For one thing, the last 12 volt powerpack that I built, was lacking in reserve power, as the battery that I had used, limiting the amount of time it could be used before the battery needed recharging, and I also realized that all of the previous portable powerpacks of this sort that I have seen in the past, were lacking another feature that I wanted to include in my next portable powerpack, that being the capability to be able to use the powerpack for jump starting a vehicle, or temporarily used as added capacity to my primary battery in my mobile.
A prime example of this, is a situation where you are using your HT conjunction with your mobile, that is being used in cross band repeat mode for extended lengths of time.
This may be due to being forced to operate out of a building that has reinforced concrete and steel construction. If your mobile does not have the added battery reserves required for extended operating time, you may end up with a dead battery in yoyr mobile, or be forced to take measures to charge the battery in the vehicle at the most inopportune time.
With my powerpack, and the jump-cable capability, you may temporarily attach it to the primary battery in your mobile for extended periods of time, allowing for usage of your HT, or even many HT's used by multiple users for extended operating time.
A view of my powerpack shown with jump-cables
End view of components
View of components under the cover
Still, I did not want the cables for jump starting permanently attached to the powerpack, as the cables would be a pain when the power pack was being used in the shack or in the field as a power source.
This powerpack allows DC powered devices to be run anywhere, from wilderness to urban environments, and will operate a wide variety of equipment - meaning that spare batteries and chargers don’t need to be carried individually. The 80 Ampere-hour battery capacity will keep equipment running for hours or even days, and when you find that the starting battery in your mobile is dead, this powerpack can be utilized to get your mobile started.
4 gage cables with a 350 amp-hr powerpole quick-disconnect for jump-start cables, and future capabilities requiring high amperage
Of course it goes without saying, that all outlets are fuse protected, other than the 4 gage cables.
Another cool feature, is the fact that If you are operating field day from your mobile, or maybe working DX from the camp-ground, or what have you, you can utilize this powerpack by running the jump-start cables into the engine-bay, and by temporarily attaching the powerpack to your primary battery with the jump-start cables, allowing for a increase in capacity of the battery in your mobile.
My powerpack is designed to be charged through various methods, that includes my Genius battery charger, or from my mobile, and also from my solar panel allowing me to be off grid indefinitely.
You can buy similar powerpacks from various sources, but all you really need is a in-expensive battery box, a battery, and bits and pieces from your electronics junk box, a couple of hours to assembly it, and you too can own a powerpack go box like this one.
In this photo, my Yaesu VX-8R is being charged by the powerpack, through the 12 volt E-DC-5B Yaesu power outlet adapter plugged in to the side mounted power outlet of the powerpack.
The VX-8R had a dead battery when I connected it to the powerpack, and 2 hours later it was fully charged.
I checked the state of charge in the powerpack before charging the VX-8R, and once the VX-8R was fully charged, I checked the powerpack once more.
The powerpack was still near full charge. Goes to show that bigger is better when talking battery size!
Meanwhile my Kenwood D72 is connected and being powered by the powerpack through one of the powerpole outlets, although not being charged, as the battery in the D72 was fully charged at this point.
Genius Smart Charger
I have been using what may be the best battery charger that I have owned and used to date, that being the Genius G3500 smart charger, which I use to charge my powerpack when near a 110 volt mains supply.
The Noco Genius G3500 is a smart, 8 Step, fully automatic switch-mode battery charger and maintainer. The G3500 can restore batteries to their original capacity, and recovers slightly sulfated batteries.
It also can recover drained batteries and provides maintenance charging to increase battery life. This battery charger provides charging modes for both large and small batteries from 1.2-120Ah, that being one of the reasons that I went with the G3500.
Hover your mouse over the photo, and select "Original" for a close-in look.