Recently, I picked up a battery box from Napa that was on sale for a great price. It was meant for car use so is big enough to fit a car 12v battery and had some 50A connectors. But I wanted to use it for radio ops so made some modifications. My guide was this great set of instructions on how to build a solar powered ammo can battery box. I followed that fairly closely but with the following changes:
- Included the existing 50A Powerpole connectors since they were already there. I made some pigtails with 15A Powerpole and inline fuse so you can connect a radio to them. Note that the entire box is 15A regardless of the connector rating.
- Included the external wing nut connectors since they were already there.
- Added a Powerpole external connector for the solar panels. This allows the panels to be connected while keeping the lid on.
With all the interfaces and pigtails, I can use to run radios, laptops, etc. It is also big enough for me to carry a bunch of gear. E.g. for VHF/UHF operations, I can fit a couple radios, antennas and other accessories. I can also add another battery if I need the extra amp hours.
|Completed battery box|
|Inside the box showing the battery and charge controller|
|Powerpole pigtail with SB50 on one end|