Friday, March 10, 2023

Radio Battery Box

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



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