QRP Battery Ideas

After a deluge of inquiries and promises about a discussion of my new battery ideas, go grab a coffee and lets get this done!

I still use the heavy SLA batteries but wanted something a bit more lighter (actually a lot lighter) and something that was field packable.

The Duratrax DTX1866 LiPO battery caught my eye as it was around $50 and was 11.1V and 5A. That was a perfect voltage for the KX3 and FT-817. I bought two of them and they are actually a 3 pole affair which means 3 lipo batteries out together to make 1 pack. This is important because you need a special charger and the batteries need to be balanced.

dtx1866 lipo

I also use a Saratoga Power meter ( I NEED THE MANUAL FOR THIS CAN ANYONE HELP?????) as well as the older Astro Flight. Both work fine and the Astro Flight got the anderson pole mod. I also made up a homebrew version using an ebay power meter special panel meter as below:

homebrew power meter

If you wish to keep the Duratrax battery as stock then also but the pigtail connector and add a power pole of your choice

close up adapter duratrax

The saratoga Power meter I need a manual for. It is Anderson Pole enabled alreadysaratoga power meter

The AStro Flight offers additional information including power drawnastroflite power analyzer

I have two chargers for these batteries. The Venom is a simple 2-3 pole charger so it works fine but the Turnigy AccuCell 6 is better as it also does SLA and Nicads along with LiPo and can do up to 6 poles I think. You need to provide a 12v source so you will be cobbling up some adapters for the included wiring harness. I think this was around $30.

venom 2-3 cell battery charger


turnigy accucell 6

You will also need a tester for the LiPo and its a simple $2 one from eBay. It will check all 3 poles and then test each bowl individually. Because, we have a battery pack made up of 3 individual packs, it is important to ensure that they are balanced and all charged to the same voltage. The special charger will balance the batteries.

lipo battery tester


lipo exploded

You will also need some power distribution panels. Again Saratoga Power and a Rig Runner. You can make your own as wellpower distribution

I also have a bag full of gadgets and cables and i did make my own 4×4 anderson pole splitter with blue ends in the photo as well as a voltage reducer, and voltage tester. See AD5X for details….http://www.ad5x.com/images/Articles/Vreducer.pdf.

The bag also has a fuse holder using the mini car fuses. These plastic zip bags are used for make up and i got mine at the Dollar Tree in Sunnyvale, CA

power gadgets

The power meter above was from walmart and i just cut the cigarette lighter plug off and gave it the Mr. Anderson treatment

Any questions or comments, likes, dislikes or even snide remarks are most welcome

73 and Happy Power

John ve3ips

QRP in The Field




  1. Pingback: QRP BATTERY IDEAS for the KX3 or FT-817 | the400group
  2. mike · August 4, 2015

    great article !!


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