Battery Components List

I’ve been sharing each of my LiFePO4 DIY battery builds on Twitter, and inevitably people want to know what parts they need. They’re too many to list in a tweet, so I thought I’d keep a running page here to refer people to. These things have been acquired over many months, and are not all inclusive. The reason I keep making them is to try out new things. Typical 6.5Ah to 7Ah 32700 build: LiitoKala 32700 LiFePO4 cells: ~$3.50/ea, ~$14.00 per 12v 4S1P battery. 100A 4S LiFePO4 BMS: $7.10 per batt 32650 battery holders: $1 for 4 cells Wiring (12ga, 16ga, 22ga in bulk, multiple batts): ~$50, ¢ /ea batt… Read More

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SOTA with AI6XG on Wragg Ridge

Dan AI6XG has been doing SOTA for a couple years, and we were in CWOps Level 2 class together in 2018. He graciously offered to go on a SOTA hike with me, and picked this great spot mapped out by Jeff AA6XA around the Lake Berryessa area. Enjoy watching my struggle as I get into this new facet of ham radio.

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First SOTA

It was a very short hike, but steep. On Dec 8, I hiked with Rex KE6MT up to Point 1272, a.k.a. SOTA peak W6/NC-387. Rex is the W6 Association Manager for SOTA. Here is a video of the trip.

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First QSO on AO-92 Satellite

I received an Arrow II antenna from N9BAV today, a very generous gift after I tweeted that I needed to buy said antenna. After I put it together, I looked on GoSatWatch app to see the next pass of well-known amateur satellites. I immediately recognized that AO-92 was going to pass very well overhead in about 2½ hours. So I prepped my Kenwood TH-D74A with the VHF downlink frequency (145.880MHz) on sub band A, and the UHF uplink (435.340MHz) on sub band B. My previous attempts at satellite with a HT whip antenna and my HVU-8 vertical have met with no success, so I was half expecting this Arrow to… Read More

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Getting Tired of Battery Posts Yet?

I know I am getting tired watching myself talk about batteries. But it’s just fascinating to me to refine the build and power management process of readily available LiFePO4 cells. There are so many kinds! And they keep improving. I guess I have China to thank for that, so much of Maker / electrical components can be found from inexpensive Chinese distributors, making it easier and easier to have your own DIY projects. Anyway, here’s the latest in my series of portable battery builds. I found some really cheap 7Ah cells on Aliexpress, and had to try them out. I don’t want to become “the Battery Guy” since there are… Read More

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Fabricating Gear

As many on Twitter have seen (and are probably already tired of seeing), I got myself a budget 3D Printer. Several of my coworkers would come to work with their “latest print” and it would range from utilitarian to really cool movie prop reproductions. In my mind, this hobby was prohibitively expensive. Last I heard about 3D printers, the entry-level ones ranged in the $1500+ range. And all I was seeing from those early adopters (circa 2013) was plastic bow ties and other such useless figurines; not enough of a motivator to dish out that kind of cash. I carried this mindset even to just this month, where one coworker… Read More

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DIY Portable 12v 15Ah Power Box

It’s been quite a journey since I first received the 3.2v Headway 40152S cells from China in March. Slowly but surely I have been learning more about DIY battery building, from balance management systems, to electric capacity and current calculations, all the way to how to fit things into a case with extensive wiring. There are plenty of YouTube mentors out there building batteries. Now I’m on a craze about Lithium power storage and solar energy, with the hopes of one day building my own home multi-Kwh power wall. In the meantime, I don’t think I’ll ever look at consumer batteries the same way ever again. I will always think,… Read More

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