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Keep Your Amateur Ham Radio Powered and Running - #hamradio

Posted by Bill Dick on

Due to the nature of two way radios keeping them running over extended periods of time is a bit different to what the norm has become. With a cell phone you simply plug it into a car charger, or USB port, and your in business, with a ham radio it's a different story.

While a "car charger" does exist, this simply connects the charging base to the 12V socket and allows you to charge the battery, it is not advisable to transmit with the radio on the charging base. Here is where a second battery would really come in handy. You can simply swap out the depleted battery, insert it into the charging base connected to the car, and insert the second battery in the radio. Poof, magic, back up and running.

Another popular option is called a battery eliminator. With a battery eliminator you replace the battery back, with a special pack that has a 12V cord attached to it. Plug the end into the 12V outlet in your car or RV and the radio is up and running at full power. Keep in mind this will not charge the battery, but allows you to run the radio from 12V, keeping the battery for when you exit the vehicle. Power the radio from a 12V also ensures maximum RF power output as the voltage remains constant.

What if 12V sources, or standard electrical outlets are not available. For example you are going camping, or on a backpack trip. This next solution is a favourite of "preppers" as it involves one of the most common power sources available, everyday AA / AAA alkaline batteries. Now before you go ripping apart your rechargeable pack stop, there is an easier and safer way. Using a dry cell battery case. Simply insert readily available alkaline batteries and your radio again is back up and running. AA batteries do not last as long as the high powered lithium ion cells found in the rechargeable packs so don't expect the same run time, but in a pinch, or an emergency situation, you will be happy you have one of these in your pack.

So there you have it. Three excellent ways to keep your radio running. Need more info about the accessories mentioned? The bold links above will take you right to the products in question, you can also contact us with your questions, we're always happy to help out.

73s Bill

VE7IKX


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