Batteries and Power for Yaesu FT 817 and Other QRP radio
If you have Yaesu FT 817 – You will have inside a standard 1400mAh NiMH battery pack.
I recommend you this nice accessory.
In this container 8x AA batteries could be fitted in (Not-rechargeable) – (but you can always do the mod to allow this).
I found this accessory crucial and very easy to carry with you. On the net you can buy 8x Eneloop 2750 mAh and your battery pack is ready! (less than 30$).
You can also buy the W4RT’s “One-Plug Power” 9.6v 2700mAh NiMH battery pack : thermal and over current protection, external charging option.
Rechargeable Lead-Acid Battery
These batteries for QRP are great and cheap! They are the best you can have when you go portable but.. you will need at least a 12v @ 7Amp lead-acid battery. They are definitely not the lightest of the options. It will be around 4 kg. Not for a backpacker. It’s only if you go by car somewhere… Not for a bike, or if you climb somewhere ! oh no!
First of all remember you must limit the output of the solar panel(s) for our QRP Radios: no more than 16 Volts ! Ideally 13.8 V otherwise you can damage your radio. You may buy a charge controller on eBay (max 20 $).
The best solar panel is made by PowerFilm. Flexible, rollable, water proof, and very light. I did some test on their model “powerfilm 20 Watt” Foldable Solar Charger (F15 – 1200) is the middle ground of the Foldable Solar chargers and weighs just under 1 lb. It produces 1.4 Amps at 15.4 Volts and folds up into a 10.5 in. x 6.5 in. rectangle.See photo below. Perfect I would say. Problem? Its cost! 🙂 190 euro! (240$).
Finally we talk about my favorite battery : a simply LI-PO (Lithium polymer) battery. I am a RC model fan with many different helicopter / planes and I every day use / charge / discharge several lip battery. You can have a 3000 mAh or 3200 mAh 13.2 Volts for just 20$ delivered at yours. Check on the best site hobby king.com
You may just do a nice connector for your QRP radio (Yaesu FT 817 – ICOM 703 or Elecraft KX3) and let’s game started!
It’s definitely cheapest, easiest, and lightest solution!
It’s the WINNER!!!
Some of us (QRPer) did this. If you find the same LIPO (Vtec 2200 mAh) buy it!! It fits directly into your Yaesu!