About the project
An essential add-on for most ham radio stations is the ability to have power back-up for those times when we the power fails us. For ham radio to be useful to us in emergency situations it must have a reliable way to run without access the mains.
This project was born out the people at Ham Radio 360 Workbench podcast, hosted by George - KJ6VU and Jeremy KF7IJZ. They wanted to have a module that would provide three main functions:
1) DC Power gate, similar to those you see on the market today
2) Low voltage disconnect to protect the radio from damage
3) Optional Voltage/Current display capability
The typical usage for this board would be in your home or portable station where you are using SLA (lead acid) batteries and you want to keep the batteries from over discharging and damaging the cells. It can also be used with the newer LiFePO4 batteries like the ones from Bienno.
Why this design?
This design incorporates all the main features you would want in a backup system. However, it does decouple the charging system from the module. This allows for uses with different types of batteries that have different charging profiles.
Our friends at Ham Radio 360 can provide us the PCB with the transistors and the very small LTC sensor chip already installed. These are the hardest components to solder, so this makes the project assembly easier for most people.
We anticipate this assembly to be available later in October 2017.
I (Marty -KB4MG) have a board I got from George, and will show it in the October meeting.