Many thanks to QRPer contributor, Bruce, who writes:
I have been on a several-year journey to get to the point where all my portable electronics can be powered or charged via USB or USB-C. Gone are the days when I would have to lug around multiple chargers (or lots of spare batteries) in my travels.
Unfortunately, radios have been the holdout. I know that some people have played with USB-to-12v converter boards, with varying levels of success. I recently came across these dongles sold by the Romanian company roWaves Technologies:
I just received a DS-02 (for FT817) and a DS-04 (for IC-705). I can now charge my 2m HT and marine VHF handheld using a USB-C charger or battery pack. I can now charge/run my IC-705 at 12v from the same source.
I have yet to explore how much noise these adapters generate. Even if just used for charging, they’re a great addition to my travel kit.
Probably not SOTA gear, but a nice addition to any ham’s travelling kit.
Wow! Thanks for the tip, Bruce! I love how compact these are and it’s certainly a huge bonus that they can charge the internal batteries on your rigs. That alone, as you say, is huge because it can cut down on the amount of accessories needed during radio travels.
Let us know how well this works for you over time, Bruce. I’m curious if others have tried this USB to 12V converters–please comment!
9 thoughts on “Bruce discovers roWaves ROW-PDS-0X USB-C to 12V converter boards”
There is actually an even better solution by Blind Spot
Blind Spot – USB to 12V Adapter – 12 Volt DC Power Cable – Use Any PD USBC Power Bank to Power Any 12V Device – Turn Your Power Bank into a 12 Volt Battery
I bought a usb adapter that is the size of a lighter socket. I put Anderson Powerpoles on the leads and plug into my power source du jour (typically a Bioenno 3AH). It has two ports so I can also charge my phone. I got about 12 bucks in it. https://tinyurl.com/bddtuv35
Is it usable with a powerbank?? 73 qro HB9GUR
I’ve only used it with USB-C packs that delivers 5v – 20v PD 60W. I don’t know about just 5V.
Very interesting, thanks to all.
Again Thomas, information when needed.
Thanks for the hint. They should add a version with Anderson Powerpoles for using it easily with different radios / transceivers.
I try to go the other way, get 12V to USB adapters for my USB devices and keep my 12V devices powered directly from 12V.
Most 12V gear uses more than 2.1A as supplied by USB supplies and would be even more when converting 5V/2.1A to 12V (voltage goes up, current comes down). And the efficiency of such USB converters would be another factor for battery operation.
Even when I buy batteries for my QRP rig I get one that puts out both 12V and 5V USB power. Thne it can supply both devices. However, some I have found have low current limits for the 12V.
USB has been a very good technology for many things, mostly the computer end, not the radio side. But to each their own.
73, ron, n9ee/r
I actually just ordered a Rowaves qrp kits.
Pretty stiff price for ~ 68 Euro + shipping. ;-( Btw. not every USB 5 volt power supply can do that! The secret is not the little box, it’s the USB power supply. There are standards (QC2.0/3.0) for ‘quick charge’ USB power supplies. You will find this on the small print on the plug of the power supply. By signaling via USB cable to ‘quick charge’, it will raise the +5V to 9, 10, 12, 15 or 19 Volt. Depends on brand and type, up to 5A at 12 Volt is possible. If you own such a (cheap) USB power supply, make your own cable – for around 3 Euro (Yes 3 Euro!) Search at Aliexpress.com for “QC2.0/3.0 decoy” or “Type-C PD decoy” and select the 12 volt version. They all around 1 Euro plus shipping for 1,5€ I have a built a box full of them, perfect for the travel bag 🙂