This charger would allow you to safely charge your 12V LiFePo batteries from a 12V source. This could come in very handy for mobile POTA and SOTA operators who activate multiple site in short order. RVers will also find this accessory useful since it’s DC powered. The price is $99.99 which is a bit steep, but then again Bioenno products tend to be very high quality.
Many thanks for QRPer reader, Ron, who writes:
Dear Thomas, thank you for the great videos and information on POTA and QRP work. I’m very inspired.
Thomas, I received an Icom 705 recently and I was wondering about power. In your videos, is your battery 12 volts? This works okay? I wonder because of the 13.8 volt requirement in the manual.
Thank you for your time. I’ve already picked out a park that I will try to activate one day when I’m up to speed on POTA. 72 Ron
Thanks for your question, Ron. I’m very happy to hear you find the videos useful.
I almost exclusively use Bioenno LiFePo 12V batteries which actually output closer to 13-13.5 volts in use and can even briefly be a bit higher immediately after charging.
Most amateur radio transceivers (including the IC-705) typically have a bit of voltage flexibility and will operate a below 12 volts and tad higher than 13.8 volts. QRP radios especially. You’re wise, though to always check (the MTR-3B is a notable exception as it prefers a max of 12V).
In fact, I just checked the IC-705 specs and its voltage requirements are 13.8 V DC ±15% (12V – 15.87 volts). The IC-705 can actually run on much lower power because the Lithium Ion pack that is supplied with the IC-705 (BP-272) is only 7.4 VDC when charged.
I would suggest you check out a 4.5 or 6 aH LiFePo battery like this one at Bioenno. Either would have the capacity to carry you through a few hours of heavy use.
Of course, there are many, many more battery options out there, but I’m a fan of LiFePo batteries for their longevity, capacity, and stability.
Hope this helps!