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100Ah 12V LiFePO4 battery for under $200


AB0L
 AB0L
(@3d0g)
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Cells from LiitoKala - $160
4S BMS from DALY (size appropriately for your current draw needs) - $20
Wood, plexi, hardware, binding posts, crimp terminals, etc. - Free to $10

Note it takes a good 45-60 days for the cells to make the slow boat journey. They can also be found on Amazon but closer to $250.

Box is designed to keep the cells under light pressure (~ 12PSI) as this improves longevity.

Note the budget BMSs like this do not have low-temp cutoff. LiFePO4 cells must NEVER be charged below 32F so make sure your environmental are up to snuff or your charger has temp monitoring. I'm using an Epic PWRgate charger and the add-on temp probe. Works great!

Lots of great tips and how-tos here: https://diysolarforum.com/

IMG 20210223 104707

 

IMG 20210223 112615

 

IMG 20210223 121649

AB0L (Formerly N0KAI)
-----
Kenwood TM-V71A, Kenwood TS-590S, Icom ID-4100A, Yaseu FT-891, TYT MD-UV380, TYT MD-380, Kenwood TH-D7A, BTECH UV-5X3, µBITX V5, µBITX V4, QRPGuys 40/30/20m DSB Digital Transceiver


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Brian
(@fbrian)
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Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 48
 

Thanks Jeff,  this is the kind of battery buildI am looking for.

Brian
K0FBS


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AB0L
 AB0L
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I should've mentioned, finished dimensions: 6" x 5" x 10" and under 20 lbs.

AB0L (Formerly N0KAI)
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Kenwood TM-V71A, Kenwood TS-590S, Icom ID-4100A, Yaseu FT-891, TYT MD-UV380, TYT MD-380, Kenwood TH-D7A, BTECH UV-5X3, µBITX V5, µBITX V4, QRPGuys 40/30/20m DSB Digital Transceiver


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AB0L
 AB0L
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Did a rundown test yesterday. Got 560 minutes on a 10.8 amp draw (a couple of 60W shop lights off an inverter). That works out to 101 Ah and that was at 40F. Not bad at all. LiitoKala Power cells are legit.

AB0L (Formerly N0KAI)
-----
Kenwood TM-V71A, Kenwood TS-590S, Icom ID-4100A, Yaseu FT-891, TYT MD-UV380, TYT MD-380, Kenwood TH-D7A, BTECH UV-5X3, µBITX V5, µBITX V4, QRPGuys 40/30/20m DSB Digital Transceiver


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Brian
(@fbrian)
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Fantastic Jeff!  Thanks so much for sharing with us.  Uh what’s that?  

Hey Jeff, uh, my wife asks for you stop sharing so much. 😂😂

Brian
K0FBS


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AC5S
 AC5S
(@ac5s)
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Very nice!!!!

 

ac5s


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Scott AK6Q
(@ak6q)
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What no Anderson Power Poles on the top???

 

Really nice build there Jeff!   

Elecraft KX2 KX3 K3, Icom IC-705 Yaesu FTD3, VX8


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AB0L
 AB0L
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@ak6q You mean like this? 😎 

IMG 20210302 084944

 Actually, I did all the electrical using power poles...

IMG 20210205 150641
IMG 20210205 150854

 

AB0L (Formerly N0KAI)
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Kenwood TM-V71A, Kenwood TS-590S, Icom ID-4100A, Yaseu FT-891, TYT MD-UV380, TYT MD-380, Kenwood TH-D7A, BTECH UV-5X3, µBITX V5, µBITX V4, QRPGuys 40/30/20m DSB Digital Transceiver


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Scott AK6Q
(@ak6q)
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Now were talking... looks spectacular Jeff!

 

Elecraft KX2 KX3 K3, Icom IC-705 Yaesu FTD3, VX8


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KS0E
 KS0E
(@ks0e)
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Jeff -

Awesome build.  You've inspired me to go out and pick up those same cells, and I'm now designing my own pack for portable use (at ~50 pounds...perhaps not that portable!). 

 

Just curious, did you ever run into any interesting waterproof box options?  I've looked at the apache cases at Harbor Freight, but they are juuust too thin for a 4s 100Ah build.

 

Thanks!

 

-Alex


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AB0L
 AB0L
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I couldn't find anything off the shelf that met my needs. Didn't have a lot of space in the galley of my trailer so I needed the absolute minimum size for the pack. That and I wanted to compress the cells made plywood an easy choice. Do a search for cases over on the DIY Solar forum. There's always people there talking about case solutions they've discovered.

Congrats on the build!

Will just did a review of the LiitoKala cells and kind of poo pooed them but even he admits they delivered the advertised Ah. I respect his opinions but he seems a bit hung up on the cells not being perfectly flat. As many point out in the comments, none of the aluminum cased cells coming out of China are. That's why the consensus is to place them under light compression to improve cell life. Nobody can argue that $200 for 100Ah of LiFePO4 isn't an insane bargain.

My pack has been performing flawlessly and has a couple camping trips under its belt already. 

AB0L (Formerly N0KAI)
-----
Kenwood TM-V71A, Kenwood TS-590S, Icom ID-4100A, Yaseu FT-891, TYT MD-UV380, TYT MD-380, Kenwood TH-D7A, BTECH UV-5X3, µBITX V5, µBITX V4, QRPGuys 40/30/20m DSB Digital Transceiver


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tomkhaz
(@tomkhaz)
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Joined: 1 year ago
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Here's my interpretation; thanks for the inspriation and links to the cells, Jeff!

I just ad-libbed a build and created a box with a variety of connections: USB, 12V lighter plug, and a pair of powerpoles. I got a battery case from AutoZone for $15 that has enough room for the battery, fuse block, and also to store my old 400W inverter when it's not in use.

My system is wired for 10A circuits, based on the outlets I'm using, but I run low power so it's not a problem at this point.

 

Here are the basic outlets pre-wired to the fuse block:

Batt box fuse block wiring

Putting it all in the box and roughing in the wires.

Batt box prewiring

The exterior of the box with outlets and LED meter.

Batt box ext

Doing a test run with my G90 and Win laptop (running from the small inverter.)

Batt box running setup

This is my first build of this kind. Fun to learn and find parts. I'm sure I'll tweak, but this is functional for me. It'll be at field day for sure.

73

Tom - KF0AER


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AB0L
 AB0L
(@3d0g)
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Topic starter  

Looks like an awesome battery box!

AB0L (Formerly N0KAI)
-----
Kenwood TM-V71A, Kenwood TS-590S, Icom ID-4100A, Yaseu FT-891, TYT MD-UV380, TYT MD-380, Kenwood TH-D7A, BTECH UV-5X3, µBITX V5, µBITX V4, QRPGuys 40/30/20m DSB Digital Transceiver


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