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ups system battery backup

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#1 Savage

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Posted 15 October 2020 - 07:11 PM

So I got to thinking... I've got a gas generator but in an emergency, I'm not going to want it running 24/7.  What are you guys doing for battery backup to power your base station (I'm guessing repeater backups are much more complicated)?

 

APC UPS?  Something else?  I'm not so concerned that the radio stays on if the power goes down as much as a means of running the radio for a time, perhaps recharging the batteries with the generator or hooking it up to a solar panel.

 

 



#2 mbrun

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Posted 15 October 2020 - 07:58 PM

Personally I would go the route of batteries as the primary backup. Then, because I have them, I would use them also as the primary power source. I would keep them topped off at all times using a high-quality smart charger; one the floats when full and recharges fast.

If I were planning for extended power outages, I would then look to either a propane generator or solar panels. If generator, I would use propane because I have 400 gallons almost always available onsite and fuel does not go bad.

In the event of extended power outage, and assuming I was using a generator to recharge the battery, I would likely use a high-capacity smart charger to allow bringing the batteries up to full capacity with least amount of generator runtime, thus making the most efficient use of the generator when it was on.

I would use small UPS units only for short term specialty needs like a computer because most are not designed for long-term use and because they have generally very limited storage capacity. UPS in general are not incredibly efficient. They use power to convert voltage from DC to AC. They will also draw your batteries down when turned on, even when you are not drawing any load from them yourself.

I hope this helps.

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Michael

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#3 jec6613

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Posted 15 October 2020 - 08:08 PM

Personally I would go the route of batteries as the primary backup. Then, because I have them, I would use them also as the primary power source. I would keep them topped off at all times using a high-quality smart charger; one the floats when full and recharges fast.

If I were planning for extended power outages, I would then look to either a propane generator or solar panels. If generator, I would use propane because I have 400 gallons almost always available onsite and fuel does not go bad.

In the event of extended power outage, and assuming I was using a generator to recharge the battery, I would likely use a high-capacity smart charger to allow bringing the batteries up to full capacity with least amount of generator runtime, thus making the most efficient use of the generator when it was on.

I would use small UPS units only for short term specialty needs like a computer because most are not designed for long-term use and because they have generally very limited storage capacity. UPS in general are not incredibly efficient. They use power to convert voltage from DC to AC. They will also draw your batteries down when turned on, even when you are not drawing any load from them yourself.

I hope this helps.

Regards,

Michael
WRHS965
KE8PLM


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

 

All of this.  A UPS is great to bridge to an automatic standby generator, but that's about it.


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#4 WRAK968

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Posted 15 October 2020 - 09:48 PM

From a repeater standpoint, I have a built in back up battery which can run the repeater for about 24 hours. This was tested this year after a hurricane came through and knocked out power for a while. Luckily damage was limited to downed trees and some shingles blown off the roof.

Many repeaters come with a battery revert/charger system just for this. Most times batteries are only meant to hold over the system until the genset is up and running (about 5 minutes.) I put two RV deep cycle batteries in, and for a system that runs low power it can run for quite some time.

 

Motorola makes a separate module for some of their older repeater systems (GR1225 for example) which could work for any radio. https://www.batteryd...a-hln9455a.html This is the unit I have in my own repeater build. There is no downtime at all and it even runs the fan to keep the repeater cool.

Checking amazon they also have revert kits selling for about $65. https://www.amazon.c...d/dp/B0073HTV76 They do the same thing the HLN9455A does. Do make sure you purchase a good power supply that is rated for the load draw and charger draw at the same time. And like any other battery set up, be sure to fuse at the battery, and at the power supply for safety and circuit protection.



#5 gman1971

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Posted 15 October 2020 - 10:06 PM

My main base repeater is connected to a large LiPo battery bank, mated to a 100W solar panel on the roof. Without the solar panel the pack is large enough to run the repeater idle for ~3 weeks, 24/7, that is assuming the sun doesn't go dark... otherwise that solar panel gives it unlimited runtime.

 

G.



#6 Savage

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Posted 16 October 2020 - 08:54 AM

Thanks all for the responses!

 

My main base repeater is connected to a large LiPo battery bank, mated to a 100W solar panel on the roof. Without the solar panel the pack is large enough to run the repeater idle for ~3 weeks, 24/7, that is assuming the sun doesn't go dark... otherwise that solar panel gives it unlimited runtime.

 

G.

 

I was looking at a solar panel with deep cycle batteries to setup a small greenhouse with a pump system but it's been a while since I looked into that.  Maybe I should look at that again...



#7 Jones

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Posted 16 October 2020 - 10:17 AM

I have a pair of 6-Volt Trojan golf cart batteries sitting in a large plastic tote just outside of the house.  The batteries are hooked in series with a 100 Amp Maxi Fuse for short-circuit protection.  I have #2 copper welding cables running inside the house to a ground bar, and a 12 Volt distribution block with 12 ATO type fuses.  (look for 'marine fuse block') Everything in my ham shack, including my GMRS repeater, runs from that.  I have a regulated power supply hooked up to it to float-charge the batteries.

 

The power rarely goes out here, but if it ever did, I have a portable 5KW Generac Niagara mounted to a steel wagon siting in my garage, ready to wheel out and plug into the changeover panel on the back of the house.


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#8 Savage

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Posted 16 October 2020 - 10:28 AM

I have a pair of 6-Volt Trojan golf cart batteries sitting in a large plastic tote just outside of the house.  The batteries are hooked in series with a 100 Amp Maxi Fuse for short-circuit protection.  I have #2 copper welding cables running inside the house to a ground bar, and a 12 Volt distribution block with 12 ATO type fuses.  (look for 'marine fuse block') Everything in my ham shack, including my GMRS repeater, runs from that.  I have a regulated power supply hooked up to it to float-charge the batteries.

 

The power rarely goes out here, but if it ever did, I have a portable 5KW Generac Niagara mounted to a steel wagon siting in my garage, ready to wheel out and plug into the changeover panel on the back of the house.

 

I like the simplicity of this. 

 

Thinking along these lines, any idea how a 100 watt solar panel hooked to a solar distribution controller to a 12 volt deep cycle battery (similar to your Trojan setup) would do?  I'm in So Cal so the one good thing we do have is sun.


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#9 Lscott

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Posted 16 October 2020 - 10:54 AM

I have several LFP, Lithium Iron Phosphate, batteries. Gave up on any type of Lead Acid since they tend to get wrecked if you don't keep them on a battery tender at all times to trickle charge. The LFP's can be charged up and sit around for months or longer, great for emergency use, and they don't discharge hardly at all. In fact for long term storage it's recommended NOT to fully charge them. Try that with a Lead Acid type and you will kill it.

 

The LFP batteries have a higher terminal voltage, around 13.3 VDC to 13.4 VDC when charged making them a better match to mobile equipment that expects a nominal 13.8 VDC. When the battery is nearly discharged, 90 plus percent, the terminal voltage is still around 12.8 VDC more or less. A Lead Acid battery is around 12 VDC when its at 50 percent capacity. Most mobile equipment spec's 13.8 VDC at +/- 15 percent so the low voltage cut off is at 11.5 VDC. You won't get most of the capacity out of a Lead Acid battery before the electronics starts to shut down or misbehave. 

 

The down side to LFP batteries is the cost and you need a special LFP charger for them. If you do buy a battery make sure you get a charger for it.

 

I also have several MPPT charge controllers for solar panels. The charge controllers are used to keep the battery packs up.

 

The link below is for a company that is friendly to two-way radio users for batteries and chargers. I have one of the 6 amp-hour packs for portable handheld radios and one of the 40 amp-hour ones for fixed location use.

 

The charge controllers I have are from this company below. I have several of the GV-5 charge controllers for LFP batteries.

 

https://sunforgellc....gen_product_row

 

The company below has decent prices on solar panels. I have a couple of the 50 watt, one 30 watt, and a couple of the 10 watt mono crystalline panels. 

 

https://www.renogy.com/solar-panels/

 

If anybody has a need for a pure sine wave inverter this company has some good products. I have the 300 watt version with a builtin GFI.

 

https://gpelectric.c...wave-inverters/

 

For connections I use Anderson Power Pole connectors. A good source is from Powerwerx. Also one or two of the DC inline power meters comes in handy too.

 

https://powerwerx.co...e-sb-connectors

 

https://powerwerx.co...ne-dc-powerpole


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#10 gman1971

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Posted 16 October 2020 - 12:24 PM

LiFePo is probably a better route than LiPo... and yes, the extra cost, IMO, clearly outweighs not having a working base/repeater if the whole power grid goes down for a few weeks, or... when you or others might need it the most... which can happen... tell that to some people in Puerto Rico. 

 

 

G.

 

 

I have several LFP, Lithium Iron Phosphate, batteries. Gave up on any type of Lead Acid since they tend to get wrecked if you don't keep them on a battery tender at all times to trickle charge. The LFP's can be charged up and sit around for months or longer, great for emergency use, and they don't discharge hardly at all. In fact for long term storage it's recommended NOT to fully charge them. Try that with a Lead Acid type and you will kill it.

 

The LFP batteries have a higher terminal voltage, around 13.3 VDC to 13.4 VDC when charged making them a better match to mobile equipment that expects a nominal 13.8 VDC. When the battery is nearly discharged, 90 plus percent, the terminal voltage is still around 12.8 VDC more or less. A Lead Acid battery is around 12 VDC when its at 50 percent capacity. Most mobile equipment spec's 13.8 VDC at +/- 15 percent so the low voltage cut off is at 11.5 VDC. You won't get most of the capacity out of a Lead Acid battery before the electronics starts to shut down or misbehave. 

 

The down side to LFP batteries is the cost and you need a special LFP charger for them. If you do buy a battery make sure you get a charger for it.

 

I also have several MPPT charge controllers for solar panels. The charge controllers are used to keep the battery packs up.

 

The link below is for a company that is friendly to two-way radio users for batteries and chargers. I have one of the 6 amp-hour packs for portable handheld radios and one of the 40 amp-hour ones for fixed location use.

 

The charge controllers I have are from this company below. I have several of the GV-5 charge controllers for LFP batteries.

 

https://sunforgellc....gen_product_row

 

The company below has decent prices on solar panels. I have a couple of the 50 watt, one 30 watt, and a couple of the 10 watt mono crystalline panels. 

 

https://www.renogy.com/solar-panels/

 

If anybody has a need for a pure sine wave inverter this company has some good products. I have the 300 watt version with a builtin GFI.

 

https://gpelectric.c...wave-inverters/

 

For connections I use Anderson Power Pole connectors. A good source is from Powerwerx. Also one or two of the DC inline power meters comes in handy too.

 

https://powerwerx.co...e-sb-connectors

 

https://powerwerx.co...ne-dc-powerpole



#11 Lscott

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Posted 16 October 2020 - 12:42 PM

Looks like the link for the LFP batteries didn't make it. It's below.

 

https://www.bioennop...fepo4-batteries



#12 Savage

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Posted 16 October 2020 - 06:54 PM

Thanks all!  Going to digest this and see where it goes.


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#13 Jones

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Posted 17 October 2020 - 09:43 AM

I like the simplicity of this. 

 

Thinking along these lines, any idea how a 100 watt solar panel hooked to a solar distribution controller to a 12 volt deep cycle battery (similar to your Trojan setup) would do?  I'm in So Cal so the one good thing we do have is sun.

I used to have a solar array hooked up to my system, but I took it off line due to the fact the solar regulator was cheap, and inferior. It tended to over-charge the batteries, and boil them out on very sunny days. 

 

If I had the money to spend, I would switch to a different type of charge controller, and go with LiFePo batteries, but for now, my setup is working just fine for me, and has been for several years now.  It is great for temporary power outages - but if I lived in California, or someplace with rolling blackouts, I don't think it would last long. In my case, the power was out for about an hour and a half last spring during a thunderstorm, and it worked fine through that, allowing me to keep checking into the weather net on the local 440 repeater.  My power is very reliable. I flickers or browns out on a semi-regular basis, but it has only been totally off for about an hour or two at a time, 4 times in the last 15 years.  Major props to South Central Public Power District of Nelson Nebraska! Great job guys.


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#14 WRAF233

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 09:36 AM

Ya'll got me thinking..  I have 400w solar, 4 6v RV batteries and a 2000w pure sine wave inverter in my 5th wheel camp trailer parked near the house.  I've left the batteries in going on 5 winters and just let the quality charge controller handle the maintenance.  I do check water twice per year but so far have been able to leave them through the winter with no issues.

What I do not have is a base, mobile, or repeater installed in the 5'er but I was already considering installing one in the place where the AM/FM Stereo is from the factory, or I can find another spot easy enough.

I had not thought of that for any kind of emergency use but more for our couple months per year camping.  However, with 2 repeaters within HT range from the house (and one of them that hit me with ID from 50 miles while hunting at altitude) I guess it could be a decent base station if I want to play with it.  From what I'm reading I already have everything needed except the mobile and antenna.  ??


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#15 gman1971

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 11:59 AM

Sounds like it.

 

G.


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#16 Savage

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 01:16 PM

Ya'll got me thinking..  I have 400w solar, 4 6v RV batteries and a 2000w pure sine wave inverter in my 5th wheel camp trailer parked near the house.  I've left the batteries in going on 5 winters and just let the quality charge controller handle the maintenance.  I do check water twice per year but so far have been able to leave them through the winter with no issues.

What I do not have is a base, mobile, or repeater installed in the 5'er but I was already considering installing one in the place where the AM/FM Stereo is from the factory, or I can find another spot easy enough.

I had not thought of that for any kind of emergency use but more for our couple months per year camping.  However, with 2 repeaters within HT range from the house (and one of them that hit me with ID from 50 miles while hunting at altitude) I guess it could be a decent base station if I want to play with it.  From what I'm reading I already have everything needed except the mobile and antenna.  ??

 

Thinking about how to pitch a 5th wheel trailer (and a truck to pull it) to the wife, you know, since these are necessary for a legit base station.



#17 JB007Rules

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Posted 23 October 2020 - 10:59 AM

I'll bite here.

 

Rugged 575 in Naperville, IL has a 1500VA APC which is cheap as a primary AC battery backup.  This will run my repeater for a LONG time... Like a couple days or more depending on usage.  After that dies I have a 90AH Lithium Iron Phosphate battery (LiFEpo4 like others have already mentioned) that I built myself from scratch.  This will run that repeater for about a week as well.  What is nice is that if you get a proper commercial repeater (I have several Kenwood TKR-850's) is that you can set it to not only send out a tone over the air when the power switches to backup power but also to transmit a subtle beep when you are using it so you know it's on emergency/backup power.  Take that a step further and you can also set the repeater to go down to 50% power (or any amount of power I choose) once it goes to said backup system to further extend your run time.  I didn't do that myself as I believe in emergency situations being at full capacity is ideal... That and I have so many other batteries and generators that I wouldn't even worry lol.

 

If you wanna save a ton of money (Like half the cost) I suggest you learn how to build your own LiFEpo4 batteries.  Battle born batteries are nice but you're paying $1,000 for a battery you can build yourself for $550.  The best resource for that would be to watch Will Prowse's videos here:  https://www.youtube....Qq8kmJme-5dnN0Q

 

Thanks!


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#18 O-B-1

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Posted 23 October 2020 - 11:54 PM

https://www.samlexam...il.aspx?pid=100

 

https://www.samlexam...tail.aspx?pid=5

 

With a deep cycle battery  is what I am setting up for my radio station.


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#19 BoxCar

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Posted 24 October 2020 - 06:48 AM

https://www.samlexam...il.aspx?pid=100

 

https://www.samlexam...tail.aspx?pid=5

 

With a deep cycle battery  is what I am setting up for my radio station.

If you don't need the meters, this is the model without them. https://www.toboaene...Supply | $156.8

 

If you don't need the 100A capacity, you may like this: https://www.toboaene...-25amp-charger/


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#20 FrancisHaws

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Posted 25 October 2020 - 06:56 PM

I have 2 deep cycle batteries on a 100watt HF solar panel kit. I may expand it to the full 400w it's capable of but I think the 100w panel should keep me on the air no problem.




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