Battery Lab – Status Update

Written by: Dave (Batman) N9AIG
November 19, 2022

Since the last newsletter, the battery lab continues to be busy with testing batteries and recycling those that fail a timed discharge test (using a West Mountain Radio CBA IV). Just a quick note, West Mountain Radio does have a newer battery tester the CBA V but, I’ve resisted the temptation to upgrade my tester as the existing CBA IV is performing nicely.

Here are a few projects that have been completed over the summer:

  1. Replaced the 45 Ah Deka batteries backing up the south operating station APC 3000 VA UPS. I noticed that the batteries were running above ambient temperature and some of the cases were starting to bulge. Once again these were replaced 55 Ah Duracell deep discharge batteries. We have one remaining bank of Deka batteries for the NW operating position. Recently TJ KL7TS and I N9AIG performed about a 5-minute discharge test by unplugging the UPS from the wall and all batteries shared the load and the voltage never dipped below 12.3 VDC.
  2. Replaced the two (2) starting batteries in our F350. The existing batteries were on charge but refused to start the engine. Deep cycle starter batteries were purchased from Batteries Plus. These batteries were model # SLI65AGMDPM rated at 69 Ah and 930 CCA each. After replacement, the truck started up as though it was a summer day.
  3. Replaced the blue trailer battery that is used to start the onboard diesel generator set. This trailer was moved to the west side of the parking lot to facilitate RSOC snow removal. The battery was kept on a float charge in its old location, but with trailer relocation, a long extension cord would be snagged by the snow plow. Upon removing the battery from the trailer, it was taken to Batteries Plus for a CCA capacity test. The result of the test was that it would be unlikely that the battery would have started the diesel. Another deep discharge starter battery was purchased with model # SLI24AGMDPM rated 76 Ah and 840 CCA. The battery box and trailer were fitted with Anderson P175 connectors (#2 AWG) so that the battery can be on float charge inside the RSOC and then carried (57.7 lbs.) out to the blue trailer, plug it in and start the diesel.
  4. Finally, last but not least, the battery box has been constructed as described in the April 2022 edition of the AARC newsletter. This is a battery box that uses a 100 Ah LiFePo4 Enduro battery.


Here are a few pictures of the completed battery box: