The following is a slightly edited version of an article published in the AARC September 2018 Newsletter.
It was time, the AARC has received so many battery donations over the last few years, that it was time to start sorting them out as to their suitability to press them into service. The AARC does own a West Mountain Radio CBA III that performs capacity tests on all types of batteries. This would include lead-acid, NiCad, NiMh, alkaline, and various chemistries of lithium. The tester was pressed into service and our battery inventory is now being evaluated.; progress to date is about 10 batteries out of an inventory of 54. It was found that one of the Liberty 1000 (125 Ah) should be recycled and the Power Sonic batteries (35 Ah and 10.5 Ah) in the Daniels repeater are at about a capacity of 65% and 67% of a new battery.
Because of the number of batteries and the time required to perform a capacity test (20 hours), priority is being given to those batteries in service or about to be pressed into service. All batteries are being topped up periodically to prevent sulfation. To perform the capacity test the following input data has to be known:
- Battery type (lead/acid, NiCad, LiFePO4, etc.)
2. Capacity in Ah (typically the 20-hour rating)
3. Number of cells (12 V lead/acid batteries have 6 cells)
4. Battery voltage (dependent on battery chemistry)
5. Weight of battery (in kilograms)
6. Give the test a name (file name that is saved)
7. Cutoff voltage (for lead/acid we are going down to 10.5 volts)
8. Test type (discharge)
9. Test amps (for lead acid Ah divided by 20)
10.Graph format output (minutes, Ah, or watts)
Thanks go out to the battery team that has taken an interest in our battery inventory: Kent, KL5T, T.J., KL7TS, Mike, KL7MO, Keith, KL7MM, and Dave, N9AIG
Visit our “RSOC Battery Lab” page to learn more, including how to have your favorite battery tested.