K6LCM LiFePO4 PowerBank Battery Box

I experienced some disappointing results with a portable 12-volt jump-start lead-acid battery at Field Day this year. David, AC9AC, saved Field Day for me by bringing by his 30 amp-hour LiFePO4 battery to our operating location at Shoreline Park. Impressed with its capabilities, I decided to upgrade my portable power. There are a number of vendors on Amazon and Ebay selling high-capacity LiFePO4 batteries at low prices. LiFePO4 batteries are impressive. Without going into too much detail, the main advantages are that they are up to 70% lighter than lead acid batteries, will continuously supply 13-14 volts under high-current draw conditions and can be completely discharged without damage. Most LiFePO4 batteries include a battery management system inside the sealed plastic battery itself, making them nearly a drop-in replacement for lead-acid applications. In fact, many new 12-volt chargers include special modes for optimally charging LiFePO4 cells. If you search online, you’ll find many pre-made power stations. The problem is that most of them are designed with general consumers in mind. Your average power-hungry electronics guru mostly needs a 5-volt USB power connection and a 120-volt AC outlet. These premade power stations typically lack higher current connections such as Anderson Powerpole sockets. The designers of these pre-made power stations were probably thinking: “Who would want to draw 20-30 amps at 12 volts?” Hams would of course! My requirements when designing the K6LCM PowerBank were that it would support typical 5-volt USB connections and a 12-volt DC cigarette lighter connection for running mobile chargers. But my design added two 12-volt DC Anderson Powerpole connections for supplying up to 30 amps of current to various rigs that are capable of transmitting up to 100 watts of RF. Below are some photos of the build and a parts list. I mounted the binding posts inside the top compartment of the Harbor Freight ammo box as shown. Using 12 AWG wire, I connected the battery itself (using the blade fuse connector with a 30-amp fuse) and all of the power outlets to the positive and negative posts respectively. In addition to the fuse, the positive battery lead passes through the master switch on its way to the positive binding post. The only connection that does not pass through a binding post is the positive (7.5-amp fused) connection between the charging port on the back and the battery. Since I intend to use this setup as portable… Continue reading

Santa Barbara Wireless Foundation awards scholarship to Dos Pueblos H.S. graduate

Brian Milburn, Santa Barbara Wireless Foundation president (left) and Levi Maaia, chair of the scholarship committee (right), presented Jack Peterson (center) with a scholarship award on behalf of the Santa Barbara Wireless Foundation at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse on Wednesday. June 30, 2020 – SANTA BARBARA, Calif. The Santa Barbara Wireless Foundation and the Santa Barbara Amateur Radio Club awarded a scholarship to a recent graduate of Dos Pueblos high school. Jack Peterson earned a 4.0 GPA at Dos Pueblos High School and plans on attending the aerospace program at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in the fall. He is a certified Mission Radio Operator for the Civil Air Patrol, a member of the Cyber Patriot youth security program and a participant in the EAA Young Eagles program. Brain Milburn, the president of the Santa Barbara Wireless Foundation and Levi Maaia, a board member at the organization and the chair of the scholarship committee presented the scholar with a certificate and a financial award to mitigate his college expenses in the fall. “Our goal is to encourage more graduates to seek careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” said Milburn. “Jack has been well prepared for college by the STEM programs at Dos Pueblos.” Peterson is the first recipient of this scholarship which will be awarded annually in June. Applicants must be high school seniors who plan to study Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics in higher education. Applicants should have an excellent academic record. While not requirements, preference is given to applicants who are graduating from a high school in Santa Barbara County and who hold an active FCC amateur radio license. Donations to the scholarship fund and applications for members of the class of 2023 may be submitted at scholarships.sbwireless.org. The Santa Barbara Wireless Foundation together with the Santa Barbara Amateur Radio Club form a nonprofit, public benefit organization that develops and supports wireless telecommunications technologies in support of public safety, emergency communications, community service and scientific research in the Santa Barbara region. More information can be found at www.sbarc.org and www.sbwireless.org.

Bill Talanian, W1UUQ Joins the Ranks of The All Eight Club

SBARC Trustee Emeritus has set foot on each of the eight California Channel Islands Talanian visited San Clemente and San Nicolas Islands on Tuesday. (courtesy photo) Bill Talanian, W1UUQ has set foot on each of the eight California Channel Islands. The SBARC Trustee Emeritus visited San Miguel and San Clemente Islands this week checking off the last two islands on the list in his quest to visit each of the coastal outposts, an accomplishment that few can claim. More people have actually been to the International Space Station than have set foot on all eight Channel Islands. Marla Daily, a California Channel Islands research historian and president of the Santa Cruz Island Foundation, founded the All Eight Club to recognize those who have achieved the feat. Visiting all eight islands is not a simple task. Each requires different visitation arrangements. Five of the eight islands comprise Channel Islands National Park and are open to the public, while two, San Clemente and San Nicolas Islands are controlled by the U.S. military. “Soon after passing my 90th birthday, I finally got to join the exclusive All Eight Club,” said Talanian. “Perhaps I am only the second SBARC member after Ken Owen, N6KTH, of Channel Islands Restoration. In actuality I have nine islands after spending two days on the little known Rincon Island.” Members of the All Eight Club. include biologists anthropologists, botanists, ornithologists, zoologists, educators, helicopter and fixed wing pilots, a retired National Park superintendent and park employees, a museum director, a lichenologist, a photographer, a retired judge, and a sea captain. According to Daily, it is the most exclusive recognized geographic club in the world with membership in the low 200s—a tenth of the famous 7 Summits Club. Listen to “Little Known Club On South Coast has Unique Admissions Test; You Must Visit All 8 Channel Islands” a 2018 KCLU story on the All Eight Club.