I first heard about NiZn AA batteries about three years ago via a photography blog I follow (you can read the article here). They were all the rage over there – for a while.
Having a higher per cell voltage than NiMH batteries, they offered a significantly faster recycling time for flashes which is a Good Thing for some types of photography.
Then those who used them started reporting that their flashes were eventually burning up due to the higher voltage (that info is here).
So I forgot about them and settled on Sanyo’s Eneloops.
An email from Howard KO6WL asking if I had any experience with these batteries re-ignited (
no pun intended) my interest in them as a possible battery-of-choice for QRP rigs that make use of internal AA batteries.
The very characteristic that causes these batteries to destroy flashes – higher voltage – may make them ideal in QRP rigs that make use of internal AA batteries. Continue reading 'NiZn rechargeables – a good battery for QRPers?'»
Last October, just as DX was starting to get good, my big-ole Astron power supply gave up the ghost. Or so I thought. Turns out it just wanted to nap for a while…several days. I took it apart, schematic in hand, to see if I could find an obvious fault. I thought one of the pass transistors might be the problem.
Not finding anything, I buttoned it back up and, to my surprise, it came to life and has been working like a champ ever since. Previously, I’d cycled power several times in the hopes that the crowbar circuit simply needed resetting. To this day I have no idea what the problem was or what fixed it.
But it got me to thinking – what if that had happened just prior to CQWW or a DXpedition to someplace I need? I’d be SOL. Continue reading 'Spares for the shack?'»
These plots were made with West Mountain Radio’s Computerized Battery Analyzer:
More battery plots can be found in the Pages section of this website under QRP>QRP & Batteries above.
Last week I mentioned Sanyo’s new higher capacity Eneloop NiMH batteries. I ordered myself an 8-pack of them from Amazon.com…along with a new charger – La Crosse Technology’s BC-1000.
The package arrived yesterday and that charger is pretty darned amazing. It automatically does in one fell swoop for four batteries what used to have to be done on each individual battery – if I bothered at all. Which I didn’t… Continue reading 'A better way to monitor your batteries’ performance'»
A bit over a year ago, I ordered and tested Sanyo’s new-at-the-time rechargeable AA batteries known as Eneloops (you can read that here).
My portable QRP trips are few and far between these days but I’d been going through alkaline AA batteries in my camera flashes like a sailor
goes went through beer in Subic Bay. There had to be a better way… Continue reading 'Eneloops prove their reliability…and get better'»
(Apologies to Mr. Pirsig…)
Portability is becoming more & more popular in HF today and I don’t mean in the sense of the KX1, Micro-Mountaineer, SST and other CW-only transceivers of yore.
Portable operation on HF in a variety of modes is now an established genre of ham radio rather than the fad it at one time may have seemed and its adherents have an increasingly wide choice of radios and modes with which to operate.
In a case of perfect timing, the trend in technology allowing such portability coincides with the growing housing restrictions regarding external antennas, thus providing incentive for such operation. Continue reading 'Plato and the art of HF portability'»