Advances in engineering has made off grid radio much easier and more pleasurable. Among the very exciting developments is that the comparatively new Lithium Iron Phosphate Battery. New technology demands new expertise, therefore we are going to be researching LiFePO4 batteries and in which they may fit (or not fit) in your amateur radio channel.
LiFePO4 Battery open up a new range of possibilities for the off grid ham, but it’s not as simple as replacing every battery you have with lithium. Deciding what type of battery to use requires walking a fine line of benefits and tradeoffs. With current technology there is no one single version of battery that is ideal for all applications.
This LFP Battery first came on the scene in the late 1990’s, and like most new technologies it took a long time for them to become practical and affordable. The lithium iron phosphate compound is very stable but does not have a particularly good intrinsic conductivity. To get around this problem, the compound is coated in a conductive material, usually carbon, to facilitate the electron flow.
This arrangement provides numerous advantages. Possibly the most significant advantage to the radio amateur is that the continuous discharge voltage. Conventional batteries start powerful, and the voltage gradually goes down because the battery discharges. Lithium Battery keep their entire voltage nearly to the end.
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