Li-Ion Battery Pack for the Bike Radios

Battery Pack and Hacked Cable
Battery Pack and Hacked Cable

Finally got around to hacking PowerPoles into the coily cable from those Li-Ion packs, suitable for powering the amateur radio HT on my Tour Easy. The cable has surprisingly fat conductors, on the order of 22 AWG, that (when doubled over) half-filled the 30 A PowerPole terminals. I remembered to use the blue-and-black color code for 9 volt power on the second and third cables…

The right-angle connector activates a switch that turns on the pack’s voltage regulator, which means that leaving the cable plugged in slowly discharges the battery. They self-discharge by about half in two weeks, which means that it’s not absolutely urgent to unplug the battery at every stop, but … I’d rather have an actual power switch.

I also want to bypass that regulator, so as to get more voltage out of the pack. That may not be feasible, as I suspect they’re using the pass transistor as part of the over-current shutdown circuit, but it’ll be interesting to find out. So this is in the nature of a test to find out how well the lashup works before cracking the case.

This view of the installed pack is looking down on the butt end of the bike, which is leaning against the Shelf O’ Crap in the garage.

Battery on Tour Easy Rack
Battery on Tour Easy Rack

A four-inch length of adhesive-backed Genuine Velcro mates the battery to the rack, although I stuck both Velcro strips to some carpet tape in the hopes that’ll stick better than the OEM goo. Hooks on the bike and loops on the battery, which means the battery won’t affix itself to everything else in the universe while off the bike.

5 thoughts on “Li-Ion Battery Pack for the Bike Radios

  1. Just for curiosity, what’s with the PowerPole connecters? Are they some kind of standard, or better-than-your-av-er-age-bea-I-mean-connecter?

    1. They’re more-or-less the standard 12 V power connection for amateur radio gear used for ARES/RACES deployments and the contacts are rated for 100,000 no-load insertions and 250 hot plugs at full load.

      The key advantage for me is that I can connect any power source to any gizmo, as long as I can get a set of Powerpoles in the middle. They’re not weatherproof and tend to be ugly & bulky, but they’re better than coaxial power connectors and much better than splicing trailer power connectors into the line.

      I use the standard ARES contact alignment, regardless of voltage, and depend on not klutzing out while plugging things together. For example, connecting a 12 V battery to a 5 V cellphone is possible but suboptimal…

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