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Author Topic: Military Surplus Tank Batteries  (Read 11758 times)

Posts: 26

« on: August 08, 2001, 11:30:29 PM »

I just bought a brand new truck and am planning to make it a rather elaborate HF mobile station featuring a 2.5 KW generator and a large lead acid storage battery. Power for the station would be completely independent from the vehicle's 12 volt system.

I would be able to power the station off of the generator of course, but I really like the serenity that comes from having the generator off and powering the station with deep cycle batteries.  The battery would be charged with a "smart" charger.

A fellow ham has told me that an ideal battery for this set up would be one found typcially in Army tanks.
The are rated for abt 800 amp hours (!), are made of special materials designed to withstand high degrees of temperature,will maintain a voltage above 12V for very long periods of time, even under heavy loads, and are very durable physically.  The ham who told me abt this type of battery had one donated to him by an Army Reserve unit in NJ several years ago, as the military
"pulls" them after a specified period of time, but they are still good for general applications.  The battery weighs about 100 pounds and measures 1 foot high, 1 foot wide, and 2 feet long.

The prospect of having one donated is, of course, very intriguing, and I would even be willing to travel from my home in Pa. to procure one.

Are there any hams who work in Armories or Tank motor pools, or just plain anyone who may know if I can secure such a battery from the military?

Short of an actual tank battery, I believe that a large tractor battery with a high amp hour rating would do, and am willing to purchase one of these,
ideally reconditioned, since they are rather expensive.
Any hams out there who are farmers or ranchers who know about them?

Thanks and 73 to all!

Springfield, Pa


Posts: 15

« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2001, 10:36:31 PM »

I have a better idea for you.  I would go for a heavy
duty commercial marine deep cycle battery. These batteries can be had in numerous sizes, 6,8,or 12 volts.  Some of them are huge weighing over 300 pounds each and able to pump out several hundred amp's per hour for many hours on end. Even the smaller ones are very powerful.  They come in all shapes and sizes Most are built to Milspec's or the even tougher Coastguard spec's. Check out the links below.  I just picked two
from many so you should get an idea how suitable these
batteries might be for you.

               73's Ken de W7ITC

Posts: 720


« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2001, 09:20:15 AM »

You probably will never read this as it's so far out of date...but check your local auto parts or heavy equipment rental places.  Batteries used for Bulldozers and the like are perfect in this respect.  Often, these are turned in on warranty replacement for recycling, are still in decent shape, and be had for a song.

I use a Caterpillar D-9 Bulldozer battery for emergency work.  It's immobile (200+ pounds) but I don't have to worry about power!!

Steve, KE4MOB

Posts: 1045


« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2002, 01:08:48 PM »

A much more readily obtainable high performance battery is the Concorde Lifeline series deep-cycle AGM batteries.  These can be mounted in any position, are leak proof, with no free liquid electrolyte and have higher vibration resistance and better low temperature performance than any flooded lead-acid. These are the same batteries specified by the U.S. Coast Guard and are also military and ICAO approved for aviation use.  Common marine and heavy equipment sizes are readily available.  Call 1-800-BOATING and ask West Marine to send you a catalog.  These are UPS shippable if you don't have an outlet near you.
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