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Author Topic: ICOM 718 Base power question?  (Read 892 times)
KF4UVG
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Posts: 28




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« on: February 06, 2004, 07:52:59 PM »

I am setting up an Icom 718 as my base in my home. I am planning to run the power off of 2 deep cycle trolling batteries that I can switch off ( one out in the garage charging, while one is on the rig for power.) My question is there any disadvantage other than the inconvience of switching and charging batteries to not having a AC to DC powersupply? Thanks for the input.
KF4UVG
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2004, 08:11:54 PM »

Inconvenience is the main reason not to use exclusively battery power, but you already mentioned that one!

The only other reason I can think of where an AC-powered regulated DC power supply might actually "work better" is if the IC-718 cuts back transmitter power when the DC supply voltage falls below 14 Volts or so.  Some rigs do this, some rigs don't.

My Kenwood TS850S, for example, runs 100W PEP output when supplied with 13.8Vdc.  When supplied with "only" 12Vdc, the output reduces to about 80W PEP.  If the 12Vdc drops a volt down to 11Vdc, the transmitter pretty much stops working and shuts down.  So, this rig is truly happy with a good, stiff regulated DC power supply, and 12 Volts (as a battery would provide) isn't quite enough to make it happy.

I've owned *many* rigs like this, but I don't have an IC-718 to try out.

Remember, at full power, your rig will draw about 20 Amps from the battery.  So, if the battery voltage is 12.0 V (as it should be, at rest) and you use ten feet of #10 gauge copper wire power cabling between the battery and the rig, you'll have about 11.6 Volts at the rig (when transmitting).  Maybe the IC-718 will work okay at that voltage, maybe it won't.  I don't think you could harm the rig in any way, it just may not run full power.

WB2WIK/6
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KF4UVG
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« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2004, 10:51:05 AM »

Thank you for the input. I already have the 2 Batteries and was trying to save on the power supply, but I think I will spend the extra money and get the power supply for space reasons. I probably should ask this in another post but do you have any suggestions on grounding? My pan was to use the exsisting ground for my panel box (6ft copper rod)? Thank you again for your reply.
KF4UVG
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2004, 02:02:14 PM »

Grounding "what?"

I'll bet your service panel/entrance ground is really an 8' long rod (not 6 feet), since the National code requires that and it's rare to find violations unless your home is very old.

However, I wouldn't connect anything to that particular ground rod.

If you are interested in a *safety* ground, the third wire of your AC power cords should provide this -- again, unless your home is very old, in which case it might have 2-wire circuits (and then the safety ground was the sheath of the BX cable or conduit, or the third wire in Romex), and even then the metal box containing your duplex outlet(s) should be grounded to that rod you spoke about earlier.  So, that's the *safety* ground, and there's no reason to add another one.

If you're interested in an *RF* ground, you'll need to install your own ground rod or system as close to your station equipment as possible (preferably a few inches outside the nearest wall of your ham shack) and use very short and very heavy cabling between your station equipment and that rod or system.  If it's more than a few feet long, it won't be much of an RF ground.  Then, you may not need any RF ground.  Whether an RF ground will help you or not depends on your antenna systems, where they're located and how they're fed.  

WB2WIK/6
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SSBDX
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« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2004, 04:11:00 PM »

If you already have the batteries, why not try it.  With batteries you will not find cleaner power.  I have used mobiles and portables on only battery power for decades and had no problems that I would call major.
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W4VR
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« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2004, 11:33:42 AM »

Get a DC power supply...they are really cheap...under $100 for a good Astron switching supply.  With regard to the station ground, if your radio is located not too far away from the service entrance ground connect to it.  Using multiple ground rods (i.e., a separate one for your radio) is a no-no from the standpoint of lightning protection.  A common ground is important in any building/home situation.
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W6TH
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« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2004, 09:33:59 PM »

Great information and the only information I can ad is : If and when your power shuts down in the home, then the batteries would come in handy. Otherwise I would go with the power supply and it is much neater arrangement.
I use a Icom 718 and at 10.6 vdc it makes a loud snapping noise and shuts down, scares the heck out of me.

W6th
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K1CJS
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Posts: 5879




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« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2004, 10:16:06 PM »

You can use a separate ground rod for your station IF you bond both ground rods together. I did say bond, not connect. A grounding 'system' may have more than one ground rod, but those rods have to be bonded together to provide a common ground potential for the system.  Bonded, by the way, means welded,  not clamped.

This information was provided by a utility company engineer who is the supervisor in charge of communications (two way radio) for the company.
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