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Author Topic: UPS BATTERY Recommendation Requested  (Read 9973 times)

Posts: 1

« on: May 18, 2012, 08:36:42 PM »

I would like to buy a couple of large batteries that would allow me to run my entire station.  I hear that AGM is the way to go?  What are your thoughts?  MOST IMPORTANTLY, whatever you may recommend, where can it be bought?  (This assumes that someone has an idea or source other than a normal car or marine battery).

Surprisingly, the only UPS battery that I have been able to find on-line (with substantial Amp-Hours) is this one:
Anyone have any experience with this battery?

David - WR4N

Posts: 2415

« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2012, 10:01:32 PM »

At only 7 amp hours, The battery you listed is far too small.   

You don't want a marine type?  Why not?  A good marine DEEP CYCLE type battery (NOT to be confused with a marine starting battery!)  Will work just fine.   I have been running my own ham shack (And several remote repeaters) For many years now on such batteries.
The "secret" to make it work is to have a GOOD fully automatic charger of about 10 amps that shuts down when the battery is fully charged.

I have had good luck with the older Heathkit 10 amp fully automatic charger, Along with the older steel case Schumacher 10 amp automatic auto type chargers. 
I am not so sure just what newer chargers are good........

The AGM type batteries are even better than the wet cell deep cycle types, BUT cost a lot more when new.

I would not even consider the non deep cycle type like automotive, Or marine starting batteries.

ONE large size battery works out lots better than two or more smaller batteries in parallel.  Sooner or later, One of the two batteries will drag the other down as they go bad.

You can go with more than one battery if you hook them in series, Like two large 6 volt deep cycle types from a golf cart.......   

Posts: 548

« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2012, 03:03:40 AM »

At only 7 amp hours, The battery you listed is far too small.   

He's not looking at a 7 Ah battery, he's looking at the 100 Ah. You need to scroll down the link, it's at the bottom. Or click here:

Posts: 90


« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2012, 04:28:14 AM »

If you can find a "mom & pop" type automotive battery supplier, they might have a source for "1 year take out" UPS batteries. You might also check with some recyclers, telecom / cable providers, computer server company, etc.

You can see my setup at

Posts: 6252

« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2012, 05:47:09 AM »

I have an older 800RT UPS made by APC which still works well.  It is one of the few smaller UPS systems that will allow the start-up of equipment on the standby batteries.   It originally used a bank of four six volt gel cells in series for its standby power, enclosed in the base of the UPS case.  It gave just under an hour of backup time. 

I've since modified it to use two twelve volt deep discharge marine batteries--which gives it a heck of an extended backup time--that are housed in a separate case outside my shack outdoors.  I've used the space the batteries were in to fabricate a fan driven cooler system to help keep the UPS electronics cool.

The batteries were Wally world specials, back a few years, when their batteries were cheaper than they are now.  When they're ready to be replaced (I still clean and maintain them every month) I think I'll go with the Ultima deep discharge batteries.  It seems that there is far less maintenance required for them, although it's still a good idea to check the system monthly (connections and so on). 

Posts: 5441


« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2012, 06:15:14 AM »

I would like to buy a couple of large batteries that would allow me to run my entire station. 

OK, but the title of the thread is "UPS BATTERY Recommendation".  The key thing here would be "whichever ones your UPS accomodates".

If it's just stand alone batteries you're after, there are specific cost-benefit decisions to be made.

I hear that AGM is the way to go?

It can be, if you want the benefits of AGM, namely non-spillable and non-venting.  But you're going to pay a premium for the battery and their charge algorithm must be carefully followed or you'll turn them into doorstops.  Flooded batteries (deep cycle and marine) are cheaper and more forgiving but they're not something you'd want to keep inside the house.

Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM


Posts: 89

« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2012, 04:02:26 PM »

i would just get a couple of golf cart batteries or deep cycle marine , there is a lot of talk about hydrogen off gassing but i don't know of anyone that has actually seen an explosion from this,  as long as you ventilate the battery box and don't charge at too fast a rate there is slow gas output allowing dissipation it should not be too much of a problem, add a battery charger and solar or small generator. i picked up a harbor freight 800 w 2 cycle for this purpose cost me 80 bucks  runs about 5 hrs on a gal of gas,  i have about 300 bucks in the set up along with 10 gal of gas i keep around for the mower i can run my station for a couple of weeks.


Posts: 1066

« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2012, 02:41:57 AM »

I would like to buy a couple of large batteries that would allow me to run my entire station.  I hear that AGM is the way to go?  What are your thoughts?  MOST IMPORTANTLY, whatever you may recommend, where can it be bought?  (This assumes that someone has an idea or source other than a normal car or marine battery).

After mixed results over several years with ordinary "flooded" lead acid batteries, which were of the "leisure" deep discharge variety, I've bit the bullet and bought an AGM.

The first two flooded batteries were the type sold for caravan/marine use and were relatively cheap, one was replaced under warranty and the replacement wasn't any better. The second battery was more expensive and had all manner of glowing claims from the manufacturer and a 5 year warranty (for what, I am not really sure). It lasted 5 years but was barely up to the job for the last two years.

The AGM has only been in use for a month, but what an improvement. The supplied Voltage is higher and after extended use still has more than 50% capacity based on an off-load Voltage measurement.

I also use a high grade charger, which I consider as important as the battery. The charger is a CTEK MSX10, the battery is a Varta 85 Ah AGM professional series deep discharge battery (type LAD85, 830085051). Both came from eBay UK ( There are probably equivalents available in the USA.

73 Dave

Posts: 376

« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2012, 02:57:53 PM »

Note that golf cart batteries may have high self-discharge rates; remember they're made to deeply discharge repeatedly but not for longterm storage.

Posts: 827

« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2012, 02:56:33 PM »

At 100AH you're probably looking for a Group31 battery. Marine/RV deep cycle type.

Sam's Club gets the repeated vote from boaters as being the cheapest place to get them.

There are trade-offs you have to make with every battery type. Wet lead is cheapest and abuse can be corrected by topping up the electrolyte. Meanwhile the acid will burn through your carpet, wood flooring, and clothes, and they should be vented outside the house for charging. They also match the common voltages in charging equipment. If you don't keep it charged, it takes damage from sulphating in just 30 days of sitting.

AGM is sealed. No acid problems, but if you overcharge it you damage it permanently. No damage from sitting untouched for six months. Gonna cost you about 30% more and if you buy Optima spiral batteries, make that 50% more and you'll have 10% less amphours because you can't fit as much 'spirals' in a square case as you can flat plates. So, 60% more costly. And your charger has to match the AGM rquirements. The verdict is still out on whether AGM outlasts wet cells, the answer seems to be that they won't. The makers keep revising their numbers for fewer charge cycles.

Gel is similar to AGM, but definitely outlasts everything with perhaps twice the number of charge cycles. And gel is the most easily damaged by overvoltage, it cannot be maintained except by matched chargers.

With any of these, you want to limit them to a 30-50% discharge if possible. The number of charge cycles they can put out decreases rapidly once you discharge them over 50%.

Posts: 5

« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2012, 06:35:05 PM »

It is a simple question but a difficult answer. First what is your station? What does it consist of? 110 volt stuff 12 volt? etc. If you are looking to do this for some time, what are you planning on charging with?
I have been using Interstate DCS 100L's for operating 12 volt items used intermittenly. Mobile rigs up to 100 watts and packet stations. Charge was with solar panels. Packet was on 24/7 three radios and TNC's with a couple of hours of HF every few days.
I think instead of a UPS you would be better off buying an inverter designed for the load you anticipate and then multiply by 50% minimum. So a small station operated a few days a week I would use one battery for the 12 volt stuff and 2  tied to the inverter. It won't give you 24/7 power but won't kill your pocket. With 3 80 watt panels you would get around 12A charge for 3-5 hours in clear sky.
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