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Author Topic: How to charge an Anker battery via a car's cigarette lighter outlet  (Read 4754 times)
N0GRM
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« on: November 29, 2013, 11:41:56 AM »

I'm looking for information on how to charge the Astro Pro 14400mAh battery via a car's cigarette lighter outlet.  Typically the voltage is around 13.6 volts which is more than the recommend 12 volts.

In addition, I'm suspect the output current in not limited to 1 amp, so that is an issue also.

I've looked on the web for a car charger but have come up empty.

Looking for advice - what do you recommend?


Thanks.

Peter
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AA4PB
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« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2013, 12:01:55 PM »

Car voltage will be about 14 VDC with engine running and it certainly will not be current limited to 1A. The Anker unit has a lithium battery so you need to be careful about charging it. You also really have no indication of how the internal charging system works, except that it needs 12VDC at 1A. Short of getting into a charger design project, I'd suggest getting a mobile inverter with a 120VAC 60Hz output rated for at least 15Watts. Plug the Anker charger into that.

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N0GRM
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« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2013, 08:51:26 AM »

Thanks for the response.  You are correct that lithium batteries are tricky to charge.  My other hobby is model aircraft which has switched over from gas to electric in the past ten/fifteen years.  I have several electric plans which use lithium batteries and have a special charger which watches each cell when they are being charged.  For those reading this that are not familiar with these types of batteries the come in multiple cells, aligned in series to obtain the desired voltage.  Using these for our QRP rigs brings up other issues I sure has been discussed else ware in this forum.

That being said, the Anker battery has built in circuitry to charge the battery which performs these tasks internally.  All it requires for an input is 12 volts and up to 1 amp of current source.  I’ve done some measuring of the battery as it’s being charged and have noted the wall charger that comes with the battery sources 12.2 volts and 1.2 amps, when the battery is being charged (under load). 

My ultimate goal is to be able to charge the battery off of a solar panel.  Using a solar charge controller I can guarantee a constant 13.6 (14v) power source, 2 amps max with my solar panel.   

Playing around with a variable power source and a simple LM317 12v regulator I was able to charge the battery, even when the voltage dropped down to 11volts (note the current draw as 1.25 amps – which it appeared to max out at)

I enjoy wilderness camping for up to ten days at a time in length, thus the need to charge the battery using solar.  I was just looking for a product to use or plagiarize the circuit off of.  Wink

Thanks again– Peter N0GRM


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WB6BYU
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« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2013, 09:05:48 AM »

If the battery has a built-in charger circuit, that should include voltage regulation
rather than counting in the input voltage being regulated.  In that case you should
be able to apply 13.8V to the 12V in put without any problems, and just connect
it through a cigarette lighter plug.  (The 1A rating is the minimum capacity of the
source - it can have higher current capacity and still work.)
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N0GRM
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« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2013, 01:37:59 PM »

We'll give her a shot - I'll post if I let the smoke out...

Hi Hi!
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AA4PB
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« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2013, 03:56:15 PM »

If it has a build in charging circuit then I agree with WB6BYU - just run it from the lighter outlet. I just couldn't find any info about the built in charging circuit or even if there was one or if it was contained in the wall wart.
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N0GRM
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« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2013, 07:30:53 AM »

All is well...

I drained the battery to around 75% capacity and connected it directly to a variable power supply - 8-15V 3amp source. 

Current draw started at 100ma and grew to 1.260ma over a period of less than a minute.   From there it dropped over the next hour or so until it reached about 150ma and subsequently quit charging.  At this point the battery was fully charged.  Voltage was 13.6 -current measurements were taken via DVM in series with the battery.

I figured I could do this from the start, but not enough to take the plunge without some input. 

Thanks Guys. - Happy Holidays.

Peter N0GRM
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