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Author Topic: efficient station power supply?  (Read 5734 times)
WB7TDG
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« on: December 07, 2013, 09:42:37 AM »

I am currently revamping my radio station….currently use an old full sine wave Cyberpower 3000 ups that uses external home-brew battery packs which feeds an Astron 35m power supply to fire two hf rigs (not at the same time) and one vhf rig plus assorted stuff that uses 12 vdc.
I am replacing the old Cyberpower with a new full sine wave ups that is much more efficient and also uses external battery packs.

Which would be more efficient and stable…
Use the existing Astron power supply setup with the new ups?
Get a couple of newer switching power supplies and use with the new ups?
Use a stand along power supply/charger plus batteries (not connected to the ups) for the station?

I am kinda leaning towards the new ups plus battery charger/battery pack and battery booster for the station. Would probably get a couple of 6 volt 200 ah golf cart batteries and wire them in series…not really concerned about outgassing from the batteries as charger would be no more than 10 amps charge current.
 
I am aiming for 12 hours minimum run time for the station.
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W8JX
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« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2013, 06:03:19 PM »

If you want to improve efficentcy, start by dumping Astron 35a. Linear supplies are very inefficient, especialy at lower average loads. You do not want to waste battery energy from a inverter powering it. You want a switching power supply. Astron makes a SS30 which is rated at same 25amp continuous load as 35a.
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K1CJS
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« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2013, 06:17:48 PM »

There is one thing to remember--the rest is personal preference.  The one thing is this--the more different 'converters' you have in your supply system, the more efficiency goes out the window.  Does your Cyberpower supply only the radio equipment, or does it run your computer and shack lighting as well?  

One question, though--Why do you have a battery backup UPS and a power supply with another battery backup?

It seems to me that the most efficient system for your uses, especially if you're also running a computer, is to have extra battery capacity supplying the UPS--and eliminating the 12 volt battery backup for the radio power supply itself. 

If the UPS supplies just the power supply for the radios and 12 volt ancillary equipment, eliminate the UPS and in its place have a simple, good surge protector, and beef up the battery supply connected to the radios themselves.  A converter/inverter that boosts voltage from 12 volts to 13.8 volts would take care of balky rigs that don't like running on 12 volts alone--that is if you have one of those.  73!
« Last Edit: December 07, 2013, 06:24:18 PM by K1CJS » Logged
AA4PB
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« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2013, 06:25:58 PM »

Why not eliminate the inverter and just run the radios from the 12V battery during power outages? That would be the most efficient. If you are not running unattended then you really don't even an automatic switch over.

Alternately you could always power the radios from the battery and use an automatic charger to keep the battery charged when AC power is available. The TX/RX duty cycle is typically low enough that the charger doesn't even need to keep up with transmit current. Power will be taken from the battery during transmit and the battery replenished during receive.
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W8JX
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« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2013, 08:27:11 AM »

Why not eliminate the inverter and just run the radios from the 12V battery during power outages? That would be the most efficient. If you are not running unattended then you really don't even an automatic switch over.

Alternately you could always power the radios from the battery and use an automatic charger to keep the battery charged when AC power is available. The TX/RX duty cycle is typically low enough that the charger doesn't even need to keep up with transmit current. Power will be taken from the battery during transmit and the battery replenished during receive.


I would still do a large inverter with extra batteries attached to it. I use a 1000 watt one with extra batteries. It uses two 12 volts in series for 24 volts to run inverter. It powers cable modem, wireless router a desktop computer, a loptop and a light . It also powers a SS 30 for rigs. I can run 4 to 6 hours on UPS depending on load. I can power it all at one point with a generator feed which recharges UPS batteries too. As longer as you use switching supplies it is pretty efficent.
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AA4PB
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« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2013, 08:42:12 AM »

I have a sine-wave inverter that should power my 100W transceiver at full output with no problem. However, if I power the radio with the Icom switching supply connected to the inverter then it won't put out more than 20W without the Icom supply squealing quite loudly and then the inverter shutting down. If I power the radio with the Astron linear supply connected to the inverter then everything works normally to a full 100W output. I assume that the switching supply puts some current spikes on the line that the inverter doesn't like.

I also notice that the inverter doesn't like the computer UPS connected although it works okay with the computer connected to it directly.

I probably need a better quality inverter. It works fine with lights, tv, antenna rotor, etc.

 
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N7BMW
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« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2013, 04:29:32 PM »

Why not eliminate the inverter and just run the radios from the 12V battery during power outages? That would be the most efficient. If you are not running unattended then you really don't even an automatic switch over.

Alternately you could always power the radios from the battery and use an automatic charger to keep the battery charged when AC power is available. The TX/RX duty cycle is typically low enough that the charger doesn't even need to keep up with transmit current. Power will be taken from the battery during transmit and the battery replenished during receive.


AA4PB has it right.  If you want high efficiency eliminate the step up/step down precess - both cost energy.  A small smart charger would easily keep the batteries charged.  That is how I power my Ten Tec Hercules II linear.  A 20 amp charger and a 110 AH battery are far cheaper than an 80 amp power supply.  If you need to power accessory devices look at the wall wart outputs - in many cases you could drive them with 12 VDC directly.  For other voltages some home brew low current supplies could easily be powered by the 12 VDC batteries.  If you have equipment that must be driven by an inverter use the inverter for that equipment only. 
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W8JX
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« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2013, 04:12:44 AM »

Why not eliminate the inverter and just run the radios from the 12V battery during power outages? That would be the most efficient. If you are not running unattended then you really don't even an automatic switch over.

Alternately you could always power the radios from the battery and use an automatic charger to keep the battery charged when AC power is available. The TX/RX duty cycle is typically low enough that the charger doesn't even need to keep up with transmit current. Power will be taken from the battery during transmit and the battery replenished during receive.


AA4PB has it right.  If you want high efficiency eliminate the step up/step down precess - both cost energy.  A small smart charger would easily keep the batteries charged.  That is how I power my Ten Tec Hercules II linear.  A 20 amp charger and a 110 AH battery are far cheaper than an 80 amp power supply.  If you need to power accessory devices look at the wall wart outputs - in many cases you could drive them with 12 VDC directly.  For other voltages some home brew low current supplies could easily be powered by the 12 VDC batteries.  If you have equipment that must be driven by an inverter use the inverter for that equipment only. 

A large inverter/UPS with extra batteries is a simpler solution. It can power everything and be easily power by a generator for extended periods.
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AA4PB
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« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2013, 05:35:11 AM »

Simple yes, most efficient no. It all depends on how you choose to make the trade-offs.

Another consideration is voltage drop in the power line to the radio. If you've got a 100 foot run between the radio and the batteries then you probably don't want to be running at 12VDC (high current). In that case you put the inverter with the batteries and apply 120VAC (low current) to the 100 foot run.

No one solution fits all possible cases.
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W8JX
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« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2013, 11:30:09 AM »


No one solution fits all possible cases.


Very true indeed.
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