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Author Topic: Anyone using Iota chargers for power supplies?  (Read 7094 times)
KD9AQX
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Posts: 13




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« on: April 17, 2014, 11:41:58 AM »

I've read a few good things about them (considering the DLS-55), but I've not see a lot of info from hams.  My only concern is that the typical output looks to be 13.6v rather than the standard 13.8v.  It would be nice to get one with the smart charger add-on and keep a portable battery topped off while operating from base, but I just don't see how that would affect a radio connected at the same time.

Anyone using one of these Iota units to power your station?
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K1CJS
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« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2014, 01:10:48 PM »

I don't know about the Iota brand, but battery chargers differ from power supplies in one or two important respects.  First is stability.  Does the charger hold it output steady at it's delivered voltage when the amperage draw fluctuates suddenly?  Most will not since their purpose is battery charging, not supplying an electronic device that has to have a reasonably steady voltage supplied to it.  Also, the charger may not supply sufficient amperage for the rig, which will worsen this considerably.

Second is filtering.  Your rig may pickup hums and static from a poorly filtered battery charger.  Hooking a battery in parallel will help this, as it will help keep the voltage steady, but there may still be enough variation and/or noise to make use of a battery charger a poor choice.

Good luck and 73!
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KD9AQX
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« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2014, 05:26:32 PM »

I don't know about the Iota brand, but battery chargers differ from power supplies in one or two important respects.  First is stability.  Does the charger hold it output steady at it's delivered voltage when the amperage draw fluctuates suddenly?  Most will not since their purpose is battery charging, not supplying an electronic device that has to have a reasonably steady voltage supplied to it.  Also, the charger may not supply sufficient amperage for the rig, which will worsen this considerably.

Second is filtering.  Your rig may pickup hums and static from a poorly filtered battery charger.  Hooking a battery in parallel will help this, as it will help keep the voltage steady, but there may still be enough variation and/or noise to make use of a battery charger a poor choice.

I would recommend checking out the specs on the DLS-55.  It seems to be a constant voltage power supply when not used with the smart charger module.

I was hoping to hear from people who either have used one or have seen feedback from those who have.
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K1CJS
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« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2014, 06:44:42 AM »

Sorry I bothered responding to your query.  Thought you might appreciate the info.  73.
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KD9AQX
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« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2014, 07:43:21 AM »

Sorry I bothered responding to your query.  Thought you might appreciate the info.  73.

I do appreciate the info.  Apologies if I came off dismissive.  It just seems that as soon as people hear the term "battery charger", they often simply provide the conventional wisdom that battery chargers make for poor power supplies.  While I do understand that, I have seen reports (though admittedly not enough to convince me) that the Iota units make for great power supplies, while the smart charger module (optional) may or may not work well when simultaneously powering a radio and charging a battery.  Some people have stated that, utilizing the smart charger module and wired in parallel with the radio, the battery would act as a capacitor, stabilizing the power to the radio.

Since feedback on this unit is a bit scarce, I was hoping to find someone with first-hand experience, or who could provide a more knowledgeable opinion based on the advertised specs of this particular piece of hardware.

Thanks.
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K6JH
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« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2014, 02:56:29 PM »

Those Iota converters are intended for RV use, so I question how spurious free the output is.

Please keep us posted if you find that it is not well shielded or filtered well enough for radio use.
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NT8Z
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« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2014, 03:56:51 AM »

I have been using a IOTA55 for the past five years, I have it connected to three batteries which the entire system sits in my garage.  My shack is in the basement on same corner as supply.  I ran RIGrunner down to shack level which I see a constant 13.3 volts at rig.  I can run shack off batteries if the need arises.  I also see no spurious issues with this supply running my Flex 3000. 

I have not tried to run this supply without the batteries, so can't comment about that.

73
Scott
NT8Z
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KD9AQX
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« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2014, 06:22:20 AM »

I have been using a IOTA55 for the past five years, I have it connected to three batteries which the entire system sits in my garage.  My shack is in the basement on same corner as supply.  I ran RIGrunner down to shack level which I see a constant 13.3 volts at rig.  I can run shack off batteries if the need arises.  I also see no spurious issues with this supply running my Flex 3000. 

I have not tried to run this supply without the batteries, so can't comment about that.

Thanks.  I've been monitoring this thread, hoping there would be additional input at some point.  I just ordered my first HF radio, and I'm needing to settle on a power supply asap.

So you have the both the Iota and the RIGRunner connected directly to the batteries, correct?  I assume you're not using the IQ4 option on the Iota?
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KB4VVE
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Posts: 14




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« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2014, 06:45:10 PM »

Yup.  With and without batteries in ranges of 40 to 90 amps.  Literally dozens of them - in a paging systems, a weather transmitter, repeaters, EOC ham station, EDICS trailer, you name it.
No troubles with regulation or noise.  Knowledgeable help is available by email and phone.  Voltage is adjustable over a range.
I'm speaking about IOTA brand only.  Other brands, no thanks.  They occasionally fail, but no more often than any switching power supply.  Never caused damage to equipment, though.
I use with a battery (or many) floating on the buss (sealed VRLA, UPS take-outs).  Perfect for when Fallen Power Line provides us with the nearly regular total outage for a few seconds.
They are too big for portable use, but for home or Tx site they're perfect.  Parallel fine for redundancy.

Greg, KB4VVE
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KD9AQX
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« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2014, 12:26:41 PM »

Got the DLS-55 connected directly to my Yaesu FT-950 right now.  I'm working with a random wire antenna, until I can get my doublet sorted out, so I can't comment with any reliability on noise (it's all noisy at the moment), but it appears to be working fine. I'm getting full power output (to the tuner, anyway), and it doesn't run warm.  I don't know if I've ever noticed the fan running, and it's sitting on my desk pointed right at me.

Once I get a more permanent antenna connected and the noise floor drops a bit, I'll have a better basis from which to comment.
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AF5BR
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« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2014, 05:58:07 PM »

I use a 24 Volt DC Battery bank and Power supply across it for all my Ham equipment
Then I have a DC To DC converter  MFJ makes one 30 amp at 13.8 volts out  this way when loss of power I have a lot of talk time at 13.8 not 12volt and droping. it works for me.
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WX7G
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« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2014, 07:37:22 PM »

What is the MFJ part number?
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