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Reviews Categories | Emergency/Portable Power: generators, solar, wind, thermal, etc | W4RRY Battery Booster Help


Reviews Summary for W4RRY Battery Booster
W4RRY Battery Booster Reviews: 12 Average rating: 4.5/5 MSRP: $90
Description: W4RRY offers two battery boosters that keep your VDC at 13.8 even when your engine is not running. Some car or battery supoplies sag to show 11V. Many new radios are designed to operate properly on 13.8. Check out all his info for details.

NOTE: Product no longer available.
Product is in production.
More info: http://members.cox.net/w4rry/index.html
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KD5XB Rating: 2/5 Apr 23, 2008 21:55 Send this review to a friend
Great idea, but...  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
About a year ago I bought one of the W4RRY units. I started to install it, but when asking questions (via email) I was told that lengthening the leads could cause the unit to oscillate and be damaged. As a result, I just let the unit sit until today.

Today I connected the unit on the lead to my Icom 706MK2G and gave it a try. Immediately I found that the battery booster does NOT like 100% duty cycle modes, like a dead key carrier to check the SWR. The unit gets warm, and the output voltage drops enough to drop the output power from the 706 to about half. Without the battery booster, this lead is 100% rock solid in any mode the 706 will do, at maximum power out.

Next I tried 20-meter SSB. Unit was running well, no noise that I could hear, and the 706 was operating just as always. After a couple of transmissions, the band faded, so I turned the compressor on, in the hopes the other station might yet hear one last transmission. In the middle of that last transmission, though, I noticed I was talking into a dark radio! The 25-amp input fuse had blown. The battery booster was pretty hot, too.

I suspect a more realistic rating for this unit would be perhaps 12 to 15 amps, the 23-amp rating doesn't seem realistic.

I'm giving this unit a 2/5 rating due to the "optimistic" 23-amp rating, and the caution against lengthening the leads. IMHO, a unit like this, for DC, shouldn't be sensitive to the length of the leads. Or replacing the ring terminals, for that matter.
 
KC0GOX Rating: 5/5 Jun 25, 2007 15:04 Send this review to a friend
Works great--I use it every day!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have been using the Battery Booster for at least 3 years now in the shack with no problems at all. I have a small 145 watt solar setup with around 400 AH of available battery power, with a Pro-Star 20 charge controller. I run all of my equipment all the time through the converter; it seems invisible, I don't even know it's there. It has the added benefit of filtering out line noise, from "dirty" power sources, such as an alternator, power supplies, etc. I have no noise problems whatsoever associated with the converter; is is as quiet as a straight battery connection. I consider this to be a "must have" for running off of batteries. Rig performance and stability is really improved in virtually all scenarios. We just used this booster for a FD setup, and it worked flawlessly. In short, highly recommended!
 
KD5RXT Rating: 5/5 Mar 6, 2007 09:22 Send this review to a friend
Highly recommended  Time owned: more than 12 months
I currently own two "Battery Boosters" made by W4RRY. I bought my first one for use in my mobile more than two years ago & was so pleased with its performance, that I bought a 2nd one for use when operating portable. The first one is permanently installed in my car & I have used the 2nd one regularly on Boy Scout weekend campouts & during summer camps, and have never had a bit of trouble with either of them. I did add a 2nd ground wire to both units & I terminated the inputs & outputs with Anderson PowerPole connectors to match the rest of the components in my systems. From the mobile, I regularly operate 20M & 40M, with some operations on 6M & 17M. I have never detected any noise of any kind on any band from the Battery Booster.

I would personally highly recommend the W4RRY Battery Booster for use to keep the supply to your radio at 13.8VDC from your 12VDC automotive/battery supply.

Mark J Culross
KD5RXT
 
AB0RE Rating: 2/5 Oct 29, 2006 22:12 Send this review to a friend
Buzzes like a mosquito on STEROIDS!!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I purchased a W4RRY Battery Booster a couple months ago. I was extremely disappointed to find out it had a LOUD buzz when presented with small (<2A) loads. The noise was so loud that I abandoned the idea of using the W4RRY Battery Booster in my shack.

I sent the unit to somebody who's very knowledgeable with the design of the Battery Booster so he could take a look at it for me. Several shortcomings were found in the W4RRY Battery Booster. They are as follows:

- Switching regulator became unstable with some voltage inputs and some loads, and oscillated at an audio rate (around 1 khz or so). This is the "mosquito" noise I was talking about.

- There is a compensating capacitor on the switching regulator IC that needed to be larger than the capacitor W4RRY was using. He chose a value that was shown as an example in the data sheet of the regulator IC, but this value needs to be optimized based on the particular application (switching frequency, current, etc.). Apparently the 0.01uf cap works most of the time, but it is marginal in this application. A 1 uf compensating capacitor solved the problem.

- The ferrites that are used by W4RRY saturate at the current that is drawn.

- The unit also didn't have lockwashers on the pc board mounting screws. These mounting screws would loosen with time, especially in a mobile environment.


It is for these reasons that I rated the W4RRY Battery Booster a 2/5 - "Needs help". It gets the two stars for actually converting voltage. It lost three stars for not doing it gracefully and for the serious design flaws.

AS A VERY INTERESTING SIDE NOTE, but not having anything to do with my 2/5 rating, W4RRY (Leo Lehner) showed me the worst customer service of my life. I had a legitimate problem with his product - he was rude to me - then completely abandoned me. I've detailed my experience in a more appropriate place - the Company Reviews Forum here at eHam. Before you consider purchasing a Battery Booster from W4RRY I STRONGLY URGE you to read this post: http://www.eham.net/forums/CompanyReviews/2671

Thanks and 73,
Dan / ab0re
 
WR6J Rating: 5/5 Mar 17, 2006 14:00 Send this review to a friend
Excellent  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have been using the battery booster for about a month. I have added Anderson Powerpoles to it so that I can move it between the car and other batteries for portable use.

My IC-718 will only put out about 40-50W at 12V - with the battery booster I get a full 100W at 13.8V. I often use it in the car with the engine turned off.

I have detected no noise from the booster on any HF or VHF bands so far.
 
N1TX Rating: 5/5 Mar 17, 2006 11:43 Send this review to a friend
Outstanding device for battery-bound ops  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
March 2006 QST states that Battery Booster, reviewed in the October 2005 issue of QST, is again available. W4RRY has contracted with a manufacturing concern reportedly capable of meeting demand. The new price is $115 plus $5 for shipping. To order, send a check to
Leo Lehner W4RRY
5811 E Crocus Dr.
Scottsdale, AZ 85254

The 30-amp unit is not available, but the 23-amp should suit almost any need, HF or VHF.
 
AD5X Rating: 5/5 Jun 30, 2005 06:25 Send this review to a friend
Neat Product!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I just received my Battery Booster 23A yesterday, and ran a few tests on it (info and photos on www.ad5x.com). This is a GREAT product, and reasonably priced. It permits me to run my IC-706MKIIG down to an input voltage of 10 volts (into the Battery Booster 23A).

Phil - AD5X
 
K6FYY Rating: 5/5 Apr 28, 2005 09:40 Send this review to a friend
Works great, small footprint  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Leo, W4RRY, has made a fine, useful addition to any battery powered operation, including mobile. I've made a casual check for hash noise and could not detect anything on 17, 40 or 20M. Nice, tiny box, three heavy wires, with a 25A fuse on the hot lead.
Recommended.
 
K2JXW Rating: 5/5 Mar 28, 2005 19:12 Send this review to a friend
One word says it all: indispensable!  Time owned: more than 12 months
In use in car and on boat. Performs perfectly and has been in steady use for over 3 years. Without it, the Icom 706MKII just doesnt like my battery.
 
KC0GOX Rating: 5/5 Aug 28, 2004 18:05 Send this review to a friend
Must have accessory for battery ops  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had one of these Battery Boosters integrated in my solar setup for about two years now. I run it on the output of my Pro-Star 20 Solar controller, it is in operation 24/7. Like others I was having problems with my modern solid state rigs doing funny things when the voltage dropped below about 12 volts or so. I have about 200 watts of panels and a 220ah battery setup here, and still had problems. This device was installed and the voltage related issues disappeared. I might add that this device also acts as a filter. I noticed that during a bright sunny day when the batteries were fully charged I was getting a buzzing noise in one of my FM rigs. This will only be a problem if you have 7 amps or more of panels. Anyway, once the battery booster was installed this noise was 95 percent eliminated.
I think this device is rated as more than 90 percent efficient, depending on load, and based on my experience I would say this is a conservative rating.
This device, along with Anderson Power poles, are "must have" accessories for serious battery operators. Highly recommended!
 
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