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Reviews For: KI0BK Low Loss Powergate

Category: Emergency/Portable Power: generators, solar, wind, thermal, etc

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Review Summary For : KI0BK Low Loss Powergate
Reviews: 14MSRP: $49.95
A PWRgate is a simple backup power system, it will allow your communications equipment to remain operative on battery power during AC power blackouts. Power supplies and batteries can be swapped out while the equipment remains on with no glitches.

The Low Loss PWRgate uses MOSFET power transistors to switch the load between power sources with less then a 20 milivolt drop, much smaller then similar systems that use Schottky diodes. This keeps the power losses to a minimum.

The Low Loss PWRgate transfers up to 25 amperes at up to 16 volts dc continuously. It is a safe way to connect both a 12 volt battery and a 13.8 volt power supply to a load, while electrically isolating both from each other. Whenever your power supply is on, the supply feeds the load while also charging the battery, keeping the battery healthy and ready for use when the power supply is off or looses AC power. Switching is instantaneous.
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AJ4DW Rating: 2017-07-05
Excellent Equipment, Excellent Support Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I was upgrading my battery back up to a pair of 100 aH batteries and wanted a powergate... I have the competitions version but I decided to go with the Low Loss Powergate (aka LLPG) as the whole reason for doing this was to maintain power for as long as possible.

I was already aware that the LLPG would only trickle-charge which wouldn't do the job for these big batteries and I am already enamored with the NoCo battery chargers... so I asked Jim Cardill if the trickle-charger could be turned off. He replied quickly and I lifted one of the resistor legs off of the card, works well.

I use two of the LLPGs as I want to keep my FlexRadio up and running and it will use 25 amps during transmit (the max that one LLPG will handle). I use the other one for the balance of my 12v radios and equipment (including my 2m/70cm rig).

At one point, when I first connected everything, I heard a "snap" and noticed the loss of the magic smoke. Concerned that it might have been one of the LLPGs I e-mailed Jim to ask if they repaired the LLPGs and he offered to repair them at no cost. Who can ask for better support!?! (Luckily it turned out to be one of my fuses and everything worked well once I re-wired the stuff.)

So, highly recommended.
W5FRT Rating: 2017-02-02
great power gate Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have had mine now for 7 years and it still works as if it was new. when the power go's off it switched in nanoseconds and i don't miss anything
i have my power supply connected to the input and automotive size gellcell on battery slot and radios on output. Battery is charged by the powergate and radios work great. when the ac power to my power supply drops it automatically switches over. get yourself one today.
KB3DVS Rating: 2016-07-08
Solid piece of kit, but I wish... Time Owned: more than 12 months.
[ This is a replacement for my older review. ]

I received my LLPG in 2014. But with two little kids and other life things, It sat around for some time till I was able to try and integrate into my shack. When I did, I found that it didn't work right- no charge power to the battery.

Fast Forward a couple years and I was able to work with Jim in Summer 2016 to try and figure out what's going on. He sent me a replacement unit, and offered to cover my return costs as well, which I declined. I sent it back on my own dime because, well, it's been two years and I wouldn't expect anyone to cover those costs that far from purchase.

The new one worked the same exact way. I was frustrated.
I made a couple videos showing what I was seeing and he indicated that this is actually how it's supposed to work.

The disparity comes in my thinking that the LLPG would charge my 60 AH AGM battery with a few amps of power after a weekend of contesting. 1/10 would indicate that I could charge it up with about 6 amps of power. But my Astron showed less than 1/2 an amp of draw with nothing but the battery connected. At that rate, it's going to take a long time to get the big battery back up to full. He said that was correct.

Jim explained that there's a backflow prevention diode and a resistor in there to allow the LLPG to trickle charge batteries back up, but it is not meant as a quick recharge system. More as a 12v UPS that can also trickle charge the battery, while also providing a seamless transfer from AC supply to battery.

To me, this is a very important consideration if you have a big battery, and don't plan on leaving your AC Power Supply on and running for weeks to charge the battery back up. So I'll have to find a different solution for my big battery.

Now that I understand that, I plan on using it in my go kit which will have a smaller 12v battery for backup power, which can be more quickly filled back up with the LLPG.

So it does what it says it does. Can't fault it there.
It doesn't do what I thought it did.
I had to have my expectations adjusted. :)
And special thanks to Jim for great service after the sale. Even taking time to call me to work it through on the phone.
KG7JAY Rating: 2016-03-20
Outstanding service and product Time Owned: N.A.
I stumbled across the KI0BK LLP in my search for something less expensive that the Competitor. I ordered two (which was still only 2/3s the cost of the Competitor). I got a personal email keeping me up on the shipping status. The box came looking as if it had been used for football practice, but the contents were well packaged and had escaped harm. I used an LLP in the construction of my latest UHF/VHF go box, and it performed flawlessly. I did the "jerk the cord out of the wall" test and didn't lose a second of incoming signal.

I am very pleased, very impressed, and cannot stress just how satisfied I am with both the product and the service. I have recommended the LLP to others in my EMCOMM team. I don't think you can go wrong here and it's more than worth the very reasonable cost.
WB9KMW Rating: 2015-02-03
Exceptionally durable Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I helped Jim conduct a beta test of his latest prototype with excellent heat sinking. I subjected it to exceptional stress in SSTV mode, using Martin 1 100% duty cycle transmissions at 50 watts, which lasted for 1 minute 50 seconds, followed by a brief one minute pause and then re-transmit. I repeated this for one-half hour. I measured the unit temperature. It rose very, very modestly, revealing a remarkable durability from his design. I have three units. I highly recommend!
W0LED Rating: 2014-12-11
Excited to try this out! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Just received my LowLoss PWRgate from KI0BK, haven't even hooked it up yet. Package arrived quickly and in fine condition. Lots of communication from KI0BK regarding order status and shipping.

I have used a WMR PG40S for several years and I have had no problems and no complaints. It just works! But I was intrigued by the LowLoss PWRgate: smaller, lighter, lower voltage drops, cheaper (can I say "cuter"?). Yes, its max current rating is lower (although 25 amps is plenty for most applications), and yes, it's battery charger circuit isn't as fully featured, but it's perfect for my intended application.

I will report back after I have used it long enough to have formed a technical opinion.

So far I have to agree with other opinions stated here: it's great when you can get a quality piece of hardware made in the USA by a fellow ham.

KN0JI Rating: 2014-10-19
Amazing backup power switch Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
It was only after I purchased this unit that I discovered what a bargain I got, since many others out on the market cost five to twelve times as much, and don't perform any better, and are not this brainless to use.

Mine has stood up to several power outages, a few brown-outs, and at least three yank-the-cord demonstrations in 2014 alone. Keeps my 35 Ah solar AGM and 8 Ah go-kit SLA batteries topped off.

This little puppy is a must-have.
WM4YD Rating: 2014-08-16
Excellent! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Does the same job as the commercially made units, takes up less space, less voltage drop, and made right here in the USA. Jim is a great guy to do business with as the USPS had a flub with shipping, but Jim made it right! This is why I prefer to do business with small businesses and fellow hams.

This is a great unit that does what it is supposed to do without being over complicated. The LLPG now has three output connection points, so you can now power 3 accessories instead of 2 without using a divider.
KJ3P Rating: 2014-03-14
Great PWRgate! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I bought KI0BK’s 25-amp PWRgate after using the West Mountain Radio Super PWRgate for a couple of years. At nearly one-third the cost, Jim’s PWRgate does the job without all the bells and whistles (the WMR is rated at 40 amps, but I didn’t need that much for this application).Big plus: Jim’s unit has almost nil voltage drop compared to the WMR.

Bottom line: plugged it in, worked perfectly, still working. Plus, Jim’s a friendly guy to do business with. Looking forward to more products from him!
KC0WEO Rating: 2013-06-26
Perfect for Go Kit Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Having used PG40s for a few years, a friend & fellow ham introduced me to this pretty blue box with power pole connectors, no lights, no fuses, well I was skeptical, until I received it in record time.

Quickly I switched out the brick like powrgate from Powerwerx with this light weight, well made, low loss, low cost wonder. I also did not miss the fuses, everything seems to have it's own fuse, to many redundant fuses can make trouble shooting a fox hunt

Now my little blue powergate sits nicely under the panel of my RICK (radio incident command kit) case with more room for stuff, including cooler air.
I can now run a 2nd rig or in my case a switch panel for fans & lights, all while keeping my battery happy.

I ran a couple of simulated p/s failures, one using a full load on the power supply, then pulled the plug, I could not detect the switch over to battery power. Even on a very light load like my LED light, not a flicker.

I could go on and on how great this little blue box is for $100-$150 less than the PG40s. The other benefit, it's made by a fellow ham located here in the US of A. Anything that can do more for less is a win win in my book. I am already thinking of other apps in my vehicle, shack and a non radio app. BTW, A SLA Battery Alarm is also available. Try it you won't be sorry, I also have nothing to do with this company or product and no kick backs either. Thanks & 73 to Jim ( KI0BK )