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Base battery housing

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lukenz
(@lukenz)
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I generally run my base with the internal battery (7.4v/2ah) which gives me ~ 4-5 hours of run time which is ok in town but for odd rural job it is a bit short to have to head back to base. I've got a lemo to alligator clip cable but never used it, thinking I'd get the clips cut off and replace with spade connectors for more secure link.

 

Local dealer doesn't even bother supplying Lecia GEB371 due to cost but puts a decent sized lifepo4 battery in a small pelican case with lemo plug for base and separate charging port so no cross connection but still around 1k when a charger and the lifepo4 equivalent of the old 12v SLA 7ah are about $200

 

I'm wondering about making some sort of basic weather proof enclosure (~1.7m rain pretty year where I am) for it (an old Trimble cowbell case??). Wondering if anyone has some examples. I know I've heard of this type of setup for static campaigns. Pictures/info about connectors be great.

 
Posted : November 14, 2022 10:26 pm
jim.cox
(@jimcox)
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Grab a plastic toolbox from mitre10 and stick it in that.

 
Posted : November 14, 2022 11:25 pm
lukenz
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@jimcox

My first thought was those click clack lunch boxes but figured too flimsy, so tool boxes be a bit stronger.

 

We use the following from super cheap (local auto parts store)

 to store prisms/tribrachs in so maybe one of those?

 

Main reason the cow bell style housing is attractive is it goes on legs and gets the breeze so not overheating in a box on ground. Had a pdl radio in one of the boxes global survey make fry itself once with reasonably new cables and done up tight so shouldn't have been a short feeding back into battery.

 
Posted : November 15, 2022 12:23 am

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John Putnam
(@john-putnam)
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Why are you worried about the battery getting wet?  As for the connections, I recommend anderson powerpoles.  They offer a nice secure weather tight connection.

Check out GPAC (gpac-llc.com) for readymade battery /cable setups.

 
Posted : November 15, 2022 7:24 am
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Jim Frame
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I've been using these for a couple of decades to house 18ah SLA batteries.  I fitted them with a MIL connector that mated with an Ashtech Z-12, then later made up cables to connect them to Trimble receivers.  They're still going strong. 

 

 

Nowadays I'd pick a different connector if starting from scratch, the circular MIL connectors are kind of clunky.

 
Posted : November 15, 2022 7:44 am
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Bill93
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Posted by: @john-putnam

As for the connections, I recommend anderson powerpoles.

Here's a widely used standard for configuring 12 volt power.  I use it with parallel connectors on some cables, and like that I can connect chargers, supplies, batteries, etc in any combination.

https://www.qsl.net/w2vtm/powerpole.html

 

 
Posted : November 15, 2022 8:17 am
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Rundatline
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Plastic ammo box from Harbor Freight if you're super cheap. Drill a hole in the box and run wires through for connectors. Seal the hole if needed.

 
Posted : November 15, 2022 9:11 am
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lukenz
(@lukenz)
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@john-putnam 

Mostly was thinking exposed alligator clips in the rain run the risk of a short if battery blows over etc. so if in a box can keep the wet out. Plus wondering if being able to have battery in case attached to legs will keep it cooler than being on the ground (save the board in the battery as have pdl 450 radio get fried from box getting too hot)

 

I've seen those anderson connectors but not on a charger locally (down here in NZ), guess not hard for an electrician to cut the ends off and reconnect.

 
Posted : November 15, 2022 10:05 am
SUB D VIDER
(@sub-d-vider)
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I've been using an Igloo Lunch box for some time now.  The lid will close to keep the battery out of the weather.

 
Posted : November 15, 2022 11:52 am

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David Livingstone
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We went with cheaper but heavy trolling motor batteries.  12 volt marine batteries and put them in trolling motor plastic boxes.  The good part is they are fairly inexpensive $60 roughly.  The bad is they are heavy.

 
Posted : November 15, 2022 1:41 pm
jim.cox
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Posted by: @lukenz

I've seen those anderson connectors but not on a charger locally (down here in NZ), guess not hard for an electrician to cut the ends off and reconnect.

@lukenz

Looks like Jaycar stock the Anderson connectors. They also have some waterproof connectors designed for solar panels. 

In reality, a GNSS doesn't draw much power, a radio somewhat more, but the connectors dont need to be anything fancy. Crimp-on spade terminals would be entirely sufficient.

 

 
Posted : November 15, 2022 7:19 pm
lukenz reacted
lukenz
(@lukenz)
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@jimcox 

I'm running a Geomax Zenith40 base that has a 1w satel onboard (find the long cable on tall pole and 1m whip antenna plus putting the base on a hill much more effective than a higher power radio). Which is fine for the 2-3km in town, 5km rural I'm after.

 

Given I've got the lemo to alligator clip cable (with a fuse inline) looks like easiest option would be just to swap them to spade connectors then clip on direct to one of these from Jaycar

And put it in one of those small hard cases posted above. Hopefully I can find something to screw to the back of the box to hang it off the legs.

 

My small lithium ion batteries are 7.4v 2.6ah which is ~19 wh and that runs base for 4 hours+ so lifepo4 one at 12.8v 7ah will be ~90 wh so about 20 hours runtime if I've understood the conversions right.

 
Posted : November 15, 2022 10:34 pm

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jim.cox
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Yeah Mate, just whack the crocodile clips off and replace with spade terminals - easy as.

You might want to use fully insulated or self sealing terminals or you could add weatherproof terminal covers.

How are you planning on charging that battery?

 

 
Posted : November 15, 2022 11:20 pm
lukenz
(@lukenz)
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@jimcox 

By insulated covers I assume you mean hard plastic over the metal spade? Would aim to get red/black ones to make it easier.

 

Not sure what sealed ones or waterproof terminal covers look like?

 

If the battery is in the safe case box (small pelican case style) assume standard insulated spades should be ok as won't be getting wet in there and would put hole for cable in at bottom so no drips tracking down cable into safe case box. Ideally I'll have the safe case hanging off the legs like old Trimble cowbell if I can find a suitable hook to screw to safe case.

 

For charger just looking at whatever lifepo4 ones Jaycar or Mr Positive have, ideally one that will do the car battery too.

 
Posted : November 15, 2022 11:44 pm
CV Nevada
(@cv)
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I once had a very similar battery “box”.  It was/is known as the “Rambo” battery.  My battery was in a smaller 7.62mm box. 

 
Posted : November 19, 2022 7:33 pm

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