[RFI] Non-RFI Battery Voltage Regulators

Fred Stevens K2FRD k2frd at mac.com
Fri Aug 11 15:49:40 EDT 2006

Anyone in the group knowledgeable about or experienced with battery 
voltage regulators (aka controllers, battery extenders, battery 
boosters, DC to DC converters, etc) which will take power from a 
nominal 12vdc battery source and regulate it such that it produces 
13.8vdc no matter how much the battery's charge is drained (say, 
boosts as low as from 11.0vdc to 13.8vdc)? The key criteria is that 
such a boost (as opposed to "buck") controller will NOT produce RFI. 
There are a lot of buck/boost controllers on the market (are made for 
solar chargers, computer or other electronic equipment, machinery, 
automotive and RV appliances, stereo/TV devices), but they aren't 
manufactured for ham radio utilization with RFI in mind. Feedback 
I've gotten to date from other sources is that many/most are RF noisy 
and I'm not about to drop $100 to $200 (and up, way up) experimenting 
with unknowns.

In the October 2005 QST, such a battery extender made by a Phoenix, 
AZ ham was reviewed and the price was acceptable, but so many hams 
wanted to buy one, the ham was swamped with orders, so he quit making 
them. I have not heard of any other controllers which would work for 
ham radio except, perhaps one made by Xantrex for its Trace line 
which may or may not have had RFI problems.

I'm a fulltime RVer, operate out of my travel trailer, have found 
battery-only operation to be far RFI-quieter than any generator, 
generator-inverter, power supply, or any combination thereof, but am 
limited to my battery bank's (two to four marine batteries) charge 
level and voltage which is usually an hour, two to three hours at 
best at lower power.

73 de Fred Stevens K2FRD, VO2FS

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