Good charger with one caveat, standby current is 10mA By Guest
Charges bioeeno batteries just fine, its a 14.6V DC-DC converter. Problem is with the solar panel disconnected it will draw around 9-10mA out of the battery. Its quite possible if someone didn't know this that they can completely deplete their battery while its in storage. Its not an issue for me, as I pack it with my folding solar panel. Its connected only when I'm charging.
As far as HF noise goes... if its there its tolerable. Local noise floor is S6, its not any more noisier than that
Otherwise excellent form factor, sharp edges.
Was this review helpful? Yes No (0/0)
Small, lightweight, and quiet! By Guest
I had seen reviews warning that this charge controller was not HF quiet, but couldn't resist the small form factor and light weight for portable ops. So upon receipt I set out to see if it was going to interfere with my radio. I plugged a 3 AH bioenno battery into the Lab599, powered it on with a coax jumper and dummy load, and noted a noise floor of effectively zero. Next I attached the charge controller to a 60 watt folding solar panel (folded up, so no charging yet), attached the battery to the controller, and there was no change in the noise floor. Finally I unfolded the panel into full sun, watched and waited for 15 minutes and yet the noise floor was unchanged. The battery was partially depleted, so was accepting charge from the panel during test, and afterward I used a multimeter to verify that there was current coming through the charge controller. So, in summation, don't be scared off from using this for radio ops! Its tiny, effective, and quiet!
Was this review helpful? Yes No (1/0)
Good charger, bad for HF radio By Guest
It does what it says it should do, but when hooked up to my 23Ah LiFePO4 battery and a 60w solar panel, it produces S7+ noise across several HF bands. Had to disconnect it and go without. Will likely fashion a Faraday cage of sorts around it in my kit for next time.
Was this review helpful? Yes No (15/0)
Something Went Wrong. By Guest
I've had this charge controller for a few weeks and I'm charging a 12V, 10Ah LiFePO4 battery from AmpereTime from a 25W Solar panel. Initially things were great and the battery rested at 12.7 with the charging disconnected -- night or panel disconnected. The panel is usually disconnected and has been for several days. The charger is connected to the battery through a PowerPole 8-way splitter, probably from Powerwerx. (It tests multiple megohms of resistance, by itself, positive to negative.)
Today I wanted a 100%-certain polarity check on an adapter and went to use my new battery as a source. I thought my meter was bad because I had no voltage reading -- zero. However, a fresh 9V battery tests just fine, I see no evidence of a short in my PowerPole 8-way splitter but the battery is ruined, I bet.
I reconnected everything to charge the battery with the solar panel and it is slowly taking a charge.
With only a few minutes since the appearance of symptoms, the troubleshooting has barely started.
MAYBE the instructions say NOT to leave the charge controller connected. Maybe it's bad. Maybe the battery has internal leakage. The only discrepancy I noticed was that my new battery never reached more than 13.8V -- possibly because the current was too little from the solar panel. The resting votage was right for about a 90% charge, so I didn't worry.
I have over 50 years of detailed experience in repair of complex Electronic devices, so testing and substitution are elementary techniques but I sure could use any help from people in the battery world. Other than lead-acid batteries, I have little experience. This my first LiFePO4 battery and I'll be surprised if it's still any good.
John Markham markhamjf(at)cox(dot)net
Was this review helpful? Yes No (5/4)
Great for solar charging By Robert
I've used this unit for over a year connected to a 100 watt solar panel to keep a couple of LiFePO4 batteries topped up and it has worked flawlessly. The Hawaii sun is a great source of electricity.
Was this review helpful? Yes No (7/0)
Fantastically Easy To Use. Very Consistent Output By Jonathan
This solar charger is great for using with my battery box. I have a 120 Watt solar panel that I am using it with, During some of my testing with the unit I saw around current between 6.3 to 6.6 Amps into the charge controller and between 7.6 to 8.0 Amps at 14.6 Volts. I have measured the voltage on overcast, cloudy days and there are very little fluctuation in voltage. The other great thing about this is it's size and the fact that it is fully encapsulated so it could be used in damp environments. The only place where extra weatherproofing would be needed is maybe the Anderson connector.
Was this review helpful? Yes No (22/1)