A week or so ago I noticed a message on the QRP-L mailing list from Terry KQ5U. He had a number of Belkin BU3DC001-12V UPS units to offer to hams. They have been in service, are pulls, and he checks them out before passing them on in order to minimize the chances that anyone gets a duff one. These little power supplies retail for around $130, and he was offering these ones for $25 each including shipping via USPS Priority Mail. Each of them contains a 12V 7AH sealed lead acid battery and battery charger/conditioner. It sounded too good to pass up, so I e-mailed Terry and asked if he would hold one for me while I mailed him a money order.
A few days later, it arrived in a medium flat-rate Priority Mail box, and what a beaut. Terry very thoughtfully gave the battery a full charge and then internally disconnected it before shipping, for the sake of safety. The unit does beep in operation if the mute switch is not engaged and as Terry pointed out, a beeping package may never make it to my house! Terry included a sheet of instructions detailing how to reconnect the battery:
Another view, showing a little of the internals:
The 12V DC power cable is fitted with a popular size of coaxial power plug. It plugs into my K2 and other QRP rigs too. Not much else to say really. I plugged it into the AC, the other end into the K2, and it has been happily powering it all weekend. If AC power goes out, my K2 will keep happily chugging along for many hours with no interruption in service. Fitted with a handle, or placed in a carry pouch, this would be a great grab and go unit for emergency ops or QRP outings. My friend Antoinette lives a mile away, and we use MURS HT’s between our homes to keep in touch. This will make the perfect uninterruptible power supply for her radio.
Terry hopes to have more of these units available, but he doesn’t know how many, if, and when. Keep an eye on the QRP-L mailing list if this looks interesting to you. The main purpose of this blog was to give you a heads-up as to what to expect if you do order one of these. They are well worth the money. Thank you Terry!