Battery Evolution

As mentioned in one of my last posts, the lithium ion battery that I had acquired from eBay arrived. There was a “return receipt, signature confirmation” slip in the mail box and I went and picked it up from the Post Office this morning.

Batteries sure are getting lighter and smaller!

The battery to the left is the very first sealed lead acid battery that I’ve ever used for portable field operations.  I’ve had this guy for about eight years now.  It’s a 7.2Ah battery, probably about 5 pounds (a tad more than 2 kilos)- about the weight of a bag of sugar (roughly). It came out of an emergency EXIT light that was in the building that I used to work at.  I saved it from the dumpster and there was (and still is) absolutely nothing wrong with it. Only drawback for field operations is the weight.

The middle battery is the one I’ve been using for about the last three years. It’s rated at 5Ah and is roughly half the weight of the big battery (approx. 2.5 pounds or about 1 kilo).

“Little Boy Blue” to the extreme right is the lithium ion battery. 9.8Ah and I would say, the same size as a pack of cigarettes.  It weighs less than a pound (less than 1/2 a kilo).  It came with a wall wart (not pictured) for charging, it has both male and female 3.5mm connectors for output; and it has a little switch on the left hand side with a tiny red LED indicator to let you know you have turned the battery “on”.

More capacity in a smaller, lighter package.  How cool is that?

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP – When you care to send the very least!

Larry Makoski, W2LJ, is a regular contributor to and writes from New Jersey, USA. Contact him at [email protected].

6 Responses to “Battery Evolution”

  • Matt W1MST:

    Wow, Larry! That’s quite a decrease in weight and overall bulk.

    Over the years I’ve still been a bit partial to those Panasonic exit light batteries. I haven’t had an employer yet in my career that isn’t happy to let me take the “expired” ones off their hands. Still a lot of life in them and if you have contacts at a hospital or large industrial company, you can often get many more than you’ll ever use!

  • Frank K4FMH:

    I just received mine in the mail,too. All I can say is, wow! I will order more if this one proves reliable.





  • Cai W6CAI:

    The other drawback with this Li-ion battery is it has a max current output of 1A while the SLAs can output 20 or 30 amperes for short durations. This Li-ion is good for many QRP uses but falls short for many portable applications. You’d have to go with a more exotic (and expensive) battery like LiFePO4 to get higher current output. Still, the advances in battery tech are amazing!

  • affordable batteries, affordable auto batteries, sealed lead acit battery, lithium thionly chloride battries:

    At Las Vegas Batteries, we have options for your battery’s need ; Affordable Auto Batteries, Industria Batteries, SLA Sealed Lead Acid Battery, Lithium Thionyl Chloride Batteries and much more

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