Adding an Epic PWRGate to the Powerwerx MEGAbox

When I was looking for a portable 12v DC power solution, I started with a West Mountain Radio Epic PWRGate as a controller/charger for the 12v Deep Cycle/Marine/RV battery from my travel trailer. Since I bring the battery from the trailer inside during the winter, I figured that I might as well make use of it with the radio, and keep it charged. The West Mountain Radio Epic PWRGate is a slick device. It has inputs for power supply and solar panels, connection to/from the battery, and the output or load. It will act as a battery charge controller, and can be set for the battery chemistry — sealed lead acid/gel, AGM, or LiFePO4. It will also act as an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) that will automatically switch from the input power to running the load from the battery. I used the RV battery for Winter Field Day in January 2020, and it worked well to power the radio, but it is HEAVY! The RV battery weighs about 53 lbs. I had decided that for ARRL Field Day in June 2020 I wanted to have a LiFePO4 battery, which are much smaller and lighter, but can offer similar or better capacity/run-time. By comparison, the 30Ah LiFePO4 battery that I selected only weighs 7.6 lbs. Researching some of the run-time calculators showed that a 30A/hr LiFePO4 should power my Yaesu FT-991A for an estimated six hours, which I think is a reasonable compromise between run-time and cost. This is actually double …

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