28 October 2020

ICOM BP-84 battery pack

At a slow but steady pace I am working on a 10 GHz WBFM  receive chain not based on RTLSDR. The path requires having a receiver capable of WBFM at 600-700 MHz, which is covered by most "scanners".

Recently I bought an ICOM IC-R1 without battery packs, so I sourced one large enough to contain an energy source both for the receiver and the LNB.

I bet on a BP-84 hoping it would be tall enough to contain 18650 LiXx cell and it does indeed.

LtoR: BP-84 shell, AA for reference, 6x custom NiCd cells, 2x 18650.

Since the project around the IC-R1 scanner has been put aside in favour of another scanner, I will write only about "how to remove the original content of BP-84?"

First of all, the bottom cover must be removed. My BP-84 came with the cover already off: saw it off carefully since you will not split in two parts the shell. Once the bottom of the cells is exposed you need to cut off three metallic tabs (visible in the picture) which also hold in place the 6 NiCd cells. Once the three tabs are loose, the 6-cells pack can be pulled out with slight force.

A 18650 Li-xx battery is perhaps 1 mm taller than those custom size NiCd's. But given that the BP-84 bottom is now lost, you can handle the extra length when building a new bottom.

Three 18650 in [v^v] shape (zig-zag) should fit in there. That gives 12.6V to 10.5V. Consider adding a fuse and a Li-xx protection circuit. The 12V line can go out to a power injector towards the LNB so everything is self-powered. Enjoy!