Radios, intercoms, headsets and GPS systems
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Post by oksmle » Wed May 12, 2010 22:16

I got my ICOM A-5 about 6 years ago, the same time I acquired my Champ, & it has performed just fine hooked to an external antenna. Since the Champ had no electrical system the A-5 was taken home after each use & recharged on it's home recharging system. After I got my Ercoupe I started looking around for a transciever that I could use with the power outlet under the Ercoupe's panel. The A-5 dosen't come with that as an accessory. This went on for about a year.... The other day I was in touch with the ICOM technical department on another matter, when I had a brainwave & simply asked the tech if ICOM had a cigar plug in cord that would fit the A-5. He gave me the following number: ICOM CP-12L from R&L Electronics, 800-221-7735. $35.00 + $5.00 shipping.
I have about 8 hours use in my truck & about 2 hours in the Ercoupe & haven't fried any batteries yet. Maybe this will give a new lease on life to the old A-5. So far it's saved me the cost of a new transciever.

Dick S.

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Re: ICOM A-5

Post by joea » Thu May 13, 2010 01:27

Get a dry cell battery (like out of a home alarm system) and hook it up for your radio and GPS. Will power them for days then recharge it at home.

Works good and cheap!

Joe A

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Re: ICOM A-5

Post by rkittine » Thu Sep 30, 2010 15:47

The dry cell route will work very well. I use a 12 volt alarm Sealed Acid Battery in my Champ and have one of the 4 way chargers for it as they do not recommend trickle charging these batteries all the time. The charger was about $30.00 but it turns on, brings the batter almost to full charge, cuts the charge down and then shuts off without trickle charging or having to be disconnected. When the voltage drops more than 1/2 volt, it turns back on and keep the charge up.

Keep in mind that these batteries are 12 volts and not 13.8 like a car battery.

The problem with the newer ICOM radios is that they use the battery as a voltage limited and want you to keep the battery installed on the radio when you have the cigarette lighter attachment hooked up to it. You will note that the radio will work with the cigarette lighter attachment on and the battery off, but it is not recommended as the radio may see more than the 11 volts max that it wants to see, so that it can internally reduce it to 7.4. This was not an issue with the older A-20s and other ICOM radios that has separate 12 volt (up to 18 volt or in some case 35 volt) inputs.

The problem with having the battery on is that you can over-charge them. So the recommendation is that you run the radio, run down the battery, hook up the cigarette lighter adapter to the radio and keep using it as it also continues to charge the battery.

One of the problems here is that with the lower current charging, it can take 15 hours to get a full charge and if you are not around to take it off the charger / cigarette lighter adapter, you risk over charging the battery.

So the solution after all the verbage?

You can buy a Battery Eliminator, which looks like a battery cases and attaches like one, but has a cable coming out of it terminated in a cigarette lighter plug. Inside the battery case is the voltage dropping circuit along with a regulator chip and a filter. These can usually be purchased for about $30.00. You take the battery off and run the radio off the external battery as you would with the CP-12L, but no problem with a potential over charge (Another note, the CP-12L is only usable to 18 volts, so if you have an aircraft with a 28 volt system, don't try to use it. The CP-20L will take a voltage input of up to 35 volts).

I than keep two spare batteries charged and ready for use if I have a problem with my battery system.

You can buy the battery eliminator from Batteries America or W&W Maunfacturing. W&W is on Long Island in Hicksville. They also sell replacement batteries and rapid chargers. I have their universal rapid charger and "Charging Cups" for all the different batteries that I have for my different hand held radios, including the A-20, A-24 and T-90A ICOMs Aviation radios, my ICOM Ham Radios and Marine Radios.

W&W's phone number is 1-516-942-0011
800 South Broadway
Hicksville, New York 11801

Hope this is helpful.

Regards, Robert
Robert P. Kittine, Jr.WA2YDV
West Nyack Aviation, L.L.C.
New York, New York 631-374-9652

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