Radio W4KAZ

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12 VoltZ Not So Nominal

I suppose there is a technical reason for this to be true, but why do so many of the modern day ’12 volt’ radios actually require 13.8 volts to function?

I suppose their specifications all clearly state 13.8 volts+/-, but it sure would be nice if you could actually use the radio from an ordinary automobile car battery. I know it would sure would make life easier in a genuine emergency situation. Running the car just to maintain voltage is a waste of fuel. It sure would make things easier for quick and dirty portable operating too, and certainly be good for camping and Field Day.

I know there are radios out there that are tolerant of lower voltages. Elecraft comes immediately to mind. A couple of years back, I watched N4YDU belt out ten or so Field Day QSO’s on a TenTec Scout using a battery that was straining to supply 11 volts(ur rst 592 om…). The problem is, I didn’t realize it was a problem I should address until I already had the other radios. I have only myself to blame for not educating myself sooner. Yet another reason to go Elecraft.

As always “Age and guile beat youth and a bad haircut”(hat tip P.J. O’Rourke).

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