View Full Version : Icom A4 power supply
09-20-2006, 08:25 PM
Gidday I have just received an Icom IC A4 handheld from AC/Spruce. I also got the Cigarette lighter cable with noise filter. I was under the impression that this could be used as a power supply, that is it would power the transmisiion etc. On reading the manual, it says that the cable is just for battery chargeing, not to be used for opperateing the device. Can someone tell me what the situation is.
09-20-2006, 08:36 PM
Hey Graeme, I have an A24 which is nearly the same as yours, along with the cigarette lighter charger. You are correct in that the cigarette lighter power supply only charges the battery, rather than powers the radio.
I have been running mine like this for 6 months and the battery always shows a full charge. It is apparently capable of charging the battery at least as fast as the battery is drained by using the radio. I suspect not having the external power directly power the radio may avoid some potential noise problems.
09-20-2006, 10:56 PM
do you charge the battery as you use it? Do you have the charger permantly attached while you use it?
09-21-2006, 02:47 AM
Graeme, Perhaps this will help. http://batteriesamerica.com/ This company makes a 'battery eliminator' for the A-4. It is shaped exactly like your battery and snaps on the same way to the back of the radio. Only difference, it plugs into the lighter socket. They are $25. US. If your aircraft has a battery system, you may use it any time. If you run only on mag's, and you have an engine out, then you have no radio. The regular charger only charges the battery if the unit is off, not on. I carry a freshly charged battery on X-country hops for just that reason. Otherwise, its a great little helper. Unlike the A-24 above, this is a 'low end' unit without some upgraded features. It will not charge in the on position. May I suggest an auxiliary antenna too. It helped me emensly. By the way, put a 3 amp. fuse on the charging circuit for safety. The unit you need is called a BP-196.
09-21-2006, 05:29 AM
Graeme, I do charge it as I use it. The documentation that comes with the cigarette-jack charger says explicitly that it charges the battery while the radio is in use. The cigarette lighter jack is plugged into the onboard electrical system and charges the radio as I fly. I have never had to charge it manually since I installed the onboard cigarette lighter charger, 5 months and 40 hours of flight ago. There is also no engine/ignition related radio noise introduced by the charger, so far as I can tell.
I also looked into a battery eliminator, but I tried this first and it works well.
09-22-2006, 04:33 PM
Thanks for the Info. Have ordered the Batttery eliminator. What sort of head sets do you use?
09-22-2006, 11:46 PM
could you tell me more about your antenna set up please?
09-23-2006, 05:54 AM
I ran a co-axiel cable with BNC connectors on either end. One from the radio and one for the base of the antenna. This way, I can take the radio off whenever I want. The antenna I used is a standard 1/4 wave mounted on a small (5" X 5") ground plane made of aluminum. It is grounded to the frame with a piece of mesh (plug wire insulator) on a frame bolt. The antenna itself is 22". This gives me the best reception for my main airport operating frequency (120.2mhz) and still affords plenty of room for the higher bands w/o problems. It is mounted to the front of the aircraft so as to minimize any interference from the motor. Make sure you mount the antenna more vertically than horizontally as FM is 'line of site'. You may also use the 'rubber duck' antenna supplied with the radio if you are cramped for space. If you choose to do that, you wont need a ground plane. Dont coil the co-ax cable or bundle it with other wiring. Use caution as to its location so as not to interfere with any control systems by using tie-wraps, no metal clamps.
09-23-2006, 09:45 AM
I have an ICOM IC A21 with the battery on the bottom, but I have no battery. I'd like to install this in my gyro and power it from the gyro battery, would the battery saver work with my radio? It looks to me as though the battery saver fits on the back of the radio not on the bottom.
Can any one help?
09-23-2006, 10:08 AM
Mike, go to this website http://batteriesamerica.com/ and look up your radio and see if they make an eliminator for your particular model. I'm not familiar with that model number. It will tell you if one is available. Not all Icom models have eliminator adapters. LATE ENTRY, Just checked the website for you Mike, Looks like they make a lighter adapter cord which both charges the battery and runs the radio at the same time but no eliminator. This will work for you if you have a 12v socket wired into your system. You will, of course, have to buy a battery also.
09-23-2006, 11:28 PM
Thanks for the antenna information Mark.
09-24-2006, 07:48 AM
Thanks for the help, I was trying to avoid buying a battery. Also the two pin plug I have that allows me to connect my headset covers the 13 volt input plug making it impossible to plug the external power supply at the same time as the headset.
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