External Battery

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Many thanks for QRPer reader, Ron, who writes:

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Dear Thomas, thank you for the great videos and information on POTA and QRP work. I’m very inspired.

Thomas, I received an Icom 705 recently and I was wondering about power. In your videos, is your battery 12 volts? This works okay? I wonder because of the 13.8 volt requirement in the manual.

Thank you for your time. I’ve already picked out a park that I will try to activate one day when I’m up to speed on POTA. 72 Ron

Thanks for your question, Ron. I’m very happy to hear you find the videos useful.


I almost exclusively use Bioenno LiFePo 12V batteries which actually output closer to 13-13.5 volts in use and can even briefly be a bit higher immediately after charging.

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Most amateur radio transceivers (including the IC-705) typically have a bit of voltage flexibility and will operate a below 12 volts and tad higher than 13.8 volts. QRP radios especially. You’re wise, though to always check (the MTR-3B is a notable exception as it prefers a max of 12V).

In fact, I just checked the IC-705 specs and its voltage requirements are 13.8 V DC ±15% (12V – 15.87 volts). The IC-705 can actually run on much lower power because the Lithium Ion pack that is supplied with the IC-705 (BP-272) is only 7.4 VDC when charged.

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I would suggest you check out a 4.5 or 6 aH LiFePo battery like this one at Bioenno. Either would have the capacity to carry you through a few hours of heavy use.

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Of course, there are many, many more battery options out there, but I’m a fan of LiFePo batteries for their longevity, capacity, and stability.

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Hope this helps!