The PWRpath is an interesting and handy device that allows a load (in this case, my station equipment) to be powered from a mains PSU while simultaneously charging a backup battery. In the event of a mains power failure, the load will automatically switch over to battery power with no interruption of the power supply.
I’ve been using a Low Loss PWRgate produced by KI0BK for several years in my home shack and it’s been great. I have a 220 AH Deep Cycle battery bank outside the shack in a waterproof tool box which is kept topped up by the PWRgate which allows me to operate my entire station (minus the HF amplifier) during power cuts. Why is is great to operate during a power cut? Well, because my S9 noise floor drops to S1 and I can actually work some DX!
So now we’ve covered what the Low Loss PWRpath is and why it’s useful, lets take a look at the build quality. Overall, it’s well packaged and built with a sturdy steel case. The provided instructions and specs are pretty good with details on battery charger current supply at various battery voltage levels. Charging current max is 1160mA with the battery at 10v and drops to 0mA at 13.6v.
The PCB looks good from the top with 3 pairs of PowerPole (not genuine Anderson but very good copies), a large 2 Ohm resistor (used as a load maybe?) and an adjustable pot. Since the F-1006 can handle a supply voltage of 5v to 28v, maybe this pot can be used to adjust the charger output current/voltage curve? Something to test later..
The back of the PCB is a little messy where lots of solder has been used to help handle the potential maximum 30 Amp current but it’s better to see that rather then just a thin copper PCB track to handle it!
Overall, I’m pretty impressed by the overall package vs cost. I’m giving this one away to a fellow operator who’s been having trouble with his IC-7300 clock battery going flat when his PSU is turned off for more than 24 hours. The Low Loss PWRpath should allow his radio to sip the power it needs from a car battery when the PSU is turned off and be recharged when the PSU is turned on. We’ll see if it works!
If you’re interested in purchasing this addition to your shack (I paid £24 during a sale) then you can find it on Amazon using my affiliate link. Using my link doesn’t cost you any more but make a tiny commission for me to help support this website… (Currently unavailable. I will add a link when available!)