Hot Swappable Battery Station
By Pete McNeil - KF4HCW

Here is a block diagram of the proposed Hot Swappable Battery station.

The concept is this: The batteries can be attached and detached to the switching bridges (BR1 and BR2) without powering down the systems. For example, when the voltage at the primary battery gets into the marginal range, and a new battery is available, the new battery is connected to the bridge. The bridge switches over to the new battery and electrically disconnects the marginal battery. The old battery can then be safely disconnected from the system and taken away to recharge.

Nifty thing about this also is that if you accidentally get the polarity wrong when connecting the battery, it doesn't matter!! The bridge will either swap the poloarity for you or keep the battery disconnected (depending upon the design) so this is a completely SAFE system - which you need when you're sleep deprived and under stress (emergency simulation.). Just remember not to short any thing out. We can manage the shorting risk by attaching some nice, well insulated connecting hardware ahead of time.

By linking two of these batteries in series, we can also provide a higher voltage for lap-top computers through a simple switching regulator (we could easily build this) to drop the voltage from approximately 24v to the 15-18v that is typically required for a lap-top computer.

With proper filtering, we should be able to keep all of the noise out of the rigs and off the air. Plus, the filtering required for the lap-tops is not extremely critical since they typically run off of little more than a step-down transformer and a few chokes. Our system will provide power that's a bit cleaner than that so the Lap-Tops should be very happy.

Everything gets a nice earth ground, and the rigs "see" a virtually direct connection to the battery source at all times.