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Whether you refer to them as go-boxes, go-kits, or rapid deployment kits, powering a transportable ham shack is of utmost importance.

While both battery chemistry types have much to recommend them in other uses, the go-box imposes certain requirements and operating conditions that many consider unique.

Some still insist that Sealed Lead Acid is better for a generic go-box than any lithium chemistry, but I haven't found much reason to back that up.

What about the go-box requirements or operating environment might suggest that SLA might be a better choice than a lithium chemistry battery?

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  • $\begingroup$ This is pretty subjective. "Some" still insist? Who? Is this the kind of go-box you keep under the bed in case of zombie uprising, or the kind you keep in your truck, in case you are called for a search-and-rescue mission? There are a lot of requirements that aren't here, and a lot of opinion relevant to the right answer. $\endgroup$ – Phil Frost - W8II Jan 22 '14 at 22:41
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    $\begingroup$ Well I think that one big plus point for SLA is that they can be recharged more or less safely by car battery chargers which I believe are more common than lithium battery chargers. Furthermore, in case of emergency, SLA can be more easily replaced by a battery from more or less any nearby car (well if it's 12 V), while lithium batteries usually have different voltages than lead-acid batteries. $\endgroup$ – AndrejaKo Jan 23 '14 at 7:54
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If near freezing or colder conditions is one of your possible operating environments, then SLA cells can still be (re)charged at slightly lower temperatures than lithium chemistry cells.

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SLA cells are dead easy to recharge, improvising a charger may be as easy as a set of jumper cables. Lithium ion's require active charging circuitry and the failure mode can be catastrophic.

That said, the new LiFePO₄ batteries seem to combine the best of both, energy density comparable to lithium ion with the saftey and easy charging of lead acid.

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