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How to Build an Ice Fishing Battery Box with Lithium Batteries

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Ice fishing can be fun, and it’s even better with a fish finder to help pinpoint those elusive fish swimming under the ice. But most fish finders require a power source, which can be challenging to find when you’re in the middle of a lake unless you bring a power source with you. An ice fishing battery box is one way to power your fish finder in any location. 

Here’s an in-depth look at what an ice fishing battery box is, how you can make your own, and other uses it can have. So, let’s get started.

What is an Ice Fishing Battery Box?

An ice fishing battery box is an enclosed container with a heavy-duty battery inside. In this case, it would be relegated for your fish finder, but you could potentially use it for other things. 

The enclosed container, usually plastic, keeps the battery safe from water or other hazards during transport. The box typically has ports to draw power from the battery for other devices and charge the battery.

man ice fishing without battery box

Why Should You Use Lithium Batteries When Ice Fishing

Temperature is the primary concern for batteries in an ice fishing battery box, as all batteries diminish in power when running in colder temperatures. But, when compared to a lead-acid battery’s capacity, lithium batteries deplete at a slower rate and can deliver higher amp-hours. As evidenced by this example, lithium batteries can be superior to lead-acid batteries in many situations. 

Plus, newer lithium batteries contain a battery management system (BMS) that stops the battery from charging when its internal temperature dips below 32 degrees. The BMS is an advantage because charging a battery under freezing temperatures can cause permanent and irreversible damage. Ultimately, a battery without a BMS may run for slightly longer in colder temperatures, but you run the risk of damaging your ice fishing battery box for good.

Heated lithium batteries are another advanced feature worth pursuing. They use “a proprietary, low draw technology to keep your battery warm and ready to charge.” This technology is especially beneficial in colder temperatures and allows the lithium battery to continue safely running regardless of inclement weather. 

We recommend our 12V 50ah Battle Born Lithium Battery for your ice fishing box project.

Picture of a frozen lake covered in snow

How to Build a DIY Ice Fishing Battery Box

Although you can purchase a battery box online, you can also build your own ice fishing battery box. All you need are a few materials, a battery (of course), and some electrical wiring know-how. 

Gather Your Materials

Here are the main components you’ll need to build your ice fishing battery box: a box, a battery, switches, and basic wiring items such as two colors of wires and an assortment of electrical connectors. The container can be anything that’s airtight and has a lid that’s simple to put on and remove. Many people use ammo boxes because they’re durable and waterproof. 

Binding posts are also helpful, as they can charge the battery while it’s inside the box. A voltmeter and chagrin ports are also an excellent addition to the box. Some people choose to go as far as installing a shunt inside the box to accurately read the actual charge left in the battery. Typically, you can find USB charging ports and your standard 12V output socket (also known as an old car cigarette lighter port). You can usually find the voltmeter, USB ports, and cigarette output socket online in a single unit. 

Install the Lithium Batteries

Install the lithium battery in the base of the ice fishing battery box with the wiring in the box’s lid. This wiring should connect the battery to the different switches, ports, and lights outside the box. 

It may seem complicated to wire the box, but it’s not really. A good YouTube tutorial can help you install your wiring correctly. However, if you don’t feel confident with this step, consider bringing in a professional. As always, you can call our team here at Battle Born Batteries for help.

You must also secure the battery tightly to the box. If you don’t connect the battery to the container, it will shift during transport and may damage the wiring. Securing the battery doesn’t need to be a fancy affair–a high-quality velcro should do the trick.

Connect the Fish Finder

The best way to connect your fishfinder to the box is through an SAE cable that makes it easy to attach and detach the device. Most fish finders have a compatible cable port, making the job simple. 

This cable is an excellent option because you can wire your battery to charge with the same SAE cable. Also, if you include binding posts, USB ports, or a 12V output socket, you can connect your fish finder using these ports as well. 

Closeup shot of a fish finder screen

Put It All Together

First, drill all the holes you’ll need for the different components in your box. Then, after securing each piece and placing the battery inside the box, wire all the parts together. Basic knowledge of wiring will be useful, but you can also find pre-wired components if you don’t feel confident. 

Finally, when everything is in the box and correctly wired, you can charge the battery, connect the fish finder, and start enjoying your new ice fishing battery box. 

How Much Does It Cost to Put Together a DIY Ice Fishing Battery Box?

Prices of components and the overall cost can depend on what items you purchase for constructing the box and how you choose to do it. Overall, estimated prices for an ice fishing battery box range between $60 and $100 if you purchase the pieces separately and make it yourself. 

But, there are also companies like Ice Hole Power and Bold North Outdoors that sell complete kits. They range from $80 to $250 for either the kits or completed boxes.

What Else Can You Use an Ice Fishing Battery Box For?

You can use an ice fishing battery box for more than just ice fishing. You can wire and mount lights to the side so that your battery box becomes a light source. These lights can even include multiple colors or a flashing option, making it an efficient and exciting way for friends to find you in the dark. 

You can also use the many available ports to power or charge many things. When you’re away from civilization, having a charging port for multiple tools is invaluable.  

Is Building an Ice Fishing Battery Box Worth Your Time? 

When ice fishing, it’s useful to have a fish finder. And having lights in your shack can also be a luxury. If you can build your own ice fishing battery box, you can power both these items and many other life-saving or luxury items. 

Plus, building one can often be cheaper than buying new. You’ll learn valuable skills while saving money. Overall, you could have a safer and more enjoyable trip. 

Want To Learn More About Electrical Systems and Lithium Batteries?

We know that building or upgrading an electrical system can be overwhelming, so we’re here to help. Our Reno, Nevada-based sales and customer service team is standing by at (855) 292-2831 to take your questions!

Also, join us on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube to learn more about how lithium battery systems can power your lifestyle, see how others have built their systems, and gain the confidence to get out there and stay out there.

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