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Author Topic: Solar Powered backpacking setup, question on Yaesu VX-8DR power plug  (Read 3986 times)
AA4HA
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« on: April 19, 2012, 12:25:01 PM »

Minimizing and standardizing my backpacking setup this year I opted for a greater reliance on solar power with a Brunton Solaris 12 (15.4 V at 800 mA) folding soft-sided solar panel. I standardized all of my lighting (Cree and Streamlight) and water purifier on rechargable CR-123 batteries. I am all set there and I can recharge CR-123's from a Tenergy charger that takes 12 VDC in and I have fourteen rechargable CR123's so I am set.

I even converted my Grundig YB-400P to internal Ni-Mh batteries and added a charger circuit to let it work off of 12 VDC (normally the Grundig is a 9 VDC device).

I have a power adapter set up for my Garmin Dakota GPS (yes, I also have a GPS APRS unit for the VX-8DR, I believe in redundancy on critical backpacking supplies, I also own a real compass and paper maps).

What I am a little stuck on is exactly what size is the darned power plug on the side of the Yaesu VX-8DR portable? It is not a 5.5/2.5mm or a 5.5/2.1mm. It is much smaller and the manuals and data-sheets on the VX-8 are not forthcoming with the dimension (2.5/1.7mm?, some other weird size?).

I do not want to lop off the end of the power cord from my Yaesu wallpack and custom make a plug.  If I can find out what size of plug that is I can buy an adapter to take that up to a 5.5/2.5mm that comes off of one of the two ports on the back of the Brunton solar panel. I know the radio can handle the voltage (rated up to 16v) and if I get nervous I can current limit the charger and put a diode in there to drop 0.7 V.

Yaesu already did a "stupid" as the charger plug for the bluetooth headset is also a completely different size.

(BTW, I carry three VX-8DR batteries, two are the 1800 mA/Hr and then there is the original 1100 mA/Hr and I even have the little faux battery box that lets me use AA batteries if I was really desperate).

Does anyone know what the plug size is? Just buying random adapters gets expensive.

thanks,
« Last Edit: April 19, 2012, 12:29:10 PM by AA4HA » Logged

Ms. Tisha Hayes, AA4HA
Lookout Mountain, Alabama
K5LXP
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« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2012, 02:13:17 PM »

Well, I just went through this with my Yaesu VX-6.  I didn't want to chop up the wall wart either and measuring the barrel, it's 4.0mm.  Turns out there's a "standard" DC coaxial plug with a 4.0mm barrel, and a 1.7mm center pin (EIAJ-2).  When I went to Digi-Key it's the only 4mm DC barrel connector they sell and they have thousands in stock, so I figured this must be the beast and ordered a few. (CP-013-ND)

Annoyingly enough, the Kenwood D7 I have uses a 3.4mm plug, and another charging base I have is 3.8mm.  There are two different center pin sizes too.  I quote Wikipedia's page on DC power connectors:

"Confusion and irregularity are widespread, requiring a close reading of the specifications or testing of physical prototypes, or both, to insure connector compatibility."

I haven't received them from Digi-Key yet but would be happy to report back if they end up fitting right or not.


Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM
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« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2012, 05:06:10 PM »

Tisha,

We're you ever able to figure this out? I hav ethe same question myself.

Thanks,

Michael
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AA4HA
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« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2012, 09:35:53 PM »

I ordered a 4 x 1.7 mm jumper cable that I will add a 5 x 2.5 mm end to. I have a Brunton folding solar panel and it accepts the 5 x 2.5 mm connectors. Those seem to be a much more common connector end, particularly at 12 VDC.

For my little Grundig YB-400P I am converting that to 12 VDC in addition to 9 VDC by adding a regulator to drop a few volts. That also gives me the option of running the jack directly to the batteries so I can keep the six, 1.5 VDC Ni-Mh batteries charged up (yes, I know that is not an ideal way to charge Ni-Mh). I bought a resin coated solar panel that is the same size as the front of the Grundig and will attach a plastic hinge so the solar panel folds flat against the front of the radio and also acts as a screen protector for the display and front panel.

If the 4 x 1.7 mm jack fits correctly I will post again into this entry. If you own a VX-8 then you are aware that a low charge current will allow you to run the radio continually on receive but to transmit you need to unjack and the radio shuts off. Then you need to turn it on. I found an aftermarket 2.2 A/Hr battery for the VX8-DR that will give me about 16 hours of operation, even with APRS sending little packets.
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Ms. Tisha Hayes, AA4HA
Lookout Mountain, Alabama
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« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2012, 05:20:03 AM »

Update - the CP-013-ND connector (4.0x1.7mm) connector from Digi-Key is a perfect fit for the VX-6 (and a couple other things I have around here).  To make it worth your while, order up a half dozen (of all the types you have) and keep them on hand for making up alternative DC input sources.


Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM
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« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2012, 07:39:05 AM »

Thanks for the updates!  I will get a couple of those CP-013-ND ends!

Michael
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