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Author Topic: Running a Icom 706 Mark 2G on Portable Solar Power  (Read 3217 times)
KC2PJG
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« on: July 06, 2008, 08:38:02 PM »

I am looking for help on building a simple solar power set up to run an Icom 706 Mark2G at full power for a few hrs or so.I am looking for what i need and how to set it up.I am handey with building stuff but not with the math needed to figure stuff out. If anyone has an idea or knows were i can look please let me know. Thanks

73 Pete KC2PJH
KC2PJH@arrl.net
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KC0UKR
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Posts: 38




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« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2008, 04:29:24 PM »

You would not really run the radio on Solar Power itself.
You will use the Sloar Setup to charge the Battery that will run the radio.

Just Google solar charging and spend some time reading and learning,it can be interesting.
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2008, 04:47:39 PM »

A panel like this one:

http://www.solarhome.org/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=2093

along with a regulator/charger and battery, should run your IC-706MK2G just fine during daylight hours, and if the battery's big enough, it will last through the night also until the sun starts pumping enough energy at your location to recharge the battery again.

A 14AH gel cell will do it if you don't do a lot of transmitting; otherwise, you'd want something like a car battery to make sure it will last through the night, or during periods when it's cloudy.

WB2WIK/6
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N8EKT
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« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2008, 08:11:00 AM »

Maximum current consumption by Icom 706 = 20 amps.

Let's say you want to tansmit 4 hours per evening.

Assuming the worst case of operating constant carrier mode at 3 minutes on 3 minutes off. (50% duty cycle)

You will need to put at least 40 amp hours back into the battery during the day.

Using a solar system sizing chart from Sunwize,
Your area of the country would have a maximum of 2.5 hours of peak sunlight.

Requiring the use of their PR340-12 panel in order to produce the required 40 amp hours.

Which means a 340 watt solar panel + regulator + a battery capable of at least 40 amp hours.

Needless to say, the cost of such a system would be quite price prohibitive.
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2008, 09:47:13 AM »

N8EKT, you may have misinterpreted the intention (or maybe I did).

The original post said he wanted to run the rig "for a few hours or so," and I didn't read anything more into that.

A typical car battery without any recharging at all will run an IC-706MK2G for a few hours, even if you transmitted all the time.  The issue becomes what to do once the terminal voltage drops below 11.5V, where most rigs start to flake out.  If the user can *stop* operating altogether and just let the panel recharge the battery, a 100W charging system (an 8A charge rate) will top the battery off in <12 hours so it's ready once again for another "few hours" of use, with or without sunshine.

I use my own rigs portable with a 14AH gel cell and a 100W panel quite often.  Of course, it's very sunny here in So. Cal., and a more ideal place to do this; but I've run a whole Field Day (24 hour operation, including six hours of darkness) from the gel cell an 100W panel, transmitting quite a bit but never using a 100% D/C mode (all transmissions either SSB or CW, with a D/C of 25-50% maximum, and transmit/receive ratio of about 25/75).

WB2WIK/6

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N8EKT
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« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2008, 11:13:38 AM »

WB2WIK,
My example assumed 50% duty cycle for 4 hours as being what I thought to be worst case scenario.

And yes in sunny California you have 5.5 hours peak sunlight.

Compared to New Jerseys 2-2.5

Your 100W panel (8 amps)with your 5- 5.5 hors of peak sun would net you 40-44 amp hours.

Enough to run the radio in my example.

However in New Jersey, only 16-20 amp hours would be produced by your same setup.

So it seems the sizing chart provided by Sunwize is pretty close.

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WB2WIK
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« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2008, 09:40:18 AM »

Probably is.   But the 2.5 vs. 5.5 hours of peak sunlight is for the shortest day of the year, also.

Maybe the fellow in NJ who's planning on operating outdoors wouldn't be doing that in the cold winter months when there isn't much daylight.  I don't know.

Our peak sunlight here in Los Angeles in June and July is 12.0 hours a day, from 6:30 AM to 6:30 PM.  It's light at 5 AM and also light at 8:30 PM, but those are outside the peak hours...

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N0RWW
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« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2008, 10:01:24 PM »

This past field day (2008), I ran a near 100% PSK31 operation off 50 watts of solar panels and 150Ah of wet cell and gel cell batteries, driving an IC-7000 and an HP laptop.  The system I had wired up ran the radio and laptop all day off both solar and batteries, and I got about 5 hours operation at night before the battery voltage dropped too low.  It was not a light load, but the batteries were topped up the day before field day, and the panel was the first thing that went up 4 hours before start time.

Realistically, I don't think you can run purely on solar panels.  But lugging all that lead to the top of the hill sure made me think about it too hihi.
73 N0RWW
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