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Author Topic: Portable Power???  (Read 7858 times)
WB4LCN
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« on: October 20, 2011, 03:56:24 PM »

I'm considering getting the Yaesu FT-857D or the Icom IC-7000, but I was wondering what is the best and most efficient small generator that will power the rig? I've been looking at these generators:

http://www.hondapowerequipment.com/products/models.aspx?page=models&section=P2GG&category=play

Any thoughts?

Thanks much!

dave  Wink
« Last Edit: October 27, 2011, 10:35:00 PM by WB4LCN » Logged

First, make it work, then make it pretty.
Yaesu Rigs: Kenwood TS-480HX, FT-8900R, FTM-350AR (Bluetooth motorcycle mobile), VX-8DR, SB-102 boat anchor (built one as a kid)

Moderate Spock: "Live for a reasonable amount of time and scrape by."
KG4RUL
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« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2011, 07:45:35 PM »

Extremely Quiet, Fuel Efficient, Lightweight - What more is there to ask for: http://www.mayberrys.com/honda/generator/models/ex700c.htm
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K9KJM
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« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2011, 09:54:58 PM »

Honda IS one of the very best small generators available.  (The biggest problem with them seems to be theft. Be sure to keep a close eye on it, And/or under lock and chain!)
You could get by spending a LOT less money on one of the little "cheapo" generators, I have seen the small ones that would run your radio on sales for about 89 bucks.......   But of course they are no where near the quality of the Honda.
Whatever generator you get, Also get some PRI-G to treat the gas. This stuff really works to maintain good fuel over a long period of time:
http://www.defender.com/product.jsp?path=-1|311|302335|531412&id=1120439


But I would never trust ANY generator to operate my radios directly.  I always have some type of deep cycle type battery to run the radio, And then use the generator to charge the battery.  This solves the problem of surges, Overvoltage, etc. Plus if the generator runs out of gas, etc, The radio keeps right on going for at least a few hours, And you can also use some solar panels to charge the battery if you have some sunlight.
http://www.harborfreight.com/45-watt-solar-panel-kit-90599.html
Check magazines for coupons to get that 45 watt panel for just 149 bucks....
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WB4LCN
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« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2011, 07:31:31 AM »

Thanks RUL and KJM. The EX700 must be a discontinued Honda model. Seems that a few places have it in stock.

So, would you buy a battery charger and plug it into the generator and then charge a car battery with it that is running the rig? The next question would be what battery charger to use?

The solar panel is a good idea, but I have a big motorcycle that I was counting on riding up to the mountains and didn't want to haul a load with me - but that would be a good option.

dave  Smiley
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First, make it work, then make it pretty.
Yaesu Rigs: Kenwood TS-480HX, FT-8900R, FTM-350AR (Bluetooth motorcycle mobile), VX-8DR, SB-102 boat anchor (built one as a kid)

Moderate Spock: "Live for a reasonable amount of time and scrape by."
KG4RUL
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« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2011, 08:01:34 PM »

Buy an AGM battery (size and weight are your determining factors here) and a West Mountain Radio, IsoPower module: http://www.westmountainradio.com/product_info.php?products_id=iso_pwr  Place the battery in a saddle bag or other suitable mounting location and the IsoPower where it can get some airflow.

The IsoPower connects to the Motorcycle battery, and the AGM battery and the radio.  Whenever the engine is running both batteries will charge.

Power for the radio comes, through the IsoPower, from the engine electrical system, when the engine is running or from the AGM battery when it is not.  You can't run down the motorcycle battery with this setup.
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WB4LCN
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« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2011, 11:14:14 PM »

That's very interesting, but I do think leaving the motorcycle motor running would be annoying. It would be a lot louder than a small generator. Thanks, though.

dave Smiley
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First, make it work, then make it pretty.
Yaesu Rigs: Kenwood TS-480HX, FT-8900R, FTM-350AR (Bluetooth motorcycle mobile), VX-8DR, SB-102 boat anchor (built one as a kid)

Moderate Spock: "Live for a reasonable amount of time and scrape by."
W8JX
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« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2011, 06:04:42 AM »


So, would you buy a battery charger and plug it into the generator and then charge a car battery with it that is running the rig? The next question would be what battery charger to use?


Actually this is pretty silly to do. Lug a generator, then a battery, then a charger to operate portable? All you need is a generator and a switching power supply and you are good to go. Unlike a old fashion, heavy and inefficient linear supply that many cling too that is also very sensitive to surges, a switching supply is small, light weight and can handle a very wide range of input voltages (usually 90 to 250v) transparently with no change in output. 
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K9KJM
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« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2011, 10:41:54 PM »

Most small generators have a direct 12VDC output to directly charge batteries.

If you buy a battery charger, One in the 10 amp range that is fully automatic is the type to get. (Around 30 bucks when on sale)
(You want a charger that will shut down the charge when the battery is fully charged)

An automotive type battery is a poor choice.  as mentioned, An AGM or SLA or marine deep cycle type is a much better choice.
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W8JX
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« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2011, 06:38:21 AM »

Most small generators have a direct 12VDC output to directly charge batteries.

If you buy a battery charger, One in the 10 amp range that is fully automatic is the type to get. (Around 30 bucks when on sale)
(You want a charger that will shut down the charge when the battery is fully charged)

An automotive type battery is a poor choice.  as mentioned, An AGM or SLA or marine deep cycle type is a much better choice.

Once again why do you need to lug a 40 lb plus battery, a generator and battery charger possibly too?Huh?  If you go generator route you need no battery and no charger for it. A switching supply will only be 5 lbs give or take which means you could carry generator with one arm and radio and power supply with other. 
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WB4LCN
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« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2011, 08:42:00 PM »

Hmmm...

I guess that the reasoning of having a battery between the generator and the rig is to eliminate the chance of a power surge. With, for example, the new Honda generators, is there danger of a surge? Could I damage the radio? Do I really need that extra weight?

I really appreciate each of you who have given me plenty of food for thought.

dave
Logged

First, make it work, then make it pretty.
Yaesu Rigs: Kenwood TS-480HX, FT-8900R, FTM-350AR (Bluetooth motorcycle mobile), VX-8DR, SB-102 boat anchor (built one as a kid)

Moderate Spock: "Live for a reasonable amount of time and scrape by."
W8JX
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Posts: 5904




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« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2011, 09:10:27 PM »

Hmmm...

I guess that the reasoning of having a battery between the generator and the rig is to eliminate the chance of a power surge. With, for example, the new Honda generators, is there danger of a surge? Could I damage the radio? Do I really need that extra weight?


Did you miss part about how switching supply's (like a Astron SS 25 or 30) are NOT voltage sensitive. Most will take for 90 to 250 or so and input frequency changes with no adjustments and no change in output. I recently bought a smart 40 amp charger that is switching based that will charge up to 40 amps regardless or input voltage from 90 to 250v input
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K9KJM
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« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2011, 10:02:20 PM »

Why bother with the generator and power supply at all?    With a decent battery, Your little radio will run for DAYS depending on the T/R duty cycle and transmit power level used before a recharge is needed.   We run field days with no other charger but the solar panel mentioned.........
 Roll Eyes
Depends on just what you want to do.  Short term, Long term, Or what.

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W8JX
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« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2011, 10:44:47 PM »

Why bother with the generator and power supply at all?    With a decent battery, Your little radio will run for DAYS depending on the T/R duty cycle and transmit power level used before a recharge is needed.   We run field days with no other charger but the solar panel mentioned.........
 Roll Eyes
Depends on just what you want to do.  Short term, Long term, Or what.



What is the fascination with having to lug around a heavy lead acid battery and making it a must have? For about same weight I would choose small generator any day.  At night it can run lights and other goodies too not possible with a battery. 
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WB4LCN
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« Reply #13 on: October 24, 2011, 01:27:17 PM »

I feel like I'm watching a Ham boxing match. lololol

To W8JX...

I do have a switching power supply. Would need to buy one.

To K9KJM...
I'm not sure that 100 watts transmitting power, with a battery of average car size, would last a long weekend of camping.

However, I would need at least a gallon of gas for the generator after the first day. There's a can of gas too. Hmmm...

Many thanks to you guys. I think I have the info that I need. You've been most helpful. Great food for thought.

dave
WB4LCN
Logged

First, make it work, then make it pretty.
Yaesu Rigs: Kenwood TS-480HX, FT-8900R, FTM-350AR (Bluetooth motorcycle mobile), VX-8DR, SB-102 boat anchor (built one as a kid)

Moderate Spock: "Live for a reasonable amount of time and scrape by."
W8JX
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Posts: 5904




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« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2011, 01:40:14 PM »

I feel like I'm watching a Ham boxing match. lololol

To W8JX...

I do have a switching power supply. Would need to buy one.

Do you have one and not need one or need one and not have one?


To K9KJM...
I'm not sure that 100 watts transmitting power, with a battery of average car size, would last a long weekend of camping.

Trust me it will not last even a full day at 100 watts output unless you talk very little, QRP yes.


However, I would need at least a gallon of gas for the generator after the first day. There's a can of gas too. Hmmm...

That would depend on load on generator. Would likely be less unless it was a very long day. Even still gas is about 6.4 lbs per gallon minus container and you do not need to lug it back out.

Many thanks to you guys. I think I have the info that I need. You've been most helpful. Great food for thought.

In end it is your call but a small portable quiet generator will spoil you.
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