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Author Topic: Solar Power  (Read 2394 times)
KA3VEZ
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Posts: 92




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« on: April 05, 2012, 08:01:38 PM »

Ok here is the deal.  I have a FT-817nd and a 12volt 10 Ah sealed lead acid battery. Could someone point me in the right directions in getting the gear so I can run the FT-817nd and charge the battery(safely without over charging) using solar power?  Thanks for any ideas.

~Kirk, KA3VEZ
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W4KYR
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Posts: 295




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« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2012, 08:14:37 PM »

You need a charge controller that will handle the solar power panel (s)you will be using. The solar panel wires go to the charge controller. Charge controller to the battery. Battery to FT 817.

Panel (s)>Charge Controller>Battery>Radio

Harbor Freight sells both solar panels and charge controllers. You can also find them on Ebay.
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W1JKA
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Posts: 1391




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« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2012, 03:29:18 AM »

   Check out W4HH solar/battery power qrp station on the web,pic of his set up also on e-ham forum.
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AA4PB
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Posts: 12354




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« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2012, 06:30:32 AM »

Some charge controllers use switching circuits that can generate RFI. This can be especially annoying with a portable setup where the antenna may be in relatively close proximity to the charge controller and battery. There are some controllers available on the Internet that are specifically designed to be used with QRP portable setups so they avoid the noise generating circuits. Basically these use negative lead switching so that they don't require the switching charge pump to create the higher voltages needed for positive lead switching. There are some pretty good kits available for QRP level charge controllers.
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W8JX
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Posts: 5005




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« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2012, 08:36:08 AM »

Actually the need for a regulator also kinda depends on battery capacity vs max charge rate. If you use a 10 AN battery with a 300 to 500ma solar cells the need for a regulator is not going to be that high because charge rate is at or below 1/20th C. If you feel the need for a larger capacity solar cell I would also increase the capacity of the battery it charges rather than trying to regulate and wastes energy.  And also remember that a solar charger is nothing like a wall charger which charges 24/7 and constantly. A solar charge only charges when sun is up and also only makes rated output for a few hours a day when sun is at peak and less the rest of the day. 
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KB5WIA
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Posts: 9




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« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2012, 04:51:11 PM »

I have some pictures of what I use for powering my FT-817ND radios here:

http://kb5wia.blogspot.com/2011/05/solar-power-for-ham-radio-satellites.html

Basically, I use PowerFilm flexible solar panels, connected in parallel directly to an inexpensive (on/off style) charge controller.  Then the charge controller to the battery.  For my 7 Ah SLA battery, I try not to charge it with more than 500-1000 mA, and it has held up well so far; I've also switched to using a LiFePO4 pack.  System has worked well operating portable from a number of different locations.

73 de Dave KB5WIA
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KQ6Q
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Posts: 946




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« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2012, 12:08:55 PM »

You can get folding solar panels and a charge controller through Radio Shack online. I use the 27W panel and regulator with my Icom 703 portable.
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