Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement
About eHam.net

   Home   Help Search  
Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: FT 817 and solar power  (Read 5140 times)
KA4NMA
Member

Posts: 355




Ignore
« on: September 25, 2012, 07:08:25 PM »

What size solar cells in watts would I need to power my FT 817? How about to recharge it? Any recommendations?

Randy ka4nma
Logged
KQ6Q
Member

Posts: 991




Ignore
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2012, 08:27:34 PM »

Portable solar panels come in Watt ratings - 7 - 15, 27, etc.
a 7 watt panel will charge the battery while it's not in use.
I went with a 27 watt panel so I can be charging my gel cell
while operating the radio- I use an Icom 703 so the battery is
external. Panel rating depends on your budget. See other threads
on this topic here also. you will need a regulator with the panel -
they put out about 18 volts without one- bad for your battery.
Logged
KA4NMA
Member

Posts: 355




Ignore
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2012, 10:45:54 PM »

Can the harbor freight briefcase solar kit http://www.harborfreight.com/general-merch/lighting/13-watt-briefcase-solar-charger-68750.html  be used to charge the batteries in the ft-817?

I have seen several different brands of solar backpacks.  They usually are 4 watts.  Can they be used to charge the ft-817nd battery?  check out http://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&page=1&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Asolar%20backpack

Walmat.com has some stuff http://www.walmart.com/search/search-ng.do?search_constraint=0&ic=48_0&Find.x=0&Find.y=0&Find=Find&_ta=1&search_query=solar%20panel&_tt=sola
The also have a 7amphr sla for $30.

I will be using the e-dc-6 external dc cable.

Not only charging the FT-817nd, I would also like to charge my cell phone and mp3 player)

Randy ka4nma
« Last Edit: September 25, 2012, 11:39:37 PM by KA4NMA » Logged
LA9XSA
Member

Posts: 376




Ignore
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2012, 09:32:27 AM »

If you get a small panel (7W maybe?), I hear you can live with the panel having an open voltage higher than what the radio accepts - the current draw from the radio causes internal resistance which lowers the voltage that the radio sees.

The FT-817ND is pretty forgiving with input voltage, but connecting a higher wattage panel directly is not a good idea. You will need either a solar charge controller for a sealed lead acid battery (avoid MPPT types, they tend to be RF noisy, heavy and expensive - use a simple resistive type), or something like a LiPo laptop/netbook battery pack. The latter will accept a direct connection to a solar panel, and charge an internal LiPo battery which again will charge a variation of netbooks/laptops, 12 volt, 9 volt and USB (5 volt) devices.

Here's one such battery pack (Energizer XP8000) used with the FT-817ND - looks pretty neat: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IsvPOyn0LeQ

A list of possible candidates:
- Powergorilla
- minigorilla
- Energizer XP8000
- maybe Energizer XP1800 <- Not sure if the voltage regulation on this will work with the FT-817ND

Tom's Hardware has a thorough review of these models here: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/notebook-battery-external-power-supply,2821-9.html

I have seen several different brands of solar backpacks.  They usually are 4 watts.  Can they be used to charge the ft-817nd battery?  check out http://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&page=1&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Asolar%20backpack
Those backpacks are only for USB charging, it seems - too low voltage for the radio.
Not only charging the FT-817nd, I would also like to charge my cell phone and mp3 player)
Then one of those LiPo battery packs seems like an ideal solution, given that they have both a USB port and many other outputs running off the same battery. You strap the panel to your backpack, and connect it to the LiPo pack, without having to have it connected to the radio all the time. Also you could bring some spare internal NiMh packs. (If you want to play around with internal LiPo and LiIon packs that is a possibility if you understand the dangers involved).
« Last Edit: September 26, 2012, 09:49:27 AM by LA9XSA » Logged
KA4NMA
Member

Posts: 355




Ignore
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2012, 02:09:24 PM »

Some of the solar bags have 12v output.
Logged
AC4RD
Member

Posts: 1235




Ignore
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2012, 09:11:01 AM »

The FT-817ND is pretty forgiving with input voltage, but connecting a higher wattage panel directly is not a good idea. You will need either a solar charge controller ...

Good point!   I've got a cheap relatively easy alternative--you might not want to bother with it but it's working very nicely for me.  I use a cheap solar panel intended to trickle-charge an automobile battery, and I hook that to one of several 12v gel cells I use with my 817 out in the back yard.  I just carry out a battery, anywhere from a small 2.2aH one to a 12aH one (that one will last a whole afternoon and evening of casual operating), and hook it to the solar charger when I'm done for the evening.  Inexpensive, easy, and I have the 12v cells available for all sorts of other needs as well.  HTH!  73!
   --ken ac4rd
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!