Man-Portable, Off Grid & Solar Powered

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by OH8STN, Jan 30, 2020.

ad: L-HROutlet
ad: l-rl
ad: L-MFJ
ad: Left-3
ad: Subscribe
ad: FBNews-1
ad: Left-2
  1. OH8STN

    OH8STN Ham Member QRZ Page

  2. KQ6XA

    KQ6XA Ham Member QRZ Page

    OH8STN likes this.
  3. WL7PM

    WL7PM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Nice work Julian.
    Great video !
    You have inspired my purchases: FT-891, R-Pi, 23 foot telescoping mast, MFJ-939,
    and a couple of Lithium Fe Phosphate batteries. Now working on integration.
    Thanks again for the tips.
    OH8STN likes this.
  4. OH8STN

    OH8STN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thank you Bonnie.
    Julian oh8stn
  5. OH8STN

    OH8STN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks and you're welcome. . The integration is the fun part but if possible, don't rush. It takes many of us a multiple deployments it's dialed in. Looks like you're on a good path though.
    Julian oh8stn
  6. MW1CFN

    MW1CFN Ham Member QRZ Page

    As usual, a nice, informative video.

    There is an obvious question, or maybe a hint for manufacturers here: why the hell can't someone make a rig with an integrated Raspberry Pi or similar computer? These things have been available for years by now, and there does seem to be a trend towards more portable operating, given everybody now has to live next to solar PV, LED lights, etc, etc. So there is a real demand and opportunity there...

    I'm a bit surprised at the power levels discussed. 30-50W. That's a lot of power for field operation. I usually operate with 15W (from a car), and may go to 25W under tough conditions for specific stations. In the JT65 days, it was 8W.

    Anyhow, thanks again for the effort and the video. Maybe have a read of what seaside portable offers - typically 10dB gain over an inland antenna, and thus no need for anything other than QRP power:
    OH8STN likes this.
  7. NI9Y

    NI9Y Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thank you for your very interesting reports. You have tickled my RAM to try a Rasberry Pi for QRP FT-8..
    I have found that when I try to do a Radio Adventure I take too much stuff and long cables thin
    king I will need everything.
    My QRP gear consists of a KX3 and a HB1-A, and homebrew 40-6 meter vertical and a 20 meter end-fed antenna. My power source is a small but heavy 12DC battery. The main issue is it takes about an hour or more just to set up the station. By then I'm tired but anxious to make contacts. Our Adventure Radio Group has operated from various places like parks and even in a Pullman RR car parked at the Elkhart, IN. NYC RR Museum and from the tower at Grissom AFB Museum in Peru, IN. Our group ranges in age from 65-80 years old. The more younger hams don't seem to be interested in QRP.
    Looking forward to your next report.
    OH8STN likes this.
  8. OH8STN

    OH8STN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for the feedback and comments. I'll take a look at that website later on.
    When I'm talkin about the power levels, it's always for Reliable Communications, to a known station. Certainly with 8 watts we can hit some random station who happens to hear us, but there's no consistency. If I want to hit my buddy John, in Kansas during Gray Line, I'll have to use something between 30 and 50 Watts from this latitude. As I mentioned in the video, 10 watts is fine when operating for fun or not trying to get outside the region.

    Regarding those manufacturers. Even if they did something like this they probably get it wrong. Manufacturers have to buy components by the thousands tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands. That probably means we would get stuck with aging proprietary technology, without having upgrade possibility. The manufacturer's just don't get it. For me it would be enough to have cat control and an inbuilt audio interface. Then connect our own computer to it with a single USB cable. Another option I would find amazing, is a single black box radio. No display, no dials or gauges, just a black box data rig with power and USB port. In-built audio interface, cat control, and antenna tuner. I build that radio along with a Raspberry Pi and my own DIY battery pack, into a nice waterproof case.

    Anyway, I'm just dreaming. I know manufacturers won't get it.

    Thanks for the comments, and the kindness. It's very much appreciated.
    Julian oh8stn
    KQ6XA and N0TZU like this.
  9. OH8STN

    OH8STN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Wow. You know some people might be surprised to hear this, but I'm still a QRP guy at heart. Take a look at my "Raspberry Pi field computer video", it's up here on QRZ as well. There's nothing like taking a 5 or 10 watt radio to Lapland or some other exciting location, just to see what I can achieve with such modest station. The trick to making it all work, was integrating all of the components of the station, together. All one should have to do is take it out of its case, plug in a battery, the antenna, and turn it on. The go box guys have been telling me that for years, but I just blew them off. I still don't think we should take these large elaborate stations to the field, but a small well-integrated station which is easy to deploy. That's the ticket.

    As one of those "less old" operators, I find "purpose" a far greater motivator than the love of radio. Why am I going out to the field, and what do I want to achieve when I'm there!? Of course that's only one operators opinion.
    Finally, the heavy battery was a a non-starter for portable Ops. Maybe I can say it in a different way. A lighter lithium iron phosphate battery, is a portable Ops enabler. You can operate longer, walk further, while carrying a fraction of the weight.

    The young guys will come around. We have to stop telling them what to do, and figure out what it is they're trying to do. That's when we get them.
    Julian oh8stn
    N6YT and N0TZU like this.
  10. MW1CFN

    MW1CFN Ham Member QRZ Page

    :rolleyes: You are so right!

Share This Page