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Man Portable Solar Powered QRP Go Kit

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by OH8STN, Jul 25, 2017.

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  1. OH8STN

    OH8STN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for the kindness. I would really try to encourage you to write about your system and post some pics when you're ready.
    I would definitely enjoy seeing other kits, especially portable power.

    My solar panel took exactly 10 days to arrive. You ask for a tracking number, at least mine and my buddies was tracked. The longest part was waiting for customs.

    Thanks for reaching out, and looking forward to seeing what you come up with.
  2. F4HPX

    F4HPX XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Hello Julian

    I finally got this noon a reply from the vendor that they are checking for the shipment... at least a good sign, but still no tracking number yet.

    Yes I will post some images once finished.

    BTW I have Alpha EZ Military (similar to Chameleon although in the first version so probably a bit worse) and I am playing a lot with half wave endfeds.
    Recently also linked dipole in SOTA style but both require usally a telescopic pole. Did not play with SuperAntenna but my friend got one so I will test it as well on an occasion.

    For li-Ion power arrangement I have 6 pieces of 18650 3400mA protected batteries so I was thinking to make 2 banks of 3 giving required tension.
    Possibly after adding ordered 2 BMS boards I could charge 2 banks in parallel with or without switching them A/B or A+B
    Globally package shall be small and will be looking for an apropriate case to put all stuff togeher possibly even with the controller itself if it does not produce too much heat and to use of course
    Anderson connectors outside as I adopted that standard from the beginning.
    Looking more for compactness so maybe not as modular/flexible as in your case but this is not yet done so all options are on the table.
    But KX2 (or KX3) have already lot of cables attached to so if I can eliminate few that would be better.

    Last edited: Aug 16, 2017
    OH8STN likes this.
  3. US7IGN

    US7IGN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Oh no! I just meant that the solar panels are still too big, expensive and not effective. Of course I would like to have such a power source. And I also think in terms of emergency communications in grid-down scenarios and operating 24/7 from remote, austere locations.
    And most of my rigs (homebrews, Icom 706mk2g) and antennas are suitable for such use.

    P.S. I met an interesting video on the topic
  4. KM4DYX

    KM4DYX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Nice video, thanks for posting. It gave me an opportunity to practice my Ukrainian (Hi). Beautiful area to camp in.

    Solar technology has gotten smaller, cheaper, and more effective. Check out the Powerfilm line of foldable and roll up panels. I have the R28; I'm pretty happy with it. One of the main reasons that I am an advocate for QRP is that, if you get the antenna right, you can keep comms up 24/7 with a solar panel and some spare batteries.

    You have a nice QRZ page; it really looks like you know communications! Keep it up. Hope to see you on the air one day.

  5. US7IGN

    US7IGN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks Al, but the video was filmed by Russian guys. I think a lot about panels that can be safely embedded in a backpack or on motorcycle boxes. Or even in clothes! I have friends who have caravans. They have long used solar panels. I'm following it closely.
  6. KM4DYX

    KM4DYX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yikes! Tells you how good my Ukrainian is! Sorry about that.
  7. US7IGN

    US7IGN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Don't worry Al. Even among Russians there are normal people =)
    I started to work on qrp when I lost my home and antenna and began to live in rented accommodation in another part of the country. And the only way to get on the air is to take a small radio and go to the park. It turned out that this was very interesting. And in case of an emergency situation it is also an emergency connection that is always with you and is ready for use. In our time it is very important. But I have a very important requirement for the radio - it's completely (rig, antenna and power) should take only a part of the backpack, which I will take with me and throw everything else, if the Russian missile falls next. You understand what I mean.
  8. KM4DYX

    KM4DYX Ham Member QRZ Page

    I do understand. I have followed the events in your country for some time.

    A compact HF system, complete with everything required: that is the goal I am working toward, also.

    Good luck, stay safe.

    US7IGN likes this.
  9. OH8STN

    OH8STN Ham Member QRZ Page

    I wonder did you watch the same video I made?
    The whole point of this kit, and especially the modularity of the kit, is being able to carry other things in the backpack like shelter, food, stove, water filtration, ... The radio gear takes only a small portion of the pack in this kit.
    This video shows a "day pack" focused on radio. When I'm doing qrp camping or hiking, the radio gear is a secondary load, and must take even smaller space in the pack.

    On the same topic, during winter time I used skis and skipulk, so the weight of my radio gear is less important, as I have more carrying capacity.
    Please don't look at this video as a singular monolithic thing. It's better to ask questions.
    I have lots of different backpacks, for different kinds of activities. Day hike packs, packs for hiking the Camino de Santiago, or Arizona Trail, packs for a half day RADAR activation... I also have a hiking trailer, and the skipulk for heavier loadouts during winter, spring, autumn or summer.

    The Powerfilm solar panels weigh almost nothing these days, for the amount of power they produce. Using the LiFePO4 battery technology, Wh/kg is excellent. So technology has moved forward considerably. Unfortunately if you want to have an all mode radio for HF, including Data modes, we need a way to power the rig, and laptop or tablet. Increase that to extended field deployment, and we need a way to recharge or replenish our gear in the field. I'm hoping next year I can finally do this Camino de Santiago hike, taking ham radio along with me. The final weight and space saving I see, could be a transition from the Yaesu ft-817nd, to an Elecraft kx2, saving both weight and additional space.
    Julian oh8stn
  10. OH8STN

    OH8STN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hello Operators
    Just a follow-up on this video.
    A couple of days ago, I put up an image of my current 10Ah LiFePO4 Battery pack on Instagram. I also asked if anyone would like to see a step by step build video. The response was astonishing to say the least. Based on that feedback, we'll (subscribers and I) be building a couple of very cool LiFePo4 battery packs for the field and grid-down emergency power. I'll also be explaining why you might want to build your own as well. The two LiFePO4 packs are 2.5Ah and 10Ah respectively.
    You can read the story and the kickoff to the series right here

    Julian oh8stn

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