Most efficient HF rigs in a long-term emergency power situation

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by K1SN, Jul 15, 2017.

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  1. K1SN

    K1SN Ham Member QRZ Page

    What HF rigs would be the most efficient in a situation where there is a long-term loss of commercial power? I'm not thinking Zombie Apocalypse here, but more hurricane, terrorism, or solar flare/CME types of outages that would make commercial power unavailable and emergency power (generator, solar, etc) precious for long periods of time.

    The radio should be capable of both CW and SSB and have a minimum power of 5W as it might be used with compromised or temporary antennas.


    Marshall, K1SN
  2. K7WFM

    K7WFM Ham Member QRZ Page

    FT-817ND. Because of the additional 2M/70cm all mode capability.
  3. AG4RT

    AG4RT Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I'm not sure one modern radio is that much more efficient in converting DC power input to RF out than another. How much they draw in receive might be a better measure. Maybe a radio with less features might be better, and a way to turn off any back lighting. These are the thoughts of a rookie, so I suspect you'll get a better answer soon.
    K1FBI likes this.
  4. K1FBI

    K1FBI Ham Member QRZ Page

    Used Elecraft; full size rig capable of the same power consumption as the new micro sized KX-3.

    Low Power Consumption

    The K2 is designed for use both at home and in the field. The K2’s low receive current (approx. 150 mA in battery save mode) makes portable operation possible from small gel cell batteries. The K2 even includes an option for an internal 2.9-Ah rechargeable battery.
    NL7W likes this.
  5. K0RGR

    K0RGR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Elecraft is probably the best game in town. Their receive current drain is about 150 mA (KX3) vs. 1 amp for the FT817. And, it's a 10 watt radio, so 3 dB over the 817. There is an optional 2 meter module for the KX3, as well.
  6. W0IS

    W0IS Ham Member QRZ Page

    I love my FT-817, but one of its weak points is the receive current draw, which seems like it's a lot higher than it needs to be. So if it's potentially a situation where you would want the receiver turned on for long periods of time, then it's probably a bad choice. On the other hand, if you would be using it for just a few hours a day, then chances are a small solar panel would be able to keep up.

    One annoying weak point is that the lights are on whenever it's hooked to an external power source. They automatically shut off when using the internal battery, but as soon as it has an external power source, they stay on all the time.
  7. KF4SCI

    KF4SCI Ham Member QRZ Page

    It might be better to focus on radio quality / reliabilty / bands & modes, then do something about renewable power. With the options available for generating power you will have better options. Input power Vs output on similar radios won't vary that much from one brand / model to another.
  8. K1SN

    K1SN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks to all who have responded....perhaps a database a la Sherwood of all recently manufactured rigs with receive and transmit power draw would be in order...
  9. N2NH

    N2NH Ham Member QRZ Page

    I don't know but I find that 1 amp figure a bit high for the FT-817ND receive. Like most transceivers it has its good points and it's bad points, but I didn't think that was one of them. So I checked. Universal Radio has the specs on their website and it sez:

    Squelched: 250ma (Approximately)
    RX: 450ma
    TX: 2.0 amps.

    For the record this is their webpage. Sorry to be tardy to the party.
  10. K7WFM

    K7WFM Ham Member QRZ Page

    This is exactly what the Yaesu Specification states on page 2.
    N2NH likes this.

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