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Portable Operation

Discussion in 'Mobile Radio Systems' started by KD8YVC, Mar 14, 2018.

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  1. KD8YVC

    KD8YVC XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I want to operate a portable station and bought a Renogy 100 watt solar panel at about 6 amps going in. I want to use my HF rig at around 50-75 watts and wanted to know the type of battery I would want to get. Weight will not be an issue because I will always have my truck near by. I wanted to know the type of battery and amps that I would want?

  2. K0BG

    K0BG Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    No one can answer your question with specificity. After all, we don't know what you're operating information (duty cycle), and a few dozen other missing data. And...

    Solar panels are wonderful devices, but seldom output anywhere near their rating, except in bright daylight when properly aligned with the sun.

    There are several good solar-powered site which can help you calculate the necessary battery capacity you will need. But then again, you'll have to input more data than you have here to get close to the correct numbers.
  3. US7IGN

    US7IGN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Does your truck have no battery?
  4. KD8YVC

    KD8YVC XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thanks just will operate portable for 3-4 hours a time.
  5. US7IGN

    US7IGN Ham Member QRZ Page

    No problem. Last CQ WW CW 2017 I worked portable with 100w on my IC-706mk2g directly connected to my car battery. I started engine every 3-4 hours for 20-30 minutes.

    KC8VWM likes this.
  6. KD8YVC

    KD8YVC XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    That’s an idea I have a diesel duramax with two large batteries I could do that whe I’m by the truck.
  7. US7IGN

    US7IGN Ham Member QRZ Page

    I also bought a small cheap chinese DC-DC converter (12 to 19V) for my laptop. When you have a car - you have all you need.

  8. AG6QR

    AG6QR Subscriber QRZ Page

    If you want to be reliable, you have to allow for cloudy days, so you need battery capacity for 3-4 hours, anyway. Solar charging is nice to keep the batteries topped off, especially for extended expeditions, but for a short outing, you almost ought to plan as though it won't be available. If you have a pleasant surprise of enough sun to keep the batteries topped off, great!

    Something like a group 27 deep cycle lead-acid battery ought to keep most 100W radios going at a reasonable duty cycle. They are relatively cheap and easy to charge. There are lithium batteries that are lighter, and can last through more charge cycles, so may be cheaper in the long run. Be sure and get a good charger designed specifically for the exact type of lithium battery you choose if you go this route. Lithium can be very dangerous if improperly charged!
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2018
  9. KU3X

    KU3X Ham Member QRZ Page

    You really don't go into too much detail of your type of operating you are going to do. This directly relates to duty cycle and battery size.
    For me, if I had a solar panel like you just described, I'd get an 18 amp hour battery. That's not all that heavy to carry. As a matter of fact, I just
    ordered one to replace my 14 ah battery that just failed.
    12 volts at 18 ah for $32.49 shipping included. Don't get the spade type connection, they have both types.
    The difference between 100 watts and 50 watts is only 3 db. That's about a half of an S unit on most meter. So instead of the guy at the other end
    giving you an S 7, he will give you an S 6-1/2. Big deal!
    When I operate above the 5 watt level, that is the power level use, 45 to 50 watts. I spend an afternoon in the park and the battery does not go dead.
    I also do not use a solar panel.
    The next key point to address is, "use a good antenna." Don't just hang up some junk wire and expect to work the world. If you use coax, use a good resonant antenna.

  10. KD8YVC

    KD8YVC XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Kux3 I have an mq26sr mini 2 element beam antenna that has around 5 dB gain. I plan on operating on 10-20 meters at 50-75 watts for 3-4 hours on a Sunday. I went to the battery sight that you sent the link to and the 18 amp is attractive compared to the price on a 75 amp that I was looking at.


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