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Power supply for RV operation

Discussion in 'On the Road' started by K7GDR, Jun 30, 2021.

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  1. K7GDR

    K7GDR Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have a Yaesu FT-891 that I intend to use when on the road in my 40-foot Class A motorhome. My antenna is a Buddipole. I also have a Powerwerx 30 amp power supply that I use with my home base station.

    I will eventually acquire batteries to use with my 891 so that my operation can be more portable. For now, however, I'd like to use my Powerwerx 30 amp power supply to power my 891 when using the RV. The Powerwerx would be plugged into an exterior outlet on the RV, and my 891 would be set up on a table outside. We will have 50 amp service at the campsite.

    Is this doable? Are there other considerations of which I should be aware? I have no desire to hard-wire anything to the RV batteries. I am a new operator and am still learning. Thank you for your time.
    KO4ESA and YC8FMN like this.
  2. WA2EIO

    WA2EIO XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Should be no problem. Your 50 Amp service I assume is for 120VAC to supply the motor home on location. Remember that your power supply is rated for 30 Amps but this is at 12-13.8 VDC. Looking at its specs on the PowerWerx site show that it has a 6.3 Amp input fuse, so that means that the MOST is would be able to draw from your 50A service is 6.3 Amps. You will still have around 42 Amps to run the motor home.
    KU3X, KO4ESA and K0UO like this.
  3. KB3WFV

    KB3WFV Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Hi K7GDR,

    Set it up and have fun working some stations from the camp grond. The 50amp service is plenty of power for the mptor-home and the the power supply. Everything as you describe should work fine.

    Have Fun!
    KO4ESA likes this.
  4. K7GDR

    K7GDR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thank you both for your replies. I've also been thinking about proper grounding. I don't plan on keeping my antenna and radio connected to each other or to power when not in use. Any thoughts on grounding? Is it any different for a portable operation like this?
    KO4ESA likes this.
  5. KB3WFV

    KB3WFV Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have never used a buddy pole, so I'm not 100% familiar with it. I believe it is a portable dipole antenna? If so, then the only grounding that I would make sure of, is to use a standard 3 prong extension cord (if needed) for the power supply to the RV outside GFI outlet. You can also plug the 3 prong extension cord directly to the campground power panel's 20amp outlet. (the standard household outlet. Not the 30 amp RV or the 50 amp RV). The 3 prong cord and the GFI outlet will provide the safety ground. The DC ground for the radio will be provide by the powerwerx's power supply. There should not be a need for RF ground so long as the buddy pole is a resonant antenna on the frequency you are using.

    When I travel in our fifth wheel and operate from a campground. I set up just like you want to. Only I'm using a SteppIR CrankIR 1/4 wave vertical on a tripod. I do not install any ground rods or stakes. There is a very high chance of hitting a campground water line or sewer pipe, or worse an electrical line. Since the CrankIR can be adjusted to be resonant on any frequency 10m thru 80m there is very little problem (if any) with RFI and less of a need for a RF ground. If the buddy pole system is non-resonant and requires a tuner to match SWR. Then there may be some RFI on your transmitted signal, depending on how far off of resonance the antenna is. If this happens, then chose a different frequency or band to use or reduce the radio RF power output or move the buddy pole further away from the radio. Honestly, you will probably be ok. Your bigger problem will be dealing with all of the receiver interference from all of the noise generating electronics in all of those RV's in the campground.

    Set it up, give it a try. Chances are you will have no problem and have fun making some contacts.


    KO4ESA likes this.
  6. K0VWA

    K0VWA Ham Member QRZ Page

    We must shop at the same stores - hihi.

    I have an FT-857D and a Buddipole. Live in central Colorado - contacts from here to South America, Asia, Russia, Europe with that rig. I configure the antenna as a vertical with two elevated radials for 20M and lower and as a horizontal dipole for bands higher than 20M. You can make some good NVIS contacts as a dipole on the lower bands but the bandwidth of the antenna is pretty narrow down there.

    You'll want the antenna setup as far from anything metal as you can get it. An antenna analyzer will help a lot at the beginning when you're learning to tune the antenna. Lots of folks buy the really nice/expensive ones. I've been really pleased with my little Nano VNA for $50US. Remember that the antenna resonance and SWR will change as you raise the antenna so make sure to check it after it's up in the air too.

    Best advice I can give about the Buddipole is to anchor it well. If you have a 20M dipole 18 feet up, that thing will fall over if you just look at it mean. I've tied mine to driftwood, rocks, tables, car tire, etc. If the surface permits I use a big dog tie out screw in the ground and cargo strap around the tripod to hold it securely. If you go dipole you'll also want to guy the top of the mast - just below the VersaTee. Also a good idea to buy an extra whip or two just in case.

    KB3WFV is right about receiver interference. Generators and solar charge controllers can make for a good bit of interference.

    Good luck and have fun!
  7. KB9JDM

    KB9JDM Ham Member QRZ Page


    I'm putting together a shack-in-a-box for my RV too. I would suggest a decent surge protector power strip (I bought a Trip Lite Isobar4ultra with noise filters). Power at RV parks can be suspect.
  8. KB9JDM

    KB9JDM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Also purchased a Chameleon MPAS 2.0, a dipole frequency 160m-6m. I have yet to receive it and can't give you a review but I understand the military uses them. Chameleon is having a 10% off sale in celebration of the 4th of July.
  9. K0UO

    K0UO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I've just run off my RV batteries and solar panels for years/ I never take a separate power supply ever.

    73 from,
    The K0UO " Rhombic Antenna Farm" 2 miles of wire in the Air & On the daily
  10. AE4CH

    AE4CH Ham Member QRZ Page

    In an RV must one create a 12v power line to the interior living space for the radio?

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