Discussion in 'QRP Corner' started by W7MDN, Feb 1, 2021.
Whoops double reply. Please disregard.
Interested in seeing pictures as well...specifically SOTA setup.
K6ARK just posted a new YT vid about the "Topsolar" fold up panel for QRP. He compares it to the Powerfilm panels at like 4x the price.
As fast as this technology is advancing, unless you need this ASAPly, might be good to hold off for a while before buying.
Having had several sets of import panels in very recent years, I have yet to see much in the way of quality coming from these generic makers. They tend to use the same basic panel types, and just mess around with the presentation and accessories. They all work, but none have been exceptional or lasted very long. After going that route three times now and generally being disappointed, I was ready to spend the money on Powerfilm. My PF 30W just shipped, but I have used a friends of the same version (30W foldable) and it ran circles around my 60W imports. It was also only 1.4lbs, and all of that sold me on spending the money.
All that said, I think you are right that as more makers continue to enter the market and as solar tech changes and production costs decline, we are likely to start seeing some better import options at some point.
5.4 for the panel and 9.8 lbs for the entire solar pack, yikes. Note though that it looks like he was running an FT-857 QRO rig. With a QRP radio you'd only need about 1/4 the panel wattage. 1.4 lbs for the PF 30 watter sounds pretty sweet. My... generic import 27 watter is right at 3 lbs, and that's sort of porky to take backpacking.
Still, I really enjoyed the video and am digging through the guy's 'tube channel now.
Yeah, it's not an insignificant weight if backpacking QRP. I might consider leaving this kit in the truck to recharge in between summits. For anything over 10 miles RT I'm not hauling that with me.
Count my vote for the PoweFilm. I have the LightSaver Max and I use it to power my QRP excursions.