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Solar Pad for Charging Elecraft KX3

Discussion in 'QRP Corner' started by W0NRK, Jun 24, 2020.

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  1. W0NRK

    W0NRK Ham Member QRZ Page

    I would like to find a good solar charging pad to use with my KX3 in the field. I have never worked with solar powering before and would appreciate any suggestions. There are multiple solar pads available from online sources like Amazon.com, but I have no basis to choose one or another of the offerings.

    Thanks!

    W0NRK
     
  2. KP4SX

    KP4SX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    You need to work out the math to figure out what size panel you need to charge the batts in x amount of time or operate the rig alone or both.
    A small controller may be required.
     
    K0UO likes this.
  3. KU3X

    KU3X Ham Member QRZ Page

    I used one almost identical to this one from Amazom.

    https://www.amazon.com/TP-solar-Fol...593034253&sprefix=foldable+sol,aps,170&sr=8-8

    Mine is a 24 watt model and it also folds into a neat small carry around package. A friend of mine and I operated portable field day, in my back yard and this is what we used to keep the battery topped off in the day time. We monitored the battery voltage and during sunlight time, the battery voltage was
    always over 13.5 volts. During the night hours, the battery dropped down to 12 volts. As soon as the morning sun came out, the battery voltage increased. The panel was more than enough to not only operate the KX3 at 5 watts out, but keep charging the battery as well.



    We never had the need to use the extra batteries shown in the video. We did not know how things would work out overnight. This was the first time we operated FD, QRP.

    Barry
     
  4. KD0CAC

    KD0CAC Ham Member QRZ Page

    1st issue is too many of the folding / rolling up panels are cheap items .
    There is one brand form Michigan Uni-Solar , but they went out of bis. some yrs. ago .
    But like most of the American manufactures - they gave away the store , but there are companies , sources that buy up bankruptcy stuff & resell .
    The main version of these were intended for standing seam metal roofs and were about 15" wide to fit between the standing seams and about 18' long and came in rolls and were nominal 24 volt panels , they varied in wattage between 136 watts , 144 watts - these were the standard panels .

    Shop eBay for , but make sure they are Uni-solar , they sell complete panels with & without adhesive on the back with peel-off white plastic .
    Then they also sell pieces , parts , manufacturing equipment , and very hard to find [ I have a few ] 12 volt about 5' panels .
    Lots of different sellers selling everything that was in the factory , warehouse and many combinations .
    With lots of shopping & buying of these for yrs. , I would suggest the price range to look for is about $0.80 - $1.50 per. watt , I would not pay over $2 per watt .

    From what I have found the best folding military surplus use sections of Uni-solar panels & folded .
    But the usual chineez copy / clone junk - should be looked out for & avoided .
     
  5. N8AFT

    N8AFT Ham Member QRZ Page

    KU3X; I hv one about identical, same specs, low cost, works great. Highly recommend.
    Best to charge the battery to peak before you venture out is the golden rule... take yer time.
    I use my regulated power supplies I run my rigs with to charge batteries. Works flawlessly and safely.
     
    KU3X likes this.

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