Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Getting off the grid

There are frequently times where I am camping, or otherwise unable to plug in my gear. Also, there's always the worry of being through some kind of a storm where there simply isn't any power available for a period of time. Communication is often vital in such instances. There is several options on how to manage this, the most interesting to me is solar power.

Solar power requires a few key components in order to make it work right. It requires a set of solar panels, obviously, a battery, a charge regulator, and a voltage convertor. The last isn't strictly required, many systems can work without it, but everything else is critical.

The system that I've decided to invest in is from Harbor Freight. Specifically, it involves a 45W solar panel kit and a battery provided from them, which seem to be a good starting point. I have received the solar panels as of writing, but I haven't yet received the battery. As a radio typically needs more than 45W power, it's very difficult to run it without a battery. Still, I'm quite hopeful that this will keep me going for a long time.

I'm hoping to be able to use this for the upcoming Virginia QSO contest, to keep me able to transmit from anywhere during the day time. Will be sure to let everyone know how it turned out

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