Is Wind Energy A Good Fit For You?

wind energy

The off grid amateur radio world seems to revolve around solar. There’s a good reason for that: Solar has become easier, less expensive, and the required equipment is relatively hands off once it is installed. The other options have shown incremental improvements as well, but none have matched solar in… Read more »

Inverter Generators: What You Need To Know.

inverter generator

Thanks to advances in technology, off grid power is a lot cheaper and easier than in the past. One area that barely changed for decades was generators. Since the time of Edison, it was straightforward: A mechanical power source turns a magnet inside a copper coil and creates electrical current…. Read more »

US House to Act on Amateur Radio Parity Act Bill, H.R. 1301

The following comes from my great friends over at Prepared Ham: The next major step in the Amatuer Radio Parity Act…The US House of Representatives will consider the Amateur Radio Parity Act, H.R. 1301, under a suspension of the rules on Monday, September 12. A suspension of the rules is… Read more »

Taking Care Of Your Storage Batteries.

storage batteries

Storage batteries are the “gas tank” of any off grid power system. When the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing, batteries make up for the deficit. The only real alternative to storage batteries is a mechanical generator, which of course needs fuel. Since constantly running a generator isn’t… Read more »

The Off Grid Ham YouTube Channel.


Off Grid Ham is not even a year old and has already become a popular destination for the amateur radio and survival/prepper community. I’m sincerely thankful for the huge wave of goodwill, support, and kindness. Because of the warm response, I’m branching out with an all-new Off Grid Ham YouTube… Read more »

The Public Communications Network: What You Need To Know.

There has been a lot of on line chatter about how the public communications network (i.e., “the phone company”) fits into off grid ham radio and survival/prepping plans. After listening to endless anecdotes, half truths, misunderstandings, and in some cases amazing fiction, I will attempt to clear up a few… Read more »

Go Beyond The Ham Bands…It’s Scanner Time!


Radio amateurs who never drift outside the ham bands and don’t see a need for a scanner receiver to monitor other services are cheating themselves out of a very valuable resource. Not only is monitoring non-ham communications interesting and fun, it can give you a huge advantage in a shit-hits-the-fan… Read more »

A Radio Amateur’s Guide To Solar Panels.


One of the perceived barriers to off grid amateur radio is the selection of solar panels. Most hams fall into one of two categories: Those who spend many hours researching the various options and end up more confused than when they started; and those who impulsively buy whatever is cheapest/easiest… Read more »

Field Day 2016: Activate Off Grid Systems!


A recurring theme at Off Grid Ham is the importance of going out and testing your ideas and projects in real world operating conditions. Very few of my schemes have ever worked exactly as planned the first time I tried them. Most needed modifications; a few were complete flops and… Read more »

DIY: The Off Grid Ham Portable DC Power Pack.

There are not too many options for radio amateurs who want portable DC power beyond the batteries in their devices. The Off Grid Ham 100 Watts For $300 Solar Power Plant is one alternative, but that can be too much for the ham who only needs to run a handheld/QRP… Read more »

Solar Efficiency: It’s Not What You Think, Part 2 of 2.

In Part 1 we started with some conceptual topics, then moved on to the physical hardware that is the cause of inefficiency. In Part 2 we’ll address batteries, then go step by step through a typical system and identify where solar efficiency is compromised. Batteries: The great unknown. Calculating battery… Read more »

Solar Efficiency: It’s Not What You Think, Part 1 of 2

One of my readers asked about inverter efficiency and suggested that it would be helpful to the Off Grid Ham community if I did an article about overall solar efficiency. Since that’s not the first time the question has been raised, I’ll accept the invite. In this two part series… Read more »