Tag Archives: alternative energy

Series & Parallel Wiring Your Solar Array.

So you’ve had your fun with small single solar panels and are ready for a larger multi-panel system that can handle beefier loads. Hopefully you’ve read previous Off Grid Ham articles and have your system all planned & spec’d out. There’s one important detail we haven’t covered on this blog… Read more »

NFPA-70 (The National Electrical Code) And The Radio Amateur.

NFPA-70

Amateur radio is full of rules. Many of them are unwritten, others are quite clear. Some rules are not about manners or operating protocol, but instead were created for the very practical purpose of safety and standardization. NFPA-70, also known as the National Electrical Code, is the accepted standard of… Read more »

Understanding AGM Batteries.

agm batteries

Considered obscure & expensive technology less than a decade ago, lithium batteries are are all grown up now and can be found in pretty much everything. Even the cheap $29.00 off brand handheld radios come standard with lithium batteries. Often forgotten in the mix is absorbed glass mat (AGM) batteries…. Read more »

Blinded By The Light: The Solar Panel Tariff.

The news of a solar panel import tariff broke so quickly and out of the blue that even geeks like me who closely follow alternative energy news & policy were caught off guard. There are a few things off grid amateur radio operators need to know about the solar panel… Read more »

Party Time Over. Now Get Working On Your Goals.

goals

I never was one for new year resolutions. They always feel trite and insincere. If something is worth doing, then you don’t need to wait for a special day to do it. The false attraction of new year resolutions is that no one expects anyone to fulfill them, so it’s… Read more »

Tools of the Off Grid Trade.

Anyone who has been into ham radio even for a short time probably has at least a modest assortment of tools and test equipment. But jumping into the off grid world is its own unique situation requiring a few specialty tools that commercially powered hams don’t need. If you’re new… Read more »

EMP Protection For The Radio Amateur.

Radio amateurs are often motivated to have off grid power capabilities as part of preparing for short term emergencies and long term SHTF scenarios. But what about protecting your radio equipment and off grid systems? Your stuff can’t help you in a disaster if it’s the victim of a disaster itself…. Read more »

Two Years of Off Grid Ham: A Thanksgiving Message.

Off Grid Ham almost didn’t happen. I was already writing for a non-ham radio related website. I could barely handle what I had already; why take on more? And oh yeah, I also have a full time “real job”. But I had so many ideas for radio articles, and the… Read more »

Google’s Project Sunroof: Useful Tool That Uses Us As Tools.

If you haven’t heard about Google’s Project Sunroof, it’s probably because the initiative is in its nascent stages and the news is buried in places only we alternative energy geeks bother to look, but like all things Google it will ultimately, quietly, soak into mainstream American life. When examined from… Read more »

Off Grid, On The Cheap. You Can Do This.

cheap

Many amateurs badly want off grid capabilities, but cite financial concerns as the main barrier. Can off grid amateur radio be done on the cheap? The answer is subjective, depending on how one defines “cheap” and how much power is needed, but in general, yes, it’s doable and I’m going… Read more »

The Future of Amateur Radio Is Not In The Numbers.

the future of ham radio

For close to three decades, ever since the Morse Code requirement for amateur radio was dropped for the Technician license in 1990 and then finally eliminated for all licenses in 2007, there has been a simmering debate about the future of amateur radio and how to make it appealing to… Read more »

QRP vs. QRO…Let’s “Go There”.

qrp vs. qro

I get just the right amount of reader email and public replies to my articles here at Off Grid Ham: Not so much that I can’t personally respond to everyone, but enough to get a good feel for what’s important to the off grid amateur radio community. Surprisingly, the number… Read more »