Tag Archives: alternative energy

Portable QRO for Regular People.

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In a recent article we did a deep dive into assembling a portable off grid radio station that was light and minimalist enough to be carried a fairly long distance by one person, but still had enough functionality to be an effective communications tool. That goal necessarily required using QRP… Read more »

Off Grid Ham News Digest, Fall 2018

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This is the first in an occasional series on developments and news in off grid and alternative energy relevant to radio amateurs. I’ll sort through the geek stuff so you don’t have to! If you come across a news item that would be in interest to Off Grid Ham readers,… Read more »

Google Project Sunroof Opt-Out

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A little less than a year ago I published an article about Google Project Sunroof, what it means to off grid hams, and general observations about the initiative and its implications. You can read the original article here. At the time I could find no way to remove oneself from… Read more »

How Much Battery Do You Really Need?

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It’s always some variation of “How big of a battery do I need to run my (fill in the blank) radio?” It comes up a lot, not just in my email but also on the various forums and blogs I visit. The question is too open ended and comes with… Read more »

Product Discussion: AS Tool MC4 Crimper.

I do very few product reviews here on Off Grid Ham because there isn’t much that hasn’t been reviewed elsewhere a zillion times already. I also want to avoid the conflict of interest that comes from accepting free stuff in exchange for reviews. AS Tool, a small Taiwan-based operation trying… Read more »

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.

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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.

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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.

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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 »