Tag Archives: solar power

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 »

Portable Off Grid Ham Radio: The Basics.

It came a little late for some of us, but spring and warm weather has finally arrived. If you were laying low and avoiding radio activities over the winter because of the weather, then your chance to get out and do some portable off grid ham radio operating has arrived…. 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 »

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 »

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 »

Field Day 2017 Is Not About One Day.

Field Day is an annual opportunity for radio amateurs to practice their skills and show the world what a valuable resource the amateur radio service is. Many amateurs who are not particularly active in the hobby the rest of the year will always come out for Field Day. Then there… Read more »

The Portable Solar Power Station: You CAN Have It Both Ways (Sort Of)

Based on reader comments and what I see around the internet, the off grid amateur radio community seems to be of the mindset that there are only two real options for solar energy: Large, expensive arrays that produce a lot of power but are permanently installed, and small inexpensive panels… Read more »

Getting Started In Amateur Radio Data Modes.

One of the primary concerns of radio amateurs who operate with alternative energy is something I call communications efficiency, or, getting the most signal you can for the input power. A lot of fuss, maybe too much, is spent on squeezing every last watt out of our solar panels, generators,… Read more »

Off Grid Technology That May Soon Power Your Amateur Radio Station.

This is a very exciting time of changes for off grid and alternative energy. The cost of established systems is coming way down and many new discoveries are in the pipeline. For sure, a lot of emerging off grid technology is highly theoretical and may never appear on the end… Read more »

A Radio Amateur’s Guide To Solar Panels.

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 »

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 »