Tag Archives: alternative energy

Solar Panel Buffet.

      11 Comments on Solar Panel Buffet.
tariff

They’re all (mostly) the same…on the outside. Solar panel technology has gotten so inexpensive that even the tightest budgets can do it. The solar panels on my roof cost about $2.50/watt ten years ago. Today I could replace every one of them for less than half that. In some cases… Read more »

Summer Roundup & Ham Radio News.

      8 Comments on Summer Roundup & Ham Radio News.
ham radio news

Greater than the sum of its parts. Along the summer I’ve collected bits and pieces of topic suggestions and ham radio news. Any one of them by itself is not worthwhile as an entire stand-alone Off Grid Ham article, and a few are not even directly ham radio-related. But collectively… Read more »

Revisiting Inverters.

      9 Comments on Revisiting Inverters.
ac inverters

It’s been a while. It’s been quite a while since I did an inverter article. Inverters have not changed a lot since then, but there’s still some new material to go over. It’s also a good opportunity to review older concepts. Most hams know what inverters do but don’t know… Read more »

Getting Out of the RFI Maze

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RFI

One of the hardest problems to understand. Amateur radio is full of difficult challenges, but few of them approach the hair-pulling level of radio frequency interference, or RFI. It’s a hard issue to address because there are so many variables. For example, sometimes moving a piece of equipment just a… Read more »

Buying A Ham Radio? Good Luck!

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USED RADIO

Everyone is asking. buying a ham radio As I roam the internet keeping up with others’ thoughts about ham radio, the number one theme that seems to come up, by a very large margin, is “I want to get into amateur radio, but I can’t afford it!”. The sentiment is… Read more »

Your Friend, The Voltage Regulator.

      6 Comments on Your Friend, The Voltage Regulator.
voltage regulator

An old concept. The voltage regulator has been around since the days of the vacuum tube. Modern radios are especially dependent on them. What are they, and why do they matter? In electronics, current can and does vary but voltage usually does not, or should not. Radios generally do not… Read more »

Learning From Off Grid Mistakes…Part 2.

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OFF GRID MISTAKES

I wasn’t planning a “part 2”. learning from off grid mistakes  Last May’s article about off grid mistakes received a surprising amount of attention. Many months later, it’s still a very popular piece. As a follow up, I thought it would be a good idea to revisit the issue and… Read more »

When Things Go Wrong, What Type of Ham Are You?

troubleshooting solar power

It’s all fun & games until the electrons stop flowing. Operating amateur radio is a load of fun. Operating amateur radio off grid is extra fun, but adds a layer of technical complexity to your station. Have you ever thought of what you would do if your off grid system… Read more »

When Your Batteries Are Boiling.

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battery temperature

It’s not only about the cold. Most of the USA is going through a blazing hot summer! Here in the upper Midwest it’s been over 90F/32C every day for almost two weeks. As I write this it’s 87F/31C in Buffalo, New York. That doesn’t sound too bad until you consider… Read more »

Avoid These Five Common Off Grid Mistakes!

OFF GRID MISTAKES

It seemed like a good idea at the time. I don’t know how I compare to others, but my three-plus decade amateur radio career is littered with failed projects and off grid mistakes. Much of it can be explained away as valuable learning experiences, but as I look back, there… Read more »

Small Solar Can Give Big Results…If You Play It Right.

small solar power

Call now! Operators are waiting! small solar power You’ve probably seen the campy ads hawking small solar power systems and “solar generators”. These ads make some remarkable claims and the manufacturers are deliberately vague on the technical specifications of these products. They further fuzz up the facts with unrealistic depictions… Read more »

NEWS ALERT: Perovskite Solar Breakthrough.

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perovskite

A promising technology. Off Grid Ham first discussed perovskite solar cells in February 2017. This still-emerging technology uses perovskite-structured crystals to pull energy from different colors of light. Silicon panels by comparison make electricity from a narrow band of light. The process for making perovskite solar is also cheaper and… Read more »