Tag Archives: blogs about ham radio

Lithium Batteries In The Cold: A Guide.

      7 Comments on Lithium Batteries In The Cold: A Guide.
lithium batteries

Mother Nature flips the switch. Where I live in the upper Midwest USA, we were unusually lucky to have an extended warm Fall season. In early November we were still seeing highs over 70F (21C). I was raking leaves wearing shorts and a t-shirt! But ahhh yes, everyone knew the… Read more »

Check Out This Really Cool Radio Manual Database.

A moment of serendipity. Let’s face it, the internet can be a sewer. Yes, there’s quite a bit of useful information out there, but sometimes trying to find it is like sticking your hand in a toilet full of crap to fish out a hundred dollar bill. DATABASE Well, in… Read more »

Reversing Course On Solar Generators.

      15 Comments on Reversing Course On Solar Generators.

After further review…. I’ve trash-talked “solar generators” before. Besides having a dumb marketing department name, solar generators are underpowered for what they cost. Furthermore, the claims made by some sellers of these devices are fantasy if not outright fraudulent. At least that’s how it used to be. Lately, after further… Read more »

Conventional vs. Inverter Generators.

      9 Comments on Conventional vs. Inverter Generators.
generators

A necessary spare tire. Off grid amateurs have a love-hate relationship with gas engine generators. Due to generators requiring constant refueling and ongoing maintenance, they are not a realistic long-term power solution. Most of them are noisy, many are poorly made, and all of them are dirty. Yet, they are… Read more »

Exploring Ohm’s Law.

      6 Comments on Exploring Ohm’s Law.
OHM'S LAW

Law school, continued. A while back we took a dive into Kirchoff’s Current Law. It’s just one of dozens of scientific principles that explain how and why electronic circuits work. Though one does not need to have deep knowledge of these principles to enjoy amateur radio, having a basic understanding makes… Read more »

The Secret Life of Solar Panels.

      10 Comments on The Secret Life of Solar Panels.
solar panels

It’s not magic, it’s science. Few hams who use solar panels know how their panels work, or how they are made. Of course, it’s not necessary to know any of this in order to use them. Still, having a basic knowledge of solar panels makes one a more well rounded,… Read more »

Portable Antennas For The Off Grid Ham.

portable antenna

We’re not special. Off grid amateurs spend a lot of time focusing on the power source for their equipment. While that’s understandable, we musn’t be distracted from the rest of the amateur radio chain. This time we’re going to look at the other end of the system: portable antennas. To… Read more »

Lithium Batteries vs. The World!

      23 Comments on Lithium Batteries vs. The World!
storage batteries

Battery envy. I recently received a very nice email from Mike in Missouri where he described converting his home off grid system to lithium batteries, at a cost of over $7000.00 USD! My own home system is still on old school flooded batteries because I have not recached a point… Read more »

Winter Ham Radio Operating Opportunities!

      8 Comments on Winter Ham Radio Operating Opportunities!
WINTER HAM RADIO

Are you hibernating this winter? Where I live, and for most of you, it’s really cold! It seems like after the Christmas season is over no one is motivated to do much winter ham radio. It is a great time to keep going with radio activities. Of course, we need… Read more »

The Off Grid Ham Quick Start Guide!

      5 Comments on The Off Grid Ham Quick Start Guide!
off grid ham quick start

When you want it now. off grid ham quick start I recently received an email from a reader who suggested that I write an article about how a newcomer to off grid radio can get started: Batteries, solar panels, etc. I was like, wait…whaaaat? Off Grid Ham is not a… Read more »

Solar Panel Buffet.

      12 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 »

Off Grid Christmas Wish List.

      8 Comments on Off Grid Christmas Wish List.

It’s closer than it seems. Off Grid Christmas Wish List.  We live in strange times. With many products out of stock and long lead times for the stuff you can get, it’s not too early to think about what you’d like to give (or get) for Christmas. An off grid… Read more »