Tag Archives: prepping

The Secret Life of Solar Panels.

      8 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 »

Add a DC Power Monitor To Your Off Grid System.

dc power monitor

More than just bling. Charging, discharging, watts in, watts out, current, voltage, and other values can tell you what your off grid system is doing. Having data helps you plan your power usage and forecast problems before being caught short. A DC power monitor addresses all these issues and is… Read more »

The Transmitters of Freedom, Chapter 3: COMMENTARY.

shortwave

A moral imperative. On two previous occasions (here and here) this blog published editorials calling for a shortwave radio broadcast “revival” to oppressed foreign countries with censored internet and no free speech protections. Since then, shortwave broadcasts have declined even more. The invasion of Ukraine by Russia and other world… Read more »

Lithium Batteries vs. The World!

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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!

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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 »

Summer Roundup & Ham Radio News.

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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 »

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 »

Be Your Own Radio Shack…Because You Have To.

off grid supplies

The halcyon days. As early as middle school, before I was a ham and still into CB radio, Radio Shack was my haven. They had pretty much anything a teenaged electronics experimenter and ham could ever want. With thousands of locations, they were everywhere. I know I’m dating myself but… Read more »

The Comedy and Tragedy of Wind Power.

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wind energy

It’s not a comedy if you’re living through it. Bad news out of Texas gives us an opportunity  to look at what can happen when energy policy and weather conspire to pull the grid down. If you live in the upper Midwest USA like me, or New England, or for… 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 »

A Transfer Switch Will Make Your Life Simpler and Safer.

transfer switch

Transfer switch 101. Have you ever wanted to run more than just a few devices from your generator? Maybe you want the convenience and safety of connecting your existing home AC wiring to an off grid source? Maybe you don’t like the idea of running extension cords all over the… Read more »