Tag Archives: solar panel

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 »

The Travel Light Portable Off Grid Radio Challenge

A majority of off grid amateur radio involves portable operation with small systems. There are many reasons for this: Many people cannot afford large scale fixed solar; some are held back by homeowner association rules or want to incorporate amateur radio with camping & hiking activities. Other amateurs are motivated… 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 »

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 »

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.

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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 »

Two Years of Off Grid Ham: A Thanksgiving Message.

Off Grid Ham almost didn’t happen. I was already writing for a non-ham radio related website. I could barely handle what I had already; why take on more? And oh yeah, I also have a full time “real job”. But I had so many ideas for radio articles, and the… Read more »

Off Grid, On The Cheap. You Can Do This.

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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 »

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 1 of 2

One of my readers asked about inverter efficiency and suggested that it would be helpful to the Off Grid Ham community if I did an article about overall solar efficiency. Since that’s not the first time the question has been raised, I’ll accept the invite. In this two part series… Read more »