Tag Archives: survivalist

Inverter Talk.

      6 Comments on Inverter Talk.
INVERTER

You didn’t know you needed one. Off grid amateurs often forego having an inverter as part of their power capability, most likely because DC powered radio gear doesn’t need one. An inverter also adds expense, and in the case of portable operations, adds weight and space. But inverters bring a… Read more »

The Off Grid Ham 100 Watts For $300 Solar Project -2023 Update

A classic never goes out of style. Way back in 2016 I posted the Off Grid Ham 100 Watts for $300 Solar Plant. Even today, that article is still hugely popular and one of the most viewed posts on this website. In a 2020 update, the $300 threshold not only… Read more »

Wind Turbines For Off Grid Radio: Pros and Cons.

wind energy

The unloved child. Lots of hams are very successful with solar. It seems to be the “go to” off grid power source. I don’t have firm numbers, but anecdotally it appears solar is more popular than even gas generators. Of course, solar is not the only game in town. Wind… Read more »

Turn Thinking Into Doing (But Do Some Actual Thinking First).

It’s better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it. It’s been quite a summer! Flooding, extreme heat, wild fires, and (at this writing) a hurricane just tore up the Western USA and another storm is churning in the Gulf of Mexico. Every time… Read more »

Cheap & Easy Portable Antenna Hacks!

      9 Comments on Cheap & Easy Portable Antenna Hacks!

Revisiting an old topic. I don’t do a lot of antenna articles because there is already so much information in circulation I can’t see much ground left to cover, at least that’s what I thought until new Off Grid Ham reader Rick sent a nice email that inspired this article…. Read more »

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 »

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 »

Understanding Wire & Conductors

      8 Comments on Understanding Wire & Conductors

Moving electrons around. Wire and electrical conductors are so fundamental that we use them without giving much thought to their importance. Conductors, or wire, are to electricity what pipes are to water. Without them, absolutely nothing happens. This time around we’re going to examine wire & conductors, their behavior, and… 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 »

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 »