April 2023 Solar for Hams by Jeff (AB0L)
Thanks for a great presentation. I am considering going solar for the shack and you gave me a good starting point.
Jeff thanks for the great presentation!
Elecraft KX2 KX3 K3, Icom IC-705 Yaesu FTD3, VX8
Sorry I missed it - one of my favorite topics! Can't throw any money at it now, though. I've been looking at products for quite a while. With so many brands to choose from, which seem to change frequently, it's difficult to keep up.
Good tip on HQST. I've looked at Renogy, for sure. My latest thought is that I like the Powerwerx 60 watt foldable, because it has both the raw panel output, and a couple charging ports. This provides some flexibilty, and redundancy, for the eventual power box I'd like to build. I know you advise to avoid the panels with integrated charge controllers, but this seems pretty decent, and it's luggable. Yeah, not really a charge controller - more like regulated output.
Hadn't heard about Bluetti. Not surprising, given the big increase in companies getting on the bandwagon for portable power stations.
I'm still on the fence regarding charge controller. Mostly, I've been thinking of the Genasun 8B "Boost", since it'll provide higher voltage even if the panels are somewhat shaded - at least that's how I understand it. Buddipole has two models, which are a bit spendy, but have the advantage of being switchable for SLA or LiFePO, and last I checked, out of stock. Possibly, either of those is overkill for my purposes, when Powerwerx has lower-priced MPPT controllers.
As far as batteries go, I started off thinking I'd build my own pack, but lately thinking I'd just go with BioEnno.
The other fun part is the variety of connectors in use. Seems as if Powerwerx has adapters for everything.
Thanks for the info, Jeff.
I've got a little portable solar system with a 100AH battery box I built with some of the components you spec'd in your build, and a foldable 120W panel.
Now you've given me another project to mess with - running my shack off-grid.
First challenge is solar panel placement in the great State of Highlands Ranch. Second is reducing power consumption of rigs and controls. My current home rig is a Yeasu FTDx-3000, which is not a energy-conscious radio - almost 3A idling in RX. Laptop is also old and power-hungry.
So, fired up one of my Pi's and am digging out my G90 (0.6A on RX). I'll probably end up partially off-grid with the G90 system sharing with the FTDx.
Fun stuff; and a great time suck!
73 de Tom