Sunday, March 29, 2015

Solar a Go Go

Just spent the weekend in the woods camping with the ham club.  We ended up running three of the four radios as well as the all-important coffee grinder off of my little portable solar system.  Two radios were co-located in one screen tent and ran directly off of 12VDC, while the third was about 100 feet away, which required stepping up the power to 120VAC, lots of extension cord, and a step-down power supply.  The stepping-up part is shown on the right, in the form of that little Cobra power inverter.  Worked like a charm, and even ran the coffee grinder without complaint.  A 140W Kyocera panel kept the entire system topped up all weekend – we had nice weather.

If you want to get started on your own small solar system here's the best article on the net to get things rolling.  Also for your edification, here's a short article by a man who's living the solar *ahem* dream.  Thanks, but one weekend was enough for the moment.

Still, it made for an interesting experiment in remote radio operation.  If you're interested in the specifics of the system, it's built around the same main components as this kit.  Nice stuff, but a little spendy.  If I had to do it all over again, I'd probably go with these people.  Very reasonable prices, although it is kind of hard to tell from their crappy web site.  Sorta-local too, in Hattiesburg.

Ah well, it was a good weekend in the woods, camping in beautiful weather.  What more can one ask for?  

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