Solar Power for Raspberry Pi (FT-891 GoBox)

Hello operators.
Today’s topic is external power for the Raspberry Pi. I spent most of the day in the garden testing the Raspberry Pi and Yaesu FT-891 powered by my 10Ah LiFePO4 pack. I used an Adafruit 12v to USB regulator to make an adapter with powerpole on one end, and USB output on the other. That plugs straight into the DC distribution block, then on into my battery pack, charge controller, solar panel.

Solving all of the technological challenges of the FT-891 GoBox before I try integrating everything into the ammo can.

Using the micro USB port on the Raspberry Pi for portable power is easy, but it is kind of ridiculous. You have this tiny little device, but then you need an enormous micro usb cable coming off the side of it. If all of the ports on the Raspberry Pi were all exiting the board on the same side, I wouldn’t bother with external power to the gpio. Since I want to integrate the Raspberry Pi into my Yaesu ft-891 go box, using that micro USB port will force me to waste a lot of space we don’t have inside the ammo can. So that’s why we’re getting rid of it.

Today’s test was also about being sure the Raspberry Pi was happy getting power from the 10 amp power pack, while the radio was transmitting. The Raspberry Pi and the ft-891 were both connected to the same DC distribution block, being fed by the lithium iron phosphate pack and the power from panel. I used to Gorilla Tape to affix the Raspberry Pi atop the Yaesu ft-891 body, right above the finals. Not even a hiccup from the Raspberry Pi, which seemed to operate better from the Adafruit USB regulator, than it normally does through the Samsung USB charger. Fair enough.

After all the testing is done I hope to integrator proper on off switch for the Raspberry Pi on the front panel of the goal box, plus a Python script running in the background waiting for commands from that button. So external power the python script, and a proper on-off switch for the Raspberry Pi are all apart of the same project. The benefit of doing it this way is not running down the internal batteries of the go box, when the radio is not in use. Another added benefit is not destroying the Raspberry Pi, but not shutting it down correctly.

What’s this all about?

For the past few days have been measuring dremeling and reconfiguring my radio, battery and the accessories that go with them in hopes of fitting them inside an ammo can go box. The point is to make a more portable, EMP proof, configuration which contains everything I require Inside the Box.
Rig, battery, charge controller, Raspberry Pi, audio interface, DC distribution board,.
I’ve seen others utilize the larger 50 cal ammo can. I’m trying to do this in a 556 ammo can, using a remote head for the radio, and the Headless Raspberry Pi.

To save space, I may remove the enclosures from the solar charge controller, Raspberry Pi, and remote mount the DC distribution board. Then mount the circuit boards themselves, inside the box.
This is all new territory for me.

Julian oh8stn

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  1. Raspberry Pi Powered Yaesu FT-891 WSJT-X FT8 – Ham Radio & Off-Grid Power

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