DIY PowerFilm Cables & Connectors for Extreme Conditions 

Now that I have the 20 watt PowerFilm F15-1200 for casual radcomms, qrp hiking, …, and FM16-7200 for the solar powered field station, I thought it’s time to start building cables, which can survive the harsh conditions of winter radio expeditions at 65° North.

The PowerFilm panels already come with an excellent connector and connection interface, called the Delphi weather pack connector. I decided to continue with this excellent waterproof connection from the solar panel, up into the charge controller where it will switch over to the Anderson Powerpoles I use for the solar charge controller, radio, and power distribution. Anyway these are the correct connectors to use, so you don’t have to run around frantically searching for a compatible PowerFilm connector. The name of the kit is Delphi Packard Weatherpack 2 Pin Terminal Kit for 16-14 AWG.

The FM16-7200 is capable of producing  7.2 amps in full sunlight. So actual cable requirements are quite modest. The problem we have here at 65° North is cables becoming stiff and brittle, after prolonged exposure in extremely low temperatures. I’m going to check the field radio manual for the Finnish Army to see what type of cable is specified for these conditions.  perhaps some of our radio brothers and sisters in Canada can also give some advice. I’ll also check the recommendations for flight line equipment by Airlines and other Air Services here in the local area.  That should give me some starting point for cable recommendations.

Like those great adventures of the 20th century, skiing across the South Pole or climbing the tallest mountains, I take great pride in building my own gear whenever possible.

Julian oh8stn

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