There’s a new video up. In this episode of OH8STN Ham Radio we take a look at the PowerFilm Lightsaver Max to power the Icom IC-705 in the field.
The Lightsaver Max is a lightweight portable solar panel and battery bank in one. We will be using the Lightsaver Max as an external battery for the Icom IC-705. Although the Icom 705 has its own internal battery pack, using the Lightsaver Max allows us to use the full 10 watts output from this portable QRP Ham Radio, while out in the field.
The PowerFilm Lightsaver Max is a lightweight 18.5wh battery with integrated solar panel. It is perfect for QRP radios like the TX-500 from Lab599, The Icom IC-705, the Xiego G90 and X5105, the mcHF or the Elecraft KX2/KX3. It is not a good fit for QRO rigs like the IC-7300, FT-891 or FT857 since the startup current is too high.
When operating a single Lightsaver Max, I like to augment it with a separate solar panel. I use my 20 watt PF folding panel, or my 28 watt rollable waterproof panel. In these cases, I use the PF Lightsaver Max as an external battery. The LSM also has it’s own internal charge controller, keeping things quite neat. All we have to do is build or buy our own custom cables for our equipment.
When using panels greater than 60 watt with the Lightsaver Max, I rather use the USB-C adapter from the panel to the LSM, then charge the LSM with its own USB-C DC input. This regulates the over-current coming from the panel, to something the Lightsaver Max can use.
PowerFilm Lightsaver Max & Icom IC-705
Original Lightsaver Max Video:
Latest Icom IC-705 update from OH8STN:
– Lightsaver Max on OH8STN.org blog: http://oh8stn.org/blog/2020/12/14/icom-ic-705-powerfilm-lightsaver-max-portable-qrp/
PowerFilm Lightsaver Max
– PowerFilm Solar: https://www.powerfilmsolar.com/products/lightsaver-max-portable-solar-charger
– California PC: https://californiapc.com/Portable-Solar-Chargers/PowerFilm-Solar-LightSaver/PowerFilm-LSM-1.html
– GigaParts: https://www.gigaparts.com/powerfilm-lightsaver-max-portable-solar-charger.html?affiliate_id=oh8stn-20210909
PowerFilm folding versus rollable solar panels
– North America GigaParts:
– PF 30 watt folding panel: https://www.gigaparts.com/powerfilm-30-watt-foldable-solar-panel.html?affiliate_id=oh8stn-20210909
– PF 60 watt folding panel: https://www.gigaparts.com/powerfilm-60-watt-foldable-solar-panel.html?affiliate_id=oh8stn-20210909
– PF 100 watt folding panel: https://www.gigaparts.com/powerfilm-100-watt-foldable-solar-panel.html?affiliate_id=oh8stn-20210909
– PF 120 watt folding panel: https://www.gigaparts.com/powerfilm-120-watt-foldable-solar-panel.html?affiliate_id=oh8stn-20210909
– North America, GigaParts: https://www.gigaparts.com/icom-ic-705-hf-vhf-uhf-all-mode-transceiver.html?affiliate_id=oh8stn-20210909
– EU PileupDX.com: https://pileupdx.com/product/ic-705/
Cables and adapters
– Cables work for both the IC-705 and Lightsaver Max: https://ebay.us/V92yjQ
– USB-C Adapter for Surface Go 2 or charging the LSM https://ebay.us/XfxnnD
Are the light saver max solar cell’s not producing enough juice to keep its internal battery charged while using the 705 at 10W? If not, then is that the reason for the separate 20w solar cell…so that can charge the internal battery?
The lightsaver Max solar panel is designed to recharge its internal battery. It can certainly keep up with receive with the Icom ic-705 but constant transmitting at full power would be challenging. So yeah we use the additional solar panel to augment the Lightsaver Max which is primarily a battery bank.
So can we use a second LSM to charge the first and then have a second battery in case the battery in the first LSM ever goes bad? Or is a normal 30 watt solar cell better? Thanks .
It is possible to charge one LSM with the other LSM but perhaps not very practical. The LSM is our battery storage, normally our devices have their own internal batteries and we’re simply replenishing them with the LSM. Of course there are a variety of different use cases and user requirements I may not be aware of. Still, I believe augmenting with an external solar panel is the most pragmatic way to go.