Building a Solar Powered Ham Radio Station

December 21, 2023 Julian OH8STN 6

The Off-Grid Ham Shack series discusses creating a self-sufficient ham radio station or ‘Ham Shack’ capable of operating on solar power during any grid down scenario, emphasizing the importance of an energy strategy for off-grid communications. This system includes solar panels, a charge controller, battery, and power distribution system. Key elements are the use of photovoltaic (PV) panels to harness solar energy, a solar charge controller to regulate energy flow and prevent battery overcharging or damage, and a battery to store energy for later. As well, power distribution ensures the allocation of power to multiple devices simultaneously. A grid-down energy strategy is crucial to any communication-related emergency, be it CB, FRS, GMRS, MURS or PMR radio, UHF CB, DMR, DStar, Meshtastic or LoRa communications.

Off-Grid Grid-Down Comms & Current consumption

November 20, 2023 Julian OH8STN 4

The post warns against the use of QRO radio systems for off-grid or grid-down situations due to their high energy consumption. Instead, it advocates QRP radios, suggesting they offer greater efficiency and ease of use with renewable energy sources such as solar. The post also dismisses the idea of lowering the transmission power of QRO radios as a solution, arguing that it does not address issues with energy inefficiency and that such advice is misguided.

PowerFilm solar panel vs hunting rifle

August 1, 2023 Julian OH8STN 0

A demonstration showcased the durability of PowerFilm Solar’s portable panels, enduring multiple hits from a .25 caliber rifle yet continuing to perform. Despite numerous punctures, the panels’ peak current decreased from 0.73 to 0.47 amps but remained stable. PowerFilm Solar, an American company, offers these robust panels excellent for mission-critical tasks, illustrating quality differences between brands.