03/12/13

Solar Power

So with my radio down and out of service I’m looking at different things. Different things to do and different things to work on. I’m staying in the realm of ham radio or at least electronics, but my Fan Dipole is being bagged up right now. That will be finished in the spring. That way it’ll be warmer for me to actually operate since I have to open one the apartment windows anyways.

What now?

Field Day prep is what I’m thinking.

What is Field Day?

Field Day is a contest that is once a year for ham radio operators to really stretch their wings and test their gear. It’s a 24 hour op. It is a test of our ability to work our radio’s and transmitting equipment. It is a test of our smarts that we can put to together an operating station that follows the best engineering practices and is safe. What it comes down to is that we have a short amount of time to get a station up and on the air. Furthermore your mindset is that this is an emergency situation. Really it’s not supposed to be your normal shack. Lots of us go outside our homes and work off of alternative power in alternative shelters.

So what is my mission?

Alternative power. Something I can regulate and not have to depend on any other sources for power. Solar power! And batteries. There is a night time component to Field Day.

What to do? Plan and Prep.

1. Find out an average of how much current my radio uses per hour, on receive and on transmit.
2. Figure out which things beside a radio I’ll be using(Laptop, light, fans, etc…)
3. Batteries
4. Solar Panels
5. Accessories(Charge controller, voltage reg, PS’s)
6. Budget

A lot to do, even a little math.

More to come…

11/9/11

Basic………Basic…Basic..Power Supply

Got a few spare parts lying around, yeah me too. So I was playing around in Multi-sim, which is the coolest software ever, and came up with this slimmed down power supply. It will give you 13.7 volts DC from wall outlet/mains. It’s not a perfectly clean circuit, with a clean sine, but if your running something real basic and not very sensitive it’s prefect! I use it for cooling fans for various things.
Like I said and as you can see(blue wave on the oscilloscope) the final DC isn’t a perfectly flat wave but it’s real close for lights or fans or other non-sensitive gear. I wouldn’t put a radio on this supply. But with parts or maybe if you have to go to Radio Shack it costs somewhere between free and 15 bucks.