HF Portable Ops Solar Powered
This day finds me out operating HF portable from the top of a high butte overlooking the Red Deer river valley badlands of southeastern Alberta.
I am not the first person to set up camp on this butte, as I was set up beside a tipi ring, signifying the fact that first nations people had been using this spot for setting up their tipi's for many years past.
If you look at my vertical antenna with its guy-lines, you can visualize a tipi sitting in this spot, chosen for its commanding views in all directions over the grasslands.
The owner of the ranch who's land this butte is located on, was telling me that back in the 1800's, the Hudson's Bay company had established a fur trading fort on the banks of the Red Deer river, the location of this fort only several kilometers from my location on this butte.
There are tipi rings to be found all along the ridges of this range of buttes and hills located east of the ghost town of Dorothy AB on the grasslands of southeastern Alberta.
Conditions were good on both 17 meters and 40 meters over the course of the time I spent operating the HF bands on this day.
Besides operating my Yaesu FT-897D on HF with my 10-60 meter vertical antenna, the antenna that I designed and built and I will be writing a construction article on, I was also running tests on my portable solar panel setup, having acquired an additional solar panel recently, that I re-wired allowing the panels to be daisy-chained together as seen in the various photos included here.
My power source for the Yaesu FT-897D is my 12 volt power can with the batteries being maintained by the two solar panels.
The charge is being controlled by the charge controller inserted between the solar panels and the power can batteries.
The solar panel on the left is a 40 watt 2.4Ah unit, and the solar panel on the right is a 20 watt 1.2Ah unit.
Together, their combined 60 watt output to the 7Ah charge controller is 3.6 amps of charge output that keeps the batteries in the power can charged and my FT-897D transmitting with a full 100 watts when required.
Also due to the fact that my FT-897D has the optional Yaesu internal battery packs installed in the battery tray located in the bottom of the transceiver, and with the output of the 12 volt battery charger connected to the back of the transceiver, the batteries in the battery tray can be charged by having the input of the 12 volt charger connected to the power can, while at the same time the batteries in the power can are being maintained by the solar panels/charge controller.
The solar panels were carefully chosen to have the necessary capacity to maintain the batteries of the power can, as well as the internal batteries of the transceiver while operating on HF.
When its time to pack up, the two panels are physically sized to be stored in the emergency preparedness storage box being used as the operating table for my HF rig.
Here is a take on my day while visiting the grasslands of southeastern AB.....
Click on the photo for a closer look.....