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Author Topic: I'm smart enough to want solar, but too dumb to put it together...  (Read 1675 times)

raybiker73

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OK, I want to do a solar-power setup for my FT-817. Ideally, I'd like to have a panel that's small enough to fit in my pack, but large enough to charge the 817 batteries (or maintain a charge on a small motorcycle battery). Problem is, I'm not sure what a power setup consists of. I know "sunlight go in, juice come out," but I'm at a loss as to what bits go in between the panel and the plug - charge controllers, power meters and whatnot. Anybody know of a good resource to learn some of this stuff?
73 Ray WA3PRR


raybiker73

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Re: I'm smart enough to want solar, but too dumb to put it together...
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2013, 01:47:51 AM »
Thanks, I'm checking that out!
73 Ray WA3PRR

madball13

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Re: I'm smart enough to want solar, but too dumb to put it together...
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2013, 07:59:22 AM »
Ray,

For a solar set up in order to go directly to the radio from a panel you need a charge controller to make sure the panel doesn't give the radio more than 14 volts. i skipped the charge controller and instead purchased a Energizer back up battery that has the ability to accept a charge up to 19 volts while metering out 12. So i would go panel - back up battery - radio. This way if the panel gives the battery more then 19 volts it will damage the $80 battery and not the $600 radio.

Here is what i purchased:

Battery - this has an adapter that fits the 817 perfectly
http://www.amazon.com/Energizer-XP8000AB-Universal-Smartphones-Netbooks/dp/B007AQEJYU/ref=pd_sim_pc_4

Solar Panel. I got this one becasue it folds and is light.
http://www.powerfilmsolar.com/products/foldable-portable-remote/f15-300n

Powerpole interface:
http://www.powerwerx.com/adapter-cables/cigarette-lighter-plug-powerpole-connector-18-in.html

The solar panel has a female cigarette lighter adapter that comes standard with it. I didn't feel like messing around with cutting cables so i picked up the powerwerx adapter to give me a powerpole to plug into. i ended up cutting in a powerpole connection on the power cord for the battery charger and plug the solar panel into that.

Here is a video i found that i modeled my set up after:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IsvPOyn0LeQ&playnext=1&list=PLYDWAZ5iGtT8-HHSUIxDl3pgLQAPbQBV7&feature=results_main