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Author Topic: The Goal Zero Nomad 7 and Guide-10 Solar Power Kit for Ham Radio.  (Read 9554 times)

gil

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I just received the Goal Zero Nomad 7 and Guide-10 Solar Power Kit.. Nice little panel. Smaller than I thought for 7W. It was missing a cable but I emailed GoalZero and they said they were sending me one right away, no questions asked.. I did order from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005XVBIL6/ref=oh_details_o02_s00_i04?ie=UTF8&psc=1, but the price is the same on the GoalZero site: http://www.goalzero.com, so you might want to order directly from them. In case of problem, it is easier to get help from the manufacturer as opposed to a third party. Make sure you mention Radio Preppers sent you!  ;) So, it will charge AA or AAA NiMH cells, USB devices, and there is a 12V output plug, but only 200mA max. It seems rugged enough.. The panel is foldable in two but is of the rigid type, which I do not see being a problem due to it's small size. Paracord loops are placed all around, which is a nice practical touch. Actually my radio and key could fit in the pouch as well!

Here is a photo with four AA cells in the Guide-10 battery pack, for size:



There is a nifty little pouch in the back where you can put the Guide-10 for charging while the panel hangs on a backpack or wherever:



This panel won't charge a large SLA battery. I think it would charge my small 2.9AH SLA, but it would take some time... I have not tried it yet. Output voltage at the 12V outlet is 15V unregulated, even in indirect sunlight. I plugged-in my tiny mini speaker in the USB port and the charging LED came on. The batteries I bought were all pre-charged, so I need to empty them before I can test the panel. Since I have been playing with my MTR (DX to Estonia, Germany & Belarus!), it shouldn't be long. Though, those 2850mAH batteries should last a while.

All my radios (K1, KX3, MTR, Rock-Mites, DC20B, FT-270R) will work with eight AA cells (10.9V). This strongly influenced me to buy the Nomad7/Guide-10 kit. My small CW rigs only burn 60mAH. This is one of the reasons I am so adamant about CW/Morse. Everything is reduced in size: Small radio, small antenna, small betteries, small solar panel, you get the picture. Small is light and light is sometimes the only way to go. Great thing is, the performances are really astonishing.

I could put my MTR in my shirt pocket, wrap an end-fed wire antenna around my waist, my key in my from jeans pocket and tuck the solar panel in my pants, batteries in my back pockets, and you would be hard pressed to tell I was carryint a global-range dual-band HF station! I could even send in PSK31 with a computer!

My philosophy is to be "bugoutable." The only way to get practical power on the move is a solar panel.. I waited way too long before getting one. Remember, when the power goes out, it's too late...

Gil.

gil

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Re: The Goal Zero Nomad 7 and Guide-10 Solar Power Kit for Ham Radio.
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2013, 12:15:42 AM »
How is that for a full HF portable station (just add a wire antenna):



Gil.

RadioRay

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Re: The Goal Zero Nomad 7 and Guide-10 Solar Power Kit for Ham Radio.
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2013, 09:48:51 AM »
Now I want people to look at the tiny ear buds and 'scale' this entire kit to those.  This is small, lite, VERY portable and easy to keep operating during TEOTWAWKI. I know for a FACT that Gil's MTR transceiver works, because we've been chatting in CW (Morse) using this at a distance of well over 800 miles with great reliability. His antenna is quite literally a piece of wire - mine is not much more.

de RadioRay ..._ ._

Ps.  And remember "No go-go juice = no go-go!".  If you cannot power it, you cannot operate it.
"When we cannot do the good we would, we must be ready to do the good we can."  ~ Matthew Henry

wildsky

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Re: The Goal Zero Nomad 7 and Guide-10 Solar Power Kit for Ham Radio.
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2013, 10:45:44 AM »
Very cool! I was just looking at their solar panels. Nice stuff.

Geek

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Re: The Goal Zero Nomad 7 and Guide-10 Solar Power Kit for Ham Radio.
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2013, 11:07:11 AM »
Any idea how long that set up would take to charge up the 4 AA batteries?

gil

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Re: The Goal Zero Nomad 7 and Guide-10 Solar Power Kit for Ham Radio.
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2013, 12:16:53 PM »
Quote
Any idea how long that set up would take to charge up the 4 AA batteries?

I will be testing it pretty soon; waiting for a missing cable to arrive. I can charge the Guide-10 via the USB cable, but it will take longer. The documentation says it will charge four AAs in three hours. So, I expect four hours. That means I can recharge a full set of eight batteries in a day. Since eight cells will last a few days of operation with the MTR, it is ample power, and I should be able to recharge other devices. I am planning a one week camping trip on the 16th, so that will be the true test... If I operate enough to drain a set of cells! You guys will just have to keep me talking  ::)

Gil.

Geek

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Re: The Goal Zero Nomad 7 and Guide-10 Solar Power Kit for Ham Radio.
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2013, 11:45:25 PM »
So how did the Goal Zero work out?

gil

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Re: The Goal Zero Nomad 7 and Guide-10 Solar Power Kit for Ham Radio.
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2013, 11:53:53 PM »
Quote
So how did the Goal Zero work out?

Pretty well. Though I did have to recharge only one set of AAs for use with the Guide10 LED light. I also recharged my mini speaker a few times... My set of eight AA cells for the MTR lasted the whole week, and probably could have lasted a few more days! Since I recharged the speaker and AAs at the same time, I do not know exactly how long it takes to recharge four AA cells alone... I just left it laying down on the ground for most of the day. I guess I'll have to plan a longer trip to find out more ::) It does seem to fit my needs is all I can say.

Gil.

Geek

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Re: The Goal Zero Nomad 7 and Guide-10 Solar Power Kit for Ham Radio.
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2013, 12:13:51 AM »
Is there anything that let's you know whether it is working?  The cheap solar items I have bought could work, or not, and I'd never know.  I am really dubious of solar products, but would love to have a set up that worked.  It doesn't have to be fast, but I need to know it works at all.

gil

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Re: The Goal Zero Nomad 7 and Guide-10 Solar Power Kit for Ham Radio.
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2013, 12:27:31 AM »
Well, the guide10 has a charge LED which changes color and blinks... Enough to know it's working... Otherwise, a multimeter will tell you.

Gil.

Geek

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Re: The Goal Zero Nomad 7 and Guide-10 Solar Power Kit for Ham Radio.
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2013, 11:18:18 AM »
That's enough to make me comfortable it is doing something.  It sounds like it is worth acquiring.

Archangel320420

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Re: The Goal Zero Nomad 7 and Guide-10 Solar Power Kit for Ham Radio.
« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2013, 01:29:03 AM »
How many Federal Notes for that solar panel?

KC9TNH

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Re: The Goal Zero Nomad 7 and Guide-10 Solar Power Kit for Ham Radio.
« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2013, 09:36:55 PM »
How many Federal Notes for that solar panel?
Think the last time I looked the Goal 10 was in the $120 range.

gil

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Re: The Goal Zero Nomad 7 and Guide-10 Solar Power Kit for Ham Radio.
« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2013, 12:08:55 AM »
Yep, about that, including the Guide-10 AA charger.
You can charge four AAs at once. or there is a 12V output, but low current.
I am thinking about the Nomad 14, with a real 12V output, not a step-up.

Gil.