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Author Topic: Free power!!  (Read 3608 times)

KK0G

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Free power!!
« on: July 28, 2013, 05:07:35 PM »
The abundance of sunshine today motivated me to drag out my old homebrew solar panel. I charged all of my shack batteries including a 5 AH gel, a 4.6 AH battery made from two 6 V gel cell lantern batteries and the homebrewed NiMH pack in the photo. I know you're not really supposed to directly charge NiMH's like this but thought I'd try it to see how well it works or not, at worst I let the smoke out of them........... so far so good. I could have fired up the battery charger to top all these batteries off for probably less than $2 worth of electricity from the power company but where's the fun in that? 8)

« Last Edit: July 28, 2013, 05:14:19 PM by KK0G »
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety" - Benjamin Franklin

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RadioRay

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Re: Free power!!
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2013, 08:22:00 PM »
It is ALWAYS a great idea to be able to generate your own electrical power.  Here in coastal Virginia, with the occasional hurricane, and of course t-storms all summer, we DO have loss of power.  The amount of time it is lost is variable, but it can be from minutes to days, easily.  In the case of a direct hit from a hurricane, it can certainly be much longer. Other than for pumping water, we found the electric lights and a FAN were most important.  The ability to operate a simple 12 volt electric fan in the HOT, humid and often dead still air after a hurricane is a God send! Unless your were born and raised on Borneo, such conditions are miserable.

>>> Oh, and you can operate radios too.   ha ha

de RadioRay ..._ ._
« Last Edit: September 21, 2013, 09:59:36 PM by RadioRay »
"When we cannot do the good we would, we must be ready to do the good we can."  ~ Matthew Henry

KK0G

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Re: Free power!!
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2013, 09:38:10 PM »
I really need to increase my solar capacity so I can include some lighting, the fan Ray mentioned would also be a nice addition, but for now I have an almost indefinite supply of power for my QRP rigs. I haven't done the math but from my experience so far the three batteries I have last months before even needing recharging, at that rate the fact that my hombrew panel is not weatherproof is of no consequence, I only bring it out in good weather. If all else fails I have at least 100 fresh alkaline AA's that would last a long time.
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety" - Benjamin Franklin

KK0G

KK0G

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Re: Free power!!
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2013, 05:03:40 PM »
I set up my solar panel again today to top off my batteries. Not that they really needed it, it's been almost two months since I last charged them and the one I normally use day to day was only down to 12.2 V. The measly 31 mA my KX1 draws on receive makes my electron supply last a LONG time, so much so that I bet I could operate a daily sked for years using only the battery power stored in my shack. Add in a solar panel and possibly scrounging batteries after the SHTF and I could probably run it indefinitely.
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety" - Benjamin Franklin

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gil

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Re: Free power!!
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2013, 07:14:25 PM »
Quote
The ability to operate a simple 12 volt electric fan in the HOT, humid and often dead still air after a hurricane is a God send!

I never thought about a fan, but that is a great idea, thanks!

Gil.

KC9TNH

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Re: Free power!!
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2013, 10:30:58 PM »
Quote
The ability to operate a simple 12 volt electric fan in the HOT, humid and often dead still air after a hurricane is a God send!

I never thought about a fan, but that is a great idea, thanks!

Gil.
I can see a critical examination at this site of little 12v fans; moving any air, under conditions such as Ray is discussing, would help keep the PA a tad cooler in the types of little rigs many of us use.

Rob_ma

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Re: Free power!!
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2013, 09:01:40 AM »
Quote
The ability to operate a simple 12 volt electric fan in the HOT, humid and often dead still air after a hurricane is a God send!

I never thought about a fan, but that is a great idea, thanks!

Gil.

First hand experience - O2 Fans: http://www.walmart.com/ip/O2-Cool-8-Battery-or-Electric-Portable-Fan/15992438

Tornado took power out here in Mass for 10 days. Ran one of these in the bedroom every night on a 7 Ah battery through the AC adapter port which accepts 12 VDC. (They also run off D cells.) A very worthy investment! You can also aim it at your HF rig's fins to keep it cool. :)

Coupled with emergency lighting a fan becomes a necessity during a summer power outage.

- Rob

Rob_ma

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Re: Free power!!
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2013, 09:02:24 AM »

The ability to operate a simple 12 volt electric fan in the HOT, humid and often dead still air after a hurricane is a God send!

I never thought about a fan, but that is a great idea, thanks!

Gil.

First hand experience - O2 Fans: http://www.walmart.com/ip/O2-Cool-8-Battery-or-Electric-Portable-Fan/15992438

Tornado took power out here in Mass for 10 days. Ran one of these in the bedroom every night on a 7 Ah battery through the AC adapter port which accepts 12 VDC. (They also run off D cells.) A very worthy investment! You can also aim it at your HF rig's fins to keep it cool. :)

Coupled with emergency lighting a fan becomes a necessity during a summer power outage.

- Rob

KC9TNH

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Re: Free power!!
« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2013, 02:35:10 PM »
Thanks Rob. I can see where some can get into "embrace the suck" mode, & I've done that before too. But in a largely temporary,  natural event some may also need such a thing just to keep the stress level down on those who are sensitive to it (and may thus consume more of other resources). Examples would be someone with cardiac or respiratory issues, who may be consuming portable O2 at a higher-than-normal rate under heat stress. The 2-party agreement with Mother Nature, i.e., "I sweat, you cool me off" needs to be brokered sometimes. Where needed, I'm with Peter-san.
 :)