Solar charger for AA

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Precision
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Solar charger for AA

Postby Precision » Wed Feb 01, 2017 6:23 am

I am looking for a solar charger, preferably one that can be molle attached / tied to the back of a pack and have rolling / folding capability. Something that can charge 4AA in a reasonable time period. Not necessarily all 4 at the same time but at least where I could get 4 charged (8 would be better) in a decent day of sunlight.

I am having trouble finding good efficient ones that roll / fold or are in anyway backpack worthy. The ones that look durable are HEAVY or have a jacked up design with very poor power stats.
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Re: Solar charger for AA

Postby Denis » Wed Feb 01, 2017 12:14 pm


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Re: Solar charger for AA

Postby Termite » Wed Feb 15, 2017 12:12 pm

Amazon is a good source.

Also, Battery Junction: I've done a lot of business with them, and had no problems.
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Re: Solar charger for AA

Postby Precision » Thu Feb 16, 2017 3:19 pm

I think I have found what I am going to try.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01K1WUO20/ref=ox_sc_act_title_2?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A18M12GR6V2Z8F

The solar charger. I would really prefer a 40W but no one seems to make one. 20W or 60W. If this it too slow I can probably figure out a way to daisy chain 2 of them. Natively this has the ability to charge phones, laptops etc and should be able to (with an adapter) power my Ham while it charges batteries.
[url]
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01FR ... 5NMUJX7QG5[/url]

for charging the Lithium Ion batteries I use in some lights

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00PZ6V99U/ref=ox_sc_act_title_3?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A35SJ01KP6YSIS

For charging the AAA and AA batteries that I use in everything else.

Anyone have any reasons why this is good or bad let me know. I am not up to speed on all the parameters to insure success here.
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Re: Solar charger for AA

Postby randy » Thu Feb 16, 2017 6:54 pm

Precision wrote: should be able to (with an adapter) power my Ham while it charges batteries.


I assume you're talking about the HT (Handy Talkie or Handheld Transceiver depending on who you ask)) you just ordered?

Do you mean radio in charger, solar panel hooked to charger? If so, that might work for low power. Many radios will not react well when attempting to use a charger while transmitting. The chargers won't handle the current draw. And some chargers generate RF noise that can screw with reception while the radio is in the charger. Since the Baoeng's "low" power is 1 watt (most radios I have (Icom/Kenwood) have a 500mW or lower "eLow" power setting), that will only decrease the likelihood of being able to run on the solar panels.

You also have the issue of voltage drops or peaks as sunlight changes (say on a partly cloudy day as the clouds move overhead). Many radios REALLY do not like voltage fluctuations.

From the online user manual it doesn't look like this unit has an external 12v power jack. You might want to double check that when you get yours.

Mine use this type of a jack with a cigarette lighter car plug or external battery (I use everything from 7 to 25AH gel cells). Using that, I am able to transmit at full power with no problem and slow charge the battery pack on the radio while receiving. (by slow charge I mean overnight to bring it to full from empty)

If you are thinking about this for your eventual HF Rig (or even a mobile 2M/440 transceiver), no way.

We've run solar panels at Field Day, and the way we run them is to hook the charger and the radio in parallel to the battery (we are talking huge 1-200 aH units from fork lifts, floor scrubbers, etc.). The charger tops off the battery during the receive cycle. The battery buffers any voltage drops. And we always start out with fully charged batteries.

Of course, I may not understand exactly how you envision your set up, so you might already have considered some of this.
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Re: Solar charger for AA

Postby Weetabix » Thu Feb 16, 2017 9:56 pm

randy wrote:We've run solar panels at Field Day, and the way we run them is to hook the charger and the radio in parallel to the battery (we are talking huge 1-200 aH units from fork lifts, floor scrubbers, etc.). The charger tops off the battery during the receive cycle. The battery buffers any voltage drops. And we always start out with fully charged batteries.

I've done that with a solar panel, charge controller, and car battery. RX only.
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Re: Solar charger for AA

Postby Precision » Fri Feb 17, 2017 12:46 am

Randy

in theory I can run the cigarette lighter adaptor on the solar charger, then run that into the car jack adaptor that replaces the battery pack on the 82-hp. If that won't work, I can run with the AA battery pack and rotate out the batteries for recharging them. I think I can also charge the primary battery from this rig with an adapter. We will see. I have the standard battery and the hi cap one already and if need be will get the AA adapter.

I know the AA option will work. Right now I need to pass the tests and get hooked up with my group's frequencies etc.

The solar panel is more for the other items I have with the new piece of kit being fitted into the plan too.
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Re: Solar charger for AA

Postby randy » Fri Feb 17, 2017 2:46 am

Precision wrote:in theory


In theory. Part of the fun of Ham radio is trying to make the theory match reality.

As I said, it might work. It might not. I've had mixed results with several different brands and models of HTs and charging set ups over the year. I'll be interested to see if this particular set up works since I've had no experience with the low cost Chinese radios that have come out the past few years.

Good to see you have plans B and C on tap.

I just didn't want you to get discouraged if it doesn't work right off the bat. I've spent hours and hours over the years analyzing, trouble shooting and tweaking power set ups. (Let's no even get into how much time I've spent on antennas, packet/digital set up, portable station set ups...) It's all part of the fun!
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Re: Solar charger for AA

Postby randy » Fri Feb 17, 2017 3:01 am

Weetabix wrote:
randy wrote:We've run solar panels at Field Day, and the way we run them is to hook the charger and the radio in parallel to the battery (we are talking huge 1-200 aH units from fork lifts, floor scrubbers, etc.). The charger tops off the battery during the receive cycle. The battery buffers any voltage drops. And we always start out with fully charged batteries.

I've done that with a solar panel, charge controller, and car battery. RX only.


We use deep cycle batteries, not car batteries

This kind of operation (especially transmitting) can destroy a car or truck battery in short order. (don't ask me how I know :roll: )

I don't transmit from the truck unless the engine is running. I usually don't even run receive on the 706 (HF rig) on battery very long as one of it's downsides is that it has an unusually high current drain on receive. Basically I'm using the vehicle battery as a voltage buffer between the radio and the engine alternator,
...even before I read MHI, my response to seeing a poster for the stars of the latest Twilight movies was "I see 2 targets and a collaborator".

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Re: Solar charger for AA

Postby Weetabix » Fri Feb 17, 2017 3:48 am

It was a leftover battery, so I wasn't worried. I put an Optima in my truck hoping it would do better than a regular battery.
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Re: Solar charger for AA

Postby Precision » Fri Feb 17, 2017 4:38 am

randy wrote:
Precision wrote:in theory


In theory. Part of the fun of Ham radio is trying to make the theory match reality.

As I said, it might work. It might not. I've had mixed results with several different brands and models of HTs and charging set ups over the year. I'll be interested to see if this particular set up works since I've had no experience with the low cost Chinese radios that have come out the past few years.

Good to see you have plans B and C on tap.

I just didn't want you to get discouraged if it doesn't work right off the bat. I've spent hours and hours over the years analyzing, trouble shooting and tweaking power set ups. (Let's no even get into how much time I've spent on antennas, packet/digital set up, portable station set ups...) It's all part of the fun!


I am not that easy to discourage. I get annoyed but not that often discouraged. It works or it doesn't. B and C will work though.
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Re: Solar charger for AA

Postby oilcrash » Fri Jul 21, 2017 3:11 pm

Necropost: I haven't been on in a while, how many of us are licensed amateur operators?

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Re: Solar charger for AA

Postby Weetabix » Fri Jul 21, 2017 4:01 pm

Can't watch the video at work, but I have a General license. (I'm assuming you meant amateur radio operators and not licensed amateur Operational Operators?) :D
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Re: Solar charger for AA

Postby Rumpshot » Sun Jul 30, 2017 2:12 pm

I am a general class. First licensed in 1980 or 81.
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Re: Solar charger for AA

Postby randy » Sun Jul 30, 2017 3:50 pm

Amateur Extra. First licensed in 1978.

We've had several threads about the subject. Do a search on "ham radio" or "amateur radio":

viewtopic.php?f=14&t=19900&p=206611&hilit=ham+radio#p206611

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=20524&p=252204&hilit=ham+radio#p252204

viewtopic.php?f=14&t=25928&p=306367&hilit=ham+radio#p306367
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