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Solar Power for your Ham Station AD #52

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Can you power your station from the sun? Absolutely! This video explains solar power from the panels and batteries to charge controllers and sizing. Subscribe: …


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28 Comments on "Solar Power for your Ham Station AD #52"

  1. Great video!! High quality content, clear and not dumbed down or full of dogma.

  2. J. Williams says:

    A question that is bit late – but I guess better late than never!
    I have a 12 volt 45 watt system that consists of 3 panels (15 watts each) that I have run through an MPPT charge controller. Recently I was given two 24 volt panels with higher wattage. Can I connect two of the 12 volt panels in series and parallel them with the 24 volt panels? I have read else where that the panels should be "matched" so that is why I'm wondering.
    Oh, and I have always ran all my ham gear (Icom IC718 and Alinco 2 meter)from solar, only problem was when the "deep cycle" battery developed an internal short.

  3. Barn Dweller says:

    I have been running solar for a few years now out here in my barn. I started witht he few 12 volt panels then went with the 250 wall 36 volt panels. For the charging side if you run the panels (the same panels) in series and get the voltage up there is less need for the more expensive heaver wire.

    My batteries are about 50 feet from my man cave / shack and even with 2 runs of #6 wire on each side I needed to get on the the MFJ power boosters you spoke of. My Flex 6300 did not like the voltage dipping under 12 volts on transmit.

    My bank is 4 sets of 2 each 120 Amp Hour 6 volt golf cart batteries, I run the rigs (1 HF and 3 vhf) usually until 2 am every day and have never had a time when I run down to 12 volts at rest. I will never take mine under 12 volts the batteries are the most expensive part of my setup!

    Another nice video, THANKS

  4. Joe Framo says:

    what the yeti 1400 run my qrp station with solar panels 4 6 7 days a week let me know when your comment thank you Uncle Dave

  5. Joe Framo says:

    Uncle Dave you're the best thing for YouTube really getting an education glad you're on really makes me happy and I bet you a lot of other people too thank you God bless

  6. Tim Smith says:

    Some time I would like to see you do a Field day Training video for First Timers. Target FM users that are new to SSB.

  7. Ray Konold says:

    Great Info, Dave.

  8. David Dennis says:

    Very comprehensive.

    Thanks Dave
    From N5BOC

  9. Corey Ruth says:

    I've heard that operating solar systems can present challenges for grounding, especially in upper-level apartments. Can someone living in such a place still use a solar system?

  10. Excellent video, nicely done and comprehensive. I have 16 solar panels on my roof 8 460 Amp Hour deep cycle lead acid batteries in a bank connected via two charge controllers and an inverter. I power some of my house but not everything. All the points you've made are critically important for those considering using solar to power a HAM shack or anything else. My advice is to take care and buy tested and true quality components for the system. Spend the extra time to research every product carefully before putting it in your system. When it comes to solar systems quality really does matter. Clean power from a pure sine wave inverter is especially important. Be always aware of the negative impact of both heat can cold on your overall system. In summer heat can play havoc with roof mounted solar panels causing incoming voltages to drop. In winter cold panels will produce much more power and may create an overcharge situation unless the charge controllers are up to the job of controlling the power. The time and effort you put into designing and installing your system will pay back many times over, especially if you are dependent on solar. PS: A back up generator is a really good idea for winter months.

  11. Paul Avo says:

    Nice video! Do you keep your batteries outside or in the house? I am in Phoenix, and concerned about leaving the batteries outside in very hot temperatures. But also concerned about keeping the batteries indoors as well?

  12. Eddy A says:

    As always, great stuff Dave!! Have you or are you going to talk about end-fed antennas?

    Thanks…..ed ~ k6sdw

  13. Sean McGrath says:

    Another great video Dave. Thanks

  14. Larry Nix says:

    Thanks for the excellent information Dave. I have wanted to set up solar for a while. I've moved to the rainy west coast but as all I want is a back up system solar should be just fine. I don't expect snow to be much of a problem (past winter excluded) but algae will be something to keep on top of. This video certainly answered a lot of questions. 73 Larry VE7VJ

  15. will edwards says:

    The sun has been viewed hovering in the clouds. I would say it is not 93 million miles away. I doubt if it is more than 9.3 miles away. NASA has never told the truth and incidentally their logo is a serpents tongue because they are liars.

  16. Rob Stegura says:

    KE8GBZ here thanks for the great info on solar. I have been thinking about doing this, now I have some good basic info. thanks again Dave 73

  17. good day David Thanks for your good help with all you wonderful videos especially for new Ham's like me if i may make a video request i really want to know how a counterpoise work
    ZS6CSV South Africa

  18. Jason says:

    I'd like to see a video about D-Star, System Fusion and other proprietary digital modes. Do you ever use any of them and if so, do you have radios specifically for them or was it an afterthought after purchasing a radio with one of these capabilities? I'm also curious if one is better than another or, more to the point, does one have more limitations than another? This may be a subject that is too broad in scope for a video and then again, it may be much simpler than I thought. I'm thinking of upgrading radios and I'm just wondering if any of this is something I might base a decision on or simply not worry about it.

  19. Grant Porter says:

    I was kind of waiting for Dave to break into song…

  20. Hi Dave,
    This August will be one year that I had Solar City install a 4Kw (15 panels) system on my roof. I just returned to the hobby and did not have a station up and running before the install was started. I had read articles about RFI from solar panels, but had no way to know if I was going to have that problem. Now that my station is operational, I do have periods of interference mostly on 20m. Need to get a portable receiver to go scout out where the interference may lie. 73 WB3BJU

  21. For your batteries, do you fuse the batteries separately (in case one malfunctions – I had a cell go bad in my car battery and assume it could on a standalone system) or just fuse the bank of batteries from the main feed?

    Also, how do you tell the real MPPT controllers and real Pure Sine inverters from fakes? I have had a couple of the inverters that said "sine wave" but when I got hold of a scope it was a series of square steps.

  22. I have an idea for a topic. types of systems someone can use and set up when they live in a small rental apartment.

  23. Outstanding! One day I'll make my own MPPT controller (and by then something better will be available πŸ™‚ ) 73 NE5U Mike

  24. T.O.A.G says:

    Awesome video. Quite a bit of usable information to digest!! Thank you and 73

  25. Barkeaters99 says:

    Upstate, NY… hey that's me 73 – KD2KAK

  26. Dave!!! Thank you for your videos! You and Michael Burnette of "The fast track series" are my go to guys. This video could not have come at a better time as I'm setting up a solar powered "go box". I've only had my ticket for about two months and I am having a blast? Thank you Dave.

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